Why Are My Guinea Pig's Ears Cold? (Signs+Causes+Treatment)

Why Are My Guinea Pig’s Ears Cold? (Signs+Causes+Treatment)

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It is difficult to conclude that a guinea pig is suffering from an illness; therefore, we must look for any sudden changes in temperature. The presence of cold ears in a guinea pig should be cause for concern. Many guinea pig owners frequently inquire as to why their guinea pig’s ears are cold.

As a result, I decided to conduct some research, and the following is what I discovered.

Guinea pigs’ ears play an important role in maintaining their body temperature, according to the researchers. When people are warming their bodies, their ears become cold, which is especially true during the winter or in windy conditions. Cold ears, together with other symptoms such as weakness and loss of appetite, are a warning sign of an underlying medical condition.

Cold ears are usually the first sign of a drop in body temperature, but if there are any other signs, it is time to see a veterinary doctor.

Extremely cold ears are a warning sign that the body’s temperature has dropped suddenly. It can be a life-threatening illness that necessitates immediate medical attention. Otherwise, it is not a source of concern on regular days of the week.

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Why are my guinea pig’s ears so cold?

During cold weather, the reduction of heat loss from the guinea pig’s body surface serves as an adaptive measure to keep the animal warm.

Guinea pigs do not shiver in order to keep warm during the winter. They use their ears to help them regulate their body temperature and keep it stable.

In order to minimize heat loss from different body parts, they curl up their ears to reduce the surface area and lower the temperature of the ear compared to the rest of their bodies.

Temperature regulation in guinea pigs

The average body temperature should be in the range of 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

The environmental temperature range that guinea pigs feel cozy to stay is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In this temperature range, their metabolic rate is fast, and they remain fit.

Guinea pigs manage with the cold weather in the following ways:

  • Ears: Heat is produced by all parts of the body of guinea pigs. There is an extensive network of blood vessels surrounding the ears, which helps in the exchange of heat. During cold conditions, guinea pigs can preserve the body heat by cooling their ears and minimizing the heat loss to the environment.
  • Breathing: The slower they breathe, the warmer they keep themselves. Guinea pigs reduce the breathing pace to trap body heat as most of the heat is produced by evaporation of water while breathing.
  • Behavior: Guinea pigs curl up their body during icy conditions. This further helps to reduce the loss of heat, as lower surface area exposed to the environment minimizes the exchange of heat with the situation.

Are guinea pig’s ear supposed to be cold

If the temperature outside is lower than the guinea pigs’ body temperature, the ears will be cold under normal circumstances, according to the aforementioned conditions.

When it comes to the operation of temperature regulators, the ears can be compared to automobile radiators.

Guinea pigs regulate their body temperature by controlling the amount of blood that flows to their ear lobes from various parts of the body.

Guinea pigs’ ear lobes are densely packed with blood vessels, which are either constricted or dilated in response to the changing weather conditions.

When the body’s temperature drops, the blood supply to the ear lobes is reduced as a result of the contraction of blood vessels in the ears.

When compared to the summer, guinea pigs can survive the winter.

Large ears have little or no fur on both sides, which aids in the regulation of the body’s temperature.

Guinea pigs curl their outer ears and bring them close to the body when the weather conditions are cold. This aids in the retention of body heat and the minimization of heat loss.

The ears’ lower temperature than the surrounding environment aids in the absorption of heat from the surrounding environment. By doing so, they are able to keep the body temperature between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the ideal range.

When are cold guinea pig’s ear a cause for concern

Guinness Book of World Records states that cold ears in Guinea Pigs, along with other symptoms, are a cause for concern. Cold ears are the only thing that guinea pigs are prone to having.

Guinea pigs, like any other animal, are susceptible to illness if they come into contact with germs or eat contaminated food, and this is no exception. Diseases that are caused by genetic disorders can occur and be the cause of the illness.

Guinea pigs have a bad habit of hiding the disease because their vulnerability can give predators an advantage over them. The domestic guinea pigs have the same instinct of not disclosing their illness as do the wild ones.

It is possible that the pet owners are unaware of the illness of their guinea pigs and are unable to obtain medical treatment for them.

As a result, it is necessary to keep track of any changes in the guinea pig’s behavior as well as any physical changes that occur during its daily activities.

If your Guinea pigs have cold ears, look for any other signs of illness. The following are some of the most common signs that guinea pigs exhibit when they are ill with any illness.

