You should always keep an eye on what your guinea pigs are eating and make sure that they are not being served moldy hay or pellets.
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Molds and Guinea pigs
You must keep your guinea pig away from the mold because it poses a hazard to their lives and should be avoided at all costs.
If they consume a significant amount of mold, they may experience rapid respiratory failure.
The mold can also act as a gradual toxin, causing internal organ damage in our guinea pigs over a period of time.
Unfortunately, because they are prey animals, guinea pigs are extremely skilled at concealing their condition.
That places all of the responsibility on your shoulders, as it should be your responsibility to ensure that your piggie is kept away from the mold.
If you keep an eye on their enclosure, you will be able to figure it out. As a result, the mold quickly spreads around the play area and into their lovely home.
What makes mold so dangerous to guinea pigs?
Molds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the majority of them create toxins known as mycotoxins.
These mycotoxins can cause a variety of health problems in our guinea pig, none of which are beneficial.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the most prevalent health problems that mold can cause in our guinea pigs:
- Aflatoxin: Consuming aflatoxin by guinea pig can cause significant health issues like growth retardation and cause changes in organ weight.
- It can also cause stomach pains and liver damage in long term exposure.
- It can also be called as the most common guinea pig killing mycotoxin.
- Ergot: This toxin attacks on the circulation of blood in the guinea pigs. By consuming this mycotoxin, guinea pigs can lose their mobility.
- Chaetomium and Stachybotrys Chartarum: These types of molds attack the immune system of our guinea pigs, which leads to various health issues in our guinea pigs.
As a result of the foregoing description, we may deduce that molds can be harmful to the health of our guinea pigs.
These are just a few examples; if your guinea pig is exposed to mold for an extended period of time, there may be a slew of additional issues.
Always keep your guinea pigs away from molds to ensure that they have a healthy life.
How do guinea pigs get exposed to mold?
Molds are attracted to both guinea pigs and people in a similar way to each other.
The process begins with the mycotoxins, which find their way into the air and then into the lungs of your guinea pigs, where they are inhaled. From here, the health issues take over as the primary focus.
The same is true for guinea pigs kept outside as well as indoors, and because they are kept outside, their chances of succumbing to mold are higher than if they were kept inside.
Let us study some ways by which mold enters our guinea pigs life:
- Moldy guinea pig food.
- Moldy plants exist in your backyard.
- Inadequate flow of air in your guinea pigs cage.
- Unhygienic living standards.
You should be aware that guinea pigs are incapable of distinguishing between moldy and fresh food when they are young. They are more inclined to consume moldy food as if it were fresh.
When your guinea pigs are out playing in your yard or enjoying their floortime, we urge that you keep an eye on them.
Mold can be found in a variety of places, including plants, vegetables, grass, rocks, and other natural materials. If your guinea pig ingests this, it could result in catastrophic consequences.
It would be preferable if you additionally looked after your guinea pig’s dwelling quarters as well.
The goal here is to keep them safe from predators and wind drafts on the one hand, and to keep them secure on the other.
They, on the other hand, necessitate a suitable airflow flow because, in the absence of proper airflow, our guinea pig cage will become a breeding ground for mold.
Signs of mold poisoning in guinea pigs
Illness caused by mold poisoning, also known as mycotoxin poisoning, manifests itself in a variety of ways.
The fact that our guinea pigs are prey animals means that they will not display signs of distress. Consequently, it would be beneficial if you could figure out what is wrong with your guinea pig.
You can consider it as mold poisoning if your guinea pigs show the below symptoms:
- Noticeable abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite and connected weight loss. Your guinea pigs might reject food.
- Unexpected stomach disorder.
- Swelling in the facial area.
- Discharge from eyes and nose.
- Blood in the pee and poop.
- A decrease in body temperature.
Apart from all these noticeable symptoms, mycotoxin poisoning can also be detected by the test. You will need a vet for this who will run a check on our guinea pig’s blood, kidneys, and liver function.
Placement of guinea pig cage to prevent mold
If you decide to keep your guinea pigs in their cozy home inside the house, you will need to make certain that the space has adequate ventilation.
The fact that a cage positioned against a wall has the potential to grow damp must be understood. As long as there is not an enough amount of airflow, mold will establish a residence throughout the enclosure.
Following this line of reasoning, we might conclude that you should always place the guinea pigs’ cage near an open window.
The unfortunate reality is that positioning your guinea pig’s cage near an open window will result in drafts that will make your guinea pig unhappy and uncomfortable.
Mold typically finds a home in situations where there is insufficient air movement to begin with.
