Guinea Pig Health News for October 24 2017

Guinea Pig Health

In order to keep your Guinea pig in the best possible condition, you will need to handle him daily, check him over for signs of illness and injuries. Is your Guinea pig behaving the way he usually does? Many experienced Animal owners will tell you the first sign that they have of illness is: “The Animal just didn’t act the same”. Eye condition: A healthy Guinea pig has bright, alert eyes. Watery eyes, eyes with lots of redness, and pus are all signs of an eye infection that needs veterinary attention. Dull eyes indicate that the Guinea pig isn’t feeling well, and you need to investigate further to determine the cause. Sensitivity of Guinea Pigs to Certain Antibiotics: Guinea pigs as a group are unusually sensitive to certain antibiotics, whether they are given orally or by injection. Interestingly, even certain antibiotics used topically may produce lethal effects. The major way in which certain antibiotics cause reactions is by altering the normal microbial balance within the gastrointestinal tract Once the normal intestinal microfloral balance has been upset, certain bacteria multiply to abnormally large numbers. Certain antibiotics are directly toxic and do not alter the microbial balance within the gastrointestinal tract. These antibiotics should never be used in guinea pigs. Though injectable antibiotics can cause the problems described above, oral antibiotics are more often associated with them. Antibiotics should never be given to guinea pigs unless they are prescribed by a veterinarian. If oral or injectable antibiotics are prescribed, 2 1/2 cc of plain, white yogurt should be given orally to the treated animal morning and evening for the duration of the antibiotic therapy and for an additional 5-7 days afterward. Yogurt helps replace those beneficial intestinal bacteria that often perish during antibiotic treatment.
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VCA Animal Hospital

The following is a brief description of some of the more common problems of guinea pigs, which include respiratory infections, diarrhea,scurvy, tumors, abscesses due to infection, urinary problems and infestations by lice, mites or fungus. Pneumonia is one of the most significant diseases of pet guinea pigs and can be caused by a number of bacteria, including Bordetella and Streptococcus. “Pneumonia is one of the most significant diseases of pet guinea pigs.” In guinea pigs and primates, including man, one key essential nutrient is vitamin C. The vast majority of other animals can produce their own vitamin C through their intestinal bacterial flora but guinea pigs and primates are unable to do this. A guinea pig that has a rough hair coat, is off food, has diarrhea, is reluctant to walk, perhaps seems painful, has swollen feet or joints, or has hemorrhages and ulcers on its gums or skin is likely to be deficient in vitamin C. “In guinea pigs and primates, including man, one key essential nutrient is vitamin C.”. Guinea pigs need 10 – 50 mg of vitamin C per day, depending on the condition of the animal. If your guinea pig develops a deficiency, it is much better to give a crushed vitamin C tablet or liquid by mouth rather than in the drinking water, since the vitamin also breaks down rapidly in water and loses its potency. Tumors Guinea pigs can get various tumors but skin tumors and mammary tumors are the most common. Female pigs are more prone to cystitis then are male guinea pigs and often stones develop in association with a bladder infection. The signs of urinary problems include anorexia, blood in the urine, straining to urinate, a hunched posture; if an obstruction has occurred, the guinea pig will be unable to produce urine. Guinea pigs are prone to ringworm, which is a fungal infection, not an actual worm. Guinea pigs can get fleas and lice; fleas usually diagnosed by finding the adults or their feces on the skin or in the fur; lice are often diagnosed microscopically by observing either the adults or eggs on a sample of hair and skin debris. Barbering is a problem, usually associated with boredom, in which the guinea pig chews or barbers its own hair so that it looks like it has been given a “Brush cut”. Providing the guinea pig with more stimulation, redirecting its attention to other chewing activities by providing more hay or chew toys; if the barbering was done by another guinea pig, separation of the two may be necessary.

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