Why do guinea pigs bite humans?
They are widely accepted as pets due to their docile nature, sweet appearance, and friendly response when being fed and eating.
Guinea pigs have a strong bond with their owners and other people who interact with them. They take pleasure in grooming and playing with them.
Despite the fact that guinea pigs and their owners have a friendly relationship, they can bite just like any other pet. It is typical animal behavior, and guinea pigs exhibit the same behavior.
But what is it that causes the bite? Here are a few examples of common causes:
- Afraid: Every animal will bite or attack if it is threatened or intimidated in any way. When a guinea pig is being followed, restrained, or otherwise denied freedom of movement, it may bite out of fear.
- Stress: Guinea pigs are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment and will become stressed very quickly if there is an unwelcome change. If your guinea pig is not pleased with the environment, or if it is annoyed by any noise, it may bite you. A guinea pig that is stressed is more likely to bite.
- Territoriality: Guinea pigs will bite if they believe that you are invading their territory. Guinea pigs, particularly those that have not been neutered, exhibit territorial behavior. They have a tendency to secure their territory in order to attract a mating partner.
- Pain and illness: When you try to hold your guinea pig, a guinea pig who is in discomfort may bite you.
Mistaking you for food: If your guinea is hungry and your hands smell like the food, it is possible that they will bite your fingers, believing them to be the food.
A Guinea pig may bite you as a reaction to something you’ve done that it doesn’t appreciate. When an animal is hurt, afraid, or irritated, it is normal for them to act in this manner. They bite in order to express their dissatisfaction.
Guinea pigs bite as a form of negative reinforcement, much like small children who cry when they don’t like something they are given.
If your guinea pig bites you once and you release them or allow them to play, the next time they are feeling uneasy when you hold them, they may bite to let you know they are uncomfortable with you.
Also read: Do guinea pigs bite?
Table of Contents
Difference between nipping and biting in guinea pigs
To understand the difference between nipping and biting, we must first define the terms. Guinea pigs are frequently found nipping, which we mistake for biting in our minds. Guinea pigs rarely bite, and this is due to their small size.
Nipping can be thought of as a small bite or pinch. Guinea pigs do this without opening their mouths all the way, as is customary. It doesn’t hurt at all and isn’t painful. This is a behavior that is common in other pets as well.
In addition, guinea pigs nip each other to express affection for one another while grooming each other. They have even been known to bite one another in order to assert their dominance.
Guinea pigs nip at one another in order to establish the hierarchy of dominance among them. When they want to get your attention, or when they want to divert your attention away from their path, they will nip you in the bud.
You should not be alarmed if your guinea pig nips at your ankles or legs. It is simply attempting to express its affection, love, and affection towards you. If a guinea pig wants something, it is possible that they will nip their owners..
Do guinea pigs bite hurt?
Guinea pigs nipping is not harmful to us; rather, you will enjoy them nipping gently while you are watching them. Nipping is one of the easiest ways for Guinea pigs to communicate with us because it is painless for them. Bite, on the other hand, is a different story.
When a guinea pig bites you, you will experience discomfort. Guinea pigs bite with their mouths wide open and hold their bites tightly. They are not going to give up easily and will continue to hold firm. You learn that your guinea pig is either enraged or afraid of you as time passes.
A lot of people are divided on whether guinea pigs’ bites are painful or not. It is entirely dependent on your pain tolerance; however, the majority of people believe that it is painful.
Guinea pigs have incisors that are long and sharp, which allows them to chew hay and leafy vegetables more easily. They are able to chew through the majority of objects with their teeth.
In addition, when guinea pigs bite, the skin is easily cut through. The cuts are deep enough to cause bleeding, and it may take several days for the wound to heal completely.
Young guinea pigs have smaller teeth than adult guinea pigs, and their level of aggression isn’t as high as it is in adults. Consequently, the bite of a young guinea pig is less painful than the bite of an adult guinea pig.
Additionally, it is dependent on the source of the bite. It may bite hard when it is angry or scared, but it may bite softly when it is not in either of these states. You will find out what is causing the problem in the end.
Are guinea pig bites dangerous?
You will experience discomfort if you are bitten by your guinea pig. What we want to know is whether it poses a threat to our health, and how long it will take us to recover.
A few animals, particularly those that live in the wild, can be extremely dangerous if they bite you. Many germs and pathogens are carried by wild animals and can be transmitted from one to another.