We can reduce the likelihood of mold growth by having our guinea pigs’ cages outside in the summertime.
In addition to allowing the cage to breathe, placing it outside will ensure that there is sufficient air flow through the enclosure.
However, placing the cage outside has a huge disadvantage because rain can be a significant problem in an outdoor enclosure, which is not the case with an indoor enclosure.
The molds will establish a home throughout the cage if your guinea pig cage is not properly impenetrable, which is likely in most cases. Although sunlight is important in killing this, it does not produce satisfactory effects during the severe winter months.
The mold will then gradually engulf the remainder of the enclosure over time.
This will not only jeopardize the integrity of the setup, but it also has the potential to penetrate it. Your guinea pigs may suffer as a result of the consequences of this.
As a result, the most effective method of housing your guinea pig outside is to build an outside cage that is adequately insulated.
Your guinea pigs will be safe from any and all risks as a result of this.
Your guinea pigs’ cage will no longer be damp or moldy, and they will be able to move around freely while still receiving a proper quantity of airflow.
Can guinea pigs live in garage?
Our guinea pig will benefit from being kept in an outside cage that is well-positioned to avoid exposure to mold. However, you cannot leave them outside for the entire year.
During the colder months, it’s best to bring them indoors. A lot of folks relocate their guinea pigs undercover or into their garage when the mercury drops.
However, the drawbacks of such a space are that it is gloomy and humid, which are both undesirable characteristics.
A area like this invites mold to establish a residence, and then, as a result of the insufficient passage of air, your guinea pig will inhale the mold that has formed.
As a result, we recommend that you thoroughly investigate the entire region before establishing a house for your guinea pig in such a location.
If you notice any evidence of mold, you should immediately reconsider your selection and locate another place for your guinea pigs to live.
A good rule of thumb is that guinea pigs should be kept in an environment that is well-ventilated and allows them to receive sunshine (not direct).
It is strongly recommended that you do not house your guinea pig in your shed or workshop, if it does not have this capability.
Because molds will inevitably find a home over there, whether right now or in the future, putting your guinea pig’s life in danger as a result.
It would be beneficial if you constantly reminded yourself that your ignorance could have disastrous consequences for your guinea pig.
As a result, given the gravity of the situation, you should always be on the lookout for potentially life-threatening situations.
How to prevent mold inside a guinea pig hutch?
You can begin by selecting the most appropriate place for your guinea pig’s cage in order to avoid the development of mold. However, this does not mean that your tasks are over.
The first thing to look for is a problem with the gate of your guinea pig’s cage.
It is necessary to check the airflow inside the enclosure because a lack of ventilation is one of the contributing factors to the mold growth.
You should also take precautions to safeguard the safety of your guinea pigs, as predators such as wild foxes can readily dismantle improperly installed wiring.
Make use of a sturdy Perspex cover, since this will be beneficial to your guinea pigs’ health.
You must make certain that there is sufficient space for the circulation of air, considering that an insufficient quantity of airflow might serve as an invitation to mold, which can lead to even worse consequences.
Following the steps outlined above, you should be able to look forward to cleaning.
In a short period of time, dirty bedding, litter pans, and hay can all become moldy. As a result, you must go through a thorough cleaning process at least once a week for at least one week.
You must perform daily spot cleaning and ensure that your guinea pigs are litter trained in order to keep them happy and healthy.
It would be great if you provided your guinea pig with fresh hay on a daily basis, replacing any that had become stale.
In addition, soiled bedding and the litter tray should be changed on a regular basis. It would be beneficial if you cleaned your guinea pig’s litter tray and bedding as soon as it becomes badly soiled.
It is possible to keep mold from growing in your guinea pigs cage if you are effective in following the timetable without displaying any signs of negligence or ignorance.
Unfortunately, even after taking all necessary precautions, there is still a potential that mold will develop. Clean your guinea pigs’ cage as soon as you notice any mold growing in the environment.
You should always ensure that your guinea pig is kept in a safe and hygienic setting, as an unclean environment can lead to a variety of major health problems in the animal.
How to get rid of mold from a guinea pig cage?
You should not disregard any mold growth within your guinea pig’s cage because it could lead to major health problems for the animal.
As soon as you notice mold growing within the hutch, the hutch will remove it immediately because mold can be fatal to your guinea pig in a short period of time.
The cleaning process will need to be completed after the mold has been eliminated. Use one of the following approaches, or a combination of them all, to see if it works.
- Use Disinfectant made by Accel: This product is used in many surgeries and is also considered as an animal doctor’s standard.
- Use diluted bleach: You can take the ratio of 1:5 of bleach and water. Consider power-hosing after using bleach. It will help in minimizing the smell.
