How to Do a Health Check on a Guinea Pig

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Examine their eating habits.,
Listen for labored breathing.,
Look for changes in their energy level.,
Listen for frequent sounds of crying out.,
Pay attention to other changes.,
Look for blood.,
Check for changes in appearance to urine or droppings.,
Comb through the guinea pig’s coat.,
Feel around the guinea pig’s eyes for crust or tenderness.,
Swab the guinea pig’s ears gently.

Are they eating their regular pellets and treats at the normal rate? If not, this can indicate a variety of digestive problems.If the guinea pig has not eaten anything for more than 8 hours you should see a veterinarian immediately.
Otherwise, you might cut back some on fresh vegetable and fruit treats if you’ve been feeding them a lot to the pet. This can cause diarrhea. Usually a couple days of just feeding the guinea pig its normal pellet food and hay will help. You can then resume gradually introducing fresh fruits and vegetables on a smaller scale.
If the lack of eating persists for any reason then you need to take the guinea pig into the veterinarian within 24 hours.;
, Does the guinea pig sound like they are breathing heavy or gasping for air? Respiratory problems are extremely common for guinea pigs.If the guinea pig is breathing very heavily then seek immediate attention by a veterinarian.
Notice if the guinea pig is sneezing, has discharge around the eyes, and/or has a runny nose. These are all signs of a respiratory infection and require quick attention by a veterinarian within 24 hours.

, Is the guinea pig more lethargic, dragging itself around, and/or refusing to leave its hideaway? This could indicate several problems.If the guinea pig appears to barely be able to move or even stand then seek immediate attention by a veterinarian.
Guinea pigs do like their quiet time to nap, but should also be fairly active the rest of the time. If you see the pet unable to walk without dragging itself around, unwilling to move around to eat, or too infrequently leaving its hiding house then this could be more serious.
There could be a physical ailment like pododermatitis (“bumblefoot”). This is an infection of the guinea pig’s feet that can cause lameness and pain. Usually this is quite visible as a swollen area on the feet of the pet, and it can bleed. See a veterinarian within 24 hours to begin treatment.
Other problems could be indicated by lethargy including circulatory, digestive, respiratory, and parasitic. Seeking veterinary advice quickly is crucial to a timely diagnosis and treatment.

, If the guinea pig is “wheeking” too often, especially during normal functions like urination, this could indicate a particular problem.Guinea pigs can make noises for food or communication frequently, but if they are doing it during normal bodily functions it could indicate a problem.
If they are crying out when they are urinating, leaving droppings, or you touch a particular area then this might be a problem with that function or area. See a veterinarian with 24 hours.
If they made the sound when you touched a particular area then you might inspect the area of the body in accordance with the later method to see if you can find more information on what might be wrong.

, There is no substitute for being observant to other changes in your guinea pig’s behavior. And each guinea pig has different personality quirks that you will be more familiar with than others.It’s difficult to predict all behaviors your guinea pig may normally have before a problem changes things.
Use your judgment to notice if the pet is behaving differently, but defer to your veterinarian if you are the least bit unsure.

, This could be in patches on the guinea pig’s body or oozing out of different areas like the mouth or rectum.Bleeding is usually the sign of an infection or sometimes in the case of excessive scratching can leave the guinea pig vulnerable to infection.
Guinea pigs cannot fight infections on their own, and require medical assistance to do so.
Infections rarely cross species, but you do not want to be careless. Clean any exposed surfaces thoroughly with a disinfecting product like Lysol and use medical gloves to handle the guinea pig.
See the veterinarian immediately.

, This can signify several problems not the least of which are digestive in nature.If the guinea pig is not urinating at all then you should see a veterinarian immediately.
If you notice discoloration in the guinea pig’s urine, softness or infrequent release of droppings, or a combination of these then see the veterinarian in the next few days.
Sometimes the guinea pig may be suffering a vitamin deficiency, or suffer a problem with the effectiveness of the digestive tract itself.

, Check for hair loss, patches of missing fur, and/or irritated skin.Hair loss could indicate a number of problems such as skin irritations, malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, toxins, parasites, infections, or other problems not readily apparent.
If hair loss is the only symptom then you should try to see the veterinarian within the next few days.
Increase bathing efforts and cleanliness around the cage.

, Don’t touch the eye itself, but also look for redness or dullness that could hint at other problems.Any discoloration on or around the eye can be a sign of infection. If the guinea pig doesn’t seem too bothered by it then see the veterinarian in 24 hours.
You can try using a cotton swab to gently rub off some of the crust to see if cleaning it off is sufficient to alleviate the guinea pig’s discomfort.
If the guinea pig is scratching or crying out from the eye irritation then see the veterinarian immediately.

, Mites and infections can get in the ears too.Check the ears for a build-up of wax or a grey-black colored substance.
Either of these in significant amounts may be indications of an infection or presence of mites.
Any of these conditions can be treated by your veterinarian.

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