It is recommended that guinea pigs be fed an unlimited amount of fresh hay, a cup of fresh vegetables, a small serving of pellets, and a few treats every now and then.
If your guinea pig is not eating their food, this can have an effect on the movement of their intestines.
If your guinea pig does not consume their food for 12-24 hours, their health will deteriorate quickly.
They will begin to experience severe digestive problems and will require the immediate assistance of a professional Veterinarian to resolve the situation.
What does it mean when your guinea pig doesn’t eat?
If your guinea pig is not eating their regular diet, then it definitely means something is wrong. It can be a mental trauma or a physical one.
We need to look out for the cause to find a viable solution ASAP. There can be a lot of reasons that can lead to loss of appetite in guinea pigs.
While some of them can be dealt with by their owners, others shall need medical treatment.
Some of the common ones include:
- Dental Problems: Dental problems are one of the most common issues among guinea pigs that hinders their ability to eat and drink. Guinea pig molars generally grow inward, and it can harm their gums and chin when overgrown, thus making it difficult for them to ingest any food.
- Stress: Stress is another major factor that affects the diet of your guinea pigs. If your guinea pig is stressed out, they will hide more and will also lose their appetite. Some of the common causes of stress are loud noises, predators, etc.
- Change in food: If you have recently changed the brand or type of hay, pellets, or other food, then it can also be one of the factors affecting your guinea pig’s diet. One of my guinea pigs doesn’t enjoy Oxbow hay, while others love it. So you see it is all about their persona preference.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Gastrointestinal problems like constipation, GI stasis, etc. can inevitably affect the food consumption of your guinea pigs. It can slow down the gut movement leading to loss of appetite in guinea pigs.
- Respiratory Infection: Respiratory infection is another major factor that can hamper the diet of your guinea pigs. It can lead to labored breathing, and in some cases, guinea pig’s nasal passage may get blocked, leaving them with no other option but to breathe from their mouth.
- Temperature fluctuations: Temperature fluctuations can also affect the diet of your guinea pigs. A Guinea pig can get anxious and aggressive if the temperature goes beyond 25°C. Thus, make sure the temperature is well-maintained around your guinea pigs.
- Recent Surgical Procedures: Surgical procedures can be painful for your guinea pigs. Your guinea pigs might experience pain for a few days after major surgery. Even minor surgery may leave them in mental stress affecting their food consumption. Make sure you consult with the vet if anything like this happens.
- Dehydration: Dehydration can also lead to loss of appetite in guinea pigs. In many cases, it has been seen that the bottle nozzle doesn’t dispense water accurately, resulting in dehydration in guinea pigs. Sometimes mixing medicines or vitamin c drops can also change the taste of water in guinea pigs that they might not drink. This can further lead to dehydration and loss of appetite in guinea pigs.
What do you do if your guinea pig won’t eat?
It is critical to pay immediate attention to your guinea pig if they are not eating their food as instructed.
You should never leave your guinea pigs alone to recover on their own because the problem could quickly escalate from a mild to a severe state.
If medical treatment is not provided to your guinea pigs in a timely manner, they may suffer from serious health problems such as organ failure and gastrointestinal stasis.
If you notice that your guinea pigs have not eaten for a few hours, try to observe their behavior and movements to determine what is going on.
Do they appear to be ill? Are you in pain? Is it normal for them to pee and poop? Is your guinea pig in a state of stress?
Make an effort to calm your guinea pigs and communicate with them. You can also try syringe feeding them to see if that makes a difference for them.
If they don’t begin to eat within a few hours, you must take them to the veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Health problems can arise very quickly after the six-hour mark has passed in the case of guinea pigs. As a result, make certain that you take them to the veterinarian.
You must also be on the lookout for symptoms and gather as many details as possible in order to help the veterinarian understand the situation as quickly as possible.
Guinea pig not eating or moving
If your guinea pig is not eating and moving, then it definitely means there is something wrong with them.
It could be a severe health issue like dental problems, liver or kidney disease, or something even more critical.
It seems like they are weak and unable to move due to the lack of nutrition in their body.
Thus, you should make sure you take them to a vet immediately. The vet may ask for blood tests and radiographs.
The treatment can include:
- Critical care feeding for a few days
And in the meantime(until the vet is available), you could encourage them to drink some water and offer them food or critical care to keep their digestive system going.
You don’t want to completely halt their gut movement as the results could be catastrophic.
Guinea pig not eating or pooping
The lack of eating and poops in your guinea pig is a clear indication that either there is a blockage of poop in their gut or that the gut movement has slowed significantly.
There could be a variety of factors contributing to this.
A frequent diet change, an improper diet, or other health issues such as gastrointestinal stasis could all be contributing factors.
It is necessary to weigh your guinea pigs in order to determine whether or not they are losing weight. It is critical that you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your veterinarian will need to perform x-rays and radiotherapy to determine the location of the possible blockage and treat it accordingly.
The treatment consists of the following components:
Every 24 hours, I take Ranitidine and Metacam.
Buprenex and Reglan every 12 hours Critical Care- 4 ml 4-5 times a day in the morning and evening
Once appetite and bowel movements have returned to normal, Cisapride and Meloxicam should be taken orally to maintain the normal routine.
You should continue to provide them with critical care to ensure that something gets into their stomach.
Guinea pigs are not able to survive for long periods of time without food. As a result, immediate action must be taken.
