How much hay do guinea pigs need a day?
A guinea pig can consume 90-100 grams of timothy hay in a single day on average.
Hay is an essential component of the guinea pig’s nutritional needs. Every hour of the day, they should be given with fresh hay. Hay should account for over 80 percent of the total food supply.
Hay grass, which is high in fiber, is beneficial to them when they have indigestion. Hay grass is also beneficial in keeping the teeth in good condition.
guinea pigs have constantly developing teeth, and munching hay grass helps to grind the teeth down and keep the mouth in good working order.
Guinea pigs are allergic to a specific variety of hay, according to research. You must also be on the lookout for the same.
It is best to avoid hay grass that has excessive amounts of calcium and protein. Stones are created when calcium-rich hay grass is served to the animals. Timothy hay is the most beneficial hay grass for guinea pigs.
Young growing guinea pigs and pregnant guinea pigs require hay grass that contains a high concentration of calcium and protein. Because of the calcium content of Alfalfa, it can be fed in conjunction with other types of hay grass.
How long can guinea pigs go without hay?
It is necessary to provide Guinea Pigs with fresh hay on a regular basis. A guinea pig that does not get to eat hay for the first 6-12 hours will begin to experience digestive difficulties as a result of the lack of nutrition.
Their bowel has stopped working and processing food, thus the next 12 hours (12-24 hours) will be challenging for them. They will most likely die within 24-48 hours if they do not receive hay.
Hay gives our guinea pigs with fiber, which is necessary for them to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Their digestive system will begin to malfunction as soon as they do not receive enough hay. It can also cause an obstruction in their intestines, which is known as gastrointestinal stasis.
The digestive function of your guinea pig will be compromised if they don’t receive enough hay, which will lead to a variety of different ailments.
Even though Timothy hay is not a primary source of nutrition, it aids in digestion and helps animals meet their nutritional requirements.
Without access to fresh hay, the teeth of the guinea pig are more prone to being overgrown. This results in a variety of issues such as difficulty swallowing, discharge from the eyes, tension, dental difficulties, and so on.
How much vegetables do guinea pigs need a day?
Guinea pigs require vegetables as a part of their diet as well as other animals. Guinea pigs should be fed one cup of vegetables, which is 120-150 grams in weight, every day.
They should be provided a variety of vegetables to ensure that they have a well-balanced diet.
A minimum of once a day should be spent feeding leafy green vegetables, as well as another 2-4 veggies.
Make sure to include a variety of low-calcium veggies with high-calcium vegetables in order to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, cilantro, spinach, chards, and other greens should be served first, followed by other vegetables.
Red and green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes, as well as other vegetables high in vitamin C, are excellent choices. Other veggies, such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and the like, can be served on an as-needed basis.
How long can guinea pigs go without veggies
Guinea pigs can survive on their own for a few days if they do not have access to veggies. Although vegetables are essential for satisfying their vitamin requirements, if you are unable to provide them with veggies for a few days, you can substitute pellets for a short length of time.
Guinea pigs are unable to produce Vitamin C. They require the proper amounts of Vitamin C and other nutrients from their meal in order to maintain their health. Green vegetables meet the daily requirements for vitamin C as well as other essential elements.
Vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs impairs their immune system and can result in other health concerns such as scurvy and dental disorders, among other things.
If guinea pigs are not given with vegetables, their health will worsen over time, as seen in the example above.
Your guinea pigs may not die immediately if you do not provide them with vegetables, but they can develop diseases such as scurvy, which can be fatal in the long run.
How much pellets do guinea pigs need?
It is possible to feed an eighth cup of pellets every day to a guinea pig weighing 2 pounds.
Guinea pigs above the age of six months should be fed pellets made from timothy hay.
Guinea pigs under the age of six months, as well as pregnant guinea pigs, can be fed alfalfa-based pellets that are high in calcium.
It would be better if you avoided overfeeding your guinea pigs with pellets altogether. Pellets should account for no more than 5% of their total daily calorie intake.
Also, keep in mind that pellets are only a supplement to your guinea pig’s diet, and they will never be able to completely replace hay or fresh vegetables in the long run.
How long can guinea pigs go without pellets?
It is not necessary to provide pellets to our guinea pigs throughout their lives, and they can have a long life even if they are not fed pellets throughout their lives.
