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How To Syringe Feed Or Medicate A Sick Guinea Pig

Pets : Other Pets

So many people try and do the right thing by medicating or handfeeding their poorly pet, but inadvertantly cause the guinea pig's death because of incorrect handfeeding technique.

Guinea pigs have a unique anatomy in that they cannot vomit. Therefore, when syringing medication or replacement food to them, great care must be taken to ensure that the food goes to the stomachs and not the lungs, which will cause a fatal condition known as aspiration pneumonia.

First swaddle your guiea pig in a towel - they are very good at evading syringes! Using a 10ml childs oral syringe for food, or the syringe supplied by the vet for medication, aim the tip of the syringe for the molars right at the back of the guinea pig's mouth. Do NOT depress the plunger until the guinea pig begins to make a chewing motion. This can sometimes be encouraged by a light scratch under the chin.

The chewing action is vital for getting the syringe contents into the gut and not the lungs. Once chewing is established, slowly depress the plunger; pausing periodically to allow the cavy to swallow.

By: Beverley Andrews on Thu, Sep 7th 2006

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