Category Archives: Guinea pig health problems

Do guinea pigs cough

Do Guinea Pigs Cough?

Coughing is usually a sign that our body needs to get rid of something that is blocking our airwaves.

Ever had a coughing fit like when you can’t stop coughing?

Your body is desperately trying to get rid of whatever is blocking or irritating your throat.

It is helpfully described here

A cough, also known as tussis, is a sudden reflex that humans and many animals have. Its purpose is to clear the throat and breathing passage of foreign particles, microbes, irritants, fluids, and mucus – it is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs. Coughing can be done deliberately or involuntarily.   source


Do Guinea pigs cough?

So yes guinea pigs do cough as well and it is for the same reason as us.

However when a guinea pig coughs it’s a sign that all is not well and they have something that needs addressing quickly by a veterinarian.

It’s a sign of a respiratory infection in a cough or cold and if it is left untreated it can kill a guinea pig.

As humans in the developed world, we are fortunate that a cough can easily be treated and medicated.

Guinea pigs and respiratory issues

Back when there wasn’t much knowledge of how to medicate respiratory issues a cough or cold could kill a human as well.

With guinea pigs, there will be other symptoms to look out for such as crusty eyes, runny nose, loss of appetite and breathing that is not regular.

When you go up close to them you may hear wet breath sounds or clicking.

Your guinea pig is more than capable of getting a respiratory infection.

However, they can’t get the cold or flu as they can’t get viral infections.

A good veterinary surgeon will be able to mediate this issue as long as it is dealt with quickly.

As long as it goes on unmedicated it will get worse for the guinea pig and their health will deteriorate.

Guinea pigs are good at not showing they are ill

Guinea pigs are very good at hiding when they are not well.

It may not be noticeable at first when they are sick.

Coupled with their poor immune system will make it more difficult to treat if the symptoms are not recognized as soon as possible by you.

This is why it’s important to keep a close check on your pet on a daily basis and handle them regularly to make sure everything is as it should be.

In no circumstances is advisable to self-medicate a guinea pig.

There are many sites out there which suggest treatments for such a problem.

But this could prove a fatal exercise and it is worth bearing the cost of taking them to a veterinary surgeon in the long run.

Once seen by a veterinary surgeon they should see improvement following a course of their prescribed medication.

Coughing is something that is best addressed immediately and if it isn’t it could be the start of something fatal for a guinea pig.

can guinea pigs fart

Can Guinea Pigs Fart?

Farting is a part of life. Fortunately, or unfortunately haha.

Did you know farts are also flatus or intestinal gas?

They are made of gas!

They occur when you eat food and you swallow air which contains gases such as nitrogen and oxygen.

These gases travel through your digestive system as you digest your food.

When the food is broken down in your large intestine then other gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen are produced.

They are gases that can’t stay inside your body and have to get out some way. That way is to fart!

The reason they smell is that small amounts of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane combine with hydrogen sulfide and ammonia in the large intestine.

This gives the gas its smell.

Farting is not a bad thing for the body, in fact, it’s a good sign that your body is working well. It’s just bad for other people!  (source)

Can guinea pigs fart?

Yes, guinea pigs do fart as well and if you happen to be in the vicinity yes they may smell bad, unfortunately.

Your guinea pig is well capable of farting.

Many piggie owners who have guinea pigs for a while have professed to witness them fart and it not being a very pleasant experience!

Cabbages and potatoes are said to be a few of the veggies that cause piggies to let go.

This is one of the reasons why you potatoes shouldn’t be fed to guinea pigs.

Guinea pig farts are actually a good thing

It is good though when a guinea pig farts though as they are expelling gas from their body.

When piggies have a lot of gas their bodies it can mean stomach problems so just like us this is one of the ways that their bodies deal with it.

This is what happens with guinea pigs and is a sign that things are working as they should.

can guinea pigs catch flu

Can guinea pigs catch flu from humans?

