Common Guinea Pig Illnesses
This article touches on a few of the more common guinea pig illnesses. Symptoms, causes, and treatments are discussed as well. If your guinea pig is showing signs of sickness, it is important to talk to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Delaying proper treatment can sometimes lead to the death of your pet, which is something we definitely don’t want to happen!
Not So Lovely Guinea Lumps
Lumps are a common skin problem seen in many guinea pigs. The lump may be one of several things including: an abscess, cyst, lipoma, and in very rare cases, a cancerous tumor. Once a lump has been discovered, you should perform a daily visual examination on the area of concern. If the lump persists, call your veterinarian to set up an appointment for your cavy. Depending on the diagnosis, your veterinarian will choose the method of action. A sample of the skin may be taken for further analysis by a biopsy, a drain may be installed, or the lump may be surgically removed.
If your guinea pig is constantly sneezing, has trouble breathing, or has persistent discharge of the eyes and/or nose, it could possibly have some sort of respiratory issue. This is not uncommon in guinea pigs and can be prevented by maintaining a clean environment for your cavy. Making sure that your guinea pig’s cage is constantly maintained is important in preserving their health and vitality. If you think your guinea pig may be suffering from a respiratory ailment, you should contact your veterinarian right away.
Guinea Pig Mites
You will see your guinea pig scratch itself every so often. You should not, however, notice an incessant need to scratch. If this is the case, mites, or even lice may be the source of scratching. You may notice a loss of hair and/or the development of itchy sores (alopecia and pruritus). These sores are prone to infection which, in many cases if left untreated, can result in death. If you notice a loss of hair and/or the appearance of sores, you should seek medical attention for your cavy right away.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Guinea pigs require an outside source of vitamin C, just as humans do. If your guinea pig does not have the adequate amount of vitamin C in its body, it may become susceptible to “scurvy”. Scurvy is a condition that may cause problems with blood clotting, or inhibit the body’s ability to produce collagen. To ensure that your cavy does not experience vitamin C deficiency, a regular diet of fresh fruits and vegetables should be provided.
Bumblefoot, also known as Ulcerative pododermatitis, is one of the more common guinea pig illnesses. This infection can easily be avoided by abstaining from buying a cage that has wire floors. Poor sanitation that leads to wet bedding may also factor into the cause of the painful abrasions that develop as a consequence of bumblefoot. If left untreated, bumblefoot may result in the death of the cavy.
Many guinea pig illnesses can be prevented by proper care and cage maintenance. If your guinea pig is showing signs of any of the above illnesses, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian immediately.