: Dave started making weird noises today, and now he won't eat (usually
: frantically greedy) and lies with his nose to the wall on his side as
: if he may be in pain.
Well, the best advice that can be offered is to try and keep him alive
until you can get to the vet. That being said, I am not a vet, or do
I have any medical training...
Are there any other symptoms? Listen to his breathing. Can you hear
any ruttling or other obstructions that could indicate a respiratory
problem? Most guinea pigs stop eating when they are ill because
breathing becomes so labor-intensive that they can't take the time to
stop and eat. This is usually the sign of an advanced pneumonia.
Is there any congestion in his nose? Listen there for clicking or
ruttling that would be indicative of mucus buildup. Do you hear
sneezing or coughing?
Is he having any trouble going to the bathroom? Is his urine
discolored (pinkish instead of the normal milky-white)? This would
indicate a bladder infection, or bladder stones.
If he's not eating, you may need to force-feed. Baby food (mashed
carrots and mashed bananas seem to be best) should be fed via an open
syringe (a syringe without the needle) every couple of hours. He may
resist, but if he doesn't eat soon, he will starve. Guinea pigs have
a very rapid metabolism, and are constantly eating; hence, they can
starve to death within a matter of hours.
Does he have diarrhea? Are his poops soft or runny? If so, he may
just have an upset stomach. Kaeopectate has been used by several
people to relieve the runs, though it only treats the symptoms and not
any potential causes (infections, etc.).
Will he drink water? If not, you'll need to force feed this too.
Is he getting his 10mg of vitamin C each day? If not, he may be
suffering from scurvy, which can cause all kinds of painful problems.
You can force feed large doses of vitamin C by dissolving chewable
vitamin C tablets in water, and feeding that to him. Excess vitamin C
is passed in the urine, so you can't do any harm by upping his vitamin
C intake, just to be safe.
http://www.aracnet.com/~seagull \ (seize the guinea pig!)