How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

By: Chewy Editorial Printed: April 9, 2019

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

Watch out for Guinea Pig Bloat

In the event you share your life with guinea pigs, you want to pay attention to a critical, and typically deadly, situation often known as guinea pig bloat. Most mammals expertise intestinal fuel from time to time; it’s a standard byproduct of digestion. For our little cavys, nonetheless, this fuel causes large concern.

What’s Guinea Pig Bloat?

Guinea pig bloat happens when fuel builds up in your pet’s gastrointestinal intestinal tract.

“Guinea pigs usually are not ready to cross fuel via their intestines, so the fuel simply stays in the intestines and produces extreme ache,” says Lori Hageman, DVM, proprietor of Ark Pet Hospital in Antioch, Calif. “Guinea pig bloat could be deadly if untreated as a result of their intestines [have] stopped transferring, they usually cease consuming.”

Indicators of Guinea Pig Bloat

In the event you discover anorexia in your guinea pig or seen swelling round his rib cage, see a veterinarian instantly. The sooner your pet is seen and handled by knowledgeable, the better the therapy and prognosis for guinea pig bloat.

“Any guinea pig that begins to go off meals ought to be evaluated for bloat,” Dr. Hageman says. “By the point the stomach seems to be distended, the bloat is at a extra superior stage.”

Different indicators that may be attributed to guinea pig bloat embody normal weak point, decreased stool manufacturing, heavy respiratory and stressed motion. This situation could be very painful to your guinea pig and may worsen over evening, so take motion as quickly as you observe any indicators.

“Any guinea pig that doesn’t eat for greater than 36 hours ought to see a veterinarian,” Dr. Hageman advises. “Even when it isn’t bloat, there’s a situation that wants to be handled.”

Therapy of Guinea Pig Bloat

Veterinarians can treat guinea pig bloat with anti-gas drugs or antibiotics to get the gastrointestinal tract functioning usually. In addition they can provide the guinea pig ache medicine and encourage him to drink a lot of water.

If drug remedy proves futile, your vet would possibly carry out surgical procedure. Preserve in thoughts that when a guinea pig has bloat, the situation is probably going to occur once more.

“The prognosis for guinea pigs with bloat is at all times guarded,” Dr. Hageman says. “There are numerous theories on the illness, however nothing has been undoubtedly confirmed.”

These theories embody hairball impaction, intestine adhesions from previous stomach surgical procedures, micro organism, parasites, viruses or stress. Nevertheless, Dr. Hageman says weight loss program is a typical wrongdoer.

Stopping Guinea Pig Bloat

In accordance to William Ridgeway, DVM, of Lengthy Seashore Animal Hospital in Lengthy Seashore, Calif., 10-20 p.c of the guinea pigs he sees have bloat. However pet dad and mom can take precautions in opposition to the situation, Drs. Ridgeway and Hageman say.

“Sure meals trigger fuel build-up and shouldn’t be fed to guinea pigs,” Dr. Hageman says. “These embody all of the cruciferous greens (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) and bok choy. Guinea pigs ought to be fed a lot of timothy hay to preserve their intestines transferring easily.”

Veterinarians additionally suggest ensuring that your pet’s water and meals dishes are clear and that you just monitor your guinea pig’s consuming habits to catch anorexia at an early stage.

By: Chewy Editorial Printed: September 5, 2015

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

BeWell / Wellness / Frequent Guinea Pig Well being Points

Frequent Guinea Pig Well being Points

Respiratory Problems

Quite a lot of viruses and micro organism could cause respiratory illnesses in guinea pigs. A guinea pig affected by a respiratory downside might expertise sneezing, lethargy, discharge from the nostril and/or eyes, lack of urge for food and problem respiratory.

You’ll be able to assist forestall respiratory infections in guinea pigs by protecting the cage clear, protecting the cage in a draft-free room, and quarantining any new guinea pigs. In the event you suspect your guinea pig is affected by a respiratory downside, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Lumps

Lumps on a guinea pig’s physique could be attributable to a lot of completely different problems, together with an abscess, tumor, cyst or fatty lipomas.

Abscesses are bacterial infections normally ensuing from a wound or harm. Abscesses are spherical and infrequently have a thick discharge. Tumors could be benign or cancerous, and cysts are sometimes sebaceous and situated just under the pores and skin. Fatty lipomas are normally benign and encompass fats that has been deposited underneath the pores and skin.

It’s tough to forestall a guinea pig from growing any of most of these lumps, though early detection is vital to therapy. Look at your guinea pig daily, and take him to a veterinarian instantly for a analysis should you discover a lump on his physique.

