Will my Guinea pig Jump off the bed , its cage and could he get hurt?
Are you afraid that your guinea pig will jump out of bed, jump over the walls of its cage and especially hurt itself? Do you want to know how high a guinea pig could fall without risking breaking a leg and get hurt? what to do next to avoid it and especially if it happens?
Yes, your guinea pig will be tempted to jump out of bed if something frightens it for example or from its cage if this cage does not exceed 10 inches; that’s not all, your guinea pig could also hurt itself if it falls from such a height, break a leg or at least make its bones and joints already known to be very fragile, even more fragile after several jumps and falls, and even risk to have arthritis by becoming older.
Unfortunately your guinea pig is at risk of tooth fracture if it falls on its front side, broken ribs if it falls on its side and paralysis if it falls on its back side.
The different places where your guinea pig could jump or fall:
Here are the different places where your guinea pig could fall and get hurt or simply have the bad idea to jump:
So your guinea pig might be tempted to jump from:
- From its cage
- From your bed
- From your arms, especially from your children’s arms.
- From the Balcony if chased by your dog or cat !!
- From the work surface of your kitchen
- From the sink when you give him a bath
- From a coffee table
- From its hammock or bed (generally without risk)
How high could my guinea pig fall without hurting itself?
Your guinea pig could get hurt even if it falls from its bed or hammock even though they are very close to the ground. This could happen if your guinea pig is old, has already suffered a fracture and especially if it is overweight.
We have seen guinea pigs that have been pulled out without fractures even by falling out of a bed! why? they are not obese, they are used to get out of their cage and exercise and they are still young, so they have strong bones and healthy joints.
As a general rule of thumb, always be close to your guinea pig if there is a risk that he falls from a height that exceeds 10 inches (25 cm), because he could hurt himself or become more fragile and increase the risk that he will hurt himself the next time he jumps or falls from a height!!
Precautions to take to prevent my guinea pig from jumping or falling from a height that would endanger him :
1- To prevent your guinea pig from jumping out of its cage :
- Provide a spacious cage with walls that are more than 10 inches high.
- Never install the shelter, perch and other decorations near the cage walls to prevent your guinea pigs from using them as a ladder.
- Avoid conflicts between your guinea pigs when they are several in the same cage so that they do not attack each other and that the dominated one does not have to climb the bars of his cage and jump over them.
- Install the cage of your guinea pigs away from noise, predators and your other pets.
- Install your guinea pigs’ cage a little higher ( 15 inches) so that your animals can see their surroundings and so that they don’t have to climb to have a clear view of the room.
2-How to prevent your guinea pig from falling out of the bed or sofa?
When you take your guinea pig out of its cage to play with it on your bed or on the sofa, you must stay with it at all times to prevent it from falling and getting hurt.
Plan to install his litter box near you in case your guinea pig wants to relieve himself, also plan to take your phone with you so that you do not have to leave your pet if someone calls you (put it in vibrate or silent mode so as not to scare your guinea pig and force him to jump out of bed!!).
If you have to leave your guinea pig alone on the bed,( by the way , here what to do do for your cavies before you going bed ) give him his fruit bowl to keep him busy while waiting for you to come back to him and put a blanket, a mattress or something else next to the bed to absorb the shock if your pet falls, but it is advisable to put him back in his cage than to leave him alone on the bed.
3- How to prevent your guinea pig from falling out of your arms ?
When you take your guinea pig in your arms, be aware that it could piss on you, scratch or bite you at any time and that you must never let it go for that, you must be prepared to bear the pain and rest it gently in its cage.
The first time you take your guinea pig in your arms, stay on your knees and don’t stand up so that you don’t risk making your animal fall from higher up !
If your children ask you to let them take your guinea pig, demand that they sit down on the floor first, because children can be very clumsy with this rodent and especially let it go at the very moment it bites them if they make a bad gesture.
Have also the habit to take your guinea pig directly on your arms without putting a towel or another fabric than your own clothes, not to risk that the fabric slips out of your hands and the guinea pig with it !
4-Prevent your guinea pig from jumping out of the sink when he takes his bath:
If you are used to give your guinea pig a bath in the shower sink, remember to take all the necessary, the shampoo, the towel … etc near you not to leave the guinea pig alone in the sink.