Some guinea pigs, on the other hand, are not fond of eating veggies. As a result, without pellets, they would be unable to meet their nutritional requirements.
As a result, if your guinea pig does not consume fresh veggies, you should consider supplementing with pellets; however, they are capable of surviving on their own.
Why do guinea pigs not eat?
Sometimes guinea pigs will refuse to eat or will have a decrease in their appetite as a result of illness.
It is possible to experience a partial lack of appetite as a result of a disease, a change in environment or nutrition, an inability to chew effectively, hot weather conditions, and other things.
In the event that an animal goes for an extended amount of time without eating, this is cause for considerable concern. It causes irreversible liver damage that cannot be reversed once it has occurred. If the proper safeguards are not performed, a Guinea pig may succumb to their injuries or perhaps die.
There are many different reasons why guinea pigs refuse to eat, some of which are as follows:
- Guinea pigs under stress stop eating food.
- Any surgery recently performed.
- Ketosis, improper functioning of the liver to produce excess digestive byproducts.
- Gastrointestinal stasis.
- Malocclusion of teeth.
- Exposure to hot climatic conditions.
- Insufficient availability of freshwater.
If your guinea pig stops eating, take him or her to the veterinarian right away. More time being spent on a problem means that it becomes more critical.
Table of Contents
How to tell if a guinea pig is hungry
Guinea pigs feed on a steady schedule. Their metabolic rate is high, which causes them to become hungry quickly after a period of time. As a result, make certain that they have access to Timothy hay at all times.
The guinea pig’s actions, on the other hand, indicate that they are hungry, which is understandable. The following are some of the more common warning indicators to look out for:
- When a Guinea pig gets hungry, it will make a wheeking sound.
- When they are expecting something to eat, they will raise their hind legs to their chests.
- Watching continuously in the direction of the owner in the expectation that the owner will become aware of its need for nourishment.
- They become sluggish and irritable.It is not recommended to keep the guinea pig waiting for meals for longer periods of time. They are unable to resist hunger for extended periods of time.
How to get a guinea pig to eat more hay
Hay is required to be a major component of your guinea pig’s diet. In order to encourage guinea pigs to consume more timothy hay, we should take the following measures:
- Throughout the day, Timothy/orchard hay should be offered for the Guinea pigs’ consumption.
- Continue to top off the hay with tiny heaps of fresh hay twice a day.
- Distribute the timothy hay throughout the cage; some guinea pigs take pleasure in foraging for food.
- Combine two or more different types of hay in a single pile.
- Organize your Timothy hay in a box, such as a tissue paper box, from which the guineas will have to dig out the fresh Timothy hay.
- It is important to use high-quality hay so that the guinea pig does not develop an allergy to it.
Always remember that you should never substitute hay for anything else in your pet’s diet. Hay is absolutely necessary for the health and well-being of your guinea pigs.
GI Stasis in guinea pigs
It is common for guinea pigs to have intestinal issues, and this one is no exception.
Stasis of the digestive tract (GI stasis) is the most prevalent digestive disorder. Without treatment, the guinea pig may succumb to the disease and die suddenly.
Guinea pigs are in GI stasis when their fecal pellets become smaller and smaller until they stop producing any. The condition in which fluids and food are unable to flow through the gastrointestinal tract at a reasonable rate.
A rhythmic contraction and expansion of the muscles transports food through the gastrointestinal tract. Peristalsis is the medical term for this muscle action.
Food moves more slowly through the intestines because the contraction of the intestinal muscles pauses or slows down.
A blockage in the digestive tract prevents the food from passing. Food accumulates in the duct, causing it to become congested and obstructing the digestive tract.
It is a major health disease that can be attributed to a variety of factors, including stress. Difficulty digesting and absorbing food causes the digestion, absorption, and elimination of the meal to be interrupted.
Because GI stasis is caused by obstruction, it is important not to be mistaken with this condition. Stasis is responsible for the obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. It is possible that such an interior obstruction will be fatal.
The loss of appetite is caused by GI stasis. Dental problems and liver damage are the result of such an environment.
Eating timothy hay has been shown to naturally slow the growth of teeth. Due to the cessation of tooth trimming, there is an overgrowth of teeth, which can lead to dental problems.