Dental Problems

The tooth of guinea pigs develop constantly and should be worn down by gnawing. If the tooth don’t put on down usually, due to the way in which the guinea pig’s mouth has developed, the small animal has a situation referred to as malocclusion. That is normally a genetic downside and happens as a result of the tooth usually are not aligned.

Guinea pigs with overly lengthy tooth, repeated infections in the mouth, ulcerations on the lips or tongue, and problem consuming could also be affected by malocclusion.

You’ll be able to’t forestall malocclusion, however you’ll be able to handle it by having your small pet’s tooth trimmed frequently by a veterinarian.

Gastrointestinal Tract Problems

Guinea pigs can develop into constipated simply if not fed the suitable weight loss program. They will additionally develop diarrhea. Each of those situations are harmful and could be life-threatening if not handled immediately.

Guinea pigs affected by constipation might pressure to defecate. You may additionally discover a scarcity of feces in the cage, a distended stomach or lethargy.

Diarrhea exhibits up as unfastened or runny stools, and messiness beneath the tail.

To assist forestall constipation, be certain your guinea pig will get recent inexperienced greens daily, and supply entry to clear, recent water. To stop diarrhea, preserve his cage clear and introduce new meals regularly. Don’t feed your guinea pig something containing processed sugar as this will intervene with regular gastrointestinal operate. Preserve fruit treats to a minimal.

Take your guinea pig to the veterinarian if he exhibits any indicators of constipation or diarrhea. Your vet wants to diagnose and treat these problems immediately.

Pores and skin Problems

Many pores and skin problems in guinea pigs are attributable to an exterior fungus. This an infection normally begins on the face and spreads to different elements of the physique, though it could be current in multiple place at a time. You’ll see lacking areas of hair on a guinea pig’s physique, typically lined with scales or sores. The spots could also be itchy, so that you’ll see your guinea pig scratching them repeatedly.

Guinea pigs also can develop pores and skin problems from parasites comparable to lice and mites. Lice are tiny, wingless bugs that stay in a guinea pig’s hair. Indicators are scratching and lack of hair. Mites also can trigger a lack of hair. Some guinea pigs infested with mites will run wildly in circles.

To assist forestall pores and skin problems in guinea pigs, preserve humidity ranges low in the animal’s setting. Preserve your guinea pig cage clear, and don’t overcrowd guinea pigs in cages.

In the event you suspect your guinea pig has a pores and skin downside, contact an exotics veterinarian instantly for a analysis and therapy.

Foot Sores

Guinea pigs can develop sore hocks from residing on a wire-only cage backside. Their hind legs develop into crimson and swollen on the bottoms, they usually lose a few of their hair. If the issue is unhealthy sufficient, the guinea pig might not need to transfer round due to the ache. In the event you suspect that your guinea pig is foot sore, take him to the vet immediately. The vet might offer you antibiotic ointment to placed on his legs, and can counsel that you just change your cage flooring.

To stop hock sores, present your guinea pig with stable flooring. In case your small pet lives in an outside hutch, be certain at the very least 1/three of the cage ground is stable to provide reduction from the wire.

Heatstroke

Guinea pigs can develop heatstroke simply in sizzling climate, particularly if left in a automotive or in direct daylight. Indicators of heatstroke embody laying in a stretched out posture, panting, fast respiratory and drooling. In case your guinea pig is overheated, get him out of the recent setting and put a chilly, moist towel round his physique. You may also strive bathing your guinea pig in cool water (not chilly). Take your small pet to a veterinarian instantly.

To stop heatstroke, preserve your guinea pig’s cage out of direct daylight. Situate the cage away from radiators and different warmth sources. By no means depart your guinea pig in the automotive on heat days.

Eye Problems

Guinea pigs typically develop eye problems on account of one other situation, comparable to a respiratory an infection, diabetes, tooth problems or dehydration. Eye problems attributable to these problems can embody indicators like crusty or watery discharge, protruding or receding eyes, or cloudy eyes.

Guinea pigs also can develop corneal ulcers on account of harm to the attention. The attention might seem swollen and watery. The guinea pig might squint or paw on the eye. The attention might also develop into cloudy.

Guinea pigs also can develop cataracts, both on account of diabetes, outdated age or a genetic tendency towards the illness.

Some guinea pigs are born blind, whereas others can go blind on account of outdated age. Blind guinea pigs are normally ready to stay comparatively regular lives.

