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Guinea pigs: diseases of small rodents


With appropriate husbandry, feeding and care, guinea pigs rarely suffer from diseases. Nevertheless, it can happen that the little rodent is missing something - how to recognize this and when you should definitely go to the veterinarian, you can find out here. Careful scanning helps to detect guinea pig diseases such as abscesses at an early stage - Shutterstock / Mendelex

A healthy guinea pig is cheerful, cheerful and has a shiny, clean coat. Watch your piglet closely and keep an eye out for changes in fur, skin, teeth and behavior. If you recognize the symptoms of guinea pig diseases early and take your little rodent to the vet quickly, they can usually be treated better.

Guinea pigs: respiratory diseases

If the guinea pig cage is in the draft or too close to the window, the rodents can catch a cold. A cold is also promoted by dry heating air, which makes the mucous membranes more sensitive, as well as stress, poor hygiene and nutrient deficiencies, which weaken the pig's immune system. Go to the vet quickly if your guinea pig sneezes, runny nose, seems to have no appetite, or has trouble breathing. Then the runny nose can be treated before it becomes worse diseases like pneumonia.

Detect abscesses and tumors in good time

If bacteria penetrate surgical wounds or minor injuries, the site can become inflamed and swell to an abscess that fills with pus. Misaligned teeth can also lead to abscesses, which should be operated on by the veterinarian as quickly as possible, since they cause pain to the little animal and significantly impair its well-being. The veterinarian cuts open the abscess so that the pus can drain off and the wound can heal cleanly. Sometimes it is necessary to cut out the whole abscess.

Abscesses usually only become visible when they are already quite large, so it is advisable to feel the pig when stroking to see if there are any swellings under the fur. This method also helps to identify tumors as early as possible. If they are operated on early before they could form metastases, the guinea pig usually recovers well.

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Digestive problems and urinary tract disorders in guinea pigs

If guinea pigs get diseases of the urinary tract or digestive tract, this is mostly due to either improper nutrition or infections. The animals should not ingest too much calcium, too much fat or too many carbohydrates through their feed and need enough raw fibers for the digestive process to work properly. Too much calcium can cause bladder stones and malnutrition can cause diarrhea or constipation. If everything is in order with the diet, there is probably a bacterial or viral disease. To be on the safe side, take your guinea pig to the vet if their feces look different or if they have pain in urinating. Apathy, loss of appetite and a bloated stomach are further symptoms that something is wrong with the digestion.

Skin diseases, eye and tooth problems: when to the vet?

Hair lice, mites and mushrooms not only cause problems for cats and dogs, they can also lead to skin diseases in guinea pigs. If you observe bald spots or matting in the fur, reddening of the skin, dandruff or crusting and frequent scratching at your rodent, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. Healthy guinea pig eyes are clean and clear; anything that deviates from it - cloudiness, redness, discharge or swelling - can indicate illnesses, inflammations or injuries and is also a case for the doctor.

In rodents, teeth grow continuously as they are usually rubbed off when they eat. If guinea pigs do not get the right food, which allows abrasion, the teeth grow back too long and lead to malpositions and injuries in the mouth and jaw area. Affected animals appear sick and lose weight because they can hardly eat with their toothache. High-quality hay and fresh feed can prevent this, but if there are still dental problems, your piggy needs to go to the vet. Misalignments in the dentition can also be genetic and should also be treated quickly.


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