Can guinea pigs catch flu from humans?

Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus.

 Symptoms can be mild to severe.

The most common symptoms include: a high feverrunny nosesore throatmuscle painsheadachecoughing, and feeling tired  (source)

So can this affect a guinea pig?

Yes if you do have a respiritory infection such as the flu or a chest infection, you can pass it on to a guinea pig.

So if you are suffering from one of these afflictions, then make sure you do practice good hygiene. Make sure you wash your hands and limit handling your guinea pigs whilst you are sick.

Make sure you don’t kiss them at all or snuggle them as you may pass something on.

In fact, it is worth keeping away from them altogether if you have a respiratory disease and getting someone else to look after them during your recovery time.

If you don’t want to pass it on to your cavy and want to prolong their life, then this is worth considering



can guinea pigs cause allergies

Can Guinea Pigs Cause Allergies?

Allergies are always a problem when it comes to having pets.

People can be affected by all kinds of pets who can cause sneezing, coughing and even worse symptoms.

So can guinea pigs cause allergies?

Yes they can cause allergies.

In fact there are some people who are allergic to piggies.

According to the humane society these allergies are a reaction to proteins in the animal’s saliva and urine. Hay and wood shavings can also cause allergies.

It is often thought that hair or dander is the cause of allergies, however this is not the cause.

Although they do often transmit these allergens during handling and when they are held close.


can guinea pigs cough

Can Guinea Pigs Cough?

Have you every heard a guinea pig make what sounds like a choking/gagging sound?

It is very weird and can cause alarm when you hear it.

In fact it sounds like they are coughing.

So can guinea pigs cough?

Yes they can cough.

When guinea pigs cough, it is usually caused by a small irritation in their windpipe which can be caused by something like dust or something similar.

Dusty hay is often a cause of a guinea pig coughing.

If the coughing is merely an isolated incident then this is nothing to worry about.

If you find that your guinea pigs are coughing a lot, then this can be a sign that all is not well with them.

If this is happening, do seek the help of a guinea pig friendly veterinary surgeon who will be able to assist  and diagnose the issue.

can guinea pigs die from mites

Can Guinea Pigs Die From Mites?

Mites are small arthropods belonging to the class Arachnida and the subclass Acari (also known as Acarina).

Most mites are tiny, less than 1 mm (0.04 in) in length, and have a simple, unsegmented body plan.

Some species live in water, many live in soil as decomposers, others live on plants, sometimes creating galls, while others again are predators or parasites.

This last group includes the commercially important Varroa mites of honey bees, and the scabies mite of humans. (source)

So can guinea pigs die from mites?

Mange mites are those that are found because of exposure to other infected animals.

The mites move quickly from one infected animal to another.

Exposure rates are high amongst animal shelters, animal parks, groomers and veterinary clinics.

The exposure to mange mites usually occurs between two to six weeks before the first symptoms are displayed of mange mites. (source)

Image wikipedia

Yes mange mites can possibly kill a guinea pig.

How mange mites do this is to burrow underneath the skin and then cause excruciating pain for the guinea pig, even worse than fleas.

As a result, they can suffer hair loss, scratching, and possible seizures.

As a result, this can be fatal to a guinea pig.

Mange mites can be treated, however this must be done as soon as possible so as to limit the spread.

It is best to seek the advice of a guinea pig friendly veterinary surgeon to treat them.


Can Guinea Pigs Get Lice?

What are lice?

When an animal gets lice it is called pediculosis. The most common louse is Gliricola porcelli which measures between 1 and 1.5 mm.

They are flat insects which do not have wings and considered biting lice. They abrade skin to obtain fluid.

Lice are a common problem for most animals and can cause them a great deal of problems if they are not treated correctly.

So can guinea pigs get lice?

Yes guinea pigs can get lice.

It is a common health issue for them.

Lice on guinea pigs can be seen around their neck and ears.

How can I stop my guinea pig getting lice?