To assist forestall eye problems in your guinea pig, preserve his cage clear and supply a top quality weight loss program. In the event you suspect a guinea pig is underneath the climate, take him to an exotics veterinarian immediately. If a small pet’s eyes appear irritated or swollen, don’t wait to take him to a vet.

By: Audrey Pavia

Featured Picture: by way of kosobu/iStock/Thinkstock

Affiliation

  • 1 Division of Zoological Companion Animal Drugs, Cummings College of Veterinary Drugs, Tufts College, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.
  • PMID: 23642870
  • PMCID: PMC7128126
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.cvex.2013.01.002

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Authors

Affiliation

  • 1 Division of Zoological Companion Animal Drugs, Cummings College of Veterinary Drugs, Tufts College, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.
  • PMID: 23642870
  • PMCID: PMC7128126
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.cvex.2013.01.002

Summary

This text evaluations analysis and administration of gastrointestinal illnesses in guinea pigs and rabbits. The assessment consists of established causes of gastrointestinal illness in these species. The authors spotlight syndromes that could be thought-about rising or less-recognized causes of gastrointestinal stasis, together with gastric dilation and volvulus in guinea pigs and lead toxicity, colonic entrapment, and liver torsion in rabbits. Practitioners ought to suggest preliminary diagnostics, together with radiographs and blood work on guinea pigs and rabbits presenting with nonspecific indicators of gastrointestinal stasis, to higher decide attainable trigger and make the very best therapy suggestions.

Figures

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Lateral radiographic projection of a guinea with a caudally displaced gastric dilatation volvulus.…

Lateral radiographic projection of a…

Lateral radiographic projection of a rabbit with lead toxicosis (lead >65 μg/dL; regular…

Ultrasound picture of a rabbit…

Ultrasound picture of a rabbit with a caudate liver lobe torsion. The field…

Introduction

Guinea pigs are extra delicate than many individuals suspect; their chunky, compact our bodies counsel that they aren’t as vulnerable as different extra fragile trying animals comparable to gerbils and mice to frequent problems comparable to respiratory tract infections however in truth this isn’t the case. Guinea pigs are very delicate to draughts and damp and should be taken care of accordingly. They can not get the frequent chilly, or something prefer it; respiratory infections are doubtless to be bacterial and could also be attributable to the guinea pig being in normal poor well being.

Signs of Respiratory Problems

So as to add to the confusion, guinea pigs endure from allergic reactions in addition to infections and typically the difficulty is an environmental one, not illness. In case your guinea pig has crimson, runny eyes and a sore nostril, with moist snuffling however no laboured respiratory, it could be an allergy. A change of bedding materials might in this case make an enormous distinction, or the pig might have an allergy to pollen in the rapid environs of its cage or habitat. If that is so, there are numerous cures, together with utilizing a beeswax barrier to the pollen, out there from well being meals outlets for human use. The guinea pig might rub its nostril loads whether it is operating and likewise its respiratory will develop into laboured. A guinea pig is a really vocal animal, with quite a lot of sounds which it makes to present how it’s feeling; whether it is completely happy it would make a noise which sounds very comparable to a cat’s purr. Some house owners have mistaken this for a chest downside; as is the case with any pet animal, it pays dividends in relation to your pet’s well being to actually get to realize it and so you’ll be conscious if it turns into unwell.

Prevention of Respiratory Problems

Guinea pigs hate chilly and damp; they arrive from the Andes and their pure habitat is dry, if at instances somewhat chilly. If their bedding is allowed to develop into moist from the seepage from water bottles or, even worse, urine and faeces from unchanged bedding, then they’ll develop into vulnerable to respiratory infections. If their cage or habitat is in a draught, this can develop into nearly inevitable. If on analysis it seems that the guinea pig has a runny nostril due to inhaled mud from the bedding, it’s a easy matter to change it. A lot of the cheaper guinea pig bedding supplies is made of soppy wooden shavings or poorer high quality hay, each of which generally tend to be dusty. Timothy hay or pellet bedding is best however even good high quality bedding comparable to corn cob bedding is inclined to the expansion of fungus if it’s not stored scrupulously clear. A great check is to take a handful of bedding into the backyard and throw it into the air. If it comes down accompanied by a bathe of mud, and particularly if the mud is the very high-quality gray of fungus spores, then the bedding ought to be modified instantly, and the habitat hoovered out completely. If this nonetheless makes no distinction to the signs, or a beforehand symptom free pig begins to sniffle and wheeze, it’s undoubtedly time to go to the vet.

