Can Guinea Pigs Have Phantom Pregnancies? (+How To Deal With It)

Can Guinea Pigs Have Phantom Pregnancies? (+How To Deal With It)

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Phantom pregnancy is a condition in which a female exhibits the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but she is not actually pregnant. However, it is a common problem in dogs and rabbits; however, what about our guinea pigs? Is it possible for guinea pigs to have phantom pregnancies?

Yes, even after being spayed, a guinea pig can experience phantom pregnancy symptoms. However, there is nothing to be concerned about because they will realize in approximately three weeks that they are not pregnant, and then they will return to their normal selves and lives.

At this point, your guinea pig will be in need of your compassion and assistance. Her hormone levels will be extremely volatile during this period. Mood swings, increased hunger, and unusual behavior are all possible side effects of this medication.

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What is false pregnancy in guinea pigs?

False pregnancy, also known as phantom pregnancies or pseudopregnancy, occurs when a guinea pig is led to believe that she is pregnant when, in fact, she is not. Almost all female guinea pigs of breeding age are affected by this condition.

It appears that there is no difference between the phantom pregnancy and the genuine pregnancy in guinea pigs. She will act and behave as if she is pregnant, despite the fact that she is not.

What causes phantom pregnancies in guinea pigs?

It’s a misconception that is developed by the guinea pig, which lasts for approx 20 days. In some cases, it may last a little longer or shorter.

When female guinea pigs ovulate, she believes that she is pregnant, although she is not. Overstress can also be a reason for phantom pregnancies.

Let us understand this broadly.

  1. Overstressed: If a guinea pig gets stressed, they may ovulate, and then they create a misconception that they are pregnant. There are many ways your guinea pig can be stressed. For example:- Loud noises, Fear of predator, etc.
  2. Separated from a bonded friend: Guinea pigs can get stressed if separated from their bonded partner as they are very accustomed to their presence, and sudden vanishing of their partner can make them come into stress.
  3. Taken to the vet: Guinea pigs don’t enjoy medication and health checkups. A trip to the vet can definitely cause stress in your guinea pigs.

Will spaying prevent phantom pregnancies?

No, having your pet spayed will not prevent phantom pregnancies from occurring. Guinea pigs are capable of experiencing phantom pregnancies even after being spayed. Spaying your guinea pigs, on the other hand, has a number of health advantages.

While neutering a female can reduce her attraction to a male guinea pig, even an unneutered male will still mount a spayed female, which can result in the formation of a phantom pregnancy.

As a result, we can conclude that spaying does not aid in the prevention of false pregnancy, but it does provide health benefits to our guinea pigs in the process.

What to do with the nest if your guinea pig have phantom pregnancy?

It would be suggested you not do anything with the nest.

Because if you try to remove the nest of guinea pig, there are chances that they might get upset and stressed.

Getting stressed can then lead to many problems in our guinea pigs.

Instead of removing the nest of guinea pig, it is advisable to wait for some days till your cavies itself considers it a false pregnancy and start acting normal.

How can u tell if a guinea pig is pregnant?

When a guinea pig experiences false pregnancy, they react as they are genuinely pregnant.

It also gets painful for us to decide by looking at their behavior because they have all symptoms which are there in pregnancy like mood swings, and overeating.

So, deciding about pregnancy on the basis of their behavior is not possible. Let’s discuss specific real pregnancy symptoms:

  • Ballooning belly: When any female produces a baby, their belly gets to expand. So is with the female guinea pigs; when they get pregnant, they have an enlarged stomach.
  • Eating more: It is prevalent to eat more at the time of pregnancy as there are 4-5 pubs inside guinea pigs stomach. The hunger level of your guinea pigs also increases as they require more food because they are eating for 4-5 babies.
  • Mood Fluctuations: Even the sweetest guinea pig will become more volatile. Pregnancy leads to massive mood swings, which are the reason for anger in guinea pigs.
  • Nesting: Whenever a guinea pig is pregnant, she will prepare a nest. Whenever you see your guinea pig carrying hay in her mouth for making a nest, you can consider it as a sign of pregnancy.

It will be difficult to tell whether she is pregnant or not because she will behave in the same way that a woman would during a normal pregnancy.

She will continue to behave in this manner for at least 20-30 days, after which the phantom pregnancy will come to an abrupt halt and the guinea pigs will return to their normal state.

There is an alternative method for determining whether or not your guinea pig is pregnant.

You can move your finger around her belly and, while doing so, look for any lumps that indicate that your guinea pig is expecting a baby.

In the event that you do not feel anything while moving your fingers around her stomach, she is not pregnant.

How long does a phantom pregnancy last?

The phantom pregnancy in a guinea pig can last for up to 20-30 days, and it can last even longer in some cases.

Guinea pigs do not have an easy time getting pregnant. According to studies, approximately 20 percent of pregnant guinea pigs die during the delivery process.

