25 Common Health Problems In Guinea Pigs

25 Common Health Problems In Guinea Pigs

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Guinea pigs can suffer from a wide range of health-related conditions and diseases. It is critical to be aware of such health issues in order to provide better care management for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are highly susceptible to a variety of diseases and disorders, all of which can be prevented or treated if taken in a timely manner. You may even be able to avoid these diseases altogether if you take proper care and precautionary measures.Guinea pigs are susceptible to allergic reactions to allergens, as well as bacterial and fungal infections. Fleas and ticks are among the parasites that attack them quickly. They are extremely sensitive to any changes in their environment and may become ill as a result of the stress they are under. Guinea pigs are also prone to mobility issues such as arthritis or paralysis, among other things. Improper nutrition can result in dental problems, which can then progress to eye problems.

You should be on the lookout for any signs of illness so that you can take immediate action.

Because guinea pigs are at the bottom of the food chain, they do not show any signs of physical weakness, even when they are suffering from a disease of any kind. That is a method of protecting oneself against predators.

Take a look at the following list of the 25 most common health problems in guinea pigs:

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Allergies

Guinea pigs can develop an allergic reaction to changes in their environment or diet at any time.

When you clean their cage or change their exercise grass, they can become ill regardless of which substances you use.

Allergic reactions can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, the most common of which are as follows:

  1. Dry sneezing: Guinea pig sneezing without any nasal discharge is an allergic reaction. It will produce noise and physical actions of sneezing under some circumstances.
  2. Skin problems: Skin problems like rashes and hot spots are also an allergic reaction. It is similar to other animals. Guinea pigs are observed scratching their rashes regularly.

Guinea pigs are not allergic to anything in particular, and they do not have a specific food intolerance.

They react in different ways to different things, which you will learn about as you put in the time.

If you notice any allergic reactions in the guinea pig, check for any new items that have been introduced. Remove those items and re-evaluate to see if there has been any improvement.

Arthritis

Guinea pigs have a proclivity to develop arthritis as they grow older. They are less mobile and engage in less physical activity than the general population.

The pressure they apply to their joints as they move from one location to another is considerable.

Joints that have been subjected to this kind of wear and tear eventually become incapable of keeping up with the passage of time. A guinea pig suffering from arthritis will experience the following symptoms::

  1. Guinea pig, unable to walk correctly.
  2. Move unwillingly or do not move during cold weather.
  3. Urine marks like redness, fur burnt on the hind legs as the guinea pig cannot move them while excreting.
  4. They are unable to clean their hind portion, so it is usually dirty.
  5. They appear not groomed as they cannot clean themselves with limited mobility.

Guinea pigs over the age of five are more likely to suffer from arthritis, though younger pigs can also be affected by this condition.

Massage of the muscles is recommended as a treatment for this condition, and you can also take supplements to increase the production of collagen fibers.

Obesity also increases the likelihood of developing arthritis because it places additional pressure on the joints. Maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise will help you manage your weight.

Also read: Leg problem in guinea pigs(Paralysis, Not Moving & More)

Bacterial Infection

Guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to bacteria. They are frequently found to be infected with a variety of bacteria.

Guinea pigs’ bodies are home to bacteria that are usually dormant and do not perform any functions. When they are given the opportunity to grow more quickly, they become a problem for the guinea pig.

It is believed that snuffles are caused by bacterial infection in the respiratory tract. While it is common to observe the effects of cold on the Guinea Pig, when bacteria is involved, it can be life-threatening to the animal.

A healthy guinea pig will be able to withstand the problems for a longer period of time. It will manifest itself in the following ways:

  1. Watery eyes and nasal discharge continuously.
  2. Breathing trouble
  3. Unable to walk comfortably due to some uneasiness.
  4. Tilting of the head
  5. Face and mouth swell up.
  6. Look at the paw, if it is dirty or not. Guinea pig uses its paw to remove the discharge from the face.

Snuffles can cause a Guinea pig to avoid eating and drinking if the condition is severe.

Guinea pigs may recover from their injuries, but many, rather than improving, deteriorate. In order to recover from infection, it is necessary to take an antibiotic course.

