Why is my guinea pig Sneezing ?
Dust from hay, bedding or just the air or a blade of hay stuck in the nostril may be the reason your guinea pig sneezes, but if your guinea pig’s sneezes last over time and are accompanied by other symptoms such as half-closed eyes, runny nose or eyes, wheezing. …etc according to the veterinarian, this can be a sign of an allergy, a cold (Coryza) or a respiratory infection that you must treat without delay, let’s see it more closely.
1- “normal” sneezing in guinea pigs
Just like us, guinea pigs also sneeze when they suck up dust particles, fungus spores for example …etc.
The sneezes caused in this case are transient and last only a few moments, and are usually not accompanied by any other symptoms and as soon as the trigger is absent, the guinea pig stops sneezing and the causes of this sneezing may be:
- Dusty, damp hay or hay containing fungus spores.
- Volatile litter full of dust and small particles
- A wooden shelter that also shelters mushrooms you haven’t noticed.
- If you have just used a vacuum cleaner that has raised a bit of dust
- If you ventilate the room while the window looks onto a dusty road …etc…
As you can see, the triggers of a the passing sneeze are numerous, don’t worry in this case just try to avoid the triggers so that the sneezing of your guinea pig will stop.
How can I make my guinea pig stop sneezing?
Give hay that is free of dust and mold (buy hay in small quantities, store it in a dry place and close the hay bag after each use). You can also pat the haystack to get rid of small dust particles before giving it to your guinea pig.
Clean the cage more often and change the bedding of your guinea pigs more often because the smell of ammonia from too dirty and urine-soaked bedding can irritate the nostrils and eyes of your guinea pigs and they will also sneeze from it.
Be more careful when vacuuming the room where you put your guinea pig’s cage, take the cage out when cleaning or airing the room.
If your guinea pigs live in a hutch outside the house, check if the place is far from a source of dust, such as a road or a small piece of land full of dirt…etc.
Feed your piggies well especially during winter , don’t forget their Vitamins , C and A
2- Sneezing caused by a disease in guinea pigs
The second cause of a guinea pig’s sneezing can also be an infection of the upper respiratory tract if your guinea pig’s sneezing is frequent, the other causes that I mentioned above such as dust, are absent and especially if you notice one or more of the following symptoms in your guinea pig sneezing:
- The first sign is if your guinea pig sneezes several times in a row, the sneezes follow one another.
- Difficulty breathing and heavy breathing, the guinea pig breathes badly through the mouth in fact.
- The sneezing of your cavy is accompanied by coughing.
- You hear wheezing when he breathes.
- Eyes half closed
- A discharge from the cavy’s eyes
- A discharge from your guinea pig’s nose
- When your guinea pig breathes, you can even hear small noises emanating from its inside .
What are the probable causes of sneezing caused by an airway infection?
If your guinea pig suffers from a respiratory disease that causes sneezing, the causes of this disease can be varied but here are the most common:
A sudden change in temperature such as a severe chill if you ventilate the room very early in winter for example, or the opposite, the cause may be insufficient ventilation, if not excessive heat during the summer (above 25 ° C) or a cage exposed to drafts in the house or if you transport your guinea pig in the car for example.
- A source of stress, noise, a curious cat, children … etc…
- Overpopulation, too many guinea pigs in a small space.
- Ammonia fermentation (poorly absorbent or insufficiently renewed bedding) can also cause respiratory disease in your guinea pig.
- Nutritional deficiencies especially in vitamin C and vitamin A, pay special attention to vitamin C.
Allergies can cause your guinea pig to sneeze
Just like us, the guinea pigs can have allergies, to dust but not only that, it could be:
Detergents and cleaning products that you use to clean its cage or even the room.
The litter of your guinea pig or any other element in its cage
Aerosols, perfumes, air purifiers and lotions … it is especially necessary to be very careful with aerosols, because the guinea pig is very sensitive to aerosols which can cause a respiratory crisis in less than a minute and can become mortal in 2 or 3 minutes only.