When these animals bite us, we may become infected with the germs they carry. With domestic animals, however, this is not the case.
Guinea pig bites can result in a significant amount of bleeding, which should be stopped as soon as possible by applying pressure.
If the cut is close to a major artery, seek medical attention immediately; otherwise, it could cause severe damage. It is possible that the bite will result in some skin infections in some people.
If your guinea pig has bitten you severely, it is recommended that you get some antibiotics as well as a tetanus vaccination.
Do guinea pigs bite spread diseases?
Even though guinea pigs are infected with a variety of germs, none of the diseases they contract are transmitted to humans. These bacteria and viruses have little chance of surviving in the human body.
Some guinea pigs, on the other hand, are carriers of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. These are some examples:
- Pasteurellosis: Animals such as rodents and guinea pigs are susceptible to the Pasteurella bacteria, which causes respiratory infection and pneumonia. If the bacteria are present in the guinea pig, it is possible for you to become infected.
- Tularemia: It is caused by bacteria that can be transmitted from guinea pigs to humans. Vaccination is recommended. This disease is not only uncommon, but it is also highly contagious and potentially life-threatening. Antibiotics can be used to treat the infection.
- Rabies: This disease is also not very common in guinea pigs, which is another plus. Once guinea pigs become infected with the virus, it can be transmitted to humans.
- Tetanus: That is a common bacterial toxin that can enter our bodies through a wound or puncture wound and cause illness. Tetanus shots should be administered as a precautionary precaution.
A few other diseases, such as skin infections, can have an impact on us. Biting, on the other hand, does not transfer this. Instead, they are spread through skin-to-skin contact.
Guinea pig bites that result in disease are extremely rare, and you should seek medical attention if you experience any additional symptoms.
Are guinea pig bites infectious?
It doesn’t matter how the injury occurred, a wound can serve as a portal for germs to enter our bodies and cause illness.
Once the bacteria have entered our bodies, they have the potential to be contagious. Our bodies are constantly exposed to different types of bacteria, making us highly susceptible to disease.
When guinea pigs bite you, the germs that are present in their mouth, teeth, and saliva can enter your body and infect you with diseases.
In addition, because their teeth are not sterilized, the bites of guinea pigs can be a source of bacteria.
If left untreated, these bites have the potential to become contagious. The treatment of these bites is completely natural and can be completed at home. However, if you notice any severe signs of infection, you should seek medical attention immediately.
How to treat a guinea pig bite?
Guinea pig owners will have to deal with a similar situation at some point in their lives. Despite the fact that guinea pigs are generally docile animals, they can become impatient and bite their owners.
Because they are at the bottom of the food chain, guinea pigs can become stressed and afraid for seemingly insignificant reasons.
When a guinea pig bites you, you should be prepared to know what to do to help yourself. The steps that follow will assist you in receiving treatment and experiencing immediate relief.
Access the severity of wound
In order to begin treating the wound, we must first determine the severity of the wound.
Guinea pig bites may not be consistent from one individual to the next. It is possible that the injury is significantly deeper than usual. The shape and size of the teeth will have a greater influence on the outcome.
A few rare cases of guinea pig bites may necessitate the use of professional assistance, but the majority of bites can be treated at home.
Immediately remove your pet from your immediate vicinity because it may bite you again. Take note of the damage that has been done.
It is recommended that you place a clean cloth over the wound and apply light pressure to it in order to stop the bleeding. Following the prevention of blood loss, you should conduct the inspection.
Stitching would be required if the wound was as follows:
- 1 centimeter or more below the surface (0.3 inches)
- Any sensitive areas near the face or neck, as well as any joints that require regular movement, are all in close proximity to this location.
- Even after placing the cloth on the wound and applying pressure for ten minutes, there is continuous bleeding.
If you notice any of the problems listed above, you should seek medical attention immediately; otherwise, you can treat the problem yourself.
Clean the wound with some cold water
After ten minutes of applying pressure to the wound, take a look at it. Is the blood flow no longer there? It is possible that blood will still come out of the drip. At this point, you should refrain from using force.
After the blood flow has stopped, clean the wound with soap and water. Considering that the guinea pig teeth are not clean and contain food particles and germs, this is necessary. Cleaning the wound would assist us in removing any debris and bacteria that may have accumulated.