The guinea pig suffering from snuffles should be separated from the other guinea pigs to prevent the disease from spreading to the others in the group. If your pet has a weak immune system, you should exercise caution when dealing with this problem.

Also read: Breathing problem in guinea pigs.

Bumblefoot

Bumblefoot is characterized by sores on the feet that are accompanied by red inflammation.

Guinea pigs who live in unsanitary conditions, such as a wire floor cage, are more likely to develop bumblefoot.

Sores on the soles of the feet can also be caused by being overweight. These are extremely painful and swollen, and they are filled with pus.

If the sores are not treated, the Guinea pig will have difficulty moving around, and the infection will spread throughout the body if left untreated. It has the potential to be fatal. Antibiotic therapy is recommended for the treatment of these sores.

Even after it has been treated, you must take precautions to ensure that it does not reappear. Reduce the weight of the pet and soften the surface of the floor.

Cancer

Guinea pigs, like any other animal, can be affected by cancer in the same way that humans are. Breast cancer in female guinea pigs is the most common type of cancer in this species. Cancerous cells can develop in any part of the body.

At some point during their lives, the vast majority of female guinea pigs will develop this cancer.

Female guinea pigs have also been found to be affected by mammary cancer in some cases. It has been discovered that females who have been neutered have a lower risk of developing such cancers.

Dental problems

Guinea pigs have dental problems that are somewhat unique to them and only a few other rodents. Guinea pigs are extremely rare in that they develop common dental problems such as tooth decay or bad breath.

The teeth of guinea pigs continue to grow throughout their lives. As a result, they must grind their teeth down to prevent them from protruding outside the mouth and causing problems. Despite this, the teeth of the guinea pig will never stop growing. They will avoid eating if their teeth have grown in too much.

When these teeth are not properly trimmed, they can cause irritation to the eyes and nose. Because of overgrown teeth, you will experience nasal discharge and watery eyes, but no infection will be present.

It is possible to file their teeth by altering their diet. Hay is beneficial in terms of teeth shortening. You can have the teeth trimmed by a veterinarian. If the problem persists, it is recommended that you seek medical advice.

Also read: How to keep guinea pig’s teeth short

Digestive problems

Guinea pigs have a delicate digestive system, which can become inflamed even if only minor dietary changes are made to the animals’ diet.

The Guinea pig should be fed a nutritious diet that is high in fiber to avoid developing any health problems such as intestinal blockage in the future. This is a terrifying situation, and your pet may even succumb to his or her injuries.

Hay is required in order to avoid any obstruction in the intestine. Timothy hay can be fed to guinea pigs at any time of the day or night.

A diet high in fiber aids in the peristaltic movement of the food through the digestive tract. This helps to keep the digestive tract free of obstructions and prevents congestion.

In addition, hay keeps the guinea pig’s mouth full of food. It will look for anything else that could be causing the digestive problems in the first place.

Any obstruction in the digestive tract should be treated as soon as possible. If your guinea pig is not eating and is not producing fecal waste, you should take him to the veterinarian. Any obstruction in the digestive tract will be removed by the veterinarian.

In addition, digestive issues in guinea pigs

Eye booger

Guinea pigs suffering from crusty eyes, or else there is a constant flow through their eyes. Both the symptoms indicate problems with its tear duct. That is caused due to overgrown teeth.

Guinea pig’s teeth grow continuously, as mentioned earlier. Their tear duct is also placed near to the gums. So, if the teeth’ roots push the tear ducts from inside, the tear ducts may continuously tear tears.

In other cases, the overgrown teeth may block the tear duct’s path, such that tears cannot be produced. That results in drying of eyes.

Treatment is required to alleviate the problem, but steps must be taken to trim the teeth. If left untreated, then the guinea pig may lose its eyes. In some cases, surgery is also done.

Also read: All about eye booger in guinea pigs

Flea infestation

Fleas feed on the blood of various animals, and these can cause significant pain for the pet animals. Guinea pigs are also affected by this.

Flea sting irritates, and guinea pigs will start itching. It also causes allergy to a few guinea pigs that result in rashes on the skin. That is due to the hypersensitivity of the guinea pigs.

Fleas should be removed from your pet as soon as you notice them. Remove fleas with the help of comb dipped in alcohol.

