Keeping your Guinea Pig Healthy

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Keeping your Guinea Pig Healthy

General health care Common health problems   Flystrike Fleas, Lice, Mites and Worms General health care You can tell if your guinea pig is feeling poorly by their behaviour.  If you notice that they are not their normal bouncy self; and are hiding away, or are not eating and drinking this could be a sign that they are ill.  Ears - Always check your guinea pig’s ears regularly.  If your guinea pig is shaking their head constantly, scratching at their ears or if you notice any signs of brown matter it could be a sign of ear mange (canker) caused by mites.  There are lots of anti-parasitic products available that you can use against mites and it's also best to dispose of all dusty hay and bedding as well. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Eyes - Your guinea pig's eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, redness, swelling or soreness.  Guinea pigs can develop eye infections caused by dust and bedding that they kick about in their hutch.  Eye gels are available to help treat this problem and you should contact your vet for anti-inflammatory and antibiotic treatments.   Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Nose - Your guinea pig's nose shouldn't be crusty, or runny.  If your guinea pig is sneezing and snuffling you should contact your vet as respiratory infections are quite common in guinea pigs. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Teeth - Your guinea pig’s front teeth (incisors) continue to grow throughout their life and this can become a problem for pet guinea pigs.  To keep your guinea pig's teeth trim supply them with plenty of fresh hay and gnawing blocks.  If your guinea pig suffers from overgrown incisors make an appointment with your vet to have their teeth trimmed. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Visit our Guinea Pig Products section for a selection of mineral, bark and twig treats for guinea pigs. Vitamin C Deficiency (Scurvy) – Like humans, Guinea pigs can’t produce Vitamin C themselves so they must have it in their diet. Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency include loss of appetite, depression, lameness and sore joints, bleeding gums and bruising, ruffled fur and weight loss.  Most guinea pig nugget and pellet foods are specifically made to contain Vitamin C and you can buy supplements to put in their water.   Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. View our Guinea Pig Feeding Advice to learn more. Claws - in the wild guinea pig' claws are worn down naturally; in captivity they will need clipping.   A guinea pig's claws are living tissue with a blood filled vein (a quick).  If you clip your guinea pig's claws too close to the quick this can hurt them and cause bleeding.  Understandably owners can be nervous of clipping their own guinea pig's claws.  If you have not clipped your guinea pig's claws before we recommend that you contact your vet who can either clip them for you or show you how. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. View our Guinea Pig Products section for a wide range of Guinea Pig health and wellbeing products. Back To Top Common health problems Diarrhea – Diarrhea can be fatal and if your guinea pig has severe symptoms they need the immediate attention of a vet.  Your guinea pig may have diarrhea from an underlying illness or a dietary disorder.   Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation.   Polycystic Ovaries – Polycystic ovaries are known to be a problem with female guinea pigs that haven't been neutered. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation.   Bladder Stones – Bladder stones are caused by a high level of minerals in their diet.  This is often a result of feeding too many vegetables and fruits that are high in calcium or too much alfalfa hay (which should only be given as a treat).  If your guinea pig has blood in their urine or are straining when urinating they may be suffering from a bladder stone. Visit our Guinea Pig Feeding Advice to learn more. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation.   Cystitis - Cystitis can be a common problem in female guinea pigs but males can suffer from it too.  Symptoms to watch out for are your guinea pig being constantly wet underneath due to dribbling urine, inflamed genitalia, repeated licking of the affected area and high pitched crying/squeaking when passing urine. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Genetic Disorders - Some guinea pigs are prone to genetic diseases or abnormalities due to inbreeding.  Recent research has suggested that Satin guinea pigs can suffer from bone problems.  You should never mate a Roan guinea pig with another Roan or a Dalmatian guinea pig with another Dalmatian as their genes can result in babies with congenital eye disorders, dental problems, deafness and problems with the digestive system. View our Guinea Pig Breeds section to learn more. Fungal Infections – Fungal infections such as ringworm can affect guinea pigs.  Symptoms are areas of patchy, itchy hair loss.  These usually start on their face but can spread down their body. Ringworm is very contagious and flourishes in damp conditions, so to avoid pets catching the infection keep their living quarters as clean and dry as possible. Petstop is licensed to sell a full range of anti-fungal treatments, which you would normally find at your veterinary clinic, that provide an effective, long lasting treatment. Our qualified staff can dispense these treatments without consultation fees.    They are much stronger than the standard off the shelf products and have faster acting active ingredients. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Back To Top Flystrike Flystrike can be fatal. Flies lay their eggs in soiled fur around the guinea pig’s rear end and can be a particular problem in summer.  Long haired guinea pigs are especially vulnerable. The maggots hatch out 12-24 hours later and burrow into the flesh.  Check every day to make sure your guinea pig, the hutch and bedding, are clean and fresh.  In the summer, Flystrike can happen in as little as a few hours, so it's advisable that your guinea pig is checked at least twice a day during this time of year.   Products are available to prevent Flystrike but if you think your guinea pig is affected seek immediate veterinary attention. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Visit our Guinea Pig Products section for a selection of flystrike prevention products. Back To Top Fleas, Lice, Mites and Worms Fleas - Fleas are not a common problem in guinea pigs, however they can pick up them up from cats. Fleas are hard to spot but you may see small black bits of dirt on their skin and coat which are their feaces.  To get rid of fleas you have to treat your guinea pigs hutch as well as your guinea pig to break the flea life cycle.   Bedding should be destroyed and the hutch scrubbed with an appropriate insecticide. Please ask our qualified staff which product would be the most suitable for your pet guinea pig. Petstop is licensed to sell a full range of anti-parasitic treatments, which you would normally find at your veterinary clinic, that provide an effective, long lasting treatment. Our staff can dispense these treatments without consultation fees.    They are much stronger than the standard off the shelf products and have faster acting active ingredients. Visit our Guinea Pig Products section for a selection of flea treatments Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Lice – Signs that your guinea pig has lice are continued scratching and tiny white eggs (nits) attached to their fur.   Lice can be destroyed by insecticide powders and sprays.  Several applications are necessary to eliminate the succeeding generations of lice emerging from the nits. Mites – There are several different mites that can affect your guinea pig.  Signs of mites are scratching, brown matter in the ears, bald patches on the coat and irritated broken skin.   Our qualified staff at Petstop are licensed to sell a full range of anti-parasitic treatments, which you would normally find at your veterinary clinic. Visit our Guinea Pig Products section for a selection of mites and lice treatments Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation.  Worms – Worms are rare in guinea pigs.  Symptoms are difficult to spot, but can include loss of condition and diarrhea. If you are concerned that guinea pig may have worms please consult our qualified staff.   Petstop is licensed to sell a full range of anti-parasitic treatments, which you would normally find at your veterinary clinic, that provide an effective, long lasting treatment. Our qualified staff can dispense these treatments without consultation fees.    They are much stronger than the standard off the shelf products and have faster acting active ingredients. Visit our Guinea Pig Products section for a selection of worm treatments Back To Top