A Guinea Pig Health Issue You Can’t Ignore
Guinea pigs are friendly pet rodents that originated from South America. Guinea pigs on a good diet usually have a life span of 5 to 6 years. Female guinea pigs are very prone to problems with their reproductive tract. If female guinea pigs are to be used for breeding, they need to be bred for the first time when less than 6 months old. If you do not plan to breed your guinea pig but will house her in a pair or group, it’s critical not to expose unspayed female guinea pigs to unneutered males. The gestation period in guinea pigs ranges from 59 to 72 days. In a young sow with an expanded pelvic canal, your veterinarian may be able to manually assist the sow with the delivery. In an older sow that is being bred for the first time, it is likely that the pelvic canal cannot expand enough to deliver the pups, and a C- section is needed. Unfortunately guinea pigs in distress do not handle anesthesia and surgery well, so the prognosis is guarded to poor. Other options are to prevent interaction with an unneutered male guinea pig or to spay female guinea pigs when they are young, healthy and can tolerate the procedure better. It is not known why guinea pigs are so prone to ovarian cysts. A female guinea pig with an ovarian cyst typically has hair loss over the back and sides. It has not been commonly recommended to spay a female guinea pig, but considering how common problems of the female reproductive tract are, it may be time to change that. Young, healthy guinea pigs usually tolerate spay surgery just fine. Guinea pigs with dystocia or older sows with ovarian cysts do not do well with surgery.
Keeping Cavies Healthy
Concerning parasites – Mange: A mite similar to the scabies mite of people causes serious infestations in pet guinea pigs. Some guinea pigs are so miserable because of the infestation that their constant scratching produces serious wounds. Guinea pigs may be parasitized by 2 types of biting lice. The veterinarian will usually prescribe an insecticidal shampoo to treat affected guinea pigs. Lice can be transmitted by direct and intimate contact between infested and uninfested guinea pigs. Pet guinea pigs are very unlikely to harbor these parasites unless they are recent acquisitions that were previously in contact with louse-infested guinea pigs. Established pet guinea pigs could also be infested by being placed in close contact with new, infested guinea pigs or from shavings / or hay. Pneumonia is one of the most common bacterial diseases of pet guinea pigs. A number of potential disease-causing bacteria may inhabit the respiratory tracts of otherwise healthy guinea pigs. Stress, inadequate diet, and improper home care often predispose a pet guinea pig to respiratory infection. Walking difficulties: Serious infections of the footpads are common among pet guinea pigs housed on wire. As with most animals, it is most likely to affect older guinea pigs. As the gene pool narrows however, it has become more frequently observed in Guinea Pigs. Teeth overgrowth: A common problem of guinea pigs results when the upper and lower premolar teeth meet improperly while chewing. Guinea pigs are very shy creatures, and it sometimes takes a long time to “Warm up” to being picked up.
Tips, advice, health
Guinea pigs are small, sociable, ‘chatty’ rodents. There are different breeds and varieties of guinea pigs, with a wide variety of colour and coat lengths. Typically guinea pigs live for 5-6 years, but some may live longer. Guinea pigs are traditionally thought of as good first pets for children, but it should always be an adult that takes responsibility to ensure they are properly handled and cared for. We rescue and rehome all kinds of animals – including Guinea pigs. If you’re considering buying a Guinea pig for your family why not rehome one from us? Find guinea pigs available for rehoming and adoption. There is no one “Perfect” way to care for all guinea pigs because every guinea pig and every situation is different. It is up to you how you look after your guinea pig, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all their needs. You can also download our booklet: How to take care of your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs, or ‘cavies’, are social animals with a compact, rounded body shape, short legs and no tail. Guinea pigs are active Guinea pigs are active up to 20 hours per day and sleep only for short periods. Guinea pigs are highly social Guinea pigs are social animals. In the wild they live in close family groups of 5 – 10 individuals, though several groups may live in close proximity to form a colony. Guinea pigs’ need a high fibre diet that is supplemented with vitamin C Guinea pigs’ diet needs to be supplemented with plenty of vitamin C, as they lack the enzyme needed to synthesise vitamin C and can only store vitamin C for short periods.