You need to get some topical remedies from the market if the problem exists. Check the treatment is suitable for guinea pigs before use, as it may have toxic effects on guinea pigs.

The guinea pig and its cage should be disinfected after the fleas have been removed. Insects tend to attack again and again, so you need to be careful. Keep the surrounding clean and change the bedding of the pet. The hay should also be changed.

Also read: How to treat fleas in guinea pigs

Flystrike

Fleas feed on the blood of various animals, and these can cause significant pain for the pet animals. Guinea pigs are also affected by this.

Flea sting irritates, and guinea pigs will start itching. It also causes allergy to a few guinea pigs that result in rashes on the skin. That is due to the hypersensitivity of the guinea pigs.

Fleas should be removed from your pet as soon as you notice them. Remove fleas with the help of comb dipped in alcohol.

You need to get some topical remedies from the market if the problem exists. Check the treatment is suitable for guinea pigs before use, as it may have toxic effects on guinea pigs.

The guinea pig and its cage should be disinfected after the fleas have been removed. Insects tend to attack again and again, so you need to be careful. Keep the surrounding clean and change the bedding of the pet. The hay should also be changed.

Also read: How to treat fleas in guinea pigs

Also read: All about flystrike in guinea pigs

Fungal infection

When it comes to fungal infections, guinea pigs are no different than other animals. They are also vulnerable to these types of attacks. As we all know, the fungus thrives in a dark, moist environment and spreads quickly. In other words, if your guinea pig is subjected to these types of conditions, it is likely to become infected with fungus.

Guinea pigs are frequently infected with ringworm, which is a fungal infection. They have red circles on their skin, which can be passed on to other guinea pigs if they are exposed to the same environment. On occasion, you will notice a thick layer of fungus covering the surface of the water.

Fungal infections can be treated with topical treatments, which are readily available in pharmacies. If the problem persists or recurs, investigate the possibility of a fungal infection being the source of the problem. Clean and disinfect the cage and other toys on a regular basis.

Impact trauma

Guinea pigs are extremely vulnerable to physical injuries and trauma. They have a short lifespan. This has the potential to cause bone damage. When they are scared, they react quickly and can even jump from a great height. This can cause injury to their frail body, which is already vulnerable.

Guinea pigs may also become fearful of their owner and injure themselves as a result. You should be able to deal with such injuries effectively. Try to instill confidence in them so that they do not jump out of your arms when you hold them.

When your pet is playing with your child, keep a close eye on him or her. It is possible that a Guinea pig will not enjoy playing with your child. Inspect the situation to determine whether your child can carry the guinea pig comfortably.

Guinea pigs are naturally curious and like to explore new environments, which is built into their genetic makeup. As a result, keep things away from the pet that could harm it.

When people are jumping from one place to another, they are more likely to fall and sustain injuries if their foot is not properly placed.

It is extremely difficult for a guinea pig to recover from a broken limb. Depending on the severity of the injury, some may be able to recover, while others may not. In severe cases, their limbs may have to be amputated.

Also read: Can guinea pigs jump?

Labored breathing

Guinea pigs are able to breathe only through their nose. They attempt to breathe through their mouths when the conditions are extreme. When you notice your pet gasping for air through its mouth, it is likely that it is experiencing some difficulties. Guinea pigs are forced to breathe through their noses.

A bacterial infection in the nasal passages can result in obstruction. Guinea pigs are forced to breathe through their mouths as a result of this. Breathing problems can be caused by any foreign object that becomes stuck inside the nose at any time.

A torch should be used to inspect the inside of the nose to see if there is any hay or other particles trapped inside the nasal passages. If it is discovered, make every effort to remove it. If you are unable to clear the nasal cavity on your own, consult a veterinarian.

Also read: Why is my guinea pig breathing fast?

Leg paralysis

A Guinea pig’s leg may become paralyzed as a result of arthritis, an injury, or any type of infection in the leg. The guinea pig is unable to move, and it is most commonly found in the hind legs of other animals.

This situation can be hazardous to the guinea pig because it can result in urine scalding in the animal. If you notice that the guinea pig is unable to walk correctly, take it to the veterinarian.

Treatment options for paralysis vary depending on the underlying cause.

but in some cases, you need to amputate the limbs. 

