Okay, let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Jessie is still in pain. He’s lost a lot of weight. But he hasn’t given up – so neither can I. I know that sounds a tad overdramatic, but Teddy deteriorated so quickly there was no alternative to try to save him. He would have needed surgery, IV fluids, etc. Jessie, fortunately, did not have the negative reaction to the antibiotics that Teddy had. While he definitely lost some apetite, he’s slowly been gaining it back – and he’s simply become a (frustratingly) picky eater.
For those interested, and for anyone who might stumble upon this looking for Guinea Pig advice, I’ll let you know what I’ve been doing:
- Since calcium buildup tends to be the most common cause of stones, I’ve almost completely cut carrots out of their diet (little did I know they were a source of calcium). They only get little pieces on occasion as a break from all of the greens.
- I’ve been reading all sorts of sites looking for the best greens for them to be eating in this situation. While many of them are good, the two best seem to be parsley and dandelion greens. At this point in the game, the dandelion greens seem to be the one leaf Jessie will gobble up (Shadow will eat almost anything put in front of him).
- Parsley is one of the best natural cleansers out there, but Jessie stopped eating it about a week ago. So Lisa chopped some up, threw it in the blender, and made some parsley juice. I don’t know how effective it is, but they don’t mind it in their water and I can use it as a base for mixtures.
- More than ever I am making sure they have lots of hay. Jessie is often a little timid around wet foods – I’m sure he associates it with the painful urination – but hay is always welcome, and very healthy for them. MAKE SURE IT’S TIMOTHY HAY – alfalfa should only be used for baby piggies.
- Although I’ve let it fall by the wayside, I also gave him lots of cranberry juice (cut with about 50% water). Some g-ps really love the stuff, but he wouldn’t take it voluntarily. I’ve been using the syringe the vet gave me to force it in his mouth while holding him tight. He doesn’t like this – and neither do I. Nevertheless, cranberry juice is great for the urinary tract, and I’m hoping it can keep it clear while we work on the stone.
- As his squeaking got louder, we searched for information on pain relief. Infants’ Ibuprofen is actually recommended – although the dosing can be tricky. I found a site that said about 0.15mL/kg was good and we’ve worked from there. Fortunately he loves the sweet taste of the children’s version, and that makes it easy to give him some from a syringe.
- The latest mixture I’ve begun using was based on mentions of hydrangea and cornsilk. I mix equal parts of each (about 0.5mL), along with some of the parsley juice. This is a more difficult process, as I have to make sure he takes the majority of it – over 1mL in the morning and again in the evening. It can take up to ten minutes of sitting there, squeezing a little in his mouth, and then kissing his forehead a bunch until he finally drinks it down. While parsley is a great cleanser, the cornsilk and hydrangea can potentially break the stone down enough that he can pass it. This is really our best hope.
All of this combined has been making me late for work and somewhat stressed out – now combine that with having to defend Jessie from Shadow’s advances as he’s been extremely randy the past few days. ACK! The saddest part of this whole situation is that I buy pounds of healthy greens at the store every couple of days, and pretty much none of it is for us. But the people at whole foods must think I’ve goone vegan or something.
I’ll keep everyone posted, and I hope any other guinea pig owners can make use of this advice.