Guinea Pig Health News for October 22 2017

How to Care for Pet Guinea Pigs

Names and Terms for Guinea Pigs Latin name – Cavia porcellus CaviesFemales are called sows, males are called boars, and babies called pups. Hairless varieties are called “Skinny” pigs. Appearance of Guinea PigsGuinea pigs are approximately 10 inches long and weight two to three pounds. Before You Decide on a Pet Guinea PigGuinea pigs are social animals and you should consider keeping a same sex pair so they have someone to socialize with. While usually quiet, guinea pigs can call out pretty loudly and can be active both day and night. Guinea pigs may be nervous at first but rarely bite and generally become very tame with frequent handling. Purchasing a Guinea PigPet stores are a common source for pet guinea pigs but they should only be purchased from a store if the store/staff are knowledgeable about guinea pigs, keep them in appropriate, clean housing with a good diet, and handle the guinea pigs regularly. Breeders are your best option if looking for a show quality pig, a specific breed and even pet quality pigs. Shelters have guinea pigs more often than you might think. This is a great way to give a guinea pig a second chance at life. Guinea pigs from shelters might be a little more skittish at first if they were not handled much while they were young but most will settle down in their new homes once a routine is established. Whichever source for purchasing a guinea pig is chosen, make sure they appear to be in good health, body condition, are well socialized, and are easy to handle. Choosing a Guinea PigTry to avoid guinea pigs that are panicky when handled, especially if they do not relax quickly. Avoid guinea pigs that are overly skinny or grossly overweight.

5 Simple Health Checks for Your Guinea Pig

These are some really easy ways to keep an eye on your guinea pigs’ health. Guinea Pigs are prone to a variety of illnesses and often do a very good job of hiding the fact they’re sick. Here are 5 simple ways you can keep an eye on their health and hopefully catch issues before they become serious. It’s a good idea to weigh your pigs at least once a week. Make sure you account for the weight of whatever you put the pigs in by either setting the weight to zero before putting the pigs in, or weighing the container and removing that number from the results. It’s often a good indication they’ve got too much calcium in their diet, so be sure to assess what you’re feeding them and change accordingly. Every now and then when you pick up your pigs for hugs, or just to take them out of the cage, it’s a good idea to give them a quick once-over. Check their fur for mites, lice, or sudden fur loss, which can be symptom of a wide variety of issues and should be examined by a vet ASAP. Check their noses for crusty buildups, which are a good sign of infection, and while you’re there check their teeth to make sure they’re not overgrown. Changes in a piggy’s sounds can sometimes indicate respiratory problems – however our Elsa pig was unable to wheek properly when we got her, which had us worried, but the vet said she was healthy and it was likely a birth defect. Also listen out for pigs squeaking when going to the toilet – it shouldn’t hurt, and if the pig is audibly having difficulty it’s a good sign that something’s wrong and they need a checkup. Any major, unexplained change in piggy behaviour is worth checking out. If your pig is less active, or eating less, or sleeping more, it can be a good sign your pig is either depressed or very unwell, and you should see a vet. You also need to be aware if your pigs are starting to fight a lot; this isn’t necessarily a health issue, but can quickly lead to one if they injure each other. Make a habit of performing these five simple checks and you’ll hopefully end up with much happier, healthy pigs!

Common Guinea Pig Health Problems

Guinea pigs are generally very active animals, and signs of any health problems become immediately visible. The deterioration rate of the guinea pig is very fast and if not treated immediately, it could result in sudden death. Abnormal dietary habits results in diarrhea and intestinal problems. It is better to avoid feeding your guinea pigs with foods rich in starches, sugar, carbohydrates and fruits. Streptococcal infections are bacterial infections that could be fatal to the guinea pig if not treated in the early stages. Guinea pigs generally do not refrain from eating and hence, if you see the pig refraining from food, then it is important to immediately seek medical help as there is a very high possibility that the guinea pig is sick. Anorexia results in the breaking of liver cells which deteriorates the health of the pig rapidly. Heart problems and blood circulation problems manifest by excessive panting, snout and blue-tinged lips. The guinea pig should not strain more than 10 minutes while delivering the baby or stop trying to deliver due to exhaustion. The pigs squeal too much while delivering and the placenta is not produced during the delivery. Pigs suffering from diarrhea look very ill and are not active. Side effects caused due to antibiotics can result in indigestion problems as the useful bacteria can also be killed. This is generally mistaken for another disease called scurvy caused due to lack of vitamin C. Open wounds, scaly skin, excessive scratching and pain are signs of fungal infections in the pigs. Guinea pigs do not recover automatically if they catch infections.

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