We will earn a commission on purchases through the links mentioned here. This in no way affects our recommendations and they are based on research. Read more
A guinea pig owner should be concerned if his or her guinea pigs start producing unusual noises while breathing or start coughing out of the blue. The majority of pet owners are perplexed as to why their guinea pig is coughing. Is it possible that they are ill? Is it a reaction to something? As a result, I decided to conduct some study, and the following is what I discovered.Guinea pigs cough when there is inflammation in their windpipes, which causes them to gag. Strong odor, eating too quickly, foreign particles in the nasal canal, and an upper respiratory infection are all probable causes of this condition. Coughing on occasion can be disregarded, but coughing on a consistent basis necessitates emergency medical attention.Inguinal coughing can be caused by anything from a mild allergy to gulping food. It can also be caused by more serious respiratory disorders in the guinea pig.As a result, we must identify the underlying cause of coughing and treat it as needed to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition.


Do guinea pigs cough?

According to research conducted on guinea pigs,

Causing coughing in guinea pigs is a defensive mechanism for the airway, and coughing is a defense mechanism in humans as well.

If guinea pigs have an accumulation of foreign material in their airway, they will cough in order to consume the substance and clear the air passage.

Coughing that is irritating and nonproductive and that is caused by a variety of environmental variables and diseases, including inflammatory reactions, requires rapid medical attention because it has the potential to be life-threatening for our guinea pigs.

Example: If your guinea pig begins to cough and tilt his or her head, this indicates that the animal is having difficulties breathing and need quick attention.

However, if they were chewing on their favorite vegetable and coughed once or twice, it could be because the food became trapped in their throat and they were unable to vomit, so they attempted to dislodge it by pushing it in, resulting in the coughing sounds.

What does guinea pig coughing sound like?

Even though it can be tough to describe a sound into words, I’ll try my best here.

Coughing from a Guinea pig sounds similar to a quick choking noise. It sounds more like a human coughing, but it is only a few seconds long.

Coughing that is followed by a sneeze or wheezing sound may signal that the patient is having difficulty breathing. As a result, emergency medical attention is required.

Why would a guinea pig cough?

Coughing in guinea pigs is a very uncommon occurrence. Some guinea pigs, on the other hand, cough while they eat because they are impatient with their food and like to consume it quickly, which results in a momentary coughing sound after they have swallowed.

Another reason for coughing can be caused by a variety of different circumstances. For effective coughing treatment to work, it is vital that the source of the coughing be identified.

Consequently, let us have a look at some of the most common reasons of coughing in the guinea pig, such as:

  • Eating or drinking too fast can obstruct the windpipe and thus you guinea pigs will try to push the food or water in and ends up making such noises
  • Irritation in the windpipe caused by dust, allergens, fumes, odor, etc. can also lead to some coughing. These usually happen when we use dusty bedding or hay, scented floor cleaners or fleece detergents, etc.
  • An upper respiratory infection can also be the cause. Sometimes it also leads to pneumonia where the lungs get filled with watery discharge leading to serious health complications.
  • If there is a Nasal passage blockage due to foreign objects, then this requires a thorough vet examination followed by treatment to clear the obstruction. For example, a piece of cardboard gets stuck in the nasal passage, etc.

Guinea pig coughing a lot

Coughing in guinea pigs is not a common occurrence. Coughing fits are widespread among them as a result of their eating habits as well as environmental irritants such as dust and fumes.

However, if they are coughing a lot, it could be a warning of more serious health problems in the future.

Some of the most frequent health concerns that can cause severe coughing in guinea pigs include upper respiratory infections and pneumonia, to name a few.

How often do guinea pigs cough?

If your guinea pigs cough when eating or drinking, or if they cough once or twice a day, you can safely disregard the coughing behavior.

If, on the other hand, your guinea pigs exhibit additional indicators of disease in addition to the cough, you should be concerned and look into the origin of the illness further.

Should I be concerned about my guinea pig coughing?

If your guinea pigs cough once in a while, you should not be too concerned about it. It is possible that it is caused by an allergy or irritant, just as it is in humans.

If, on the other hand, your guinea pig is constantly coughing and exhibiting other indicators of a respiratory condition, you should be concerned about their health.

