When frightened, guinea pigs have a tendency to freeze in place. Serious pain caused by illness or old age arthritis pain could also be a contributing factor in some cases. Because they are not accustomed to their new environment, new guinea pigs are more likely to hide and not move around much.
In the event your guinea pig stops eating and defecating, this indicates a serious health problem that should be addressed by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Guinea pigs are high-energy animals who are likely to run and play in their cages throughout the day.
You might notice a sudden shift in their demeanor every now and then. This could be a warning sign of a more serious health problem, and you should not ignore it.
However, this does not always indicate that they are ill.
In some cases, you may not see or hear from your newly acquired pet for several days after you brought him home from the store. Is this, however, a sign that they are ill?
They are not, in fact. They are becoming acclimated to their new surroundings. For a while, they may not behave in the manner in which they are used to doing so.
As soon as this is out of the way, let us delve a little deeper into the subject at hand.
In this article, I will discuss several instances in which your guinea pigs’ lack of movement could be considered normal behavior, as well as instances in which you should be concerned about your guinea pigs’ behavior.
As a result, let’s get right down to business.
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Is it normal for a guinea pig to not move?
No, it is not normal for guinea pigs to remain motionless for extended periods of time.
If the guinea pig has become acclimated to its new environment, it is likely that it is suffering from some serious health issues.
The inability to move properly may be caused by a variety of conditions such as arthritis, paralysis, and severe pain, to name a few examples.
Another major factor that can cause your guinea pigs to freeze is their fear.
A sudden noise or the presence of predators nearby can cause your guinea pig to freeze and not move at all, preventing them from becoming attracted by the predators.
The presence of hiding, not moving, or eating behavior in your guinea pig is a cause for concern, and you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What does it mean when a guinea pig is not moving?
There can be a lot of reasons due to which your guinea pigs are not moving.
While some causes are natural and can get fixed over time, others might need some thorough examination and medical assistance.
Let us have a look at different instances and what it means for you and your guinea pigs.
Guinea pig not moving but breathing
If your guinea pig is not moving at all and has some breathing pattern changes, it probably means they have some underlying health concerns.
Some of the common health problems are:
- Overheat or Heatstroke: Guinea pigs cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. If your guinea pig is housed in a place where temperatures go beyond 25°C(77°F), you definitely need to take some extra care to keep your guinea pigs cool. Direct or partial sun exposure can also quickly overheat your guinea pigs, leading to breathing fast and other severe health issues.
- Respiratory illness: Respiratory illness, including pneumonia and Upper respiratory infection, are some common health problems in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs suffering from severe respiratory issues might have a hard time breathing, and thus they won’t be able to move around much.
Do make sure that you take your guinea pigs to a professional vet for check up if you see any signs of labored or heavy breathing in your guinea pigs.
Guinea pig not moving back legs
The fact that your guinea pig’s back legs aren’t moving indicates that something has gone wrong with them.
Guinea pigs dragging their back legs can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which are as follows: These are some examples:
- Guinea pigs can suffer from hind leg paralysis, which is extremely rare. However, it is something you should be aware of in case it happens to your pet. There is currently no definitive explanation for what may be causing the problem, but some preliminary research suggests that a lack of calcium in our guinea pigs’ diets may be the source of the problem. The majority of guinea pig owners attempt to reduce calcium intake in order to prevent bladder stones. However, guinea pigs can become paralyzed if you reduce their intake of it to an excessive degree.
- Injury: Guinea pigs are high-energy animals who can become injured while running, jumping, and playing around. Make certain that your guinea pigs’ cage does not have levels that are too high from which they can jump or fall. While transporting your guinea pigs, you must take care not to allow them to jump from a height of 2-3 feet. If you do, you will be fine. A fall from that height can result in limb or tissue damage, which may impair the ability of your guinea pigs to move around as effectively.
Keep an eye out for any signs of physical injury or any other signs that your guinea pigs are sick, such as diarrhea. If a visit to the veterinarian is required, make an appointment.
