Tag Archives: blindness

can guinea pigs see?

Can guinea pigs see?

The question of whether guinea pigs can see or not has been intriguing owners for years.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to automatically assume that animals can see the things that we do, but this often isn’t the case.

How do guinea pigs see things?

Because of the way their eyes are positioned, they can see what is around  and in front of them without moving their eyes .

This is quite unlike our eyes that need to move to see around us and makes them very typical of a prey animal as most prey animals have a similar field of vision to see around them.

Because they are prey animals, they also rely on memory to guide them, and they can recall where tracks and tunnels are in order to escape predators. This also helps them get around their homes.

How far can guinea pigs see?

They can generally see a metre in front of them but they will struggle to see anything beyond that. This is where they rely on smell and sound to sense when something is approaching them.

How do guinea pigs see food?

Guinea pigs cant however see beyond their nose, and have to rely on sense and smell to find food.

Guinea pigs are great at smelling and hearing as they can tell when food is due. In fact, they can often hear the footsteps of the guinea pig owner coming to meet them.

When they do receive the food, the way they identify it is by the smell of the food through rather than seeing it.

A guinea pig generally has poor vision, however they can see a full range of colours without any problem.

Can guinea pigs see in the dark?

There are many who say that guinea pigs have night vision and can see in the dark. This maybe true but it hasn’t been absolutely proven.

However there are some factors that prove that guinea pigs are very comfortable with the dark.

  • They are part of the rodent family and most rodents have night vision
  • They don’t mind being in the dark and are more likely to settle in darker places than lighter places. Just watch where they sleep to learn about this.
  • They will have had to have learnt to move around in the dark to escape predators, as they would have needed to have negotiated dark tunnels and paths to get to safety.

can guinea pigs see?

Image: flickr

How to tell if your guinea pig is blind?

Although most guinea pigs have poor eyesight, some are blind, blind because of their age or born blind.

Here are some ways you can tell if your guinea pig is blind;

  • You can tell if your guinea pig is blind by checking the way they behave in a place they don’t know, or by moving around the objects in their cage and seeing how they react to them being in different places.
  • A blind guinea pig will scare more easily
  • If you shine a light into the guinea pig’s eyes it may reflect white rather than the usual red that you see in a normal eye.

If you do find that your guinea pig is blind, then this need not be a deal-breaker.

Blindness is something that most guinea pigs get over and find a way to adapt to. What you can do to make their lives easier is to put their food, water, and play things in the same position and not move them around.

I hope this has been a helpful analysis on the vision of guinea pigs. If you have any comments, it would be great to hear from you

Guinea Pig Droppings

10 things you need to check for when getting a Guinea Pig

Getting a guinea pig is a great thing to do if you are looking for a pet for your household.

So when looking for a healthy guinea pig, here are 10 considerations that you need to think about before making your choice.

1. Check its feet.

Make sure that they look to be healthy and pink. If there is any sign of inflammation then this can be a sign of bacterial disease.

Make sure the guinea pig’s claws are of a good length and not excessively long.

There are also guinea pigs that develop flaps of tough skin that protrude from their front feet; these are called spurs. However they can be removed with a nail clipper.

2. Check their teeth.

Open the guinea pigs mouth very carefully, and gently whilst  supporting its whole body prise the mouth open with your finger. Check that the two incisor teeth and the molars of the upper jaw touch those on the lower jaw.

If this doesn’t happen this will be a problem for them in later life.

3. Check for crustiness around the mouth

If you see any crusty deposits around these areas then this is not good.

4. Check its eyes

They should be slightly moist and bright. If they have watery, crusty, cloudy, ulcerated, receding or protruding this is should cause concern.

5. Check its shape

Make sure that the guinea pig is nicely rounded. If it is thin  and limp then that is a bad sign that it has been underfed.

6. Check its responsiveness to your handling

Carefully and gently lift the guinea pig holding its body in one hand and supporting its backside in the other and let the spine lean into your hand.

Check how it responds to you picking it up. Don’t be put off if the guinea pig is shy.

7. Check its hair

Make sure it is bright, does not have scurfy skin beneath and shows no signs of hair loss.

If you see any bald patches then this is a sign of an infestation of mites or even an infection.

8. Check its droppings

They should be thin, solid and rounded much like a small bean like the image below.

Guinea Pig Droppings
Guinea Pig Droppings

If you see any looseness in the droppings then this indicates a health problem.

9. Check its activity

Make sure it sits up normally without any hunching in its back and runs around actively.

Make sure that it is not moving around in circles and has its head pointing up as this can be a sign of blindness.

10. Check how they interact with others

If the guinea pig stays clear of others, it will most likely be calm and peaceful where as a Guinea pig that is in the crowd and runs around a lot will most likely be active and like playing.

This can have an impact when getting a guinea pig, especially if you are either buying few cavies.