Guinea pig illness




Signs of Illness in Guinea Pigs

Illnesses in guinea pigs are often life-threatening by the time you notice; that is how fast they can deteriorate. Unfortunately, pigs do not often get better without some medical assistance – which is why fast, competent veterinary care is critical when it comes to saving the life your pig.

Most illnesses can be easily cured, provided they are caught early. A course of antibiotics (safe for guinea pigs – some are really dangerous)) is generally prescribed when treating illnesses. You need to find a small animal veterinarian with guinea pig knowledge as soon as you bring a pig home, so that if an emergency arises then you know who to call.

Here are some signs that your pig might be sick – and some common causes:

–        Refusing to eat or drink (anorexia): commonly due to upper respiratory infections or malocclusion.

–        Weight loss: this is mostly caused by malocclusion.

–        Wheezing or laboured breathing: upper respiratory infections or circulatory problems are generally to blame.

–        Sneezing and crusty eyes: mainly caused from an upper respiratory infection.

–        Puffed-up, rough coats: the culprit of often an upper respiratory infection.

–        Swollen abdomen: this is usually caused by bloat (quick veterinary assistance is paramount).

–        Dull or receding eyes: once again, an upper respiratory infection is usually involved.

–        Lethargy and hunched posture: an upper respiratory infection is usually blamed here.

–        Drooling: this is very often attributed to malocclusion.

–        Watery stools: this is usually a runny tummy.

–        No faeces: often related to the lack of eating with anorexia, it can also be caused by bloat – which requires immediate veterinary care.

–        Unable to urinate: due to bladder stones mostly.

–        Blood in the urine: this can be caused by a number of things, often bladder stones, urinary tract infections or pyometra.

–        Bleeding from the rectum: urinary tract infections, pyometra, bladder stones and retained placentas are only a few of the causes that relate to this.

–        Limping and hopping: this is mostly related to injuries, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and arthritis.

–        Excessive scratching and hair loss: this is usually caused by mange mites or fungal infections.

–        Loss of balance: often caused by ear infections, injury or sometimes poisoning.

–        Head tilting: the culprits for this symptom are usually ear infections or wry necks.

–        Delivery problems: this is an extremely in pregnant sows and is mostly due to retained placentas and dystocia.

As you can see, all these signs of illness point to serious problems and will need urgent veterinary diagnosis. Any of these symptoms can be caused by something not on this list, but these are the most common of them.

Having a guinea pig as a pet is a lot of fun. Incredibly affectionate creatures; these guys win the hearts of everyone who has ever had one.  This is why it is heart-breaking when our beloved pets get sick.

Be aware of any unusual behaviour as well as physical symptoms. Early treatment will save your pig’s life and if left too late, it is unfortunately just that – too late.


Article by Mandy