14 Guinea Pig Illnesses and their symptoms

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The most Common Guinea Pig Illnesses and symptoms

the guinea pig diseases and their symptoms

You must absolutely know about Guinea Pig Diseases and the symptoms if you have one, here are the most common ones and the signs you should always pay attention to when checking the health of your piggies.

There are quite a few illnesses that affect a guinea pig, but many are rarely seen. What follows is a list of the most common health problems in pet guinea pigs today and some of their symptoms , so you could quickly recognize them in time before they get more serious .

1-Abscesses

Abscesses are bacterial infections that result from a puncture wound of some kind.

If your guinea pig has cut herself on something or has had a fight with another pet ( this is common if you have more than one , the same gender , in the same cage ) , she ( he) may develop an abscess at the site of the injury.

You will recognize an abscess by its round appearance, usually accompanied by a pus discharge.

Your veterinarian will need to treat your guinea pig with antibiotics to help her fight off the infection.

2-Anal or Fecal Impaction

Older or “unurtured” male guinea pigs sometimes suffer from a condition known  as anal impaction (Females and younger, neutered males can also develop this problem, although it is not common.)

This condition is caused by a weakness in the muscles of the anus, making it difficult for the cavy to pass fecal and cecal pellets.

Cavies with this problem have a hard lump around the rectal area, are producing little or no feces, and begin to lose condition over time.

If you suspect this problem in your guinea pig, take him immediately to a veterinarian.

3-Bladder Stones

Some guinea pigs have a propensity to develop stones in their bladder.

The signs of this problem include blood in the urine and squeaking while urinating and defecating.

If left untreated, bladder stones can result in death. If you see signs of this condition in your guinea pig, seek veterinary care immediately.

4-Constipation/Diarrhea

Difficulty in defecating (constipation) or very loose stools (diarrhea) can be the result of poor diet or an illness (too many greens are a common cause of diarrhea).

Symptoms of constipation are straining to defecate, lack of feces.

Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for treating any health problem in your pet distended abdomen, and lethargy.

Diarrhea is usually detected by loose or runny stools and a dirty bottom.

Your veterinarian will need to determine what is causing the problem in either case, so it can be treated.

5-Flies

Flies can be dangerous to outdoor guinea pigs.

They often lay their eggs on a guinea pig’s soiled rectal area, leaving maggots to burrow into the skin and feed on the animal’s flesh.

Flies can be kept at bay by ensuring that both your guinea pig’s cage and her fur are kept clean.

If flies do lay eggs on your guinea pig, contact a veterinarian for assistance.

6-Heat Prostration

Guinea pigs are very susceptible to overheating.

When the weather is hot, keep a close eye on your pet.

Signs of heat prostration include a stretched out posture, panting, rapid breathing, and slobbering.

If you find your guinea pig in this state, move her to a cool place out of the sun and put a cold, wet towel around her body, or bathe her in cool water.

Heat prostration is an emergency situation.

Contact your veterinarian immediately.

7-Lice

Lice are a common problem for guinea pigs. These tiny, wingless insects live in the hair of infested guinea pigs. Many pet guinea pigs suffer from light infestations of lice that is not obvious to their owners. 

If the infestation becomes heavy, however, the guinea pig will begin to scratch and lose hair, and scabs may form on the skin.

If you suspect your guinea pig has lice, take her to a veterinarian for diagnosis.

Since guinea pig lice are easily spread to other guinea pigs (but not to people), it is best to keep your healthy pet from associating with other members of her species who may be contaminated.

8-Malocclusion

When a guinea pig’s front teeth do not wear down properly, the condition is known as malocclusion.

This problem is usually the result of teeth that are misaligned and is genetic.

Signs of malocclusion include overly long teeth, infections in the mouth,ulcerations on the lips or tongue, and difficulty eating.

This is a common problem in guinea pigs and must be handled by a veterinarian or the guinea pig will eventually die.

Treatment consists of a regular trimming of the teeth or unfortunately their complete removal to save your peggy.

9-Mites

Guinea pigs are susceptible to a specific mite called Trixacarus cavie.

This mite causes the guinea pig to lose patches of hair where the skin becomes red and scabby.

Severely infested guinea pigs will run around wildly and in circles.

Trixacarus Caviae mites are easily spread from one animal to another. Contact your veterinarian for help in treating this parasite.

10-Obesity

Veterinarians say obesity is a major health problem in guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs who are overweight are prone to a number of illnesses affecting their major organs.

The primary cause of obesity in guinea pigs is overfeeding pellets.

Guinea pigs who are obese should be placed on a special diet to help them get round and solid, as a guinea pig should be.

But overfeeding leads to obesity, which poses serious health risks, read this article if you want to know how to properly feeding your Piggies .

11-Respiratory Infections

Guinea pigs are prone to a number of viruses and bacteria that can cause respiratory infections.

Symptoms include sneezing, discharge from the nose and eyes, loss of appetite, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.

Prompt attention by a veterinarian is essential when a respiratory ailment is suspected.

12-Scurvy

Because guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C , they are prone to scurvy, a disease caused by a deficiency in vitamin C.

A guinea pig suffering from scurvy will have a poor appetite and swollen, painful joints and chest.

She/he will be reluctant to move and/or will bleed from the gums.

If scurvy is untreated, it can be fatal. A guinea pig with these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

13-Sore Hocks

Guinea pigs who live in a cage or hutch with a wire floor often develop sore hocks. This condition is typified by red, swollen skin on the hind legs, with accompanying hair loss. The guinea pig may also be reluctant to move.

A veterinarian will provide an antibiotic ointment for treatment, along with a recommendation for a change in flooring.

14-Worms

Roundworms and tapeworms, two parasites that commonly afflict dogs and cats, also prey on guinea pigs.

Symptoms of worm infestation include a distended abdomen, poor coat condition, and worms in the feces or near the anus. If you suspect your guinea pig has worms, contact your veterinarian.

Do not use an over-the-counter wormer intended for dogs or cats as this can kill your guinea pig.

Closing Remarks


Piggies are very sensitive pets emotionally as well as physically, you must continuously pay attention to your pet, scrutinize it to see if there is a change in behavior or physical problems signs of disease that you must treat without too much delay.

Generally, guinea pig diseases are curable if you detect them quickly and before they become serious, that’s why I recommend you to remember the symptoms I have mentioned in this article or to print them out , i mean , make and print the list of symptoms and stick the sheet next to the cage so that you can pay more attention to your guinea pig.

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