7 Common Guinea Pig Health Issues
- September 24, 2019
- Posted by: Dr. Diaz
- Category: Guinea pigs
Guinea pigs are adorable little creatures. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure your guinea pig does not get sick and experience health problems. However, sometimes you can’t avoid some of the common health issues of guinea pigs. For that reason, here are some common health issues associated with them.
Incisor or Cheek Teeth Issues
Incisors that grow very long can be spotted easily. However, it takes a professional eye to look into a guinea pig’s mouth and identify problems with their cheek teeth. When these teeth don’t wear the right way, sharp edges may form, which can lead to drool, loss of weight, and later produce small, hard fecal droppings.
However, these teeth can be filled, but the guinea pig will have to be anesthetized. Also, other guinea pigs may need filings every four to six weeks. In addition, they may need additional procedures like tooth extraction to recover. If that’s the case, make sure your guinea pig has lots of vitamin C and a large amount of hay to keep their teeth healthy.
If a guinea pig has a cervical abscess, they may experience discharge from the neck or jaws. Typically, people look at this as a simple infection that does not need immediate attention. The truth is though when this infection is in the root of the teeth, it will not go away with antibiotic treatments, and surgery is recommended. During the process, the infected tooth will be removed, or other parts that are causing the issue will be taken care of. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to resolve, and the process of treating it may last for months.
If a guinea pig is experiencing a thick discharge from the nostrils and has watery eyes, he could have a congested nose. From this, they tend to sneeze every now and then, but it can lead to them having trouble breathing. However, this problem could be correlated with malocclusion of the teeth.
Flaky Skin or Hair Loss
Guinea pigs can indeed groom themselves and their companions. Even if they are healthy, it may still lead to having patches of hair loss in their bodies, which is called “barbering.”
Nonetheless, there are still other reasons that can cause your guinea pig to experience hair loss. These reasons include mites and lice, irritation caused by urine scalding, ringworm, and other conditions. Some of these problems are treatable. Regardless, you should know that ringworm and mites can cause rashes in people. So, it’s essential to have a professional perform the necessary tests to find out what is wrong.
Some guinea pigs groom themselves using their incisor teeth. If their incisor teeth are healthy, they could experience matted hair when they have back pain or are experiencing discomfort. This discomfort will make them hesitant to groom themselves. This can also happen if their boxes are left uncleaned or if they are obese.
Skin Growths and Tumors
In some cases, guinea pigs may experience swollen lumps on the skin, which may rupture and produce a grayish or white substance. These lumps are often called hair cysts. However, these can be abscesses that are similar to tumors.
It is usual for guinea pigs to acquire bladder infections. This is especially true if you leave their boxes uncleaned every day. If they have a bladder infection, their urine will leave a bad smell. They will also urinate a lot more. When a bladder infection is left untreated, it can lead to bladder stones, which are resolved through surgery.