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.