- Use a mix of undiluted vinegar and use a spray bottle to spray it all around, if you can mix baking soda it will be more beneficial as it will help in cleaning it out easily.
Ideally, you would remember to dry clean the hutch where your guinea pigs were housed after returning them to their original location.
It is preferable to clean them down with natural light. Your guinea pig will be able to return to its safe and hygienic habitat once the hutch has been sufficiently dried.
Even if the molds have been removed from the guinea pigs’ hutch, you should keep a watch on the hutch on a regular basis because the molds may reappear.
Ignorance of such key phrases can have a negative impact on the health of your guinea pigs and even put their lives in danger, resulting in life-threatening situations.
How to avoid moldy guinea pig pellets?
Pellets are a rich source of fiber, which gives a variety of advantages to our guinea pigs in a variety of ways.
The terrible aspect is that they go moldy in a short period of time, so we do not recommend taking a chance with the guinea piglets.
We would recommend that you purchase the highest quality pellets that you can afford because we should not cut corners when it comes to the food of our guinea pig.
It would be beneficial if you carefully studied the bag before putting it in front of your guinea pig. If the pellets are discolored or have a foul odor, discard them right once. Pellets of this nature should be kept away from our guinea pigs.
It is best not to purchase pellets in bulk because small bags work well.
We recognize that selecting little bags may lengthen your trip to the market, but we are willing to make the sacrifice for our baby piggie since we adore them.
Furthermore, purchasing small bags rather than bigger ones is preferable because pellets can become moldy very quickly if not stored properly. You should store them in an airtight container out of direct sunlight if possible.
Once your guinea pig reaches adulthood, the amount of pellets it consumes reduces significantly. The quantity of hay and vegetables will be more than ample. It would be beneficial if you also kept an eye out for signs of mold in them.
How to avoid moldy guinea pig hay
As your guinea pigs mature, hay becomes an increasingly important component of their diet. Guinea pigs can consume hay on a daily basis since it offers them with a variety of nutritional benefits.
Moldy hay, on the other hand, has the terrible effect of poisoning them. The hay for guinea pigs should always be stored in a cool, dry environment. If you don’t have a pantry for storing items, you can make do with garbage bags instead.
Never keep your hay in an area where there is a danger of water getting into it, as water causes the hay to mold. If your hay has become wet, you should replace it as soon as possible.
The use of wet hay should be avoided at all costs because molds can grow on it, causing our guinea pigs to suffer horrendous health consequences.
You should make sure that the hay is replaced on a regular basis because this is the only method to ensure that it remains fresh and safe.
In the event that you attempt to offer new hay on top of old, your guinea pig will dig through the fresh hay until he reaches the moldy hay and gorges himself on it.
How to avoid moldy vegetables and fruits?
We will advise you to avoid feeding your guinea pig any vegetables that have beyond their expiration date because they are not safe for them.
Because some guinea pigs have a bad habit of burying their food and saving it for a later date.
That testifies to the seriousness of the problem, because once the veggie has been buried in the hay, it is no longer fresh. It will become moldy even more quickly, which can be quite harmful to our guinea pig’s health.
You must check the guinea pig’s cage on a regular basis to see whether any fruits or vegetables have been left over. After serving them with the new one, remove the old one from their possession immediately.
Avoiding moldy trees and leaves
Your guinea pigs may move closer to the plants and leaves when they are having a good time playing in the yard. This is because they will be walking about your yard looking for things to eat.
However, if your yard comes into contact with the mold, the results might be disastrous.
Regardless of whether it is a fuzzy mold or a black mold, the severity of the health consequences is the same either way.
In order to avoid this, we will suggest you to thoroughly inspect your yard and, if there are molds, to clear them immediately before allowing your guinea pigs access to the yard.
Mold should never be taken lightly, as it is a guinea pig murderer that should never be ignored. Mold contact with your guinea pig must be avoided at all costs, as it poses a serious threat to the health of our guinea pigs.
Finally, we would encourage you to take good care of your piggies and to make every effort to give them with a safe and hygienic environment, as unsanitary conditions are the source of many health problems in pigs.
In addition to this, make sure to show them your affection and concern at all times.
I have always been fond of guinea pigs ever since my adolescent days. I would try out different products on myself talkn and laughn with my Gerta watching me from her cage. With time I realized that while doing make-up can be fun, I also need to take care of my guinea pig. So I started a blog about my guinea pig and the lessons I learned along the way and a strict skincare regime now and hope to help more people understand the importance of taking care of their guinea pigs no mater the name! Love, The Guinea Pig Name