Also think of making the bath pleasant, heat the water a little and do not wait too long because these animals hate getting wet fur.
I prefer that you avoid to put your guinea pig high when you give him his bath for the first time, just take a small basin, not too high, put a towel in it and give his bath to your guinea pig on the floor to see how he reacts in contact with water and avoid bad surprises !
What could happen to my guinea pig if he falls from high ?
I’m talking about a height that exceeds 15 or 20 inches, or even more, but it’s not a rule and it will also depend on:
The age of your guinea pig (young people are more resistant)
Weight of your rodent (the more obese are more likely to be fat)
His physical condition (guinea pigs who exercise often, are more resistant to falls and have stronger bones).
The well feeding of your guinea pig because excess calcium is risky for him (kidney stones) but a deficiency in calcium will also make his bones fragile and he would be more likely to break a leg if he falls).
So the biggest risk, if your guinea pig falls from above, from your arms for example, is to break one or more legs, it could go further, it could even break its spine which could paralyze it or even cause its death !!
I don’t want to scare you but only to warn you so that you will be more careful when you take your guinea pig out of its cage.
On the other hand and as I said above, your guinea pig can get out without too much damage if he falls, he will just make his joints and bones already fragile, he will make them even more fragile than before and risk fractures the next time he jumps, falls or even just jumping out of fear or joy which would be very regrettable.
The guinea pig, does it like to be put in height ?
You may not know it but a guinea pig, unlike a cat, does not always fall on its legs when it falls from high, why ? because guinea pigs generally do not need to go high or climb to get their main food (hay) or hide from predators (they go underground in burrows) …
The guinea pigs on the other hand like the small perches or promontories which do not exceed a few inches and especially easy to go up and down so that they can see a little further in the meadow and anticipate the arrival of predators such as coyotes, foxes, birds of prey and owls…
In its cage, your guinea pig will like to have a small perch, easy to access, it will be for the evil dominating of course and it will go over it to assert its dominance and monitor what happens in the room.
What to do if my guinea pig falls from high ?
The first reflex is to take him gently in your arms and inspect him completely, paying more attention to his legs, to check if he has no fracture.
If you notice him standing on only three legs and keep the fourth one off the ground, consider taking him to see his veterinarian, he probably has a fracture.
You will also know that your guinea pig has injured itself if it utters a shrill cry, a cry of pain when you touch its injured or broken leg.
Make your guinea pig walk or run around a little to make sure that it’s not hurt, check its mouth and neck if it fell on its head or you suspect that it has a fracture!
Falling guinea pigs and the risk of tooth fracture or paralysis :
If by misfortune your guinea pig falls from a height and it could not absorb the shock, it generally risks two serious things:
1- A fracture of the teeth, he will have one or more broken teeth which will end up falling which will prevent him from feeding, you will be obliged to feed him yourself with a liquid food thanks to a syringe which would not be great!!
2- Even more serious, your guinea pig risks a paralysis of the rear axle if he falls on his buttocks, he risks a crushing of the spine, he will lose all sensitivity of the back legs, he will end up urinating on them and hello complications, many owners prefer to prick their animal in this case instead of watching him suffer.
Knowing this, I think you will be more careful in the future every time you take your guinea pig out of its cage and put it a little higher because a fall could be fatal.
- So you should always anticipate involuntary falls.
- Hold them from underneath, well wedged in the arms and bring this to the children so that they know how to pick up the guinea pig because it tends to wiggle and give blows when you lift it up.
- At the veterinarian’s for example, it is necessary to take care that they do not run suddenly, pushed by stress, beyond the consultation table if they see another animal for example at this veterinarian’s, so be careful.
Let’s wrap this up
It is preferable that your guinea pig stays most of the time at a height which never exceeds 15 inches, be very careful when you take him in your arms, put him on the bed or the sofa, always stay with him.
Always be ready to intervene if your guinea pig falls from a height, check if he is well and take him to the clinic if you suspect that he has a fracture.
Finally, avoid that your guinea pig becomes obese, take him out of his cage often so that he can exercise and so that his bones become stronger so that he can avoid fractures if he has just fallen down!