Therapy of Respiratory Problems in Your Guinea Pig

The guinea pig is a difficult animal to treat with drugs as in the wild it’s a prey animal and so could be nervous and fairly difficult to deal with. Hopefully, you’ll have been making associates with it because it arrived, however even in acclimatised animals giving medicine could be very anxious all spherical. Many small animal drugs can be found in dropper kind and so could be drizzled in the nook of the mouth. If this fails, then it might be positioned on a favorite meals. Guinea pigs normally have a particular favorite which they’ll at all times reply to – utilizing that as a ‘malicious program’ to get the medication into the animal is a stress free technique whether it is attainable to accomplish that, though granted, it’s a little tough if the meals is already very moist, like cucumber but when the pig has a favorite rusk or one thing absorbent it ought to work effectively.

Common Good Observe

With an animal like a guinea pig which is small and nervous it’s important to have common contact with it. It isn’t enough to preserve it in a cage or hutch and feed it a few times a day. There should be fixed interplay in order that the slightest signal of in poor health well being will likely be seen. This isn’t to say that you just and your guinea pig want be on the vet on a regular basis; quite the opposite, with cautious commentary it would typically be attainable to forestall many visits just by catching a situation early. If a guinea pig has, for instance, an allergic runny nostril, left untreated this may occasionally effectively trigger different problems comparable to localised sores which might permit different opportunistic infections to take maintain in the uncooked pores and skin. Additionally, guinea pigs develop into depressed very simply and this will lead to lack of urge for food, main in flip to a low vitamin consumption which once more can critically undermine the animal’s well being. Though not each guinea pig is gregarious and keen on human contact, they’re animals which naturally stay in colonies and groom one another and have fixed contact. If it’s not attainable to preserve multiple it’s much more important to have loads of interplay with it, stroking and dealing with it in order that it doesn’t pine.

Introduction

Guinea pigs endure from a lot of pores and skin complaints and it’s the normal perception amongst guinea pig house owners that pores and skin points account for many if not all of their journeys to the vet. One of many most important problems is that guinea pigs come from a dry local weather and can’t at all times address the humidity they typically expertise in captivity. One reply to pores and skin problems is to cut back humidity, however that is clearly not at all times attainable.

What to look out for

You’ll hopefully discover that your guinea pig is scratching greater than regular earlier than any outward indicators are apparent. Whether or not the pores and skin downside is attributable to a fungal or bacterial an infection or by a parasite, the preliminary indicators are the identical; scratching and the lack of small patches of hair. In an extended haired guinea pig this can most likely first current by the coat trying somewhat much less beautiful than typical. There could also be matted hair and damp trying patches the place the pores and skin has been damaged by the fixed scratching. The pig might even draw blood will probably be scratching so intensely. Though circuitously attributable to stress or an immune system which isn’t working to full capability, it’s actually true that if the guinea pig is affected by stress – which could be attributable to the lack of a cage mate, guinea pigs are very bonded animals in their group – or is immune suppressed, the pores and skin is the primary place you will notice this. It’s their weak spot, because it have been. Some guinea pigs will behave bizarrely, twitching the pores and skin on their backs and operating spherical in circles, determined to cease the itching.

Prognosis of the pores and skin downside

The guinea pig’s pores and skin downside will likely be due to lice, mites, micro organism or fungus. This may occasionally in flip develop into a a number of downside, due to course micro organism are current in the setting which trigger no downside to a wholesome animal however are opportunistic is it’s in poor health. So a pig with mange (attributable to mites) will develop sore patches which is able to develop into contaminated with micro organism if not handled rapidly. It’s vital subsequently to take a guinea pig with naked patches, scratching or weird behaviour to the vet right away. Cage mates should even be checked as lice and mites will migrate to each animal in the habitat. The pores and skin of the guinea pig may be very skinny and delicate (which is why they have been extensively used in the beauty business for testing) and can break down very simply. Hair will drop out very readily too, though it would normally develop again, until there was scarring. If the animal has mites or lice these are normally seen. A fungal or bacterial an infection will want swabs earlier than it may be recognized exactly. It’s normally attainable, from the state of the pores and skin, to inform whether or not it’s bacterial or fungal and the suitable medicine could be began directly, pending identification.

