Guinea pig health
Guineas need vitamin C in their diet to prevent scurvy. Some great sources of vit C are bell peppers and berries (the leaves of berry bushes have vit C too)
Hair loss/itching. This could either be mites, fungal, or hormonal hair loss. Often females with ovarian cysts will have hair loss as a symptom, your guinea-savvy vet will examine the guinea and find the cause and set out a treatment plan
Urinary tract problems
Guinea pigs can develop urinary tract problems such as cystitis (bladder inflammation) or stones. Cystitis is more often found in female guinea pigs and often stones can develop in association with the infection. Untreated Stones may become lodged causing a life- threatening obstruction.
Signs to watch for:
- Eating less/ nothing at all
- Blood in the urine
- Straining to urinate
- Hunched posture
- Small, frequent urination
If you notice your guinea pig has developed any of these signs, contact your vets immediately.
There’s no defined cause to what causes urinary tract problems in guinea pigs, but stress does play a role in its development. To minimise stress, make sure you are providing everything your guinea pig would need to live a healthy, stress free life. Consider their environment, do they have enough access to hiding areas? Encourage water consumption by placing water bottles in areas where they feel safe and offer fresh grass and exercise
Respiratory conditions are also very common within guinea pigs and can be caused by several types of bacteria. Guinea pigs can naturally harbour the bacteria but not show any signs that they are carriers. These bacteria tend to be 'opportunistic,' meaning they infect susceptible animals, multiply, and cause disease if the opportunity arises.
Causes: Stress, such as overcrowding, pregnancy, and the presence of other illness, increases the chance that infection will develop, and young animals are most often affected.
How can it spread?
- Direct contact
- Airborne particles
- Contaminated hands or other objects
Signs your guinea pigs may show:
- Reduced food intake/ off food completely
- Discharge from eyes or nose
- Difficulty breathing
Seek treatment from your guinea-savvy vet immediately.