Guinea Pig Illnesses

There is a huge range of illnesses your guinea pig can suffer from, some more common that others. In this article, I am going to outline all the different types of illnesses that guinea pigs are susceptible to (believe me there are a lot). I am also going to show you how to identify each illness, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again. Some of my solutions might seem straight forward while others are probably a bit more obscure, but pay attention, you will hopefully still learn something new.

So Lets Get To It! 

All The Different Types Of Guinea Pig Illnesses

Okay don’t get too overwhelmed by the list below. I have tried to capture pretty much all of the most common illnesses (even though I am sure there are more). This is certainly not the end all be all of list but I hope it will be useful just in terms of using it as a general reference point.

  • Respiratory Infections
  • Diarrhoea
  • Scurvy 
  • Tumors
  • Abscesses
  • Urinary Problems
  • Bumble Foot
  • Heatstroke
  • Lice/Mites
  • Fungal Infections
  • Broken Tooth/Teeth
  • Flu

Yeah… there are a lot of things that could go wrong. The reality is however, if you monitor your guinea pig regularly and take care of him, he should be able to dodge most of these problems without a hitch. So let’s dive into this in a bit more depth.

Guinea Pig Respiratory Infections

Whenever I think of a respiratory infections in humans, I think of a breathing problem. This is no different with guinea pigs!

Guinea Pig illnesses - Respiratory Infections

The proper medical term for the most common respiratory guinea pig infections are Bordetella Bronchisepta and Streptococcus Pneumoniae. Bordetella Bronchisepta is the most common form  respiratory infection in dogs believe it or not. It also occurs relatively frequently in guinea pigs as well. Streptococcus Pneumoniae is the less dangerous of the two infections (I still recommend treatment) but only a minority of the Streptococcus strains can lead to Pneumonia. Streptococcus Pneumoniae is one of the more common illnesses your guinea pig is likely to experience. Fortunately it is also one of the easier illness to treat. Keep in mind, if this illness is left untreated, and can eventually turn into Pneumonia which is a much more difficult problem to resolve.

Causes Of Guinea Pig Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are usually the result of unhealthy bacteria being transmitted to your guinea from other guineas or even humans. The bacteria is typically transferred through small droplets of liquid that then enter the body and begin to multiply, much like someone transfer a cold through sneezing.

Other causes can be negative exposure to the elements i.e. your guinea pig lives outside and it has gotten particularly cold. Make sure you keep an eye on the weather if your guinea pig does live outdoors.

Symptoms Of Guinea Pig Respiratory Infections 

Believe it or not, some guinea pigs can be carriers of certain respiratory infections and show now symptoms what’s so ever. However, this is a very small minority. Most guinea pigs will show some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of energy – Commonly referred to as lethargy, your guinea pigs will be very ‘sluggish’ and may be unwilling to move all together.
  • Loss of appetite – Your guinea pig may be unwilling to consume the food you have provided.
  • Significant weight loss – You may notice a significant reduction in your guinea pig’s weight. Keep in mind however, this will typically only be apparent if your guinea has been ill for a significant period of time.
  • Breathing difficulty – This is one of the most common symptoms and can typically be identified through the wheezing sound of your guinea’s breathing. This is usual accompanied by an abnormal expansion of your guinea pig’s chest as it tries to breath.
  • Fever – This one is perhaps hard to tell beyond simply holding your guinea pig and noticing the temperature fluctuations.
  • Discharge From Both The Mouth & The Nose – Once again, this is one of the more common and apparent symptoms with the discharge typically being yellowish in colour.
  • Miscarriages – The failure to give birth is perhaps a more obscure symptom. This is due to there being plenty of other reasons behind a miscarriages (which are common in guinea pigs).
Guinea Pig Respiratory Illness

These are just basic indicators of a respiratory illness in your guinea pig. To be certain, take your little guy to a vet where they may take a blood sample from your guinea pig. If they can’t identify the infection beyond simply looking. The blood sample will help to get a more accurate picture of what type of illness/respiratory infection your guinea has.

