Surgery and Post-Op Care

 

If your Guinea pig is unwell, it is a difficult decision whether or not to let your Guinea Pig have an operation and undergo Anaesthesia. Guinea pigs have a relatively high risk of anaesthetic complications, with a perioperative mortality rate of 3.80% compared with 0.24% for cats and 0.17% for dogs (according to Brodbelt et al, 2008). This study revealed that all exotic species have a higher risk of anaesthetic complications than more commonly treated domestic pets. Sometimes though, it is an unavoidable risk due to being necessary for the life of your pet and definitely something that all of us worry about.

 

Be Prepared To Care For Your Guinea Pig Following Any Surgery

 

Most guinea pigs seem to recover well from surgery and are up and eating right away but recovery can take more time for others. It is not unusual for guinea pigs to be quieter and less active than usual for the first 24 hours after surgery. Appetite is often down, but you should syringe feed to keep digestion moving properly. Often a guinea pig hasn't eaten since early morning so there may be little poops. Fluids given postoperatively should carry hydration over just fine until the next day. Look for pee stains on the bedding to ensure fluids are moving through.

 

 

HAND FEEDING

 

Make absolutely sure your guinea pig begins eating as soon as possible after surgery. If your guinea pig is not eating that evening (following surgery earlier in the day), be sure to hand feed. Your guinea pig should be eating within a hour or two after surgery.

Food and water should be available at all times.

Provide extra vitamin C if directed by your ve. (perhaps 50mg/day).

Supplement your ill or recovering guinea pig with Oxbow Critical Care if you have access to this product. We always have this in stock, it is a great thing to have in your piggie first aid box. Mix it with a little water and they can eat it from a syringe or spoon.

 

HOUSING

If your guinea pig has had open surgery, keep the guinea pig on towels or fleece, change at least twice a day for 3 days or as needed.  If your guinea pig chews on the towels, use flat newspaper instead (not shredded). White towels are best; you can monitor any bleeding and poop and pee output more easily.

 

Regarding temperature, keep your guinea pig warm. The room should be comfortable. Use a wrapped water bottle, heat pad or light (for its radiant warmth) at one end of a cage. Any heat source should be positioned so the guinea pig can move away from it if uncomfortable. Don't let them lie on a heat pad if they cannot move away, guinea pigs can't sweat and can easily become too warm and over heat.

 

 

HA NDLING

 

It’s not a good idea to handle your pet unnecessarily. If it’s just had an operation it will be sore and probably in pain if you try to pick it up, especially if they’ve had a stomach operation, as the usual picking up method puts a lot of strain on this area. Just leave them to rest, but keep a close eye on them. Do not let chrildren play with them until they are fully healed. 

 

After care Tips

  • Observe your guinea pig for signs of pain. Ideally, your vet will have provided you with post surgery pain medication. If not and your guinea pig is in apparent pain, call your vet .Don’t hesitate, just do it. 

 

  • Antibiotics and Pain Medication. Ask for antibiotics for 5 days (Baytril) and possibly pain medication for 3 days. Pain meds are optional and usually not needed. However, a reason to use pain meds is to encourage eating after the surgery. When an animal is in pain, they have a tendency not to eat.

 

  • If your hutch or cage has any ramps or upperdeck access or anything to climb over, remove any such items or access until your guinea pig has completely recovered .

 

  • Check incision site regularl.  You must check the incision site at least once a day for the first few days. If the vet used surgical glue, look to make sure the incision site remains closed. If the vet used stitches or staples, make sure they are in place and look normal.

 

  • Watch for swelling. Any pus indicates an infection. If you have to take the guinea pig back to the vet to have stitches or staples removed, continue the postop care and monitoring until you are certain there is no possible infection at the suture site.

 

  • Monitor behaviour Watch their behaviour and contact the vet if there are any problems. Problematic behaviour would include lethargy,  not eating and not pooping after the first 24hrs.

 

  • Keep your guinea pigs together unless your vet has explicitly said otherwise. Guinea pigs are herd animals and do not like being kept on their own, and after such a stressful time they’ll need their family around them to keep their spirits up. Without their cagemates, some poor pets get depressed and a few simply give up. To avoid this, keep at least one other guinea pig in with them, such as a neutered member of the opposite sex, a sister, or a member of the same sex. If you have three guinea pigs, it’s a good idea to put them all in together so that you can ensure none are on their own.

 

  • If your guinea pig does not like the taste of recovery food, you can mix it withsome fruit juice or replace it with its usual mushed up pellets; feeding them freshly made with boiled, hand-warm water generally goes down best.
    If your guinea pig is just nibbling on food but is not eating properly, then a bit of syringe feed with Critical care can stimulate the appetite. I cannot stress how important critical care can be in situations like this. 

    Please don't hesitate to step in! Your prompt care is every bit as vital as the medical treatment! Guinea pig guts can start going into stasis (i.e. they stop working) after 24 hours without any food at all; don't wait for too long, or it can be an uphill battle to get the guts going again, on top of the healing process!

 

First Aid kit for Guinea Pigs

 

If you own  Guinea Pigs, it is a good idea to prepare a Guinea Pig first aid kit.  

If your Guinea pigs become ill, you may not be able to get an appointment immediately for your pet and you may have to wait a few hours or even until the next day before you can see a vet,( although  if I'm worried, I always insist it is an emergency, Well it is to me!)  Sometimes, there are things you can do to help your guinea pig at home until your vet appointment but please always get a veterinary diagnosis if your piggie is ill as their advice is extremely important. Also if you do see a vet and they give you medication for your piggie, you may need some things contained in your first aid kit to help you administer the medication prescribed properly and already having a First Aid kit at home, all the equipment you need will be on hand ready. 

We have an emergency first aid kit, ready and waiting, just in case the need ever arises.

 

 

Your First Aid Kit should contain. 

 

1ml syringes *

Critical care syringe.
Pill crusher (small/mini poly bag and a smooth egg cup  and old spoon)
Small bowls

Plastic baby spoon

Tweezers

Round-ended scissors

Cotton wool pads

Cotton buds

Paper Towels.

Disposable gloves

.

* Oxbow Critical care or Science recovery

A syringe feed for Guineas who are not eating normally.
 

* Vetark Pro-C Probiotic

Powder mixed with water for Piggies with digestive upsets, particularly diarrhoea.

 

* Saline wash

Cleansing and flushing a variety of wounds and eyes for hay pokes.

 

* Fibreplex

Which we have for Rabbits for gi Stasis

 

Vetericyn Plus Wound & Skin Care Liquid 

For cuts or bites. 

 

* Beaphar anti-ringworm Spray

*  Ivermectin for Mites or Mange

 

All of the about items marked with an * can be bought from us and collected the same day if you need them in an emergency. 

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