Getting to know signs of sickness in your guinea pig is going to help make sure that your pet stays happy and healthy. We did not know what to watch out for at first but with research we were able to help ensure we knew what to watch out for. So we hope we can help you start out with more knowledge than we did.
A healthy guinea pig should have a dry nose clear of drainage and repeated sneezing. Any moisture around the nose or repeated sneezing can be signs that your guinea pig is sick and you should consult your veteriant for a proper course of action.
What Are The Signs Of A Healthy Guinea Pig?
There are many ways to tell that your guinea pig is healthy. You must spend time with your guinea pig daily, and examine them closely during this time so that you will know what they are like during healthy times. This will make it easier for you to know when something is wrong and just not right with your little pet.
Look for these signs in your guinea pig when healthy so you will notice a difference when something is wrong.
- EYES: The eyes should be bright, focused, clear, and alert to you.
- NOSE: The nose should be dry and clean.
- TEETH: Should be light yellow and line up well, and not so long as to start curving or misalignment.
- MOUTH: Clean and dry without drooling.
- EAR: Should be clean and dry.
- COAT: The coat should be thick, well-groomed, and clean.
- SKIN: The skin should be pink and smooth, free of sores, scratches, and red splotchy patches.
- FEET: The nails should be kept shorter, The bottoms of the feet should be soft, smooth, and free of sores.
- BEHINDS: Should be clean and dry.
- A good appetite and plenty of water consumption.
- Active and playful, alert to what is going on around them.
These are the signs of a healthy guinea pig. As you spend time with your pet you will know their normal level of food and water intake, their body structure, and weight, you will also know how active they are. You will be able to spot the differences and know when there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
How Do You Tell If Your Guinea Pig Has A Cold?
If you have a cold be sure to keep your distance from your guinea pig, as they are susceptible to catching it from you.
If your guinea pig has a discharge from the nose and a persistent sneeze. Make sure to keep them warm and have plenty of water available. If this condition continues for more than a few days you will want to get your pet to a vet. They are prone to getting pneumonia and other respiratory problems which will need treatment from the vet.
If you get a cold and are the sole provider for your guinea pig. Be sure to wash well any exposed areas with soap. Put on rubber or latex gloves, and a face mask before washing your guinea pigs’ fresh food, changing the water, and adding new hay. And even while changing the bedding.
Continue To use precaution for about 2 weeks. You are contagious for this period of time. Monitor your guinea pig from afar during this time to know if he has caught your cold. You will want to know as soon as possible so you can watch for signs that it is worsening.
What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Sneezes
A sneeze alone doesn’t mean that your guinea pig is sick. Just like you, a sneeze may simply be clearing out a particle of dust that has become irritating. Since there is dust in their hay, bedding and even in their pellets it is easy to see how they may get some dust that would be bothersome now and then, say 3-4 times a day is normal.
There is always the possibility that your perfume or cologne has irritated his sense of smell. Maybe the bedding has perfume in it. Are you using fleece liners? Maybe it is the detergent you used. There are a number of reasons that your guinea pig might squeak out a kaa-chooo.
If there is no running discharge from the nose and the breathing is quiet and unlabored then all is well. At this point, you can rest assured that a sneeze was just a sneeze and has no harsh underlying problems.
Guinea Pig Health What To Look Out For
Keeping track of their daily consumption of food and water so you will know if it changes rapidly. A rapid decrease in the water or food intake can be an indication of a health problem.
If they are drooling and are not eating well it is an indication of a problem with the teeth. They may just need to be ground down some. However, it may have reached a point that it is more serious. Get your guinea pig to the vet immediately.
If the eyes are draining, it could be a simple scratch on the cornea from hay. It could be something more and will need to be addressed by your vet. There are antibiotics eye drops to help with scratches and infections.
If your guinea pig has a dirty unkempt or patchy coat or has scratches or rod splotches on the skin. Then there is a possibility that they have a parasite infestation. Your vet can check them and diagnose the parasite and start their treatment.
A runny nose or persistent sneezing can be an indication of a cold. If they also have a wheezing or grumbling in their breathing, or their breathing is labored they need to see a vet as colds can easily turn to pneumonia. If left untreated for a few days they may end up with damage to their lungs that is permanent.
Make sure that their behinds are not staying moist. This will cause urinary infections. It can also attract flies that will lay their eggs In the damp area. This is called flystrike and is potentially fatal. Be sure to keep the cage clean and check their bottoms regularly.
Bumblefoot is when the bottoms of the feet get sore. This can be caused by having bedding that is to rough on the feet. Changing to a softer bedding may be just the thing to help.
Guinea pigs need a diet that has extra vitamin C. They cannot produce any vitamin C on their own so they need to consume it. Without vitamin, C added to their diet they are prone to getting Scurvy.
As a rule, guinea pigs are easy to care for and rarely get sick. If you give them the proper food, water, and a clean area to live in. Of course, the more pets you have and especially those that go in and out the more at risk all your pets are. All of this can be discussed with your vet.
Guinea pigs are good at hiding problems, part of this is because they are naturally prey animals. So you will want to monitor them and once a problem does show, get them to the vet rapidly.
Be sure to spend time getting to know your guinea pigs so you will know if there are changes that need to be addressed. Make sure to have yearly vet visits so you can keep track of any changes and know what to expect in the coming year.