Friday, August 20, 2010

Dealing with Bloat

As most of you will know I have had problems with the dreaded bloat.

Mummy believes the Baytril I was given for conjunctivitis made me stop eating causing gut stasis which then lead to bloat.

I stopped eating and pooping and it was only with a lot of hard work and 2 nights staying with the vet that I managed to start pooping.

Here is an x-ray of my tummy (sorry its not very good pigture) on my left (right side of pigture) instead of seeing white bones all you can see is a mass of black, this is the gas that was filling my tummy.

So how did I get better? When I first went to the vet they gave me metaclopramide injection and gave Mummy metaclopramide tablet to give me at home as well as syringe feeding me, this failed to help I would eat a few leaves if handfed and accept the syringe but I couldn't poop.

I went back to vet again they kept me overnight with no success and then they took x-ray when they saw black mass they told Mummy they couldn't help me and that it didn't look good (Mummy was distraught but she is not a quitter)they let Mummy take me home and she made an appointment to see a guinea pig savvy vet first thing the next morning.

Mummy spoke to the Piggyfriends rodentologist who suggested she give me 1ml infacol straight away and 1ml at bedtime. Mummy did this she also massaged my tummy and made me move around (which I did not want to do) she also syringed me food and water and I managed a few tiny poops.

The next day the new vet gave me more metaclopramide injections, regular syringe feeding and regular moving around (I was in the piggy intensive care unit looked after by the piggy nurse) I pooped some more but they worried I wasnt eating enough and kept me overnight for more intensive care.

The following day Mummy came and collected me after work, I still didn't really want to eat but as long as I had food syringed I would poop, Mummy promised to syringe feed me forever if thats what I needed. Mummy gave me 1ml infacol, acidophilus more tummy massages and running around.

It was amazing for the UK but we had some nice weather and Mummy decided to let me out on the grass (grass can be gassy for piggies but as Mummy thinks Baytril not diet caused problem she took a gamble) and I munched away happily the whole time. I went to bed and made some nice poops.

The problem was I still did not want to eat hay or pellets or any fresh food other than grass.

Mummy kept letting me mow the lawn when sunny and cutting me grass when it wasn't, working on the theory that it was better for me to eat something for myself. She also syringe fed me 20ml 3 times a day, sometimes weetabix and sometimes my pellets mashed in boiling water and allowed to cool and also 1ml infacol and acidophilus daily.

As long as Mummy kept the food coming in I kept the poops coming out but I did not want to eat for myself.

Then my darling Not So-Lil Woop found a Dutch website that suggested giving 1ml olive oil once a day, they said that gas in the intestines is present as foam and is very hard to get rid off, it also tells the brain that the tummy is full even when its not. The olive oil changes the foam bursting the bubbles and making it easier to get rid off.

The day after my first dose I ate some pepper and cucumber for myself, within 3 days I was back to eating normally and we stopped the olive oil, Mummy says it was my miracle cure!!

When she started the olive oil Mummy stopped the infacol.

Mummy then started reducing my syringe feeds I went from 20ml morning, noon and night to 20ml morning and night with 10ml at noon. I stayed the same weight.

Mummy cut back again 15ml morning and night and 5 ml at noon stayed same weight.

Then again 15ml morning and night no noon food stayed the same weight.

Then 10ml morning and night same weight, then 5ml morning and night same weight.

Now I am having no syringe food.

So key treatments are;
Syringe feed to keep tummy working
Hand feed to keep teeth working and tummy moving
Metaclopramide injections from vet to get tummy moving
Infacol to help make gas easier to pass
Massage to help tummy pass gas
Movement again to help pass gas
Olive Oil to disolve gas bubbles

This is such an important subject that I am setting you all a mission, I want you to find any links you can to treatments for bloat if you have personal experience we want to hear it, and as we are a multi national team of agents please add links to non English sites as others from non English speaking countries may need information to.

I want this to be a one stop shop for any pig who needs information about bloat and how to deal with it.

See contribute section at top of blog to find out how to submit your posts

Piggies get searching!!


