Gut Stasis in Guinea Pigs: Take Immediate Action to Save Your Pets

emergency vet dallas guinea pig

Gut stasis—also called gastrointestinal stasis or GI stasis—is one of the most common medical emergencies that guinea pigs experience. If you think that your guinea pig could have gut stasis, visit an emergency veterinary clinic right away for treatment. Delayed care could be life-threatening to your pet. Here is what you need to know.

What is gut stasis?

Gut stasis occurs when the contractions in the GI tract slow down. For guinea pigs, even a small slowdown in GI activity can be dangerous. Generally, gut stasis occurs as the result of an unhealthy diet. Feeding guinea pigs pellet foods without an adequate amount of roughage or too many foods with high sugar or grain contents can also be dangerous. Talking to your veterinarian about a healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of gut stasis. Gut stasis will also occur if your guinea pig stops eating for some reason. Such a loss of appetite could occur because of dental problems, pain, or stress for example.

What are the symptoms?

Gut stasis can cause decreased or no appetite, decreased activity, lethargy, and weakness. Guinea pigs may also experience diarrhea or decreased fecal production, in which fecal pellets are small and dry. Guinea pigs that don’t eat or produce feces for 24 hours should be seen at an emergency veterinary clinic right away, as they could be experiencing gut stasis.

How is gut stasis treated?

If your veterinarian determines that gut stasis is causing your guinea pig’s symptoms, he or she will usually provide subcutaneous fluid replacement and medications to stimulate gut motility. Pain medications can also help your guinea pig feel more comfortable. Getting your pet to eat is paramount for his or her recovery. If your guinea pig refuses to eat greens and grass hay, he or she may be fed a specially formulated gruel by syringe.

Don’t delay seeking emergency care at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group if you suspect that your guinea pig could be suffering from gut stasis. You can learn more about emergency pet care and our AAHA accredited animal hospitals in Dallas and McKinney by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area.

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