What To Do If Your Skinny Pig Won't Eat or Drink...
It can be distressing if your skinny pig suddenly stops eating or drinking. Recognizing the signs early on and taking prompt action is crucial to ensuring their well-being and addressing potential health issues.
Understanding the Signs:
Not eating and moving coupled with a lack of bowel movements (we all know how skinny pigs can poop!) are signs that your skinny pig might be unwell. Various underlying factors, such as dental issues, liver or kidney diseases, infections, toxins, or stress, can bring about poor appetite and lethargy. Some medications may also affect appetite, so it’s important to be aware of this if your skinny pig has had surgery or is being treated for an illness.
Immediate Steps to Take:
Before visiting the vet, focus on getting fluids into your skinny pig. Encourage drinking and provide palatable options like Pedialyte which will provide the much needed hydration. Please be sure to get the unflavored, clear Pedialyte as the color additives in the other options can be harmful.
If your piggy isn’t eating, it’s vital to keep up their fluids and if they aren’t drinking, try offering fluid rich veggies to keep them from dehydrating until you can get them seen by your vet. In extreme cases you may need to syringe water and Pedialyte into their mouths to keep them from dehydrating.
A prompt visit to the veterinarian is crucial. A complete physical examination, blood tests, radiographs, and possibly stool examinations will help identify the root cause leading to the appetite loss. Refusal to eat may indicate various issues, including infections, dental problems (like malocclusion of teeth), or environmental factors that are causing your skinny pig to stress out (like a new cage mate or unstable temperatures). If your piggy has developed diarrhea, getting them to a vet becomes even more urgent as diarrhea can cause a skinny pig’s condition to deteriorate really fast.
Treatment and Management:
Treatment will largely depend on the underlying cause, but often involves special diets, hand-feeding formulas, and vitamin C supplements. Isolation in a stress-free environment may be necessary until your skinny pig recovers enough to rejoin their herd. In most cases, you will need to nurse your piggy back to health with a recovery food.
In cases where your skinny pig refuses to eat, recovery food can be a lifesaver. Commercial recovery foods will provide your skinny pig with the necessary nutrients to keep their digestive system functioning.
If commercial options are unavailable, you can make your own DIY recovery food by blending skinny pig pellets with cranberry juice or creating a mixture of liquidized vegetables and brown bread. Another great option is to combine banana and gluten free oats with a small amount of karo syrup and give this a few times per day - the sugar can be helpful if your piggy is lethargic.
You may need to syringe feed your skinny pig until he or she has gained back enough strength to feed themselves, so make sure when opting for DIY recipes that the mixture is the right consistency to administer with a syringe. Always consult your vet first and be sure to follow the vet's recommendations on frequency and quantity.
When administered correctly, skinny pigs can survive on these emergency measures for a long time, however, regular monitoring of their weight and working closely with your vet to monitor their progress is crucial during the recovery process.
In the event that your piggy refuses to even eat the recovery food, you can mix it with a bit of organic apple sauce or baby food to make it more appealing.
Getting to grips with your skinny pig’s refusal to eat or drink requires a multi-faceted approach to get them well again. Being a proactive pet parent is the most important thing you can do to ensure your piggy gets the right treatment timeously. Recognizing signs early, seeking prompt veterinary care, and being prepared with emergency food options can make a significant difference in ensuring your piggy's well-being.
Remember, the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If a skinny pig stops eating or drinking, consult with a qualified veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H