Guinea pigs are wonderful little companions that are actually quite healthy, overall. However, if they do happen to get sick, their health can deteriorate rapidly and it can cause a great deal of heartache for pet owners.
If you don’t know the signs and symptoms of illness in guinea pigs, you are at risk of losing your little furry companion in the blink of an eye. However, by taking the time to educate yourself and family members about the signs of sickness in guinea pigs, you have a far greater chance of saving their life. At Sykesville Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarians are here to answer any questions you may have and make sure you understand how to properly care for your adorable little friend. As with most things related to our pets, taking a proactive approach and making sure we have all the information necessary to provide them with the highest level of care is absolutely imperative.
If you are thinking about adopting a guinea pig or have recently done so, it is important you seek out a knowledgeable guinea pig veterinarian and schedule an appointment right away. They will provide you with information on how to adequately care for them, including what health problems you should be on the lookout for. If caught early, the majority of guinea pig illnesses can be treated and cured fairly easily.
Signs of Illness in Guinea Pigs
As we’ve discussed, part of being a responsible guinea pig owner is to monitor your adorable guinea pig for any indications or signs of illness. Guinea pigs are loving, resilient animals with big personalities, but they can fall victim to a wide range of diseases and conditions, just like any other animal. Here are a few important signs that may indicate your guinea pig is sick that you should be aware of:
Their Appearance is off
A healthy guinea pig should have soft, shiny fur, and bright eyes. One of the first signs something is amiss with their health is when their fur appears unkempt, messy, greasy, or matted. If their eyes look sunken, are crusty, or are watery, this may also indicate that something is wrong. Another warning sign in regards to their appearance is if their stomach is bloated. Also be on the lookout for hair loss, as this could mean they are not feeling like themselves.
Loss of Appetite
A tell-tale sign that your guinea pig is sick or has come down with something is when they stop eating. Guinea pigs LOVE to eat, so if they are no longer interested in their food, it may be time to take them to a guinea pig veterinarian. Another sign along these same lines is if your guinea pig appears to have excessive thirst.
Sudden and extreme weight loss is definitely a red flag in any animal, and guinea pigs are no different. If you notice your pet has dropped weight suddenly (which could be connected to the above point), he or she may be sick and should see a veterinarian right away.
Difficulty with Bowel Movements
If you notice your furry buddy is having a hard time defecating or urinating, he or she may be sick. Yet another sign related to this is if there is blood in your pig’s feces or urine. Diarrhea is another indicator that your guinea pig needs to see the vet.
Trouble with Breathing
Last but certainly not least, if you notice your guinea pig is rasping, wheezing, or having trouble breathing otherwise, he or she may be ill.
If you notice any of the above signs or if your guinea pig has changed behavior in any way, it is important that you call your vet immediately. If caught early, they will be able to treat your guinea pig with antibiotics in most cases. Please feel free to contact us at Sykesville Veterinary Clinic with any additional questions or to schedule an appointment today.
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