Therapy of pores and skin problems

Therapy is simple as soon as the trigger has been found. Antibiotics, antifungals or topical preparations to take away mites and lice could be administered and are normally very efficient in fairly a brief house of time. It’s important to take away and get rid of all bedding and to clear out the cage or habitat, giving particular consideration to the corners. Whereas the pores and skin continues to be irritated the softest and least dust-causing bedding ought to be used and it ought to be modified frequently so the guinea pig isn’t left in damp situations. Whether it is attainable throughout the location of the cage to cut back humidity, this ought to be executed however in most circumstances of home guinea pig situations that is unlikely to be attainable. On this case it’s much more vital to preserve the cage setting dry. If the pores and skin downside happens in the nice and cozy summer season months, placing the pig out in a run in the backyard will assist enormously, so long as care is taken to present shade cowl in addition to solar and ensure the animal doesn’t develop into too sizzling. Additionally, if there was stress in its life, it is necessary to make it possible for the animal is not going to be harassed by different household pets or encroaching wildlife. Foxes are very daring today and may enter even city gardens at any time, not simply at evening.

Prevention of pores and skin problems in guinea pigs

The guinea pig has a really delicate pores and skin and a nervous disposition. These two info usually are not changeable – they’re the conditions you tackle board whenever you begin protecting these pleasant little animals. The principle prevention route is fixed vigilance. If one animal in a bunch begins scratching, it should be remoted right away and examined minutely to decide the trigger. No matter it seems to be, the opposite guinea pigs in the group should even be checked over and if any tiny indicators of pores and skin breaking down, spots or lesions of any form, they need to all be taken to the vet. If an issue like lice or mites will get a maintain it is rather tough to eradicate as one pig will cross it on to one other and it circles spherical and spherical with out finish. An itchy pig is an sad pig and since they’re fairly delicate little souls you’ll quickly have a really wired colony after which they’ll develop into inclined to different situations, a few of that are life threatening. Hopefully, an proprietor will likely be dealing with their guinea pigs frequently anyway and this can be a good time to give them a as soon as over – they groom one another in the group anyway for bonding, so they’ll love to be petted and scratched gently as you examine their pores and skin.

How can I treat viral gastroenteritis?

Generally, individuals with viral gastroenteritis get higher on their very own with out medical therapy. You’ll be able to treat viral gastroenteritis by changing misplaced fluids and electrolytes to forestall dehydration. In some circumstances, over-the-counter medicines might assist relieve your signs.

Analysis exhibits that following a restricted weight loss program doesn’t assist treat viral gastroenteritis. When you may have viral gastroenteritis, you might vomit after you eat or lose your urge for food for a short while. When your urge for food returns, you’ll be able to most frequently return to consuming your regular weight loss program, even should you nonetheless have diarrhea. Discover recommendations on what to eat when you may have viral gastroenteritis.

In case your youngster has signs of viral gastroenteritis, comparable to vomiting or diarrhea, don’t hesitate to name a physician for recommendation.

Exchange misplaced fluids and electrolytes

When you may have viral gastroenteritis, you want to substitute misplaced fluids and electrolytes to forestall dehydration or treat gentle dehydration. It is best to drink loads of liquids. If vomiting is an issue, strive sipping small quantities of clear liquids.

Most adults with viral gastroenteritis can substitute fluids and electrolytes with liquids comparable to

  • water
  • fruit juices
  • sports activities drinks
  • broths

Consuming saltine crackers also can assist substitute electrolytes.

In case your youngster has viral gastroenteritis, it is best to give your youngster an oral rehydration answer—comparable to Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, and CeraLyte—as directed to substitute misplaced fluids and electrolytes. Oral rehydration options are liquids that comprise glucose and electrolytes. Discuss with a physician about giving these options to your toddler. Infants ought to drink breast milk or system as typical.

Older adults, adults with a weakened immune system, and adults with extreme diarrhea or signs of dehydration must also drink oral rehydration options.

Over-the-counter medicines

In some circumstances, adults can take over-the-counter medicines comparable to loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate) to treat diarrhea attributable to viral gastroenteritis.

These medicines could be unsafe for infants and kids. Discuss with a physician earlier than giving your youngster an over-the-counter drugs.

When you have bloody diarrhea or fever—indicators of infections with micro organism or parasites—don’t use over-the-counter medicines to treat diarrhea. See a physician for therapy.

How do medical doctors treat viral gastroenteritis?

Your physician might prescribe drugs to management extreme vomiting. Docs don’t prescribe antibiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics don’t work for viral infections.

In some circumstances, your physician might suggest probiotics. Probiotics are stay microbes, most frequently micro organism, which are like those you usually have in your digestive tract. Research counsel that some probiotics might assist shorten a case of diarrhea. Researchers are nonetheless finding out the usage of probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. For security causes, speak along with your physician earlier than utilizing probiotics or every other complementary or different medicines or practices.

