How to Do Easy, 10 Minute Weekly Guinea Pig Health Checks
The question is: How can someone who loves their guinea pig so much miss such a marked decrease in appetite? How can a lump get so big without being noticed? By adding a 10-minute health check to your guinea pig’s weekly care routine of nail trimming and ear cleaning, you can get familiar with its body so that abnormal growths, changes in behavior and other potentially fatal health issues are caught – and treated – early. When performing a weekly health check, be gentle! Guinea pigs are naturally skittish and they are especially wary of humans rubbing their hands and fingers over their tender piggy parts. To reduce movement when preforming health checks on squirmy guinea pigs, wrap them loosely in a towel or hold them close to you on your lap. Keeping a detailed health chart for your guinea pig will come in handy the next time you’re headed to the vet. If your guinea pig lives with a cage mate, check for bite marks for signs of overt aggression. Indications of overgrown incisors can indicate that your guinea pig has stopped eating, which can signify an underlying health condition. Common causes for feet stores include overweight guinea pigs, guinea pigs that sit a lot due to advanced age or arthritis. By keeping a weight chart for each guinea pig, you can track his or her health and easily notice a problem before health issues become health catastrophes. Get familiar with how much water your guinea pig(s) consume(s); every guinea pig is different. Check to see if your guinea pig is behaving normally. Guinea pigs can’t keep track of their own health. The more you perform these weekly health checks, the more familiar you will become with what’s “Normal” for your guinea pig and what isn’t. The best part? The next time you visit the vet for your guinea pig’s annual checkup, you’ll be prepared when asked, “Have you noticed anything unusual going on with your guinea pig?”. Your vet will love you, your guinea pig will be happier and healthier, and your wallet will stay a lot fuller because critical health issues will be caught early.
Common Guinea Pig Illnesses
As you’ll see, many of the more common guinea pig diseases are easily avoided with the right husbandry. While guinea pigs suffer from very few health issues, the diseases and problems affecting guinea pigs can be surprisingly diverse. If any of these symptoms are experienced then it makes sense to seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible, as most guinea pig illnesses will clear up quite quickly if caught early on. Dental problems in guinea pigs can result in your piggie going off his food for long periods of time. Monitoring the volume of food that your guinea pigs are getting through can be a good indication of problems. Even more effectively, carry out weekly health checks on your guinea pigs, where you can very gently pull back the lips and inspect your guinea pigs teeth. If your guinea pig is still unlucky enough to be affected then it will normally be necessary to have your vet gently clip the overgrown teeth. It’s not just diet which can cause digestive problems in guinea pigs; bacterial infections of the gut can also be a causative factor. In cases where your guinea pig is producing runny stools, withdraw all fruit and vegetable matter from their diet, increase the fibre content of their menu and seek veterinary attention. These are typically picked up either from contact with another infected guinea pig, or are transported in the hay/straw they are given. If infected, the mites will burrow into the skin of your guinea pig, leading to irritation. This is turn can cause your guinea pig to constantly scratch itself, leading to red-raw skin and hairloss. If your guinea pig looks or sounds like it’s just run a marathon then there’s a good chance that he or she is suffering from a respiratory infection. As with all guinea pig illnesses, veterinary advice should be sought as early as possible, though in the future note that keeping guinea pigs indoors during the winter months can avoid many respiratory problems. Just like us it is necessary to ensure that your guinea pig has suitable vitamin C in their diet.
BBEVS – Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs make wonderful pets that thrive as our companions. Guinea pigs require time and effort to be maintained in good health. Many of the guinea pig problems we see here at BBEVS are related to their diet or general care. In the wild, lots of hungry carnivores would think of guinea pigs as dinner, so just like our other exotic species, guinea pigs hide signs of disease and injury. To learn more about how to keep your guinea pig healthy go to the tabs below for Guinea Pig Health Examinations, General Guinea Pig Care and the Vitamin C Calculator. A cornerstone of maintaining wellness in guinea pigs is regular preventative health examinations. This is important for early identification of abnormalities and is particularly relevant if you already own guinea pigs, as some diseases can spread rapidly from the new arrival to the other animals in your household. If you are new to guinea pig ownership, this initial consultation will ensure that you start your ownership armed with the most up-to-date knowledge for this particular species. We require blood donors! Occasionally we require fresh blood from healthy guinea pigs to perform a blood transfusion for a sick guinea pig patient. In order to be a blood donor, your pet must be an adult, have regular veterinary health examinations with BBEVS and be currently in good health. A health examination is an important part of keeping your guinea pig healthy and happy. At these visits we will discuss your guinea pig’s living arrangements, diet and preventative health care program. One of the most important parts of the physical examination is assessment of your guinea pig’s dentition. Listed below are descriptions of common laboratory tests that are recommended and can be performed during the Guinea Pig Health Examination. Many of these tests may be recommended for diagnostic purposes if your guinea pig ever becomes unwell and it is always ideal to have a ‘baseline’ or normal values for your pet to compare these to in times of illness.