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Category: guinea pigs


The bond between a pet and its owner is very strong and provides huge rewards. Along with the rewards comes the responsibility of caring for a living creature that depends upon you for all its needs. Caring for your pets needs means providing a good diet and living environment. Register your pet with your local vet even if it is perfectly healthy, you will know where to go in an emergency and your vet will be able to give you advice on routine health care.

The key to recognising illness in your pet is to know what your pet is like when it is well. Often an owner will be able to detect subtle changes in their pet’s behaviour or appetite that indicate illness well before anyone else can. Your partner in caring for your pet should be your veterinary surgeon. Regular visits to a vet for routine health checks and preventative health care such as vaccination or dental care allow you and your pet to build a relationship with your vet. Early detection of clinical diseases will allow your vet to give more effective treatments. Most pets live with us as part of the family – maintaining their health also means there is less risk of them passing on disease. The chance of you catching a disease from an animal is small but there are some diseases that people can get from animals (zoonoses). A healthy pet is unlikely to pass on disease.

Housing your guinea pig

Proper housing plays a major role in the maintenance of healthy guinea pigs. The well-being of the animals must be a primary consideration. What sort of housing should I provide for my guinea pig? Guinea pigs can be housed within

Handling your guinea pig

Guinea pigs rarely violently struggle when they are being picked up but they sometimes make a "squeal of protest", which sounds pig-like to many people. Nevertheless, great care should be taken not to injure them when picking them up. Due

Guinea pigs: a history

Guinea pigs are hystricomorph rodents (related to chinchillas and porcupines) that originated from the Andes Mountains region of South America. Traditionally, guinea pigs were used for ceremonial meals by indigenous people in the Andean highlands, and it continues to be

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is one of the most common bacterial diseases of pet guinea pigs. A number of potential disease-causing bacteria may inhabit the respiratory tracts of otherwise normal guinea pigs. How will I know if my guinea pig has pneumonia? Stress,

Routine health care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your pet happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your pet

Health checks: how to examine your guinea pig

In order to keep your guinea pig in the best possible condition, you will need to handle him daily, check him over for signs of illness and injuries. Because they are a prey species, guinea pigs are very good at

Parasitic skin diseases

Lice and mites are the most common external parasites of guinea pigs. Lice are tiny, wingless, flattened insects that live within the hair coat; both the adults and their eggs are found attached to individual hairs. A mite similar to

Breeding from your guinea pig

The single most important breeding consideration is that female guinea pigs should be first bred before 7 months of age. If the first breeding is delayed beyond this time, serious (sometimes life-threatening) problems with delivery are encountered. Females should be

Miscellaneous health problems in guinea pigs

Two medical conditions of guinea pigs that demand special mentions are dental disease (teeth malocclusion) and pneumonia, therefore these are covered in separate factsheets. However, there are other medical conditions that affect guinea pigs that are briefly covered here. There

Sensitivity to antibiotics

Guinea pigs as a group are unusually sensitive to certain antibiotics, whether they are given orally or by injection. Potentially harmful antibiotics include ampicillin, penicillin, bacitracin, erythromycin, lincomycin, gentamicin, clindamycin, streptomycin, vancomycin and sometimes tetracycline. Interestingly, even certain antibiotics used

Dental disease

Malocclusion of the teeth (also known as slobbers) is a common problem in guinea pigs who are not fed the correct diet or who have jaw joint problems or trauma to the face. In guinea pigs, their front incisors and

Feeding your guinea pig

Guinea pigs come from Central and South America and live in extended family groups in areas of long grass. They make runs or pathways through the tall vegetation and eat as they go! In an ideal world, we would keep