Anybody with indicators or signs of dehydration ought to see a physician immediately. Docs may have to treat individuals with extreme dehydration in a hospital.

How can I forestall viral gastroenteritis?

You’ll be able to take a number of steps to preserve from getting or spreading infections that trigger viral gastroenteritis. Wash your palms completely with cleaning soap and water

  • after utilizing the toilet
  • after altering diapers
  • earlier than and after dealing with, getting ready, or consuming meals

You’ll be able to clear surfaces that will have come into contact with contaminated stool or vomit, comparable to counter tops and altering tables, with a combination of 5 to 25 tablespoons of family bleach and 1 gallon of water. 7 If garments or linens might have come into contact with an contaminated individual’s stool or vomit, it is best to wash them with detergent for the longest cycle out there and machine dry them. To guard your self from an infection, put on rubber gloves whereas dealing with the dirty laundry and wash your palms afterward. 7

When you have viral gastroenteritis, keep away from dealing with and getting ready meals for others if you are sick and for two days after your signs cease. 7 Individuals who have viral gastroenteritis might unfold the virus to any meals they deal with, particularly if they don’t completely wash their palms. Contaminated water might also unfold a virus to meals earlier than they’re harvested. For instance, contaminated fruits, greens, and oysters have been linked to norovirus outbreaks. Wash vegetables and fruit earlier than utilizing them, and completely cook dinner oysters and different shellfish. 7 Discover suggestions to assist preserve meals protected.

The flu vaccine doesn’t shield in opposition to viral gastroenteritis. Though some individuals name viral gastroenteritis “abdomen flu,” influenza (flu) viruses don’t trigger viral gastroenteritis. Nevertheless, rotavirus vaccines can forestall viral gastroenteritis attributable to rotavirus.

Rotavirus Vaccines

Two vaccines, which infants obtain by mouth, are permitted to shield in opposition to rotavirus infections 8

  • RotaTeq: Infants obtain three doses, at ages 2 months, four months, and 6 months
  • Rotarix: Infants obtain this vaccine in two doses, at ages 2 months and four months

For the rotavirus vaccine to be best, infants ought to obtain the primary dose by 15 weeks of age. Infants ought to obtain all doses by Eight months of age.

When you have a child, speak along with your child’s physician about rotavirus vaccination.

References

[7] Stopping norovirus an infection. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention web site. https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/preventing-infection.html. Up to date July 15, 2016. Accessed August 31, 2017.

[8] Rotavirus: vaccination. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention web site. https://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/vaccination.html. Up to date August 12, 2016. Accessed August 31, 2017.

This content material is offered as a service of the Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Illnesses (NIDDK), a part of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being. The NIDDK interprets and disseminates analysis findings to improve information and understanding about well being and illness amongst sufferers, well being professionals, and the general public. Content material produced by the NIDDK is rigorously reviewed by NIDDK scientists and different specialists.

Guinea pigs are intriguing animals that every have distinctive personalities. Some are boisterous and bossy, and others shy and timid. All of them could make glorious pets in the suitable setting.

One of the crucial frequent problems we see in guinea pigs is the event of life-threatening dental illness. It’s a horrible situation that we see all too generally. This text seems to be on the frequent indicators of dental illness, how to forestall it from occurring to your guinea pig and what therapy choices can be found.

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

What’s Dental Illness?

Dental illness is a time period that relates to problems with tooth. The time period is used for a number of species and means one thing completely different in every species. For instance, ferrets generally get tartar build-up on their tooth, whereas rabbits mostly develop sharp spurs that may dig into their tongue or cheek. Each problems, nonetheless, are referred to as dental illness.

Guinea pigs have two lengthy slender incisors on the entrance of their mouth on each their higher and decrease jaws, in addition to 4 ‘cheek’ tooth (one premolar and three molars) on every occlusal floor at their again of their mouth. In between these areas is just a little hole referred to as the diastema.

Guinea pig tooth consistently develop all through their life, and if they aren’t being worn down by chewing on a lot of hay or grass, they begin to elongate.

The most typical type of dental illness in guinea pigs entails the elongation of their cheek tooth. The mandibular (backside jaw) cheek tooth are sometimes the worst affected, they usually can get so unhealthy that they’ll develop over and completely ‘entrap’ the tongue. This prevents the tongue from transferring usually, which implies the guinea pig can’t eat correctly.

Different types of dental illness in guinea pigs embody dental abscess formation, irregular put on, elongation of the tooth roots, incisor problems and the presence of sharp spurs that may ulcerate the tongue or cheek.

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

What Signs Ought to I Watch Out for?

