Understanding Guinea Pigs’ Health


If you have brought a guinea pig there are chances that you may be wondering about this little fragile creature’s health a lot. Health wise, guinea pigs are quite disease prone and would require a vet care for almost every little health problem. Recovering from a health related issue is not an easy task for a guinea pig. Before we discuss about health problems that a guinea pig faces, we will see what a healthy guinea pig should be like:

* A sluggish guinea pig is not a healthy one; guinea pigs should be stiff and hard to hold.
* Eyes of a guinea pig should be examined properly for signs of any discharge or crusts, the eyes of a healthy guinea pig should look bright, clean and healthy.
* Nose of a guinea pig should be examined to look for signs of any discharge or crusts. A healthy guinea pig should have clean ears.
* Teeth of a healthy guinea pig should look clean, even and chisel shaped.
* A healthy guinea pig should not have any baldness on the body, although a bald spot behind the ear is common among guinea pigs.
* The genital area of a healthy guinea pig should be clean and dry, without any signs of infection or disease.

A guinea pig could suffer from many diseases and infection. Though the care from a vet is necessary, there are some symptoms and elementary care that you can do for some of the common diseases:

* Diarrhea among guinea pigs is a common problem. Stool of a guinea pig suffering from diarrhea should be black or watery. An effective idea would be to eliminate fresh fruits and vegetables from the diet of the guinea pig and start with timothy hay. Consult a vet if the above stated procedure does not work, he will recommend medicines and an effective cure for the illness.

* You should immediately consult a veterinarian if signs of an ear infection are seen in your guinea pig. A guinea pig with ear infection will walk with difficulty and his head leaning on one side. Ear infections in a guinea pig are not to be taken lightly and dealt with utmost care.

* A scratching guinea pig with baldness, sore and scaly skin could be infested from fleas or mites. “Flea dirt” found in the fur of a guinea pig is also an indication of the guinea pig having fleas. Using a flea comb could help. Visit a veterinarian for further treatment; he may advice you pyrethin products or an ivermectin treatment.

* Common symptoms of scurvy are weight loss, difficulty in breathing, eye discharge and dehydration. Vitamin C is a needed vitamin in the diet of guinea pigs. Scurvy is the result of a vitamin C deficiency. As a treatment, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C should be included in diet.
* Allergies and respiratory infections are detected by labored breathing and sound of rattling in lungs. Immediate consultation with veterinarian is needed.

Apart from the stated symptoms and treatments, as already said, health problems in guinea pigs should not be taken lightly and a visit to a veterinarian is highly advised.

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