Common Health Concerns
This is caused by a deficiency in Viatamin C. It is important to feed them a proper guinea pig diet. Other rodent diets lack enough Vitamin C because these species can produce their own supply. Also the level Vitamin C in food can deteriorate over time. If your cavy becomes lame, has rough hair coat, diarrhea, etc.
Hair loss, and scratching are obvious signs of a problem. The itching can be so severe that it may appear to have seizures. Treatment involves oral and topical medication.
It is believed that guinea pigs who give birth after 1 year are more prone to having difficulty at giving birth. If this occurs, a cesarean section may be warrented. Owners should also be aware that pressure of womb may cause temporary paresis of her hindlegs.
Discharge from the eyes and nose, sneezing, weight loss, and difficulty breathing are some of the signs your cavy is sick. Rabbits and dogs may carry the bacteria which cause this illness without showing any signs. Therefore it is important to keep guinea pigs separate.
Stasis occurs because of a variety of other disease processes. Signs include enlarged and painful abdomen, anorexia, no feces, etc. A thorough history will help narrow down the possible causes. As this is a serious disease, hospitalization and diagnostic testing (such as x-rays) are often required.
Owners may first notice an enlarged abdomen and/or hair loss on the sides. The best prevention is through spaying. Diagnostic imaging will be required to help determine what disease your guines pig is suffering from.
This is caused by improper housing and obesity. Signs include not wanting to move or eat, swelling of the feet, ulcers or inflammation of the feet. This easily prevented by providing a clean environment and a proper diet. This condition is very painful and may lead to systemic disease if not treated early.
Dental Disease/ Malacclusion
Usually occurs due to trauma or improper diets. A veterinarian will have to examine the mouth to see if extraction or simple trimming of the teeth is needed.
Guinea Pigs (Cavies)
These plump little pigs make the perfect pet for kids. Always up for a conversation and food!
Life span: 5 years
Gestation: 60 days
Diet: Herbervores (hay, fresh greens, and pellets)
Guinea pigs are part of the rodent family. There teeth, incisors and molars, continuously grow. In order to keep their teeth from continously growing, they need a lot of fiber which is found in hay. They have a similar diet to rabbits, but unilke rabbits and other rodents, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C in their bodies. They require an outside source which can be found in commercial pellets (preferably grass based). Owners should know that these specially formulated diets need to be stored properly and usedwithin a specific time frame. Follow instructions on the package label. Other sources of Vitamin C is HAY and dark leafy greens. High vitamin C foods are kale, dandelion greens, parsley, collard greens, green peppers and mustard greens. Again, pellets are not a main part of the diet. Hay should be hung from a rack to keep it clean and off the floor. Guinea pigs can be a little messy. Water should be provided through a bottle or a ceramic bowl to prevent the guinea pig from spilling the water.
These social creatures make really good pets for children as they do not bite, require minimum maintenance (hardy animals), and have a decent life span. They can become very chatty when hungry or want attention. Great to join in and sing along or have a deep conversation with your cavy.