Your Guinea Pig’s Health

You should visit a qualified exotics veterinarian at least once a year for check-ups on your guinea pig’s diet, behavior, and health.  

Be prepared for your pet’s visits by making a list of any questions or concerns you may have ahead of time. Ask your veterinarian to recommend an appropriate age to have your guinea pig spayed or neutered; this will increase the chances of a longer, healthier life for your pet.  Many guinea pig health problems are preventable with proper diet and care.

To locate a qualified exotics veterinarian near you, visit aemv.org.

Reasons to contact your vet: 

•    Loose, soft, or lack of stool
•    Small, dry, or infrequent stools 
•    Blood in the urine
•    Sneezing or trouble breathing 
•    Hunching in corner or lack of activity (lethargy)
•    Overgrown front teeth 
•    Observed difficulty with chewing 
•    Bald patches in the fur
•    Sores on the feet 
•    Abnormal eating or drinking

Guinea Pig Behavior 

Guinea pigs are most active at dawn and twilight, taking naps throughout the day. Guinea pigs often show their affection through vocalizations. For example, you may hear a sound called “wheeking” when your pet is looking for a treat, or purring when being held. Also, your guinea pig may “popcorn” – bouncing excitedly and repeatedly to express happiness.  

The best way to interact with your guinea pig is to get down to his level and play with him on the floor. As creatures of habit, guinea pigs need to be introduced to changes slowly in regards to feedings and routines. Some guinea pig behaviors can seem rather strange. For example, you may see your guinea pig eat its own poop. This is a normal, healthy behavior that provides essential vitamins and nutrients.