Oxbow Critical Care for Truffle

guinea pig Critical Care
Facing off with the syringe of Critical Care

Seemingly out of the blue, Truffle completely went off all food earlier this week. One evening she was devouring lettuce with everybody else, by the next afternoon she was sitting with her fur puffed up, refusing to eat or even look at any of her favorite foods.

Puzzling enough, she didn't show any of the usual signs of illness in guinea pigs (for a list of symptoms, see the Guinea Lynx emergency medical guide here). Nevertheless she was syringed a 12 mL tube of Oxbow Critical Care, given 1 mL of extra virgin olive oil (helpful for pigs who have gas or haven't pooped) then brought to the vet. He didn't find anything obviously wrong with Truffle either but gave her an injection of subcutaneous fluids for hydration and buprenorphine in case she was in pain from gas buildup. Truffle was not a fan of the subcue injection. Normally silent and stoic, she kicked wildly, bucked madly, made the vet tech accidentally stab herself with the needle, and even emitted a series of upset wheeks. We were sent home with instructions to continue hand feeding her Critical Care and to call back if things worsened.

guinea pig bloat
Truffle, poorly and puffy furred

Despite aggressive force feedings, by 3am the following morning Truffle still hadn't made a single poop. After looking at her bottom we pulled out a very strange poop, mostly composed of a stringy substance similar to egg whites (possibly an intestinal blockage of some sort?). It seemed that she could not push it out herself. After massaging her abdomen she managed to push out several additional poops, all shriveled and poorly formed. She still would not eat on her own and had difficulty excreting poop so the force feedings continued.

guinea pig hand feeding
Back to her cheeky sleek-furred self

The good news is that after over half a week of being force fed syringes full of Critical Care and being coaxed into nibbling favorite foods Truffle is finally back to being her mischievous little self again, complete with hearty appetite and normal bean-shaped poops. To let us know she was feeling better she decided to break out of her enclosure to rejoin Belka, Peaches and Poof next door. The pigloos are always cozier on the other side of the cage!

Helpful info
Undercover Guinea Pigs - Dealing with bloat
Guinea Lynx - Hand feeding your ill guinea pig
Guinea Lynx - Concerned about Bette
Guinea Lynx - weird behavior
Peter Gurney - Bloat


  1. LOL. Love how she breaks in, then breaks back out again.

    Mystery illnesses are never fun. So glad that Truffle is feeling better!

    1. Since none of the other girls figured out the secret Truffle was taking advantage by going back and forth between the enclosures. She was eating both the portion set aside for her separately as well as the portion given to Belka, Peaches and Poof. Crafty rodent.

  2. Phew, glad little Truffle is back to her feisty self.

    1. Truffle is too. She was starting to throw temper tantrums at the syringe.

  3. I agree with PaintedThread, it makes me laugh that she breaks out then back in. I am so glad she is feeling better, that would be pretty scary! Thank goodness she has such good, loyal piggy slaves to care for her :)

    1. Yes, in their opinion we piggy slaves exist solely to pick fresh grass for them at 12am and 4am when they refuse to eat anything else.. oy. I don't even want to imagine what the neighbors must think!