Also read: Back leg problems in guinea pigs

Loss of appetite

Guinea pigs are voracious consumers of food. They are able to chew hay throughout the day, and they also enjoy treats.

As a result, if you notice your pet avoiding food, it is likely to be a cause for concern. They are unable to survive for more than 48 hours without food because they have very little nutrition stored up for extended survival.

Guinea pigs can refuse to eat for a variety of reasons, including dental problems, blockages in the digestive tract, bacterial infections, and other health issues. Even stressful situations can result in a loss of appetite. Visit your veterinarian for a more thorough examination of the underlying cause.

Also read: Why is my guinea pig not eating?

Missing patch of fur

Guinea pigs suffering from mange develop bald patches on their bodies. That is caused by mites that develop on the skin of the guinea pig. It causes irritation and hair loss in some people. It is treatable; however, you must seek professional advice first.

In addition to mange, you may notice a loss of fur in pregnant guinea pigs, which is normal. It is necessary for them to shave their heads in order to prepare bedding for their young children.

In addition to stress, loss of fur can be caused by a variety of factors. Because they are anxious, guinea pigs shed their fur to help them cope.

Also read: Why is my guinea pigs missing a patch of fur(+What to do)

Mites infestation

Mite infestations in guinea pigs can be a serious problem. Mites are most commonly found in the ears, but you should check for them in other body parts as well. The back, neck, and tail are good places to look for mite infestation.

Mites can be seen walking on the guinea pig’s fur, which is a common sight in the wild. It will simply appear as if you are walking through dandruff. In order to obtain mite treatments, you should visit your local pet store. Check to see if the medication is suitable for use with guinea pigs.

If the mite infestations are severe, you will require the assistance of a veterinarian. The guinea pig will be given an injection or ointment that is appropriate for the situation.

Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your guinea pig to ensure that any mite remains or eggs are removed. Mites also lay eggs on the affected body part, which causes complications once the eggs hatch.

Obesity

Guinness Book of World Records: Guinness Book of World Records: Guinness Book of World Records: It is, however, harmful to them if you give them treats on a regular basis.

There is nothing they will not do to get their hands on a sugary treat. You must, however, exercise restraint when providing them with sweets and snacks.

In addition to the obvious health consequences of obesity, it can lead to a variety of other issues. Because of the weight of their bodies, their joints are put under strain. Their energy levels plummet as a result of the weight gain, which contributes to further weight gain.

Hay is the best thing you can give guinea pigs because they require something to chew on throughout the day. Once or twice a week should be the maximum amount of time spent on treats. Attempt to increase your pet’s activity level.

Phantom pregnancy

Phantom pregnancy, also known as false pregnancy, is common in a few species of mammals, but not so much in guinea pigs.

Because of the hormonal changes in guinea pigs that occur during pregnancy, this is primarily the cause of the problem. A guinea pig that has been spayed will behave in the same way as a guinea pig that is pregnant.

It is most common in female guinea pigs when they are in their reproductive years.

It is possible that a female guinea pig will experience ovulation, which will result in a hormonal shift in her body. As soon as one of the guinea pigs mounts on the female guinea pig, the female guinea pig will begin to believe she is pregnant.

The guinea pig’s behavior will change in a way that is similar to that of a pregnant woman. It will be hungry and show signs of emotional changes, as well. It will begin constructing a nest out of its fur and hay as soon as possible. It is necessary to continue these activities until the hormonal level returns to normal.

Also read: Phantom pregnancy in guinea pigs

Poisoning

Guinea pigs are curious creatures who will put anything and everything in their mouths. It’s possible that they ate something toxic.

A lot of the foods that we consume on a daily basis can be poisonous to them because they can harm their digestive system. Keep an eye on what they are putting into their mouths. Potatoes and bread, for example, are detrimental to their health.

The products that are placed in the cage should be safe for the guinea pigs to eat and drink. They will bite their toys as well as anything else they come across. Products from exotic pet stores are available for purchase.

Also read: Why guinea pigs cannot vomit toxins out?

Poor eyesight

Guinea pigs can be affected by poor vision, which is more common in older ones and is more severe in females.

They convey a great deal of information through their eyes. However, they are unconcerned about having poor vision because they rely on their olfactory and auditory senses more than their visual senses.