Increased stress on the liver occurs in conjunction with dental disease and lack of appetite. This drug also has the additional effect of causing permanent liver damage.
Pigs die unexpectedly as a result of gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis). When GI stasis is left untreated, it almost always results in abrupt death, which is common. In order to avoid a similar occurrence, it is vital to identify the sickness.
Signs of GI Stasis in guinea pigs
The symptoms of GI stasis in guinea pigs are :
- Lethargy: They will be inactive and even don’t like your presence nearby.
- Hunched position: Abdominal pain is caused due to the blockage of the gut. The guinea pig will sit in a crouched position.
- Not eating or drinking: Common symptom of GI stasis. The guinea pig will be reluctant to eat or drink anything.
- Constipation: Fecal pellets will be small and few.
- A rise in body temperature: Body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit is not a good sign.
- The gurgling of the stomach: Gurgling is caused due to trapped gas inside the abdomen.
- Teeth grinding: Guinea pig suffering from severe pain due to GI stasis will be grinding its teeth.
- Weight Loss: Loss in weight is commonly observed due to loss of appetite and improper digestion.
- Perineal fecal soiling and diarrhea: Mushy cecotropes are produced due to change in the cecum flora.
A guinea having such symptoms should be carried to the vet immediately. A Guinea pig will pass away within a few hours if suffering from GI stasis.
Treat GI Stasis in guinea pigs
GI stasis is treatable if it is detected early and treated as soon as possible after diagnosis. Take the guinea pig to a reputable veterinarian as soon as possible after finding out what is wrong with it. Home therapy is not suggested under any circumstances. If you attempt to treat the guinea pig at home, the animal’s condition will deteriorate. The following procedures are recommended by the veterinarian:
When the guinea pig is suffering from gas trapped inside the stomach, massaging the gastrointestinal tract can help to ease the situation. When the symptoms of GI stasis are minor, this procedure is performed. The muscular movements of the gastrointestinal system are stimulated by physical massage.
Massage should be done with care and with great sensitivity. Guinea pigs are extremely fragile animals, so avoid applying excessive pressure when massaging them. Massage can be performed at home under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Fluids are critical in the body’s metabolic functions because they help the body to move. Dehydration can result in gastrointestinal stasis, which can exacerbate the disease.
When it comes to treating GI stasis, the veterinarian can recommend fluid therapy. It is possible that the guinea pig will refuse to drink water. Subcutaneous fluids can be administered in this situation.
This procedure can be used to remove fecal wastes that have become lodged in the intestines. When GI stasis occurs in its early stages, it is not necessary to do an enema.
Gut Motility Drugs
By administering medications such as Metoclopramide or Clebopride, one can increase the motility of the intestine’s muscular layers and therefore improve digestion. These medications are typically prescribed for a period of 7-12 days.
There may be negative effects from using these medications, such as diarrhea. When these medications are administered to the guinea pig, the animal should be properly observed.
Stimulants to increase diet and force-feeding
Guinea pigs will recover more quickly once they begin eating solid food. Food will aid in the regular action of the gastrointestinal muscles and will offer the nutrients that are required for the recuperation process.
When it comes to increasing appetite, appetite stimulants and, if necessary, force-feeding are both effective options.
There are two forms of feces produced by Guinea pigs: fecal pellets and cecotropes. Coccophage cecotropes are swallowed again by guinea pigs, and this is an important element of their digestive process as well.
They are unable to create cecotropes as a result of gastrointestinal stasis. As a result, there is a shortfall in B-complex vitamins. Consequently, B-complex vitamins should be administered to guinea pigs in order to boost their hunger.
Severe abdominal pain and swelling are caused by gastrointestinal stasis. A guinea pig sits in a hunched position and does not appear to be moving much.
This scenario intensifies the intestinal blockage and causes the recovery process to be significantly slowed. Pain treatment should be administered first and foremost in order to lessen the consequences of GI stasis.
Your veterinarian will prescribe you pain relievers as well as instructions on how to take care of yourself in order to reduce the agony. Maintain a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for the guinea pig at all times.
In the case of GI stasis, home therapy is not recommended at all. If a guinea pig exhibits signs of GI stasis, it should be taken to the veterinarian.
Even though the veterinarian will prescribe medication, the treatment will take time. During this time, you can provide assistance to the guinea pig.