I recommend that you learn about common health issues in guinea pigs so that if you notice any of these symptoms, you will be able to recognize them and treat them as soon as possible.
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Is it common for Guinea Pigs to have health problems?
Guinea pigs are small, adorable little animals that can make wonderful family pets if they are given the proper care and attention.
However, despite the fact that they are hardy and easy to care for, they are still susceptible to some common diseases, some of which can be life-threatening if not dealt with correctly and promptly.
Let us take a look at some of the most common diseases that affect guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Illnesses That Are Common
An Infection of the Respiratory System in Guinea Pigs
When it comes to guinea pigs kept as pets, pneumonia is one of the most common diseases to be encountered. Most disturbing of all, guinea pigs are known to be a healthy carrier of the pneumococcal virus. This means that the bacteria can remain in their system for an extended period of time.
In nature, these bacteria are opportunistic, which means that they remain active and infect susceptible animals, multiply, and cause disease when the conditions are favorable for their growth.
Young, nursing guinea pigs, as well as those who are already ill with another disease or who are under a lot of stress, are easy prey for this bacteria to prey on.
Symptoms of Respiratory Infection in Guinea Pigs include the following:
- not eating enough food
- Discharge from eyes and nose
- sneezing and troubled breathing
Treatment Of Respiratory Infection In Guinea Pigs :
Ocular discharge (eye discharge) should be collected for examination in order to determine which bacteria is causing the problem and therefore which antibiotic should be prescribed. If your guinea pig appears to be in severe discomfort, it is recommended that you take him to the veterinarian for intensive care.
Diarrhea in guinea pigs is a common occurrence.
Guinea pigs have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, which contains a relatively large amount of beneficial bacteria that aids in their digestion and allows them to live longer lives. If due to frequent change in diet or any other bacterial infection the good bacteria is off balanced then it may lead to severe health problems like painful gas, slow digestion, intestinal tract damage, diarrhea and in severe cases it can also be life-threatening.
The most common causes of diarrhea are a frequent change in diet, a low-quality diet, or a bacterial infection caused by Cryptosporidium and Coccidia, among other things. Certain antibiotics available at pet stores can also cause diarrhea in some people. As a result, we should only use medications that have been prescribed by a veterinarian.
Symptoms of Guinea Pig Diarrhea include the following:
- Loss of diet
- Low body temperature
- Loose and watery stool
- Dull and depressed appearance
Treatment Of Diarrhea In Guinea Pigs:
For the treatment of diarrhea, the veterinarian will first inquire about your guinea pig’s eating habits and history. Aside from that, your guinea pig’s stool and blood sample will be examined by the veterinarian to determine the source of the diarrhea.
Once the cause of your guinea pig’s diarrhea has been identified, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics for your pet. It is also possible that some dietary modifications will be made for the sake of expediting the recovery process.
Guinea Pigs Suffering From Scurvy (Vitamin C Deficiency)
Scurvy is one of the most common diseases in guinea pigs, and it affects them in a variety of ways. Vitamin C deficiency in our guinea pigs’ diets is the underlying cause of this disease, according to our research. Nutritional supplementation with vitamin C is essential for the overall development of skin, joints, mucous surfaces such as gums, and eyes. It also aids in the rapid recovery from any wounds or diseases that may occur.
The fact that Guinea pigs cannot synthesize Vitamin C, as opposed to other animals, means that they require a diet high in Vitamin C in order to meet their nutritional requirements on a daily basis. On average, a guinea pig may require anywhere from 10 to 50 milligrams of Vitamin C per day. Now, the actual requirement may vary depending on their age, health, and whether or not they are nursing, so you must keep an eye on it.
Symptoms of Scurvy in Guinea Pigs include the following:
- Enlarged and Stiff limb joints resulting in difficulty in walking
- Lethargy and unwillingness to move
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Discharge from eyes and nose
- Bleeding gums and skin
Treatment Of Scurvy In Guinea Pigs:
To begin, your veterinarian will examine the diet that your guinea pig is currently eating. His other duties may include performing a diagnosis on your guinea pigs, which may include looking for bleeding joints or other symptoms, in order to determine the best course of action for your guinea pigs. He may also perform a blood test to determine your vitamin C levels and then recommend a course of treatment based on the results of the test.
It is recommended that you give your guinea pig an additional Vitamin C supplement, either in the form of a medicine or by directly injecting it into their body by a qualified veterinarian, as part of their treatment. In some cases, depending on the diagnosis, we might need to supplement the vitamin for 1-2 weeks.
You can also increase the intake of Vitamin C by providing your guinea pigs with high-quality pellets that have been fortified with vitamin C or by putting a vitamin C supplement in their water bowl. Adding a water supplement should be the last resort because it has the potential to backfire and cause your guinea pig to stop drinking water due to the unpleasant taste.
Including some vegetables, such as bell peppers, or fruits, such as oranges, kiwis, and other citrus fruits, may be beneficial because they contain a significant amount of Vitamin C.
Guinea Pigs Develop Tumors
Tumors are yet another common disease found in guinea pigs over the age of 4-5 years that must be treated. After the age of four to five, one out of every five guinea pigs develops some form of tumor, according to a recent study. Not all tumors are life-threatening; for example, while one type of tumor known as benign is harmless to guinea pigs, the other type of tumor known as malignant is lethal to them both.