Wash the wound with cold, clean running water to remove any debris. Water from the tap or any bottled water will suffice if none is available. Cleaning the wound with water alone is recommended; do not attempt to open or rub the wound, as this may cause the bleeding to resume.
To clean the wound, you should use any antibacterial soap that you can get your hands on. This is a recommended step to ensure that any dirt particles are removed. While using the soap will cause discomfort, you should not avoid doing so.
If the dirt gets into the body through the cut, it has the potential to be contagious. A wound that has become infected because it has not been cleaned correctly must be treated with antimicrobial medication.
Apply some antibiotics over it
After you’ve washed the wound, pat it dry with a clean, dry cloth to prevent infection. When applying the cloth, it is important not to rub the wound too vigorously. It is possible that the rupture will cause additional problems.
The drying of the injury is also important because any water particles will turn into pus and prevent the wound from healing as quickly as it should.
After you’ve dried the wound, apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to it. Consequently, bacterial activity in the injury is reduced, which helps to prevent infection from forming.
Antibiotic ointment functions similarly to a protective cover, shielding you from any infection.
Even if there is a bacterium left inside the wound, the ointment will prevent it from growing and thus aid in the healing of the wound more quickly.
It also helps to keep the wound moist, which helps to reduce any irritation. If it is painful, you can also apply some pain-relieving ointments to the area.
Dress the wound to keep infections away
If the guinea pig hasn’t bitten you too hard and the wound isn’t too deep, you can leave the scar open to allow it to heal on its own.
Just look at how the bleeding has been stopped. Even so, it is preferable to apply some ointment and wrap the wound with gauze. It helps to keep the skin surrounding the wound moist.
Skin that is moist helps the skin to recover more quickly in the following ways:
- The formation of tissue is more rapid.
- Keeping you safe from any infections.
- Scar formation can be reduced.
It is beneficial to cover the wound with a suitable bandage in order to prevent any further physical injury. It does not matter if there is some bleeding because the dressing will absorb it.
Cover the wound completely; it is preferable to cover a larger area than the area of the wound itself. Apply an adhesive bandage, such as Band-Aids or surgical tape, to the dressing to keep it in place.
Check for signs of infection
Every day, keep an eye on the progress of the healing process. Every day, you must change the dressing and check for any infections that may have developed.
Depending on the amount of bleeding, the bandage may become stuck to the skin. In such cases, do not pull the bandage with force; instead, soak the dressing in water to loosen it, and then slowly peel it off the affected area.
After removing the bandage, rewash the wound with soap and water to remove any remaining debris. After drying the wound with a cloth, you should examine the wound carefully.
Check to see if the wound is healing on a daily basis. If the condition does not improve, there is a possibility of infection. Keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms:
- The skin around the wound is red and/or warmer than the surrounding tissues.
- Inflammation Any foul odor is emanating from the site of the injury.
- Pain that lasts for a longer period of time than a day
- Pus formation is a common occurrence (On the first day, the clear discharge will be formed of the dead cells, but opaque, thick discharge after that is not right).
- Any numbness or tingling in the affected area of the wound.
When the infection spreads, the symptoms will be severe, including fever, nausea, weakness, and discomfort, among other things.
Any of the above symptoms should serve as an alarm signal that you have an infection or a disease that has been transmitted from a guinea pig, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
Do you need a tetanus shot after a guinea pig bite?
The guinea pig bites can be treated at home with no special equipment. Despite this, many people wonder whether they should get a tetanus shot after being bitten by a guinea pig.
Tetanus is caused by bacteria that enters the body through a cut or other wound. Due to the fact that the bacteria can be found in the soil, the risk is increased if we are injured in an open area. Animal bites can also result in the development of tetanus.
Although the risk of infection from tetanus is extremely low, it is still recommended that you take precautionary measures.
The tetanus vaccine is only effective for ten years, so if you haven’t had your tetanus shot in the last ten years, it’s best to get it now rather than later. It is important to remember that the vaccine must be prepared within 48 hours of the incident.
There is another disease that you should be concerned about, which is rabies. It occurs in guinea pigs on a sporadic basis. In addition, there is a vaccine available for it.
The virus that causes this disease spreads through saliva. As a result, there is a possibility of it spreading through an animal bite. If you suspect that your guinea pig has rabies, take him to the veterinarian right away. Disease must be treated at its earliest stage, or else it has the potential to be fatal.