How to Prevent Respiratory Problems in Guinea Pigs

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Avoid cage overcrowding.,
Separate fighting cage mates.,
Do not house guinea pigs with rabbits.,
Isolate a sick guinea pig.,
Quarantine a new guinea pig.

Because guinea pigs are social animals, it is a good idea to house 2 or more guinea pigs together.However, if the cage is too small, the guinea pigs would be overcrowded and stressed. The stress would weaken the immune system and make respiratory problems more likely.To prevent overcrowding, choose a cage large enough for the number of guinea pigs you have:2 guinea pigs: 30 x 50 inches (76 x 127 cm)
3 guinea pigs: 30 x 62 inches (76 x 157 cm)
4 guinea pigs: 30 x 76 inches (76 x 193 cm)

, Sometimes, guinea pig cage mates do not get along. They may fight or bully each other. This aggression could increase stress levels.If you notice your guinea pigs are not getting along, place them in separate cages.

, Rabbits carry a bacteria called Bordetella in their respiratory tracts that they can transmit to guinea pigs. A guinea pig with Bordetella can develop serious respiratory problems. Also, a rabbit can bully a guinea pig, increasing the guinea pig’s stress and weakening its immune system.Keep your rabbits and guinea pigs in separate cages.

A rabbit with Bordetella usually doesn’t show signs of respiratory illness. A guinea pig with Bordetella, however, can show many symptoms, including difficulty breathing, discharge from the eyes and nose, loss of appetite, and maybe even sudden death., Respiratory infections are very contagious in guinea pigs. If one of your guinea pigs has a respiratory infection, keep it in a separate cage until it fully recovers.This will prevent your healthy guinea pigs from getting sick.

, If you have purchased a new guinea pig, keep it separate from your other guinea pigs for 2 weeks. Put the new guinea pig in its own cage and do not let it interact with the other guinea pigs. During this 2 weeks, make sure the new guinea is eating and drinking normally and looks healthy.If the new guinea is showing any signs of respiratory problems (e.g., sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose), take it to your vet for treatment.

To prevent the spread of illness between the new and current guinea pigs, wash your hands between handling each one.After the quarantine, introduce the guinea pigs gradually. First, put their cages next to each other so they can smell each other. Then, introduce them face to face.Select a neutral area, such as a large play area, to make the face-to-face introductions.
A gradual introduction can prevent respiratory problems by reducing the stress of introducing a new guinea pig to the home.

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