What makes my guinea pig pant

Guinea pigs: diseases and prevention

Guide overview guinea pigs

Coat, eyes, and behavior can say a lot about the health of guinea pigs.

Basically are Guinea pig robust fellows. The healthy animal has a shiny, well-groomed coat, clear eyes, is lively and curious. If the pet owner does Signs of illness notices, he shouldn't hesitate too long and go to the vet as quickly as possible. Pathogens can spread rapidly through the guinea pig's body, even one small infection can quickly become life-threatening.

Possible symptoms of illness

  • The guinea pig has no appetite and drinks less.
  • Noticeable weight loss.
  • The animal is apathetic.
  • The anal region is glued.
  • Shaggy fur, itching and flaking.

Typical guinea pig diseases

Respiratory diseases

Respiratory diseases are quite common in guinea pigs. The Air in the cage should always be fresh and the humidity around 50%. Do not place the cage directly next to the heater and protect it from drafts. Dry the animal off immediately after bathing. If there is an illness red lightmakes sense. Inhalation is also possible. To do this, place a bowl of hot chamomile tea next to the cage and cover both together. Food rich in vitamins strengthens the immune system. Consult with increased Coughing, sneezing, or wheezing immediately the vet.

Eye diseases

The proportionate big eyes of the guinea pig can catch fire relatively quickly from dust and dirt, foreign bodies, drafts or parasites. Sticky eyes are with boiled water and one lint-free cotton swab to clean carefully. Recurring inflammation can be an indication of an allergy. In the following, just lay the cage with you Newsprint and change the bedding if the suspicion is confirmed. For all other eye diseases, the veterinarian should be consulted.


A varied diet and plenty of exercise prevent obesity in guinea pigs.

The disease is controlled by means of a Test strip detected. Symptoms are excessive thirst, unrestrained appetite and, accordingly, obesity. The reliable diagnosis is made by blood test at vet. With the daily administration of insulin there is a quick improvement.


With a varied diet and plenty of exercise rarely overweight occur. Weigh the animals regularly and record the weight. If the increase is constant, you should change the feeding plan. Fresh feed is reduced to around 50g per day, grain feed to around 20g per week. loaf is completely deleted, instead there are branches to gnaw at. There is no limit to the amount of hay that can be given. Likewise, water, ideally enriched with vitamin drops. Extreme obesity is life threatening'So you'd better see the vet.

Skin diseases

Skin diseases are also quite common. In most cases this is the cause poor housing conditions and improper or poor nutrition.

  • Lip grind:
    Animals with a weakened immune system often show lip rash. It's a scabbed wound on the upper lip. He continues to educate himself if he is not treated. Vitamins and additional feeding of sunflower seeds help alongside strict hygiene and Anoint from the vet.
  • Skin parasites:
    Skin parasites can occur with poor posture or poor diet. Also one infection through new animals is possible. Examine the animal's fur as regularly as possible. If you suspect, see the veterinarian immediately. The most common parasites are Hair pieces (small, white animals in the head area that move like worms) and various types of mites (under the skin). The faster it is treated, the more likely it is to be cured.
  • Mushrooms:
    You can go through introduced spores be brought to the animal. Poor housing conditions can also cause fungal infections. It shows up through lost hair and itching, sometimes large, round, bald spots. The treatment is done exclusively by the veterinarian. Fungal diseases are transferable to humans. Only handle the animals with gloves and keep children away.

Cardiovascular diseases

Overheating and shock occasionally come in summer in front. Guinea pigs cannot sweat and have a fairly thick coat. Make sure you have enough drinking water and fresh air. Heart diseases are rare, but must if they are suspected treated immediately become. Symptoms include reluctance to move, refusal to eat, weight loss, and cold feet.

Gastrointestinal diseases

Adequate water intake is important for guinea pigs because their intestines are 20% water.

The intestine of the guinea pig is made of compared to other animals much water (20%; in dogs e.g. only 3%). If too little water is taken in, the already vulnerable intestinal flora quickly becomes ill. In addition, do not prevent the animals from using the to eat their own droppings. This is the so-called "appendix feces", which consists of vitamins, bacteria and protein. The most common diseases are flatulence, diarrhea and constipation. If you have gastrointestinal diseases, see the veterinarian immediately.

Guinea pig paralysis

The animal is beaten, is trembling and has difficulty breathing. The hindquarters are paralyzed. The disease has various causes. See the veterinarian immediately.

Preventive measures

The Cage the guinea pig cannot be big enough; the Minimum size should be 80 x 120 cm (with 1-3 animals). Plastic cages closed on the reverse side are unsuitable because of the heat build-up. Find a place that is not in a draft, but offers enough fresh air and is nice and bright. In order to ensure movement and variety in the cage, several levels are recommended on which the animals can jump. You also need accessories like Branches, caves, tunnels, houses and similar.

Sawdust, straw and pellets are suitable as litter. Use daily newspapers or kitchen towels as a base. Clean the cage regularly, at the latest when the litter starts to smell. To avoid mental illness, Individual keeping must be avoided. As a rule, females are best kept together. There are often arguments between goats, especially when females live in the enclosure. Have male goats neutered if you do not want to breed. Danger - after the castration, they are still reproducible for about six weeks.

Feed the guinea pig several times a day with small portions. In this way, the food does not spoil, the animal does not overeat and you are in contact with it more often. You can find more information in the guide "Nibbling fun for guinea pigs: healthy snacks for in between".


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