The remainder of them survive, but with numerous complications that are both costly to you and painful for her.

The pregnancy of a guinea pig lasts approximately 9 to 10 weeks. The phantom pregnancy in a guinea pig can last for up to 20-30 days, and it can last even longer in some cases. It is as follows how the timeline of a false pregnancy compares to a genuine pregnancy:

Day        Genuine Pregnancy    Fake Pregnancy
1The unspayed guinea pigs mates with an unneutered male and is impregnatedIn this case, the guinea pigs ovulate due to stress and consider that she is pregnant
7-12She will start eating more and more as she is eating for 4-5 babiesIn this case, she will eat more and become aggressive towards other guinea pigs
15-18The tummy starts getting swollen and might have small bumps.No change in guinea pigs tummy
20-25`A Guinea pig will start making the nest. The guinea pig will stockpile hay and blanketsA Guinea pig will start making the nest. The guinea pig will stockpile hay and blankets
30-38The nesting process begins, the guinea pigs start resting and relaxing in her nestThe guinea pig will start losing interest in nesting and will come back to its normal behavior.
50-60The guinea pig will give birth.Your guinea pig till now has forgotten everything related to her phantom pregnancy.

Guinea pig phantom pregnancies treatment

We will suggest you make your guinea pig comfortable when she is experiencing a false pregnancy.

You can make her comfortable by offering them food and mostly hay. They will eat some hay, and others will be used for making a nest. Try not to disturb your guinea pig as that time she will be irritable and territorial.

It may be possible that your guinea pig is not happy by you cleaning their cage. However, you still have to do it to maintain proper hygiene, as the unclean environment can lead to significant issues to your guinea pig.

How to reduce stress in your guinea pigs?

Many things can cause stress in your guinea pigs, including being separated from a bonded partner, loud noises, having other pets in the house, and being taken to the veterinarian’s office.

In such circumstances, you must sit around them and whisper their names softly to them. Once the guinea pigs have calmed down, you can pick them up and groom them so that they feel relaxed and calm.

If anything is causing them distress, such as loud noises, you can separate them and groom her in a separate room.

You should keep your cavies away from any pets that you have in your home if they are not comfortable with their presence.

As a result, following the above instructions can help you to reduce the stress that your guinea pig is experiencing.

Guinea pig keeps having phantom pregnancies

While false pregnancies in guinea pigs are not common, you will need to figure out why she is having them if you want to save her life. There could be a variety of factors at play here:

Is she a lone wolf: If your guinea pig lives alone, she may experience stress, which may result in her ovulating prematurely. You can use a trial-and-error approach to identify and eliminate anxiety triggers in order to help her feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Is she accompanied by a partner on some occasions? Separating bonded guinea pigs can cause stress in them, which can result in ovulation in the female guinea pig.

Can phantom pregnancies be prevented in guinea pigs?

Spaying a guinea pig at an early stage can keep her hormones under control and somehow reduce the chances of stress-based ovulation.

Although it is not possible in guinea pigs to stop false pregnancy, even if your guinea pigs leave alone, she can experience phantom pregnancies. Still, there is nothing to worry about as she can resolve it on her own.

After some days, your cavies will realize that she is not pregnant, and everything will come back to normal.

Conclusion:

  • Phantom pregnancies are a condition in which a female guinea pig believes she is pregnant when she is not, despite the fact that she is not.
  • Overwhelming stress is the most common reason for phantom pregnancies. In response to stress, the guinea pig ovulates and believes she is pregnant, despite the fact that she is not pregnant.
  • Spaying guinea pigs does not provide a permanent solution to phantom pregnancies, but it does provide numerous health benefits to the animals.
  • Phantom pregnancies in the guinea pig last about 20-30 days on average.
  • If your guinea pig does not return, it is possible that she is experiencing stress-induced ovulation. Using a trial-and-error approach can help to alleviate anxiety and keep your guinea pig calm and relaxed.
  • Fake pregnancies can cause mood swings, overeating, and nesting behavior, among other things. It is difficult to tell the difference between a phantom pregnancy and a legitimate pregnancy. After a few days, your guinea pig will come to terms with the fact that she is not pregnant and will resume her normal behavior and habits.
  • We recommend that you do not destroy the guinea pigs’ nest because they may become upset and scared as a result of your actions. Instead of destroying the nest, we recommend that you wait a few days so that she considers it to be a false pregnancy.
  • There are numerous methods for reducing the stress of your guinea pig, including grooming them and providing them with an environment that they are comfortable in.
  • Spaying her at a young age can help to keep her hormones under control and reduce the likelihood of her ovulating under stressful circumstances.
  • Finally, while your guinea pigs are experiencing phantom pregnancies, take special care not to disturb them, as this will cause her to become even more irritated and angry. Pick her up only when absolutely necessary.