  1. Dear all, this is the website I found which is mentioned above:
    It's owned by a Dutch breeder and has a pretty extensive part about diseases in Guinea pigs.
    What my mom likes about it, is that it give discriptions of the symptoms, and next to vet treatment it also give suggestions if you cannot go to a vet at that instance.
    Guiny sometimes felt like a little balloon and mom and dad have given her Olive oil with no problem at all. So that's why I suggested that to my darling Ghost, figured it would not hurt.. And I was very happy to hear that it improved his Health.
    So please stay healthy dear Ghost! Give your mommy a rest from worrying about you and the Hamster.

    Love, Not-so-lil'Woop
    p.s. Unfortunately the website is completely in Dutch. But we can tell slave to translate for you if that's needed!

  2. I've had lots of experience with guinea pig digestive issues for various reasons, and I too had problems with a guinea pig (who had a sensitive system) with Baytril being taken for long periods. The piggy meds over here (US)are a little different. Our vet prescribed a probiotic to take afterwards because Baytril can muck with the good bacteria in their systems, along with syringe feeding with critical care (if they won't eat) because it's got a lot of good probiotics as well as lots of nutrition. My pigs love getting fruity baby food mixed in for extra flavor. ;)

    I have also seen an xray of my pig with a pocket of gas like that, but he's a tough one and with meds and constant feeding until he could eat on his own, he got better. Not familiar with the meds you spoke of. Our Vet typically gives Reglan to keep the system moving, sometimes a laxative syrup if pooping is a problem, and simethicone for gas (the same thing in Gas-x!)

    It was a lot to stuff into my grumpy, ornery pig via syringe, but it did help pretty quickly.

    As far as grass causing gas, I've never had a problem with grass and my pigs, personally. Grass was one of the first things Connor wanted to eat (aside from lettuce) when he was feeling better. But then again he also loves bananas and apparently some pigs have problems with those too. Not Connor. :)

    Syringe feeding with something like Critical Care (an oxbow product) after an episode of bloat or constipation and not eating has helped regulate things and put weight back on.
    Never mind that Connor loves the stuff so much that in his dotage, even though we don't have to force feed him, we give him a tube a day because it makes him happy and gives him extra nutrition.

    Glad to hear the pig is better. :) It's rough to go through all that. Interesting about the olive oil!

  3. This is good information to keep on hand.. What a great idea about the olive oil! So glad that ghost if feeling better. Wish I could read dutch:) as I am sure that web site has alot of great information. take care ghost!

  4. Links to guinealynx discussions on bloat;

    Keep searching for more information agents everywhere

  5. Don't forget the link to Peter's page on bloat.

    There is a spelling error there. The remedy is called Rennie Rapeze.

    From Agents Thorntons, 101, Big Red, Carrot, Badger and Minty.

  6. A probiotic with lactobacillus helped us. Just the refrigerated capsules emptied and sprinkled in water and then syringe-fed. A good trick is to wrap the pig up like a taco and feed them like a baby.

  7. If guinea pig is started drinking too much water, not eating much/less, interested in eating but does not eat much, dropping thing from her/his mouth, chewing on carpet, other things. It could be she/he is having problems with her teeth. It may look normal at first glance, but make sure that front teeth top and bottom is not too long and also needs to be aligned. They also have teeth you can't see you need to take her a vet knows about guinea pig teeth. Sometimes front teeth can be easily trimmed (if too long) Simple solution will save her life. . But others need to be handled by an experienced vet.

    1. You are so right! Wish I had known this before. I recently lost one of my piggies because of decayed back teeth. My exotic pet vet says this is quite common with piggies. They caused an abscess and although she went on antibiotics and meds for cleaning the abscess (which burst on its own) she died within 2 weeks of diagnosis.

  8. Hi. Was looking for advice as guinea pig has a bloated tummy. I am though concerned that your guinea pig was given Metaclopramide because it's been linked to sudden death/cadiac arrest in humans. I was taken off this mmedication about a year ago, for that reason. I think another name for Metaclopramide is Reglan.

    1. Hi, I lost a piggie supposedly to bloat. Ism how much I trust the vet but I do know that as soon as they gave her metaclopramide she went downhill instantly. Never recovered and she suffered for 6 hrs at the vet in a ventilator until she passed away 5 mins after they gave her back to me.