Some of the frequent signs that you should be on the lookout for are as follows:

  • Labored breathing: If they are breathing less than 30 breathes every minute.
  • Breathing fast: If they are breathing more than 60 breathes every minute.
  • Tilting their head: Struggling to breathe.
  • Discharge from nose and mouth: Could be a sign of infection.
  • Wheezing noises: Continuous wheezing sound is a sign of severe distress.
  • Lethargy: Accompanied by hiding a lot.
  • Not willing to eat or drink: Severe case of URI can have similar symptoms. Needs immediate medical help.

Guinea pig coughing after eating or drinking

Generally speaking, coughing after eating or drinking indicates that your guinea pig attempted to consume the food or liquids at a faster rate than necessary.

Because guinea pigs are unable to vomit food, they must absorb it. As they attempt to push the food down their throats, they make a sound that is akin to coughing.

If they cough every now and again, you shouldn’t be too concerned about it too.

However, sometimes guinea pigs find themselves in a precarious scenario when they gulp down a large chunk of food and it becomes lodged in their throat.

If you notice them struggling to breathe and coughing constantly after eating, it is best to take them to an emergency vet very once.

Guinea pig coughing and sneezing

Guinea pigs do not contract the flu or a cold in the same way that humans do.

Then there’s the possibility of them having an Upper Respiratory Infection if they exhibit flu-like symptoms such as coughing and sneezing on a regular basis, which is a distinct possibility.

URI is a life-threatening health issue that can only be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor or veterinarian.

In this case, taking your guinea pigs to an exotic vet in your area is the best option for you.

Guinea pig coughing when picked up

When you pick up some guinea pigs, they produce a coughing or sneezing noise, which you should ignore (a rare problem).

It’s possible that they are reacting to anything you’ve worn because they are allergic to it.

It could be anything as simple as a scent or your body moisturizer, or something more complex. Because of their highly sensitive sense of smell, guinea pigs are extremely susceptible to being offended.

Consequently, when handling your guinea pigs, make certain that you determine the source of the problem and eliminate it in order to avoid any complications.

Guinea pig constantly coughing

The likelihood that your guinea pig has a foreign object lodged in their throat is high, especially if they are coughing all of the time.

They are attempting to resolve the situation. Last time that happened to one of my guinea pigs, one of the broccoli leaves got lodged in his intestine and he died.

It took her around 15 minutes until she coughed it up and swallowed the rest of the pill.

Even if they are able to empty it out on their own within 10-15 minutes, you may need to take them to an emergency veterinarian right away.

Guinea pig coughing no other symptoms

Coughing and no other symptoms in your guinea pigs indicate that they have experienced an allergic reaction. This could be the source of the problem..

Keep an eye out for any allergies in their immediate area. The most likely culprit is a dusty bag of hay, dusty bedding, or dust in the air around the room, among other things.

Maintaining a healthy and clean living environment, using good quality bedding (avoid pine or wood shaving), and providing top quality hay to your guinea pigs can all help to prevent this from happening.

How to get rid of guinea pig cough?

The treatment of cough in guinea pigs is dependent on the underlying cause of the condition.

Unless the coughing is caused by excessive drinking or eating, there’s not much we can do to stop it, and you shouldn’t be too concerned about it.

However, there are a few steps you may do to avoid coughing and get rid of the condition:

  • Clean the cage regularly: Cleaning the cage daily can help prevent waste buildup as excess waste raises the ammonia level, which leads to respiratory problems in guinea pigs.
  • Use good quality bedding and food: Using good quality bedding is essential to prevent health issues. If the bedding is not super absorbent, then guinea pigs might remain wet for an extended period. Such living conditions harbor a lot of bacteria and also lead to serious health problems.
  • Avoid using scented cleaning supplies: Using floor cleaners or scented cleaning agents while washing your guinea pigs cage or cage accessories can also lead to irritation in them. Thus use only non-scented products for cleaning the cage.
  • Slice vegetables into small pieces: Large slices of vegetables can get stuck in the windpipe of our guinea pigs. It can also lead to choking and coughing in guinea pigs. Thus, slicing the vegetable to appropriate size is crucial.
  • Placement of the cage: Placing a cage near a window or door can lead to temperature fluctuations as the air passes through the drafts in them. Make sure your guinea pig is kept at a place where there is no direct sunlight, and the temperature is stable throughout.
  • Consult a professional Vet: It is crucial to consult a vet if you see any sign of illness in your guinea pigs. Guinea pig’s health can deteriorate in no time leading to life-threatening conditions. Thus, taking good care of them is really important.