Never attempt to treat medical conditions in your guinea pigs at home because it can be life-threatening to their health.
Guinea pig not eating and hiding
If you have just bought a new guinea pig home or you have moved your guinea pigs from one place to another that is entirely new for them, then chances are they are scared and feeling insecure.
Fear and anxiety could be a significant factor that affects our guinea pig’s diet. If you have a good bond with your guinea pigs, try to calm them down by petting them and hand-feeding them their favorite treat.
If you have just bought a new guinea pig home, provide them with some hiding space, and sit beside them and talk to them for some time.
This should calm them down and encourage them to come out, explore, and have their food.
You should also enquire about the previous owner for their diet and continue the same for some time so your guinea pigs could get accustomed to the new living environment more easily.
Guinea pig not eating and losing weight
If your guinea pig is not eating for a while, then the weight loss is directly related to their appetite.
If your guinea pig is not eating their food correctly, then they are going to lose weight ultimately.
There could be a lot of health problems that are leading to loss of appetite in your guinea pigs. Some of the common ones include:
- Dental problems
- Respiratory and urinary infection
- Poor quality food
You need to look out for the possible cause and book the vet appointment immediately.
Keep feeding some critical care by syringe until you can reach the vet.
A significant weight loss can be fatal for your guinea pigs and directly implies that your guinea pigs need some nutrients immediately.
Guinea pig not eating hay or pellets or veggies
Guinea pigs are finicky eaters, and some guinea pigs may not like a particular brand of hay or pellets while others may prefer a different brand. The same can be said for vegetables as well.
Bell peppers are a favorite of some guinea pigs, but they are not a favorite of others. You must experiment to determine what your guinea pigs prefer and then serve the food in accordance with their preferences.
In the event that you purchased a new bag of pellets or hay and your guinea pig doesn’t care for it, you may be forced to give it away to someone else in order to purchase the brand that your guinea pigs prefer.
No, you cannot force feed your guinea pigs in any manner. Please make sure that you always have some food available for your guinea pigs at all times.
I prefer to purchase a new bag of guinea pig food a few weeks early and transition my guinea pigs to the new food slowly to allow them to become acclimated to it.
If they continue to be dissatisfied, there isn’t much we can do to change their minds.
When it comes to vegetables, I would recommend experimenting with different vegetables so that you can learn what your guinea pigs like and don’t like. Create a diet plan for your guinea pigs based on their needs.
Guinea pig not eating after surgery
Guinea pigs can go through a lot of pain and stress if they have been operated recently.
It could be a minor surgery or a major one, but the effect of the same could be seen in your guinea pig’s diet and behavior for a few days.
Apart from the mental trauma, the antibiotics prescribed could also harm our guinea pigs diet as they might not feel hungry even if their body lacks nutrients.
Thus, providing them with critical care and supplements for a few days by syringe feeding them is crucial for their well being.
Your vet may prescribe some pain medicines as well after any major surgery.
Probiotics may also be needed to get their gut system working in proper order again.
Guinea pig not eating breathing heavy
If your guinea pig is not eating but breathing heavily, then it clearly indicates there is some health problem.
Some of the common issues could be an allergy from the food like hay or pellet, or it could be something worse like an upper respiratory infection.
Whatever is the case, you need to look out for further symptoms and try to syringe feed them at the same time.
If they are not eating for some time now, then their health condition could be deteriorating, and you must seek medical assistance immediately.
A lack of proper health checkup and treatment can lead to serious health issues in the future.
Syringe-feeding your guinea pigs
Sometimes syringe feeding is the only option available to us in order to help our guinea pigs recover.
Yes, it is something that no guinea pig owner would ever want to go through, but the reality is that a situation like this will arise at some point, and you must be prepared to deal with it when it does.
In order to syringe feed your guinea pigs, you must first complete the following steps:
- Get a syringe that is the proper size (5ml-50ml). Purchase the larger one because it is more convenient to work with. The curved dental syringe is one of my personal favorites because it makes feeding much easier. Chop the ends off with a pair of scissors, and be sure to sand down any sharp edges.
- Take some Oxbow’s Critical Care or Sherwood digestive support, or you can mix ground up pellets with fresh greens, any vegetable baby foods, or any other vegetable baby foods, and mix them with a little water. If you want to supplement the mixture with liquid vitamin C, you can do so.
- Fill the syringe with water and insert the tip into your guinea pig’s mouth behind their front incisors, slowly depressing the plunger to administer the medication. Allow your guinea pigs some time to digest their food.
- You must feed the mixture every 2-3 hours in order to ensure that your guinea pigs’ digestive system is properly functioning. It also gives them the energy they need to recover from their exertions.
- If your guinea pig is still not moving much after a couple of feedings, try to get it to move for at least 10–15 minutes every 6–8 hours, as activity helps to promote gut movement in the animal.
Can guinea pigs die from not eating?
Yes, guinea pigs can die if they are not fed for more than 24 to 48 hours at a time.
Guinea pigs must consume something on a consistent basis in order to keep their gut moving.
It is possible that your guinea pigs’ digestive system will slow down if they do not eat for a few hours. It is possible for the system to completely stop processing in less than 24 hours, leading to gastrointestinal stasis in your guinea pigs.
Your guinea pig will also begin to lose weight quickly, and by the time you realize what’s happening, it may be too late, and they may even lose their lives due to the lack of nutrition.
If your guinea pigs have not eaten for more than 6 hours, it is critical that you take them to the veterinarian.