Guinea pig not moving eating or drinking
The absence of movement, eating, or drinking by your guinea pig indicates that something has gone wrong with them.
There can be a variety of reasons why your guinea pigs aren’t eating or moving around as they should be. Malnutrition, dental problems, gastrointestinal problems, and other issues are some of the most common problems that occur.
In most cases, if your guinea pigs are not eating their regular diet, they will become weak and may not be able to move or play as much as they used to be accustomed to.
Learn more about the reasons why your guinea pig is not eating and what you can do about it by reading our in-depth article.
As a result, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Blood tests and radiographs may be ordered by the veterinarian.
Guinea pig not moving and twitching
If your guinea pig is not moving and twitching, then it is probably a sign of mange mites. It is common in guinea pigs.
These mites can lead to intense itching in guinea pigs, which makes them fall on sides and twitch like they have a seizure attack.
While the reality is it is the effect of these mites burrowed under the skin.
Baby guinea pig not moving
It is completely normal for a baby guinea pig not to move around much. You must watch out carefully to see if they are breathing normally.
Let them be with their mother until they are weaned.
It is entirely normal for your baby guinea pigs to lie around their mother for the first few hours. They should start moving around within a day or two.
Guinea pig cold and not moving
If your guinea pig seems cold and not moving at all, then chances are they have passed away.
I know it can be a heartbreaking moment for any guinea pig owners, but it is a reality that every owner has to go through.
However, sometimes guinea pigs pass away suddenly without showing any signs of prior sickness.
Heart attack or some similar health issues can be the cause behind the same.
Guinea pig not moving after surgery
Surgery like spaying, neutering, dental surgery, etc. requires some intense medical treatment that can leave your guinea pigs in a trauma.
Your guinea pigs might experience pain for a few days after major surgery. Thus, they are likely to hide and not move around much.
They might not be interested in eating as well. If your guinea pig does so, you can consult your vet and get some medicine for reducing their pain.
New guinea pig not moving
It is quite normal for a new guinea pig to hide and not move around much.
As guinea pigs are prey animals, bringing them into a new living environment can make them feel vulnerable for a few days.
You might need to leave them alone for some time and let them settle in the new environment.
Once your guinea pigs are used to the environment, they are more likely to move around even in your presence.
What should you do if your guinea pig is not moving?
In the event that your guinea pig is not moving at all, it is critical to keep an eye out for signs of illness and to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
There are a few other things you can do to try to figure out what’s wrong with your guinea pigs and whether or not they require First Aid in the meantime.
The following are the considerations to bear in mind:
- If you notice that your guinea pig is breathing rapidly or heavily, you must take steps to cool them down. Check their body temperature, and feel their ears to see if they are hot or not hot. Your guinea pigs may find themselves in this situation as a result of an overheat or heatstroke.
- Take your guinea pigs to the veterinarian right away if you suspect that they have suffered an injury to their legs or any other part of their body while you are away. Even if the wound is bleeding, you can clean it with an antiseptic such as betadine until you can get to the veterinarian’s office.
- Keep an eye out for their excretion of feces and urine. You should be concerned if your pet has not passed any fecal excretion for an extended period of time. This could be a sign of serious health problems, such as gastrointestinal stasis.
- When it comes to improving the health of your guinea pigs, providing them with critical care could make all the difference. You must make certain that your guinea pigs consume enough food to keep their digestive systems running smoothly and to prevent them from becoming malnourished.
- An ill guinea pig may experience severe pain or other problems that prevent them from moving freely. You must make certain that sick guinea pigs are properly cared for and that they receive the proper medical attention and treatment.
- Stress can also play a significant role in the behavior of your guinea pigs, which can result in them acting differently.
- A guinea pig who is depressed or stressed is more likely to hide and sit in a specific location. [source:
- Make an effort to cheer them up and to provide them with some additional care.