Signs of a sick guinea pig

SymptomsWhat it meansEffect on guinea pigs
LethargyCommon sign for multiple sickness–Not involved in playing activities
–Do not move around the cage
-Not greeting you as usual
-Overall less active
-Not eating properly
Teeth grinding-Suffering due to pain
-Annoyance due to some reason
-It is not the usual noise.
-Lethargy and hiding 
Runny nose, sneezing and unable to breathe properly-Allergic to something
-Common Cold
-Respiratory Infection
-Dehydration
-Common effects like in human beings
Drooling of saliva or difficulty in eating-Dental Infection
-Malocclusion
-Inability to eat hard food
-Loss in appetite
-Overgrown Molars
Tilted NeckEar infection-Unable to body balance
-Tilted neck
-Refer to veterinary immediately
Unusual faeces-Stomach Infection
-Dental Infection
-Unusual diet
-Digestive tract disorder
-Watery bowels
-Unusual colour, shape and size
-Covered with mucus
-Hair found in the feces

Guinea pigs have cold ear after being spayed

When an animal is given anesthesia, the body temperature of the animal drops.

During the course of the treatment and recovery, it is necessary to monitor the body temperature on a regular basis. During any surgical procedure, the animals are kept warm with a heating substance to prevent them from becoming hypothermic.

As a result, it is understandable that any guinea pigs that have been spayed will feel cold. After the surgery, it is important to keep them as warm as possible.

Guinea pigs’ cold ears indicate that their body temperature is low, but the ears do not indicate what level of body temperature is being displayed. When the ears of your guinea pigs become too cold, they may suffer from hypothermia and, in some cases, may succumb to their injuries.

How to check a guinea pig’s temperature?

The average body temperature of guinea pigs should be within the range of 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. But measuring the body temperature of guinea pigs is a cumbersome task and even makes them ill.

So care should be taken to avoid regular measurement of body temperature.

One should learn how to measure the temperature of guinea pigs from an experienced person or a veterinarian beforehand.

It is advised to use a rubber tip thermometer to avoid any accidental breakage of the thermometer inside the body of the guinea pig.

The steps to be followed to measure guinea pig’s temperature.

  • Place the guinea pig on its back, on your lap or a soft padded top.
  • Its position should be such that the thermometer can travel smoothly through the rectum.
  • The head and shoulder should be against your abdomen, and its body is curled.
    • The rectum path should be in a straight line along the lower spine, with its footpads facing the ceiling.
  • The guinea pig often kicks and hurts itself. To avoid such conditions, make sure the back legs are safely placed.
  • Insert the lubricated rubber tip thermometer up to 1 inch. That is done only when the guinea pig is in a relaxed state.
    • The anus should be adequately located before insertion.
    • It is just below the tail, behind the urogenital opening.
    • The anus will move inwards when you touch it with the thermometer.

Don’t stress your guinea pig

Make your guinea pig feel comfortable by conversing with it on a regular basis. It is necessary to hold a guinea pig securely so that it does not jump, kick, or injure its own body.

If the guinea pig is feeling uneasy, gently support its back by placing it in the belly position as described above. Do not overstress your guinea pig; instead, wait until it is relaxed before trying again. Still, if you are unable to do so, you should consider taking it to a veterinarian for evaluation.

The inner part of the rectum and colon is delicate and soft, so don’t put too much effort into measuring the temperature there. These components are extremely vulnerable to being damaged. Instead, make an effort to alter the situation.

Considerations

It is often discussed that while measuring temperature placing the guinea pig on its back can be harmful to your pet.

As the guinea pig is already under some stress and must be having poor blood circulation, placing it on its back can be fatal. You may better take it to a veterinarian, as they are trained to handle such situations.

Keep a watch on the ear’s temperature. It should not be too hot or cold. If There is abnormal temperature, along with other symptoms, then don’t ignore it.

Although the ear’s temperature does not specify the exact body temperature, ear temperature coupled with other symptoms gives an idea of any uneasiness of the guinea pig.

There is another to measure the temperature, wrap the guinea pig in a towel or small blanket in a manner that only it back is hanging out. Place it on the edge of a table so that its temperature can be measured from below.

It is good to take the help of another person in this step, where you hold your pet, and the other person can do the job of measuring the temperature.

Guinea pig has cold ears and isn’t eating

Guinea pigs have a voracious appetite for chewing on anything and everything. When a guinea pig refuses to eat, unlike other animals such as dogs and cats, it indicates that there is an emergency. If your guinea pig is not eating and has cold ears, you should consult a veterinarian.

Guinah pigs commonly suffer from ileus, which is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes them to lose their appetite.

A situation arises when the guinea pigs are incapable of pushing the food through their digestive tracts as a result of their inability to perform peristaltic movement in their small intestine. Ileus is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can prove fatal.

Cause of ileus in guinea pigs

Ileus is caused due to many reasons. Few among them are:

  • Enlarged teeth
  • Dental infection
  • Accumulation of pus in any part of body
  • Neural disorder, like E. Cuniculi
  • Parasitic infection in intestines
  • External parasitic infection
  • Sore hocks or Pododermatitis
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Environment changes and stress
  • Respiratory Infection
  • Tumors
  • Poisoning
  • Organ failure or malfunctioning
  • Infectious Disease

Ileus signs and symptoms in guinea pigs

One should look for the following symptoms to confirm whether it is suffering from ileus when the guinea pig refuses to eat:

  • Abnormal growth of front teeth. Easily noticeable, lift the lips.
  • Tumors or pus formation. Check for any pus accumulation or lump formation.
  • Running nose or eyes. It is easily recognized as the guinea pig often uses its front paw to clean the face. So check whether the front paw is dirty from the nasal release.

