The 5 Most Common Guinea Pig Diseases and How to Treat Them

Guinea Pig Eating Cucumber

Guinea pigs are wonderful pets. While guinea pigs are generally healthy animals, they are susceptible to a number of ailments. You'll be better prepared to spot signs and symptoms that your guinea pig is unwell if you know what the most frequent ailments are.

Signs and Symptoms of Common Guinea Pig Ailments

Every guinea pig is unique, and even the five most frequent health problems can manifest differently in various animals. Any changes in behavior, hunger, excretion (urination and feces), or other daily behaviors should be noted. Physical changes such as hair loss, skin redness, or edema should be noted. If you feel something is wrong with your pet guinea pig, keep an eye on any changes and see your doctor.


Guinea pigs must eat and defecate at all times. If you notice your guinea pig hasn't eaten in a while and is passing fewer and smaller stools, he or she may have ileus. When gas builds up in the gastrointestinal system, it causes ileus (stomach and intestines). Gas cannot exit the body since there is no regular peristalsis and no food entering the digestive tract. This is inconvenient and even life-threatening. If you suspect ileus in your guinea pig, seek medical help right once so it may be diagnosed and administered the appropriate treatments.

Secondarily, ileus might be induced by an underlying sickness or stressor, causing your guinea pig to cease eating. Keep track of your pet's food intake and how any changes have affected him.


It's possible that your guinea pig has lice or mites if it's losing hair and scratching a lot. You could become itchy just thinking about having these items in your house, let alone on your guinea pig. It is possible to avoid and treat lice or mites. Itching and hair loss are common symptoms of lice and Demodex mange bugs. are commonly seen in bald areas behind your guinea pig's ears, while mites can be found all over the body under a microscope. If you suspect any of these parasites, see your veterinarian to decide the best course of treatment.

Guinea pigs may pass parasites to one another and pick them up through toys and bedding. If any new guinea pigs appear to have skin issues, be cautious before introducing them. Make it a practice to freeze food or bedding for a day before putting it in the cage. Any parasites that may have been hiding in the packages will be killed by the freezing temperatures.

Uterine and Ovarian Diseases

It is very advised that you spay your female guinea pig. If she lives with a guy, she can keep the population under control and avoid having many litters. Females frequently develop uterine and ovarian difficulties, including different malignancies, and having your female spayed will help you avoid these problems. Even after the disease has been detected, the uterus and ovaries can sometimes be removed, but cancer has spread to other regions of the body, making it untreatable. Your exotics doctor can perform a full ovariohysterectomy on your guinea pig to avoid uterine and ovarian problems, exactly like a dog or cat. While some guinea pig owners cannot justify the cost of the surgery, others see the value in having their pigs for longer and not having to pay for emergency treatment when their pig becomes ill.

Respiratory Diseases

Guinea pigs are susceptible to cold air drafts and, if you have a tiny guinea pig, can easily acquire an upper respiratory illness or even pneumonia. Bordetella bronchiseptica can be acquired via your dog, cat, or pet rabbit. Keep an eye on where your guinea pig's cage is and make sure it's away from drafts, open doors, and open windows. This simple step will reduce their chances of contracting a respiratory infection. After handling other animals, such as guinea pigs in pet stores, your dog or cat coughing or sneezing, and even your rabbit, wash your hands. It's preferable to keep your germs to yourself if you or your family are sick.


Uroliths, also known as bladder stones, are stones that occur in the bladder of pet guinea pigs. They give your pet pain and suffering, and you may notice that their urine is frequently red as a result of the irritation caused by the stone. If you observe infrequent urination or bloody pee, contact your veterinarian straight away so they can run some tests to figure out what's going on. Bladder stones are frequently seen on radiographs done to rule out ileus and must be surgically removed.

Disease Prevention

Guinea pig illnesses are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Keeping a careful eye on your guinea pig is the greatest way to keep it healthy. Check that it is eating and defecating, wash your hands before and after touching it, freeze your pet's bedding and food before using it, and keep it out of drafts. These steps can help you avoid the majority of the most prevalent infections, while guinea pigs are susceptible to a wide range of illnesses. An yearly physical check with your is usually suggested to rule out anything else or search for internal concerns.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.