Two years ago I rescued 2 male guinea pigs from the middle of the street. They have been doing very well up until recently. One of the males has developed a major constipation problem. When he has a bowel movement it is a solid mass about 1 inch in diameter. I know it bothers him greatly as he squeals quietly. Is there anything I can do for him, diet, etc.? Please help as I hate to see him suffer.
Jaci from Hingham, MA
My first recommendation would be to call the local vet. However, I have 2 small Cocker Spaniels and find that many human cures on a much smaller dose is what my vet often recommends. Example: when they get runny stool, I give them a quarter teaspoon of Immodium. To that end, maybe make some "Smooth Move" tea (most grocery stores or natural food stores carry this). Let your little guy drink it in his water. It's all natural. (01/05/2007)
Are you feeding plenty of fresh fruits and veggies? Guinea pigs cannot make or retain vitamin C so they need a daily supply. Regular guinea pig pelleted food starts out with added C, but this leeches out in a short time. Along with their pelleted food, they need a variety of fresh fruits and veggies. I give each of my pigs 1/4 apple or orange, or 1/2 dozen romaine or leaf lettuce (not iceberg) leaves each day. They also like carrots and strawberries, use your imagination. If you have access to clean fresh grass or clover, that's really good for them. Make sure there hasn't been car exhaust blowing on it. Also, a small handful of good quality clean hay, not dusty or moldy, is great.
Another thing that is really good to keep a Guinea Pig's system healthy is a little bit of plain yogurt (not vanilla or any other kind of flavor). This is something you can do every day if you want. Make sure they always have plenty of clean water. Another thing you can give as a treat, is a piece of bread (maybe 1/2 slice), either dry, or soaked in a little milk. (01/05/2007)
Guinea Pigs are very sensitive to drugs. I wouldn't give him any thing over the counter. What kind of diet are they eating? Are they getting raw veggies or fruit? hay? Lot's of water. Do they get any kind of exercise? (01/06/2007)
I had a rabbit with this problem, he almost died. The vet recommended very little pellets, and much more fresh veggies (I feed them romaine, endive escarole, spinach, parsley, cilantro, mustard greens, collard greens, etc.) A pie tin filled up heaping each day. Also unlimited access to timothy hay. The fiber keeps the intestinal motility going. Hope this helps. (01/07/2007)
Parsley is a rich source of vitamin C, but it is also a diuretic. He may be getting too much which is dehydrating him thus causing constipation. I would cut back on the parsley and give him more veggies and fruits. (01/08/2007)
Try feeding organic dandelion greens. Only purchase them from a health food store. The dandelion greens are a natural diuretic and laxative and are filled with Vitamin C. Plus, guinea pigs usually love them. (12/30/2007)
Usually when they get constipated it is because of a lack of water or greens. So I would recommend feeding something like an apple peel and increasing his veggie intake. And you could also try putting two drops of olive oil on his hay pellets. I hope that helps. (04/20/2008)
Stop feeding it dry foods and feed it lots of greens. If that doesn't do it then give him more fruit and veggies like carrot, celery and apple. Dr. Rattermann (07/12/2008)
You might try some pumpkin. Works well for lots of animals. (08/07/2008)
This is what has worked for me. I feed my piggy a constant supply of "Cavy Cuisine" pellets (purchased at Oxbow Company) and Timothy Hay, which I keep in the freezer to kill mites and mold. I also keep a bowl of fresh water in the cage. I find that it is much easier for my piggy to drink from a bowl. The water bottles can get clogged, you will not know it, and your piggy will get dehydrated and constipated. Find a small but heavy, bottomed bowl so it won't turn over when your piggy puts its front feet on the bowl.
In the morning, I feed my piggy a good handful of a "Spring Mix," a brand of different organically grown romaine lettuces (absolutely no iceberg), which I buy at a health food store or supermarket. At supper, I take a bowl and cut some more "Spring Mix" and some organically grown dandelion greens that I also buy at a health food store. I sprinkle a 25 gram tablet of vitamin C (bought from Oxbow), which I have crushed up, on the bowl of greens. I then sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of bottled water on top of the greens. Thereafter, his poops come out perfectly shaped and just slightly moist. His fur is also soft and silky. (11/23/2008)
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