It has been discovered that guinea pigs that have been interbred are more prone to developing tumors than those that have not.
Tumors of the skin and mammary glands are the most common types of tumors in guinea pigs. It is recommended that you consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of tumor in guinea pigs because it is easier to treat in the early stages and more difficult to treat later on in the disease.
Symptoms Of Tumors In Guinea Pigs:
- Rough and messed up hair coat
- Lumps appearing in different parts of the body
- Enlarged liver
- Lack of appetite
- Troubled breathing
- Hair loss or patches in parts of the body
- Blood in urine
Treatment Of Tumors In Guinea Pigs:
The veterinarian may examine your guinea pigs’ past medical records and diet in order to determine the type of tumor they have. A thorough examination of the affected area may be performed if there are any visible signs of a tumor such as hair loss, lumps, or other symptoms. This will help them determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant. Additionally, the doctor may order an X-ray, blood test, and other tests to determine if there is any effect of the medication on the internal organs as well.
A benign tumor can be removed with a small surgery or left alone, depending on your preference, whereas a malignant tumor requires immediate medication and treatment to prevent the tumor from spreading.
Although, in the case of skin tumors, doctors will perform surgery to remove the tumor cell if it is viable and the tumor cell itself. However, if the tumor is close to a vital organ and disturbing it could be dangerous, it may be difficult to save your guinea pig’s life in this situation. The majority of the time, the guinea pigs die within a few weeks of the onset of the symptoms in these situations.
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Abscesses in Guinea Pigs
Abscesses are also a common disease in guinea pigs, and they are caused by a variety of factors. Their appearance is similar to swollen wounds that are suffocating with pus and bacteria. Skin, muscle, teeth, bones, and internal organs are all susceptible to infection.
In the majority of cases, it is treatable quickly and effectively. Just make sure you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you notice any signs of the disease.
Symptoms Of Abscesses In Guinea Pigs:
- Lump in the skin filled with pus
- Bad breath and excessive saliva from the mouth
- Pain in the body, May squeak out loud when we try to hold them
- Lethargic and unwillingness to move
- Swelling of the face
- Loss of appetite
Treatment Of Abscesses In Guinea Pigs:
The treatment of abscesses will be determined by the size and type of sores that have developed.. Although the veterinarian will perform a complete blood test to determine how long it has been present and whether or not the guinea pig’s body is capable of withstanding the stress. When determining the age of abscesses, it is usually helpful to examine the white blood cells in the patient’s blood.
Usually, if an abscess is formed as a result of a bite or a puncture, antibiotics are administered as soon as possible, and, if necessary, the abscesses are removed through minor surgery. Any type of skin abscess can be treated in the same way, by opening it and cleaning it thoroughly.
Abscesses in the mouth, on the other hand, can be extremely difficult to treat. In a short period of time, it can fill with pus and obstruct the air passage as well as other vital organs, resulting in a painful death.
Guinée pigs that have developed abscesses in their mouths are typically kept in intensive care and treated in a veterinary clinic until they have made a significant improvement.
Guinea Pigs Develop Bladder Stones
Guinea pigs are prone to the development of bladder stones due to their genetic makeup. The kidneys and ureters (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) are also susceptible to developing the disease. One of the primary causes of these stones is a high calcium content in the diet of the individuals who suffer from them.
The stones may become lodged in the ureters or urethra, resulting in a potentially life-threatening situation for the individual. According to a study, female guinea pigs are more likely than male guinea pigs to develop stones in their intestines. Guinea pigs can be protected against this condition by providing them with a nutritious diet.
Guinea pigs typically develop stones as a result of the calcification of oxalate and other minerals in their bodies.
Symptoms Of Bladder Stones In Guinea Pigs:
- Blood in urine, Or white gritty spots when urine dries up.
- Difficulty while urinating
- Lethargic and less prone to move
- Loss in appetite
Treatment Of Bladder Stones In Guinea Pigs:
For the most part, a veterinarian can confirm the presence of a bladder stone through the use of an X-ray or ultrasound. If stones are discovered, a minor surgical procedure is performed to remove them. If you request it, a detailed analysis of the composition of the stones can be carried out later to determine the possible cause of formation, so that it can be avoided in the future if possible.
Another way to avoid stone formation is to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. Dietary components of the Guinea Pig diet should include high-quality hay, leafy green vegetables and fruits, as well as some timothy-based pellets fortified with vitamin C.
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Is it necessary to take guinea pigs to the veterinarian?
Yes, even if your Guinea pigs are in good health, you should take them to the vet every three months or so.
You should consult with your veterinarian if you notice any abnormalities in the behavior of your guinea pigs, or if they show any signs of illness or disease.
In addition, many people take their guinea pigs to the vet to have their nails clipped, their dental health checked, and to have their guinea pigs checked over all for health issues.
Do guinea pigs require Rabies vaccinations?
No, because guinea pigs are not susceptible to the rabies virus, they do not require rabies vaccinations in the same way that dogs and other pets do.
Also, guinea pigs are caged animals, and there will be little chances of the interaction of your guinea pigs with other animals, so chances of being infected with rabies virus are little to none.