Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Is Your Guinea Pig Is Sick?: Behavioural And Physical Signs To Look Out For!

Is Your Guinea Pig Is Sick?: Behavioural And Physical Signs To Look Out For!


Don’t let the size of a Guinea Pig fool you, they require as much responsibility and care as all other types of Pets. In fact, because they are so tiny, it may be tough to spot any impending illness or unusual behaviour right off the bat. Thankfully, based on the experiences of Guinea Pig owners and Veterinarians, we know a few clear indicators to look out for.
Guinea Pig Illness
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What are some behavioural signs to look out for?

A common practice amongst Guinea Pig owners that they absolutely stand by is through spending time with your Cavy pal. By taking note of their usual behaviour and patterns, it enables owners to point out any abnormalities at a much faster rate. Handling them often during these times is when you could gently check for any physical abnormalities too, which we will be covering below. Without further ado, let’s look at the 9 signs that tell if your Guinea Pig is ill.


Behavioural Signs


1. Loss Of Appetite — As with all other types of Pets or animals, a loss of appetite is usually a clear sign of distress. While Cats spend more than 50% of the day sleeping, our Cavy friends spend that time eating and munching away.
guinea pig health
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Also, Guinea Pigs are actually unable to survive through more than 16 hours of not consuming any food, so keep a close eye on their eating habits, including water intake too!



2. Weight Difference — Keep a routine weekly weight check of your pet Guinea Pig(s). Healthy Guinea Pigs maintain a pretty consistent weight, so a sudden weight gain or loss of about 55 grams within one week is considered a red flag.
Weighing your guinea pig
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Excessive eating or loss of appetite usually indicates an underlined medical issue. Make a trip to a trusted Vet to have them checked out immediately.



3. Change Of Behaviour — When your Guinea Pig is suddenly displaying unusual behaviour such as avoidance or being extra cautious around you, it could be due to a medical issue. This includes the sudden disinterest in their favourite treat, being lethargic most of the time, and anxiety as well.
sad guinea pig
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Understanding your pet Cavy’s behaviour is key here, and only you can deem best what are odd behaviours, through bonding and spending time with them



4. Walking Sideways — If you notice your Guinea Pig walking sideways, lopsided, walking in a circular direction, or scratching their Ears excessively, it is usually a clear sign of Ear infection, making them unable to regain their bearings while walking. Do seek medical help immediately!



5. Check Their Stool — Stool and urine tells us a lot about our Pet’s health, and a healthy Cavy stool and urine means no diarrhoea, no excessive urination and also lack of stool. At times, owners also spot traces of blood in their Cavy’s urine or stool.

Guinea Pig health tips
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None of which are desirable signs of course, and you should seek immediate medical help.



Physical Signs To Look Out For


Behavioural signs can be tougher to notice, however some physical signs can also help determine if your pet Guinea Pig is unwell. We must emphasise the fact that a trip to the Vet should not be dragged out for Guinea Pigs. Cavies are known for their abrupt switch in health, one minute it appear to be healthy, and the next minute in dire situations. When you notice one or two of these signs in this article, bring your Guinea Pig in for a medical examination. It’s best to be safe than sorry.

Check out the physical signs you can keep an eye out for!


5. Growth And Lumps — While handling your Guinea Pig, gently feel their bodies for odd lumps. Guinea Pigs that are older are prone to tumour growths, and while most of them may usually be benign, it would be safer to have them checked out, to avoid fatal cancer from developing.
Guinea pig lumps
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6. Hair Loss — Healthy Guinea Pigs have healthy hair, so check them regularly for bald patches, or skin issues like reddish, inflamed, or dry and cracked skin (especially with hairless aka skinny pigs!)
Guinea pig balding
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These are most likely due to mites or infections, drop by your trusted Vet for medical assistance immediately!



7. Bad Eyes — Keep your eyes peeled for any abnormal discharge around your pet Cavy’s eyes, they should not be pink or red, which is often the cause of an eye infection.
Signs your Guinea Pig might be sick
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As long as your Cavy does not normally have red eyes (born with it) and you notice some crusting or discharge around the eyes, seek medical help.



8. Overgrown Teeth — Like Rabbits, the need to chew all the time ties up with a healthy set of teeth for Guinea Pigs, in which they can get from their daily roughage of Hay and greens.
Guide to Guinea Pigs
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Keep an eye out for excessive drooling, bleeding or loss of appetite that could be caused by overgrown teeth, resulting in discomfort and pain, and leading to nasty mouth infection. Visit the Vet immediately to have their teeth and mouth checked out.



9. Having The Sniffles — Pneumonia stands as one of the most common illness that our Cavy friends are prone to, usually evident by excessive discharge from their noses, sneezing, abnormal breathing that is close to wheezing and sometimes quivering, as noted by a few owners.
Healthy Guinea Pigs
A healthy nose
As always, do not wait to see how things might pan out, seek medical attention immediately.



Seeking The Best Help


Guinea Pig owners also suggest having your pet Cavy checked out by a Veterinarian that has great professional experience with Guinea Pigs. For example, not all Vets are proficient with medical knowledge of pet Rabbits, Cats or Birds.



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