Its really important to find a vet who is interested in these little animals. Guinea pig illnesses are difficult to diagnose and tests may be necessary. Another difficulty is that guinea pigs respond badly to some antibiotics. Your local guinea pig rescue may know a good vet.
Like all prey animals, guinea pigs hide the fact that they are ill or in pain. These are the symptoms of a guinea pig that is not well:
Inspect your guinea pig every day, making sure that its feet are not swollen, its eyes are clear, and its skin and fur is fine. Any kind of skin or fur disorder must be taken seriously. Weight loss is also very serious so it is worth regularly weighing your guinea pig. You can get a guinea pig record book, to keep an eye on weight and other health issues, here.
Diethelm-Mader, G., (2009), ‘Common small mammal emergencies,’ Proceeding of the Latin American Veterinary Conference 2009, 278-283.
Flecknell, P., (2002), ‘Guinea Pigs,’ eds Meredith, A. & Redrobe, S., BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets, BSAVA, Fourth Edition, Quedgley, Gloucester, UK.
Fremond, J. J. & Bowman. D. D.(2003), ‘Parasites of Guinea Pigs,’ in ed. Bowman D.D., Companion and Exotic Animal Parasitology. Available at www.ivis.org/advances/Parasit_Bowman/fremont/chapter.asp?LA=1 Acccessed 31 December 2013.
Capello, V., (2006), ‘Clinical approach to the anorectic guinea pig,’ Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference, vol 20, 1697-1699.
Hoeffer, H. H., (2006), ‘Urolithiasis in rabbits and guinea pigs, Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference, vol 20, 1735-1736.
Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, ‘Laboratory Rodents,’ Recognising Pain in Animals, Available at http://nas-sites.org/animal-pain/how-to-recognize-pain-in-animals/laboratory-rodents/ Accessed 31 December 2013.
Lichtenberger, M. & Lennox, A. M., (2009), ‘Exotic Companion Mammal Emergency Medicine and Critical Care,’ Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians 2009 Conference Proceedings, 1-15
McBride, A., (2011), Guinea Pigs. Understanding and caring for your pet, Magnet & Steel.
These notes are my copyright. I am also usually happy to have the exact words reproduced on websites, in return for a link, my name, and if permission is asked beforehand. I like to check the websites where it might be used. Email me via this website for permission which will usually be given. Organisations wishing to use them in print should contact me via this website. Copyright © 2007 Celia Haddon. All Rights Reserved.
All normal safety precautions should be taken when dealing with animals. The advice in this section should be taken only at the owner’s own risk. All sick animals should be seen by a vet.
General advice of the kind found in this website is no substitute for an individual consultation with a vet or qualified behaviourist working on a vet’s referral.