Guinea pigs who are suffering from glaucoma may eventually lose their eyesight. It is caused by damage to the optic nerve. An abnormal amount of pressure on the eyes can result in this condition.

The difficulty in diagnosing glaucoma is one of its most significant drawbacks. Because it develops gradually, it is recommended that you have your eyes checked once a year.

Glaucoma symptoms should be looked for in order to diagnose the condition. Excessive tears produced or complete dryness of the eyes should be cause for alarm.

guinea pigs can suffer from the following eye problems, in addition to glaucoma, that can affect their vision:

  1. Corneal ulcer
  2. Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
  3. Foreign particle inside the eye.

Look for the following symptoms for any trouble in the eye:

  1. Inability to open the eye
  2. Cloudiness in the eye
  3. Excessive tear secretion
  4. Dry eyes

Stress and anxiety

Guinea pigs are extremely sensitive to the environment in which they live. Because they are constantly on the lookout for predators, any change in their environment can trigger fear in their minds.

Guinea pigs can be afraid of their owners, as well as other animals. You should take your time approaching your pet and gain his or her trust. Make them feel at ease when you are in the room with them.

Physical activity is also a necessary component of their daily routine for these individuals. It not only helps to keep them healthy, but it also helps to keep them stress-free.

Guinea pigs do not like to be alone and prefer to be in the company of their fellow pigs. This helps to alleviate their stress while also keeping them actively involved in playing activities. It is preferable to adopt two guinea pigs who have formed a bond and will remain together.

It is important to pay attention to your guinea pig if you only have one. You should also provide toys to stimulate the guinea pig’s activity. Do not allow yourself to feel alone.

Also read: Can guinea pigs live alone?

Tick Infestation

Ticks have a negative impact on guinea pigs.. They attach themselves to the guinea pig’s body and feed off its blood. They put the guinea pigs in a precarious condition.

Ticks can also infect guinea pigs if they have fed on an infected animal, in addition to the conditions listed above. The guinea pig is infected with the disease after it has been exposed to it in the environment.

Anti-tick medication is available to help prevent tick attacks. When administering the medication, take care to ensure that it is safe for guinea pigs to consume.. As soon as you notice a tick on the guinea pig’s body, remove it from the animal as soon as possible.

When removing the tick, exercise caution; they should not be pulled out with your hands.. As an alternative, tweezers should be used to hold the ticks in place, with special care taken not to twist them.

Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common problem in guinea pigs between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

A variety of factors contribute to urinary tract infections, but unsanitary living conditions are the most common cause. Once the bacteria has made its way into the guinea pig’s urethra, it will begin to cause urinary disease in the animal.

An excessive amount of calcium in the diet can result in kidney stones and bladder stones. UTI can result as a result of this. Alfalfa hay should not be fed to guinea pigs, according to the manufacturer.

Alfalfa hay contains calcium, which is harmful to the health of these creatures. The following are some of the most common symptoms of the disease:

  1. Bloodstains in the urine
  2. Grunting with the pain during urination.
  3. Incontinence
  4. Urine scalding
  5. Constant, small dribbles of urine

When it comes to treating UTI, an antibiotic course is recommended. It is important to try to determine the source of the disease in order to prevent it from recurring.

Maintain a clean cage and change the hay on a regular basis. Cleaning the litter pan should be done regularly, as the Guinea Pigs are reluctant to pee in a filthy litter pan.

It is beneficial to drink plenty of freshwater to flush out any obstructions in the urinary tract.

Urine scald

Urine scalding can occur when a guinea pig urinates on its tail or hind limbs. There are several factors that contribute to this problem in guinea pigs. The litter tray is found to be littered with guinea pigs, which is a problem.

Urine scalding is a skin burn caused by the presence of urine in the environment. It has the potential to cause sores that can become infected further. Eventually, this becomes excruciatingly uncomfortable.

guinea pigs are unable to move quickly due to urine scalding on their fur or in the vicinity, which causes them to become immobilized.

While urinating, they should be able to move their hind legs. Check to see whether they are sitting on their pee, however, if the problem persists.

You must empty the litter tray at least twice a day and remove any urine-stained hay from the litter box area.

Also read: Urine scalds in guinea pigs