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. Pasteurellosis is another common bacterial disease causing respiratory disorders, abscesses as well as infections in the eye. 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.
Guinea Pig Health |
5 Important Health Instructions: “NORMAL” means that your guinea pig is operating within normal parameters. “NOT NORMAL” means that owner must take his/hers guinea pig to the veterinarian for maintenance. Guinea pig is depending on its owner to know when it is ill. Beware of the other symptoms: a parasite or fungal infection is possible if the guinea pig seems shedding more than normal, is very itchy, or has a lot of dandruff. Excessive hair loss : Combined with excessive itching could indicate guinea pig mitesLumpsScabsDry flaky skin. If concerned, owner can check for signs of dehydrationNOT NORMAL:Drinking a lot more than normal: It would be wise to have your guinea pig checked for diabetes. Please reference Guinea Pig Behaviour Page for general behavioural patterns, and learn from your pet by observation. If some of the symptoms from Guinea Pig Manual Health page is recognized, consult your veterinarian immediately. HEALTH TIP #2: Weigh Your Guinea Pig Weekly Weighing is one of the best, simplest and cheapest tools available for monitoring small animal’s health. 4 ounces weight fluctuation: Get your guinea pig to a vet. It is recommended that any new guinea pig which is about to be introduced to a resident guinea pig is submitted to a quarantine procedure. The quarantine insures that the new guinea pig does not introduce any illness or parasites to the resident guinea pig(s). It is recommended to quarantine new guinea pig for 2 to 3 weeks. Owner is advised to wash hands well in between handling the new and the resident guinea pig and consider changing shirt or wearing a removable cover-up when handling the new guinea pig. Quarantine procedure is specifically recommended if new guinea pig is bought in a pet store.
What are the common health problems in pet guinea pigs?
Many of the common health problems seen in pet guinea pigs are often preventable by good husbandry and good feeding practices. Affected guinea pigs may be anorexic, lethargic, weak; move with difficulty and appear painful when moving. Vitamin C deficiency causes the guinea pig severe pain and discomfort and is a preventable condition. Ulcerative pododermatitisIn the wild, guinea pigs generally live on grassed areas or other types of natural material which provide some measure of cushioning for their feet. Swollen and ulcerated footpads are a common problem when guinea pigs are kept on hard surfaces and/or uncovered wire mesh floors. Domesticated guinea pigs should be kept on soft floor material and soft bedding material to help prevent ulcerative pododermatitis. Uncovered wire mesh floors should be avoided as these are too hard on the guinea pigs’ footpads. Mite infestations can severely compromise a guinea pig’s well-being. Should a mite infestation be diagnosed, please thoroughly clean out the guinea pig hutch/housing. Dental disease causes severe pain and discomfort to the guinea pig and is best prevented by feeding an appropriate diet. Guinea pigs have evolved over thousands of years to eat a high fibre diet. In their natural environment wild guinea pigs eat predominantly grass throughout the day. Please see the article below titled ” What should I feed my guinea pig?” for more detailed information. If you suspect your guinea pig is suffering from any of the above mentioned diseases and/or you notice any other abnormalities or problems please consult your vet immediately. You should regularly check your guinea pig to ensure he/she is eating well, urinating, defecating normal droppings and walking around easily.