Signs fluctuate for every particular person animal and could be very delicate, with some guinea pigs presenting with weight reduction as their solely symptom. Extra generally, extreme salivation and modifications in consuming preferences (not consuming or solely consuming softer meals) are seen.

Different signs can embody weak point, facial swellings, vocalisation, not passing any faeces, not transferring a lot, secondary respiratory infections and even loss of life.

How Do You Diagnose Dental Illness?

Dental illness can typically be recognized by an intraoral (trying contained in the mouth) examination by an skilled guinea pig vet. Your vet will usually use a specialised speculum or otoscope to look inside your guinea pig’s mouth.

In some circumstances, dental illness isn’t at all times apparent throughout an intraoral examination, and in these circumstances, radiographs (x-rays), CT, or an examination underneath normal anaesthesia could also be really useful.

It can be crucial to point out that whereas dental illness can typically be recognized on examination, radiographs or CT are at all times a good suggestion, as they permit your vet to precisely assess how extreme your guinea pig’s dental illness is and resolve on the very best therapy plan.

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

What Therapy Choices Are Obtainable?

The therapy choices out there rely on the severity of the dental illness. For gentle circumstances, the therapy could also be so simple as rising the quantity of hay or grass in your guinea pig’s weight loss program.

For extra critical circumstances, a dental process underneath normal anaesthesia could also be wanted. This entails utilizing a specialised diamond-coated dental burr to rigorously appropriate your guinea pig’s tooth again to the size and angle that they need to be. In some superior circumstances, tooth extraction is required.

Dental illness generally is a very painful situation to your guinea pig, so ache reduction, in addition to supportive feeding, is commonly wanted.

Can Dental Illness Be Be Cured?

Sadly, until the illness is caught early, it is rather tough to remedy completely. Usually, it is because the angle that the tooth develop on has modified so even with correction, the tooth will nonetheless develop again abnormally.

Many guinea pigs with dental illness want common dental procedures each 1-12 months for his or her complete life.

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

How Do I Forestall Dental Illness From Occurring?

The excellent news is that whereas dental illness is commonly tough to treat it’s usually simple to forestall. The perfect technique of prevention is to make sure that your guinea pig is fed a well-balanced weight loss program with a lot of hay or grass.

We suggest that guinea pigs have a weight loss program primarily based round 80% hay or grass, 15-20% acceptable greens +/- 5% high-quality guinea pig pellets. This promotes good dental put on, regular gastrointestinal operate and acceptable water consumption.

Low vitamin C ranges are additionally a threat issue for the event of dental illness, so it’s a good suggestion to make sure that your guinea pig is getting sufficient vitamin C in their weight loss program. This may be offered in their greens, some specialised guinea pig pellets or in a separate vitamin C complement.

Common check-ups by an skilled guinea pig vet are really useful, as they permit dental illness to be detected early earlier than it’s too late.

For extra data on guinea pig dental illness and its prevention, contact your native Uncommon Pet Vets workforce.

By: Chewy Editorial Printed: September 5, 2015

How to treat gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs

BeWell / Wellness / Frequent Guinea Pig Well being Points

Frequent Guinea Pig Well being Points

Respiratory Problems

Quite a lot of viruses and micro organism could cause respiratory illnesses in guinea pigs. A guinea pig affected by a respiratory downside might expertise sneezing, lethargy, discharge from the nostril and/or eyes, lack of urge for food and problem respiratory.

You’ll be able to assist forestall respiratory infections in guinea pigs by protecting the cage clear, protecting the cage in a draft-free room, and quarantining any new guinea pigs. In the event you suspect your guinea pig is affected by a respiratory downside, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Lumps

Lumps on a guinea pig’s physique could be attributable to a lot of completely different problems, together with an abscess, tumor, cyst or fatty lipomas.

Abscesses are bacterial infections normally ensuing from a wound or harm. Abscesses are spherical and infrequently have a thick discharge. Tumors could be benign or cancerous, and cysts are sometimes sebaceous and situated just under the pores and skin. Fatty lipomas are normally benign and encompass fats that has been deposited underneath the pores and skin.

It’s tough to forestall a guinea pig from growing any of most of these lumps, though early detection is vital to therapy. Look at your guinea pig daily, and take him to a veterinarian instantly for a analysis should you discover a lump on his physique.

Dental Problems

The tooth of guinea pigs develop constantly and should be worn down by gnawing. If the tooth don’t put on down usually, due to the way in which the guinea pig’s mouth has developed, the small animal has a situation referred to as malocclusion. That is normally a genetic downside and happens as a result of the tooth usually are not aligned.