Treatments For Guinea Pig Respiratory Infections 

Typically, after diagnosing your guinea pig, a veterinarian will prescribe your little fella some antibiotics which should sort the illness out. I recommend after administering the antibiotics and completing the cycle, you feed your guy some probiotics (read more here). Probiotics are great at getting your little guy back to a healthy baseline after the antibiotics. Antibiotics will have effectively removed both good and bad bacterias from the body.

You may also simply need to move your guinea pig into a more hospitable environment (from outside to inside). Another potential issue is their being a high level of dust in the air. This can be sorted by simply the area around the cage or purchasing an air purifier (read more here).

Last but not least, I recommend getting your guinea pig on a healthy diet. Food is the fuel that keeps us running. If we have bad fuel, we aren’t going to able to function properly, guinea pigs are no exception. Check out my ultimate guinea pig food list to find out what foods are most suitable for a healthy guinea here.

Guinea Pig Diarrhoea

Guinea pig Diarrhoea - Guina Pig Illnesses

We have all had it and guinea pigs are not immune to it either. However, diarrhoea for humans is a bit less dangerous than it is for guinea pigs. If not properly addressed, this illness can actually lead to early death for your guinea pig. Diarrhoea causes a rapid loss in your guinea’s bodily fluid which leads to severe dehydration.

Causes Of Guinea Pig Diarrhoea 

Diarrhoea is actually symptom of a larger problem that your guinea pig is facing health wise. Typically, this illness is the result of an overgrowth of bad bacteria within your guinea’s immune system. In a healthy guinea pig, the bacteria Clostridium is present in low numbers. This bacteria exists in the large and small intestine helping to digest fibers, and helping to maintain potentially dangerous bacteria colonies (preventing them from overgrowing). Diarrhoea is caused when there is a bacterial imbalance within your guinea pig’s intestines. This may be the result of an improper diet, or due to improper use of antibiotics.

Symptoms Of Guinea Pig Diarrhoea

Keep in mind this is not a complete list of symptoms. However, these are some of the more common tell tale signs that your guinea pig has diarrhoea:

  • Loss of energy – Your guinea pig will seem weak and be relatively unwilling to move around.
  • Dehydration – This is due to the constant expulsion of liquid.
  • Loss of appetite – Your guinea pig may begin to reject the food you offer it.
  • Watery Poo – This one kind of goes without saying right?
  • Dirty hair – The hair around your guinea pigs anus will most likely be very dirty.
  • Sunken eyeballs – This is due to the dehydration and lack of nutrients.
  • Low Body Temperature – This a symptom of a severe case of diarrhoea.

I think out all of these symptoms, the watery poo is the most obvious. However, this can be hard to spot, especially if you only clean your guinea pig’s cage one every week/two weeks.

Treatments For Guinea Pig >Diarrhoea

Antibiotics may be a necessary step in sorting this problem out. It is really important that your guinea pig continues to eat food and drink water while it is consuming the antibiotics. Late stages of diarrhoea can produce toxins that are largely fatal for your guinea pig once absorbed into its body.

A Picture of guinea an ill guinea pig with Diarrhoea

However, in the early stages, it is usually a lack of water and food that will lead to the death of your guinea pig. I recommend getting hold of some probiotics, keeping your guinea pig stocked with a lot of water, and supplying your little guy with some nutrient rich foods (read more here).

Unfortunately, there is a high mortality rate amongst guinea pigs if they do contract diarrhoea. To get through it, your guinea pig will be typically need to be taken to a vet and administered a heavy dose of antibiotics. Along with this, your guinea pig may require hospitalisation.

Guinea Pig Scurvy

Scurvy In Guinea Pigs

I have written up so much about these types of guinea pig illnesses both in relation to scurvy and vitamin C deficiencies. Rather than repeat myself, I am just going to list the articles and you can decide which one is best for you 🙂 :

Check those articles out! I have done a lot of research when it comes to guinea pigs and vitamin C and this is actually one of the more common problems I see with new guinea pig owners. It’s one of those things you just don’t realise and it kind of sneaks up on you!

Guinea Pig Tumors

Tumors are typically an illness that will effect guinea pigs as they get older. It is important to note, that tumors can be both benign, meaning harmless or not dangerous, or malign, meaning harmful and typically referring to cancer. Unfortunately, in the case of malign tumors, there is not much that can be done beyond surgery which is very risky for an animal the size of a guinea pig. There is a low rate of survival with guinea pigs typically dying a few weeks after diagnosis. Unfortunately, guinea pigs aged 4-5 years old have anywhere between 1/6 and 1/3 chance of developing a malign tumor.

