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Common Illnesses in Guinea Pigs

Do you have a pet Guinea pig? Guinea pigs are very adorable little pets, and are one of the most popular types of pocket pets. These little furballs are very endearing, and make wonderful pets. Like any other animal, however, they can be susceptible to specific diseases and conditions. In this article, your veterinarian Black Hills outlines a few common illnesses in Guinea pigs.

Dental Problems

Dental issues are very common in Guinea pigs. A piggy with dental issues may drool, which is known as the ‘slobbers’. The most common cause of dental issues is misaligned teeth, which can occur because of hereditary issues, injury, or malnutrition. A lack of vitamin C can also contribute to dental issues in Guinea pigs. Sometimes piggys with dental issues will eat less, because chewing can become quite painful, although a lack of appetite can be symbolic of other problems as well. Your vet may be able to correct the issue by filing down your piggy’s teeth, though further treatment may still be needed.

Scurvy (Vitamin C Deficiency)

Scurvy is also fairly common in Guinea pigs. Guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C naturally, so they need to ingest it in order to get enough of it into their systems. Weakness, lack of energy, limping, loss of appetite, a rough coat, weight loss, and diarrhea are some of the symptoms of scurvy in Guinea pigs. Scurvy can be fatal, so it should be taken very seriously. To prevent scurvy in Guinea pigs, make sure to include fruits and veggies with high vitamin C content, such as kale, turnip greens, and oranges, in your pet’s diet. Sometimes Guinea pigs have trouble absorbing vitamin C from food, and must be given vitamin C directly.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is actually the leading cause of death in Guinea pigs. It is generally caused by a bacterial infection. Some of the symptoms of pneumonia include wheezing, trouble breathing, discharge from the nose or mouth, weight loss, reddish eyes, and depression. Your vet may treat pneumonia with medicine, including antibiotics, but it must be caught early.

These are just a few of the common illnesses that can affect Guinea pigs. There are many more. If your Guinea pig shows any of the symptoms above, or shows any other signs of possible illness, such as lethargy, diarrhea, or lack of appetite, please contact us immediately for an examination.

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