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Poorly Pig

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Hello guinea pig keepers! (brown guinea)


Hoping for some advice about my guinea pig George. He's had some strange symptoms over the last week and we've taken him to the vet, who couldn't see any reason for it. I'm a bit worried though.


Over the last week he suddenly developed huge double chin/fatty area on his front (dewlap?) which is getting bigger by the day!


At the same time, he's suddenly started to have trouble making pellets so I've been having to clean/help them out about once a day. AND he's now developed quite runny nose and eyes.


He's a little subdued too. He's still eating and drinking and running for veg when it's offered, but he's been running around less outside his cage and sometimes I'm spotting him hunched over (trying to do pellets I'm guessing).


The vet couldn't explain it, and since he is still eating/drinking and seems ok a lot of the time he didn't seem too worried. But isn't it weird to all happen at once? I know about impaction in boars and since he's 3 and a half I know this could be it, but with that happening at the same time as these huge drops in his fur/skin around tummy and neck, and the eyes and nose being runny, this just makes me worry there is something bigger going on.


would be very grateful if anyone has had similar experiences and could offer some advice. The vet has said to call back if we're still worried, but he did say there wasn't a lot they could do without knowing if there was a problem or not.


Thank you :)



George (brown guinea)

CJ (Bluebelle)

Bonnie PP

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Hmm, been a while since I had contact with piggies (I just happened to read this post) and I don't know if this can happen in them, but the sudden swollen neck sounds like an underactive thyroid goitre, or some other thyroid problem.

As a hypo(underactive)thyroid sufferer myself the symptoms being described could be due to this; the lethergy, everything slowing down including bowels, ok the runny eyes and nose I'm not so sure on but your immune system gets poor so maybe... anyway, just throwing that out there.


Hope you find out what it is, I remember piggies having this terrible tendency to just give up.

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Hi, sorry to hear that, they can be prone to dental issues which causes all sorts of symptoms, sometimes its the very back teeth.

Don't know where you are but there is a specialist vet in Andover, John Chitty and also there are a couple of guinea pig Facebook groups that offer great advice.

Hope you manage to sort it out.

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Tooth problem; possibly an abscess would by my guess, which would need antibiotics. Sounds like the vet may not be that well clued up on small furries, so may be worth getting a different opinion. Have a look on https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/ for more advice as well, plus try some of Peter Gurney's info (if you can track it down on the interweb) as he was pretty much the expert in all things GP.

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Thank you everyone for your suggestions! He did have some slight issues with back teeth last summer but they naturally ground down enough just with some hard things to chew (we went back a couple of times with him to the vet to check on progress) so he didn't need to have anything done. But at that point we noticed it because he was losing weight.


Could tooth problems be causing all these symptoms? I will give the vet a ring this evening and ask more advice, as well as looking at some more specialist forums as you suggest. I was holding him last night and every few seconds he was doing a little shudder which was worrying me, and his eyes were crusty again. But other times he was hopping about and wheeking happily. The one thing I noticed was that I think he is eating less hay this week, which perhaps is not helping with his digestion/doing droppings.


Thank you for your help,

Catriona and George (brown guinea)

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Hi everyone,


Thought I'd give you an update in case anyone reading this has similar problems in the future.

Over the weekend he continued to have the problems I mentioned before, we had a vet appointment booked for Tuesday but on Monday he went very downhill in the space of a few hours, having trouble walking, eating and drinking. We called the vet who recommended keeping him at home and warm until the following morning, as there was probably nothing they could do if we brought him in.


We realised quickly that he probably wasn't going to last the night so just tried to keep him as comfortable as we could, gave him lots of cuddles and eventually let him in his cage so he could go to sleep. We found him early in the morning and I think he'd just drifted off after we put him in. Very grateful actually as it seemed much kinder than having to take him all the way to the vet to be put down.


I suspect (though I have absolutely no expert knowledge) that the growth round his neck was some sort of blockage internally, which was causing him to lose weight (the rest of him felt increasingly skinny over the weekend) but with heaviness just from the growth, and as it grew bigger it was preventing him from cleaning his eyes/nose, and possibly from being able to get the normal droppings out. We know there's probably nothing that could have been done about this but I also think there may have been a small stroke or something on Monday afternoon - as he suddenly had problems moving and also his mouth seemed to be hanging open slightly.


Still, even in the last few hours when we were trying to keep him comfy he was attempting to jump onto our laps and pushing his head towards our hands. He's been a wonderful little friend and we're pretty devastated about losing him so quickly.


Thanks everyone for your advice and help last week.xxx

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Oh dear, I am really sorry to hear that but at least he went quietly and peacefully at home where he felt safe and loved.


They are such dear little things, I have three who are residing in my office for the winter and I have got very attached to them, they squeak like mad when they hear me or at fresh food time.


Best wishes, Kim

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