Side note, guinea pigs that interbred with other family members are typically more at risk of getting a tumor due to the corrupted gene pool.

Causes Of Guinea Pig Tumors

In its scientific form, tumors are caused by the multiplication of body cells. This multiplication of cells takes place over a long period of time which eventually results in the formation of a physical lump AKA a tumor. Some guinea pigs are simply more prone to getting tumors simply due to hereditary issues, however, the rate of occurrences in regards to tumors significantly increases when interbreeding of family members takes place.

A bad diet is also just as much a culprit for the formation of tumor as anything. I cannot stress this enough, but guinea pigs need a wide range of nutrients, I do not recommend feeding your guinea pig one type of food and that’s it. Give your guinea pig a staple for and supplement it with other essentials vegetables and fruits.

Symptoms Of Guinea Pig Tumors

Unlike the other illnesses, tumors are actually pretty straight forward when it comes to identifying and detecting them through an analysis of the below symptoms.

  • Odd Lumps – This one is probably pretty self explanatory. However a quick tip that gives an indication if a tumor if benign or malignant: if the tumor does not move when you touch it (attached to the body verus attached to the skin) the tumor is probably cancerous.
  • Scruffy Hair – The hair around the area where the tumor resides tends to be scruffy and patchy
  • Enlarged Spleen – Occasionally, you will notice that your guinea pig has an enlarged spleen (area below the rib cage). This is largely due to the tumor competing for space in your guinea’s body and causing this expansion to occur. However, it can also be due to the presence of toxins.

Treatments For Guinea Pig Tumors

As mentioned above, treatment of non-harmful tumors is actually pretty standard amongst veterinarian practices. Typically the benign tumors are on the guinea pig’s skin and not attached to the muscle tissue which means the surgery is not overwhelmingly complex, and therefor neither is the recovery process.

A Guinea Pig With A Tumor

Malign tumors (harmful tumors) are another story. Typically, by the time you detect the tumor itself, it is already in the late stages of development which means your little guy will unfortunately only have a few weeks, maybe months left. However, I still recommend taking your guinea pig to the vet as every situation is different and also worth getting a professional opinion on.

I really want to stress the importance of  a healthy diet when it comes to this issue. A healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of your guinea pig developing a tumor and a lot of the other illness mentioned above as well. Remember, balanced and diversified is the type of diet you are after.

Guinea Pig Abscesses & Cysts

When I was first doing my research for this topic, I didn’t really know the difference between a tumor and an abscess/cyst. I mean, I knew they were different, I just didn’t know why there were different. They are both lumps right? Fortunately, abscesses/cyst and tumors in guinea pigs are two seperate illnesses, and abscesses are typically less sever than tumors.

Guinea Pig Cyst

Before I carry on, I just want to make a quick note. Abscesses and cysts are very similar in guinea pigs but also ever so slightly different. Abscesses are typically very painful, are in a swollen state, and have the potential to spread infections to other parts of the body. Cysts on the other hand are pus filled sacks that are not irritable and relatively harmless. However I still recommend you look at getting them removed. Why you ask? Well, here is the thing… if a cyst becomes infected, it then turns into and abscesses. Please note, an abscess can form from a cyst, but can also form on its own.

Causes Of Guinea Pig Abscesses & Cysts

Typically, both of these guinea pig illnesses will form due to an infection that was brought on either by a bite or a puncture from some external force. If you have just bought a second guinea pig and introduced it to another guinea, there can be some guinea pig dominance taking place (read more here). It is not unusual during these early stages of the two guinea pigs establishing a hierarchy (which is completely natural), there being some biting and clawing. This can lead to cuts and gashes that, if left untreated, can lead to cyst and abscesses forming.

In pretty much all cases, cyst and abscesses are caused by some form of trauma that did not heal properly. Keep in mind, abscesses and cysts are not technical an illness or disease within your guinea pig, but more of a symptom of those two things.

