A while back, my middle-aged male guinea pig started slowing down -- way down. He didn't move around a lot, didn't like to be touched on his lower back, and didn't appear comfortable when he was held, unless he was on a thick towel and cozy sack on my lap. Cold days, and damp days, made the symptoms even more pronounced.
The vets at South Wilton Veterinary Group examined and X-rayed him, and discovered he had arthritis in his hips. For a while, daily 1ml doses of Vitamin C (0.5ml twice a day) seemed to manage the inflammation of the arthritis because his activity level visibly increased. But with time and age, Vitamin C alone didn't do the trick as well.
Then, Dr. Sitinas suggested that we try Cosequin, a nutritional supplement for joint health in cats that contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. He had me open a capsule, dump the contents out onto a flat surface, divide the powder into four parts, and give one part to my little guy once a day. In less than a week, I saw a visible increase in his activity level, a decrease in his general fussiness, no objections to being petted, and no discomfort while being held. The longer he was on Cosequin, the better he got. Upon seeing these results, I started giving my two elderly females -- who both have mild to moderate arthritis in their back legs -- Cosequin on a daily basis.
Cindy also worked with the vets at Pieper Olson to put the rescue's most elderly sanctuary pigs on Cosequin and saw a visible change in their behavior and demeanor. Like me, she now makes sure she always has Cosequin on hand. In all cases, the vet-prescribed daily dose for an adult guinea pig weighing 2 pounds or more has been 1/4 of a capsule's contents.
I put the powder on the center of a slice of cucumber, because it doesn't fall off onto the cage bedding or the towels on the bottom of the play area. Although Cosequin for Cats comes in chicken and tuna flavor, none of the guinea pigs has objected to the flavor; in fact, mine inhale their cucumber chunks even faster than without Cosequin (so something is tasting good to them...perhaps it tastes a little salty).
The Cosequin powder doesn't stay on carrot chunks or lettuce leaves; so much of it drops off that you feel all you've done is waste it. The pigs have turned away when Cosequin has been offered on chunks of sweet bell pepper or any kind of fruit (so something is not tasting good to them).
So if your middle-aged or elderly guinea pig is acting achy and creaky, talk to your exotic vet. We recommend you consult with a vet before starting your guinea pig on Cosequin. A thorough exam, a quick X-ray, and a detailed health and diet history compiled by you and your vet will be able to confirm whether arthritis is, indeed, the cause of the observed achiness and creakiness -- or if something else is afoot. Once arthritis is confirmed, Cosequin can become part of your pig's daily routine.