Guinea pigs with overly lengthy tooth, repeated infections in the mouth, ulcerations on the lips or tongue, and problem consuming could also be affected by malocclusion.

You’ll be able to’t forestall malocclusion, however you’ll be able to handle it by having your small pet’s tooth trimmed frequently by a veterinarian.

Gastrointestinal Tract Problems

Guinea pigs can develop into constipated simply if not fed the suitable weight loss program. They will additionally develop diarrhea. Each of those situations are harmful and could be life-threatening if not handled immediately.

Guinea pigs affected by constipation might pressure to defecate. You may additionally discover a scarcity of feces in the cage, a distended stomach or lethargy.

Diarrhea exhibits up as unfastened or runny stools, and messiness beneath the tail.

To assist forestall constipation, be certain your guinea pig will get recent inexperienced greens daily, and supply entry to clear, recent water. To stop diarrhea, preserve his cage clear and introduce new meals regularly. Don’t feed your guinea pig something containing processed sugar as this will intervene with regular gastrointestinal operate. Preserve fruit treats to a minimal.

Take your guinea pig to the veterinarian if he exhibits any indicators of constipation or diarrhea. Your vet wants to diagnose and treat these problems immediately.

Pores and skin Problems

Many pores and skin problems in guinea pigs are attributable to an exterior fungus. This an infection normally begins on the face and spreads to different elements of the physique, though it could be current in multiple place at a time. You’ll see lacking areas of hair on a guinea pig’s physique, typically lined with scales or sores. The spots could also be itchy, so that you’ll see your guinea pig scratching them repeatedly.

Guinea pigs also can develop pores and skin problems from parasites comparable to lice and mites. Lice are tiny, wingless bugs that stay in a guinea pig’s hair. Indicators are scratching and lack of hair. Mites also can trigger a lack of hair. Some guinea pigs infested with mites will run wildly in circles.

To assist forestall pores and skin problems in guinea pigs, preserve humidity ranges low in the animal’s setting. Preserve your guinea pig cage clear, and don’t overcrowd guinea pigs in cages.

In the event you suspect your guinea pig has a pores and skin downside, contact an exotics veterinarian instantly for a analysis and therapy.

Foot Sores

Guinea pigs can develop sore hocks from residing on a wire-only cage backside. Their hind legs develop into crimson and swollen on the bottoms, they usually lose a few of their hair. If the issue is unhealthy sufficient, the guinea pig might not need to transfer round due to the ache. In the event you suspect that your guinea pig is foot sore, take him to the vet immediately. The vet might offer you antibiotic ointment to placed on his legs, and can counsel that you just change your cage flooring.

To stop hock sores, present your guinea pig with stable flooring. In case your small pet lives in an outside hutch, be certain at the very least 1/three of the cage ground is stable to provide reduction from the wire.

Heatstroke

Guinea pigs can develop heatstroke simply in sizzling climate, particularly if left in a automotive or in direct daylight. Indicators of heatstroke embody laying in a stretched out posture, panting, fast respiratory and drooling. In case your guinea pig is overheated, get him out of the recent setting and put a chilly, moist towel round his physique. You may also strive bathing your guinea pig in cool water (not chilly). Take your small pet to a veterinarian instantly.

To stop heatstroke, preserve your guinea pig’s cage out of direct daylight. Situate the cage away from radiators and different warmth sources. By no means depart your guinea pig in the automotive on heat days.

Eye Problems

Guinea pigs typically develop eye problems on account of one other situation, comparable to a respiratory an infection, diabetes, tooth problems or dehydration. Eye problems attributable to these problems can embody indicators like crusty or watery discharge, protruding or receding eyes, or cloudy eyes.

Guinea pigs also can develop corneal ulcers on account of harm to the attention. The attention might seem swollen and watery. The guinea pig might squint or paw on the eye. The attention might also develop into cloudy.

Guinea pigs also can develop cataracts, both on account of diabetes, outdated age or a genetic tendency towards the illness.

Some guinea pigs are born blind, whereas others can go blind on account of outdated age. Blind guinea pigs are normally ready to stay comparatively regular lives.

To assist forestall eye problems in your guinea pig, preserve his cage clear and supply a top quality weight loss program. In the event you suspect a guinea pig is underneath the climate, take him to an exotics veterinarian immediately. If a small pet’s eyes appear irritated or swollen, don’t wait to take him to a vet.

By: Audrey Pavia

Featured Picture: by way of kosobu/iStock/Thinkstock