Like all animals, guinea pigs get sick. Usually, the first signs of guinea pig illnesses are inactivity, refusing to eat or drink or eating and drinking very little, and unusual discharge. A responsible guinea owner has to constantly be on the look out for these symptoms because sickness rapidly spreads through their pet’s tiny bodies.
When you first notice these symptoms, you can try helping your guinea by giving them water. It’s really important to keep your guinea hydrated. You may have to force them to drink gently. If they aren’t eating, giving them milk or crushing up some of their food with milk. Making sure they get nutrients is important because it will help them fight off the illness. Keeping them warm is also important.
Here are two common guinea pig illnesses and their cures:
Parasitic Skin Infection
Guineas are quite susceptible to parasitic skin infections. If you notice some scaling on their skin or hair that is easily breaking, this could be a sign that they have a parasitic infection. One home remedy you can do is to mix eight drops of olive oil and two drops of neem oil, and gently rub this mixture into your pet skin. After a couple of days, use a medicated shampoo, like Selsun or Prioderm and give your pet a bath. You will have to repeat this process five days later. This treatment should definitely help your pet, and if it doesn’t, then you are probably dealing with a different type of skin infection.
Urinary Tract Infections
Running low to the ground, something they can’t help, makes guineas likely candidates for urinary tract infections. Though, some theorize that too much dry food, lack of water, or over ingestion of calcium can also lead to this problem. The best home remedy for this type of infection, as well as the best preventive measure, is to make sure your pet drinks a lot of water. Visiting the veterinarian for antibiotics and making sure they don’t skip those antibiotics is also a good way to cure them.
Though you can do these things, and they are sure to help your guinea, don’t skip the trip to the veterinarian. Unlike humans who can buy over the counter medication if they have something as simple as a cold, guineas don’t have this option, which is why taking them to the vet is a must. Also, vets can best judge your guinea’s condition.
There are other guinea pig illnesses your guinea pig can fall prey to, some of which were highlighted in the article at Petsium. Be sure you familiarize yourself with their symptoms and give your guinea the help they need. For the most part, simply being vigilant when it comes to guinea care and health is all your pet needs to stay healthy.