Check the nasal drainage is forming condensation by bringing a mirror in front of the nose.

Often it is not clear whether guinea pigs are refusing to eat. In such cases, when you cannot confirm the abnormal eating habits, check for the following:

  • Any change in the composition of feces, like watery, sticky, etc.
  • Reduced poop or no poop at all.
  • Change in the shape, size of feces
  • Loss in weight
  • Not eating its favorite dish
  • Teeth grinding
  • Reduced activity or being lethargic
  • Leaving behind the food uneaten and gradual increase in it.

Ileus Home care

Sometimes environmental changes also cause stress to the guinea pigs. Revert the same conditions and give the food of their choice.

It becomes necessary to visit a veterinarian, if the guinea pig is not having food even for a day, it might be in a critical condition and may end up losing its life. Home treatment is advisable only when it is not having food for a few hours.

You should consult your veterinarian over the phone before giving any home treatment to your guinea pig.

The following steps are followed for home treatment:

  • Mixed veggie baby food: You need to push the food into the guinea pig, consider using a syringe if necessary to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract. As the absence of peristaltic movement in the intestines for more extended periods can cause the formation of gas. That may cause severe pain.
  • Massage and exercise: After feeding the guinea pig, massage their belly to stimulate the gastrointestinal movement. Use is also recommended.
  • Increased water intake: Provide the guinea pig with clean water to drink in a bowl. You can also feed the water through a syringe or give it wet vegetables. An electrolyte solution is also considered beneficial for the guinea pig.
  • Diet: Check whether the guinea pig is eating food, even though in small quantities. If yes, then provide it with food having a high content of water and fiber-like lettuce and celery. Adding good quality, hay, is also good for the stomach. Pellets should be avoided.

Visit your veterinarian if the guinea pig is still avoiding food.

Ileus Diagnostics and treatment

Fluids or other forms of hydration are provided to the guinea pigs as part of standard treatment procedures. Aside from that, pain medication and gas production medication are administered.

The guinea pigs are force-fed with veterinary-grade products to ensure that they remain healthy. That will provide adequate nutrition for a healthy lifestyle and the regulation of bodily functions.

It is necessary to determine the underlying cause of the loss of appetite. Your veterinarian may also request a few routine tests, such as urine tests, blood tests, fecal test and dental examination, in addition to the physical examination. In this case, tests are performed due to the fact that appetite loss can be caused by a variety of factors.

Sometimes tests cannot be performed due to the guinea pig’s poor health or a lack of financial resources.

The illness is then treated more aggressively with fluids and medication in order to overcome it. However, the problem recurs because the underlying cause may still be present in the body.

How to prevent loss of appetite in guinea pigs

Preventative medicine is preferable to curative medicine. A healthy environment, such as a clean and hygienic cage, decreases the likelihood of parasitic infection. They are able to control the growth of teeth through the use of proper dental care.

Guinea pigs should be provided with plenty of clean drinking water, as well as leafy vegetables and hays to chew on. This contributes to the guinea pig’s increased dietary intake.

The guinea pig benefits from stress reduction measures such as providing a comfortable environment with controlled temperature and other factors.

Conclusion:

Guinea pigs require regular examinations to ensure that they are in good health. They are extremely sensitive to changes in their surrounding environment.

Cold ears should not be ignored, even though they are able to adapt to colder conditions by lowering their internal temperature.

Cold ears, in conjunction with other symptoms, indicate that the guinea pig is experiencing some discomfort. A condition of this nature necessitates immediate medical attention. The guinea pigs’ inability to recognize such occurrences can be fatal.

The temperature of the body should be checked on a regular basis to help diagnose the illness. A careful approach is required when measuring body temperature because guinea pigs may injure themselves as a result of the procedure.

In the case of medication, the diagnosis and treatment of the disease are included. The cause of the illness should also be investigated in order to avoid a recurrence of such occurrences in the future.

Putting stress on guinea pigs can lead to illness, which is why it is important to avoid doing so.

Their living environment should be comfortable, and their living quarters should be clean and sanitary. They are extremely vulnerable to the effects of high temperatures. Take care to ensure that they are not exposed to excessive heat.

Guinea pigs may be suffering from a gastrointestinal disorder, which could result in a loss of appetite in the animals.

As a result, whenever someone complains of a loss of appetite, take their body temperature and look for other symptoms. If the condition does not improve after a few days, consult your veterinarian.