Happy, chatty little squeakers that they are, guinea pigs make delightful pets. But they’re an uncomplaining species and it can be difficult to spot if they’re unwell or injured, so some helpful pointers are recommended here by our vet Simon.
At Cat & Rabbit Clinic we’ve plenty of experience of dealing with guinea pigs of all colours, sizes and breeds, so if you have any specific questions simply contact the team and they’ll be able to advise you further.
What to watch for
Looks: Whatever the coat colour or length, the fur of these compact and sturdy pets should look shiny and lustrous. They’re good at grooming themselves so if you notice any change in their grooming habits it could point to an illness.
Diet: Make sure that, along with guinea pig pellets to provide essential vitamin C, they are eating plenty of hay, as well as some grass and leafy greens such as dandelions. They are day-long grazers and the fibres in these foods help to keep their teeth worn down as they don’t stop growing. It’s important to check teeth and nails regularly and book an appointment if either need attention.
Illness: You’ll be handling your guinea pig on a daily basis, so bear in mind a few things that could indicate health issues. These include making sure your pet is always alert and not quieter or less sociable than you’re used to, as both these things could be signs that they’re in pain. One of the most common afflictions is fly-strike, which tends to occur in warmer weather, so check around their hindquarters to make sure there are no signs of urine or droppings, which could attract flies.
Check-ups: As with all pets, it’s advisable to have them regularly and professionally looked over, so if it’s time for your guinea pig’s annual MOT, contact Cat & Rabbit Care Clinic on 01604 478888 and one of the team will book you in.