The allergens that could cause cavy’s sneezing are numerous and if your vet tells you that it is an allergy that your guinea pig suffers, you will have to replace one by these elements that are in direct contact with your pet to know which one of them causes and provokes an allergic reaction on the part of your guinea pig and causes sneezing.
What are the signs of respiratory disease in guinea pigs?
I did a little research and came back to you with the signs you can see in your guinea pig if its sneezing is caused by a respiratory disease (Bordetella bronchiseptica and Streptococcus pneumoniae are most often involved) that you must treat as soon as possible, so here are the signs you should check for in your guinea pig when it sneezes:
1- The symptoms of Rhinitis in a sneezing guinea pig
If your guinea pig sneezes discreetly, but it also has a cough, a runny nose, trembling and conjunctivitis, the cough in this case would be more consequent than the sneezing which will be more discreet but they do not stop.
You will also notice a tearing due to an obstruction of the nasal passages and the appearance of scabs on the nostrils of your guinea pig.
Bring your guinea pig quickly to the vet, he will prescribe antibiotics, if not his condition could be complicated by pneumopathy or otitis.
2- Signs of Pneumonia or bronchopneumonia
If your guinea pig’s sneezing is caused by pneumonia, your animal will become apathetic, anorexic, and its general state will deteriorate rapidly (weight loss, pricked hair, digestive transit stop) and if you can measure its temperature, you will see that it is around 40°C.
You must take your guinea pig to an emergency vet in this case if you want to save it.
3- Coryza or the guinea pig cold
This disease can also cause sneezing in guinea pigs. The cause of coryza is most often Bordetellosis, you will also notice that your guinea pig has a runny nose, and it blows its nose.
You will also notice that your guinea pig has a runny nose, and it blows. You will also notice that you have a discharge around the nostrils, often liquid and watery at the beginning and purulent in chronic cases.
Conjunctivitis is observed in early cases.
If you are wondering what would be the cause of Coryza or your guinea pig’s cold in order to avoid it in the future, know that the draught is often the cause especially in winter.
Be sure to cover your guinea pig’s cage every time you want to open the windows to ventilate the room.
Also avoid sudden and rapid changes in temperature, take your guinea pig out of its cage and put it directly on a cold floor … etc…
The veterinarian will usually give your guinea pig two injections, an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory, and as far as natural remedies are concerned, some guinea pig owners use natural remedies to relieve their guinea pig before they can take it to a veterinarian. Here is one of them:
Sneezing because of cold , natural remedies for piggies
First , You can make him smell a chamomile tea would be effective or make him smell some eucalyptus essential oil.
Or , While waiting to take him to the veterinarian, here is a thyme-based home remedy that can help your guinea pig if he suffers from colds and sneezes, coughs and shows other signs.
Thyme will stimulate the immunity of your guinea pig (it is a natural antibiotic), help its organism to fight against fatigue and stop respiratory tract infections.
How to prepare it for your guinea pig:
Put a few sprigs of thyme in a cup, pour 20cl of hot water over it and let it infuse for half an hour (30 minutes).
Then let the infusion cool down and add 1.5 ml of liquid vitamin C.
Mix it well. Suck 2 ml of this preparation with a syringe and give directly into the mouth of your pet.
To make morning, noon and evening during 3 days, repeat this preparation every day, do not keep this remedy over than 24 hours .
PS : If you notice that this remedy has no effect on your guinea pig after the first day, take him to see his veterinarian.
Let’s wrap this up
You should not panic every time you hear one of your guinea pigs sneeze, but you should always have the reflex to check to see if it is the cause of the sneezing, and if it lasts for several hours and other symptoms come in addition to the sneezing, you should take your guinea pig to see a veterinarian.
Remember that piggies can sneeze from time to time for no reason, so don’t worry every time your pet sneezes, but only if it starts to sneeze a little more than usual!