Guinea pigs can catch lice from objects which have been contaminated with lice such as bedding, blankets, furniture and of course, other guinea pigs and animals.

Keeping your guinea pig in lice free areas is the way to prevent this. But this is easier said than done!

Keep their living space clean and sanitary. By routinely cleaning and disinfecting their living space you can help to prevent an infestation.

Keep their stress levels down. Stress compromises their ability to keep infections and infestations at bay, so ensuring they live in a stress free living space will really help them.

How do i know my guinea pig has lice?

Symptoms of a guinea pig who has lice are;

  •  a restless guinea pig
  • Inflamed skin around their ears and neck
  • Blood loss
  • A weak guinea pig
  • A very itchy guinea pig

You will be able to see lice and their eggs on their skin and hair with a magnifying glass.

What can do i do if my guinea pig has lice?

They need to be taken to a piggie-friendly veterinary surgeon who will be able to treat them with suitable medication and restore them to good health.

Further advice and information is offered at PetMD and Guinea lynx

can guinea pigs get colds

Can Guinea Pigs Get Colds?

Colds are something that us as humans get.

The sneezing that often comes with having a cold is often a sign that we are coming down with the ailment.

There are times when we may see a piggy sneezing and so it may seem that they have a cold too.

So can guinea pigs get colds?

Guinea pigs can’t catch colds. This is because human colds are caused by viruses, respiratory problems in guinea pigs are caused by bacteria.

If you see your guinea pig sneezing then this is quite normal for a guinea pig to do. However, sneezing excessively can be the sign of a respiratory problems.

If you see any discharge from their nose, then this could be related to a sinus or respiratory infection.

Some nasal discharges or sneezing are merely due to an allergic reaction caused by soft wood beddings or hay that is dusty.

You may even find that you guinea pig is allergic to certain types of hay. It is worth checking this is not the case.


can guinea pigs get fleas

Can Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

Fleas are parasites that affect a lot of pets. They can really cause problems in the fur of animals such as cats and dogs. They can even affect humans!

When they get in amongst the fur of the animal, they can cause immense irritation for them and concern for the owner.

Fleas are dark brown tiny parasitic insects that have an ability to jump up to 150 times their own length. This allows them to jump between hosts and the surrounding environment.

So can guinea pigs get fleas?

Yes they can unfortunately. Even guinea pigs are not immune from getting fleas.

How do they catch fleas?

Fleas can be passed from other animals sources, so if an animal brings them into the house and passes them on to the guinea pig.

They can also be passed from objects where they can lie dormant on until they see something they can jump onto to feed from.

Fleas need something to feed from. Their eggs can remain dormant for a very long period of time under a variety of conditions such as in your carpet, furniture or even in your garden until they are able to latch onto something.

How do i know whether my guinea pig has fleas?

You can tell if your piggy has fleas if you see them scratching and they seem quite irritated.

You can look closely at their fur and pick out adult fleas amongst their coat or at the base of the fur on the skin.

There may even be flea dirt which looks quite like small black spots of grit. This is actually digested dried blood!

What problems can fleas cause guinea pigs?

Fleas can cause a number of issues in guinea pigs. They are the top cause of of skin disease  in piggies which can cause great problems for them.

They can also cause weeping sores, itchiness, strong smell and scaly skin.

Some animals are even allergic to flea bites which is a condition known as ‘Flea allergy dermititis.’

What can I do to treat my flea-ridden guinea pig?

The best thing to do is to take them to a veterinary surgeon to be examined. They will be able to prescribe a course of action and medication to treat the issue.

How can I ensure that my guinea pig doesn’t get fleas?

The best way to stop a guinea pig getting fleas is to keep their home clean and ensure that other pets in your house aren’t carrying fleas as well.

Make sure to examine their coat on a regular basis to ensure that it is flea free.

Carrying out these steps will help your guinea pig remain flea free and improve their quality of life at the same time.
(source Vet West)