Water intake

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Mizz P

Post   » Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:03 am


My husband and I recently adopted a male guinea pig (named Spork, age unknown.) He seems to be fairly young and in good health. One thing that has us concerned is that Spork drinks almost no water. I've only seen him drink a few times and it seems as though there is practically no change in water level of his Oasis drip bottle from day to day, never more than 5 mL and I think most of that is just drip. We've started putting his lettuce in a shallow bowl of water to try to ensure that he is getting at least some water. He doesn't like cucumber or celery and most shockingly doesn't eat any fruit so watermelon or any other water-laden fruit is a no-go.

What I've seen online is that they will drink between 50 - 300 mL per day. I'm worried about the potential for bladder stones if he drinks so little. Other than giving him his lettuce floating in water, does anyone have any ideas how to get more water into him?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:55 am


I've had normal drinkers, excessive drinkers, and non-drinkers. There are a few things you can try for a non-drinker.

Change the height of the water bottle. Change the bottle or its location in the cage. Make sure all the veggies are very wet. Try syringing him diluted pedialyte (generic is fine) and see if he likes that. If he does, gradually decrease the amount of pedialyte and increase the water and see if he gets used to it. And good luck!

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Waddles
Party Poop-er

Post   » Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:25 am


I had 2 fosters that never ever drank water. I even tried putting some water in a bowl but never saw them drink from it either. I would rinse their lettuce before giving to them and offered veggies with a higher water content like cucumber. They were both active and perfectly fine with normal poops.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:00 pm


Mine never drank much if any water. I used some of the techniques mentioned above.

A few people soak a handful of high quality hay in water and offer it on a plate. Guinea pigs seem to like this! Another way of sneaking water into their bodies. One has to remove the hay in an hour or two because it will mold when wet.

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Mizz P

Post   » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:16 pm


Thanks to everyone for your super-quick replies! It's a relief to hear that this may just be normal for him and not a sign of something untoward. I'll try raising/lowering the bottle to see if that turns him on. Soaked hay is a great idea as he is a total hay-head. I think pedialyte will be my last ditch attempt, but who knows - he may love being syringe fed! Waddles - his poops are gigantic and plenty moist, which is difficult to believe with the tiny amount of liquid water he consumes. I have emailed the shelter where he resided before we got him to see what brand of bottle they used in his cage - he was there for a month. They were completely closed to all visitors during Covid and are now only open by appointment, otherwise I would have just gone up and looked for myself.
Again, thanks again for the responses!

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:11 am


You'd be surprised at how much water they get besides what they drink from their bottle. Unless there's a medical issue; which you should have a qualified cavy vet verify, your guinea pig is getting enough water from his food if he's not drinking it from his bottle. If there is a medical issue, you'll have to give him water from a syringe. I strongly advise you to consult with your vet on this one. He or she can determine if you need to give water by syringe, how much and how often.

daj

Post   » Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:40 pm


I have one that never seemed to drink water. He ended up getting bladder stones. Rather than having surgery, I put him on a high liquid diet and cut out greens for about a year almost. He passed the stones and is doing great. He now drinks on his own, mostly when he eats his pellets. I've maintained the regimen that got him through the stones so it's not a repeat occurrence. I make up about 6 oz. water with a shilintong tablet, some blended melon that keep frozen and about a teaspoon of pellets each night, to use the next day. I give it to him 3-4 times a day. I use a scissor to cut up hay and I give it to him soaked in the mixture, along with syringe feeding the liquid alone. He loves it. The more soaked hay he eats, the less I have to syringe. (I use a 1 ml syringe with the narrowed tip cut off.)

daj

Post   » Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:23 am


And p.s. I always put their pellets right next to the bottle. Some of mine will now drink while still chewing pellets. I used to think mine just wasn't into drinking and it is what it is. Now I think it's really bad for a pig to go on low water. If you think about it, hay and pellets both need rehydration to replace the water they've lost. If a pig isn't taking water in, it's being taken from the body to hydrate the dry food, as it has to be wet and liquid for digestion. It's the same with us. Foods that steal fluid from the body are a major source of painful cramping. Now, I always make sure their intake doesn't lag too low. I dread another bout of stones and the worry that caused.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:55 am


That is a very good idea. Pellets can be so hard and dry. I think I've heard of guinea pigs spitting water into their pellet bowl to soften them up.

daj

Post   » Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:11 pm


I can't take credit for this idea. It was Henry's idea. I noticed him pulling his bowl of pellets over to the bottle. Now I make sure to put it there for all my pigs.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:48 pm


That is one smart guinea pig! I think the fact that he did this all himself means it is a good one!

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Mizz P

Post   » Sat Nov 06, 2021 12:50 am


Just an update - I called the shelter to find out what type of water bottles they use and they said they use "all kinds." When I took him to the vet for his first visit, they said not to worry, that keeping an eye on his poop was a great indicator. I swapped out the plastic Oasis bottle for a glass Kaytee bottle and in early August the light went on with Spork and he started drinking. It was as if he didn't recognize what the Oasis bottle was for but once he got on the bandwagon with the Kaytee he's quite the drinker. Thanks again to everyone for the advice and encouragement!

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:31 am


Thanks for the update! Glad to hear you found a water bottle that works for him!

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