Symptoms Of Guinea Abscesses & Cysts

Here is a list of the most common symptoms when it comes to an abscess or cyst somewhere on your guinea pig’s body:

  • Bacteria In Your Guinea PigA Lump – Okay, this one may seem a bit obvious to you, but there is actually a bit more to it. The lump on your guinea pig will first of all be sensitive to the touch (if it is an abscess). Also, unlike a tumor, the lump will be what is called ‘palpable’ which is another word for soft and malleable. The best way I can describe it is as a doughy like consistency. Obviously, if touching it causes your guinea pig significant pain, try and refrain from irritating it and take your little guy to the vet.
  • Drooling – Occasionally these little buggers can be in places that is hard for us to spot i.e. within the mouth. As a result, looking for a lump is no longer as simple as it seems. If the abscess or cyst is in the mouth of the guinea pig, you may notice a bit drool coming out of the side of the mouth as well as puffy face.
  • Irritated Hair – As mentioned above, finding one of these lumps can be relatively hard. This is especially true if the infection is in the deep part of your guinea pig’s tissue. While we may not be able to see it, your guinea pig will probably be able to feel it. Their natural reaction is to groom the area where it hurts, resulting in irritated and scruffy hair.
  • Loss Appetite – Your guinea pig may become disinterested in food due the pain being caused by the lump.
  • Squeaking – Guinea pigs are particularly vocal animals (as I am sure you know). This means they will probably tell you if something is physically painful for them when you go to pick them up. If you notice anything unusual in terms of sounds when you do pick them up, take this is a signal that something is not quite right.

Treatments For Guinea Pig Abscesses & Cysts 

Unlike cysts that occur in other animals such as cats and dogs, the pus that forms within your guinea pig is quite thick. This means lancing a cyst or abscess is not recommended. To be honest, I don’t recommend you perform any form of surgery on your guinea pig full stop. Just take your little guy to a professional, its worth it as you will probably be preventing future problems from occurring later on.

In almost all cases, treatments for cysts and abscesses begin with antibiotics. Simply due to the nature of this type of guinea pig illness (bad bacteria) the antibiotics will be able to help your little guy fight this problem in a big way. If the abscess or cyst is rather large and in the later stages of infection, surgery may become necessary. I highly recommend after either the cycle of antibiotics or the surgery or even both, you begin feeding your guinea pig some probiotics to help rebuild their immune system (read more here).

If the infection is within the mouth, surgery will probably not be performed as there is a chance that the abscess will burst and cause chocking. The alternative would be treatment solely through the use of antibiotics for a longer period of time.

The early you can get to these types of guinea pig illnesses the better in terms of preventing any fatal outcomes for your guinea pig. Mortality rates in relation to abscesses and infections drop significantly if the antibiotics are administered early on. However, the longer you leave the infection, the more wide

spread the illness can become meaning you end up playing wack a mole when it comes to treatment.

Guinea Pig Urinary Problems

Okay, so there are a lot of different types of guinea pig illnesses that can be covered under the category of ‘Urinary Problems.’ I will do my best to highlight as many of them as possible with being too nit picky. Also, just to note, some of these illnesses will only be present and males and some will only be present in females. I don’t know a whole lot of the science behind it but I’ll do my best to make some distinctions.

Guinea pig pee

Causes Of Guinea Pig Urinary Problems

Honestly with a topic as a large as this, I could probably write an entirely new article on this subject alone. However, in its most basic form, these types of guinea pig illnesses are usually caused by either a bacteria build up or an unhealthy build up of calcium (resulting in kidney stones). Unhealthy and unclean environments will largely be the cause of the bacteria side of things. Kidney stones are a bit different. These can be due to either the diet you are feeding your little guys, the water source or just plain bad luck.

Symptoms of Guinea Pig Urinary Problems

Keep in mind, it is very easy to mistake some of these symptoms for a guinea pig illness. A lot of these symptoms could just be a misinterpreted normal bodily function. However, if in doubt, it can’t hurt to get a second opinion from your local vet to verify if this is a guinea pig illness.

  • Blood In The Urine – This is never a good sign. This could indicate both a urinary tract infection as well as potential internal bleeding. On top of this, blood may signal kidney stones which is one of those bad guinea pig illnesses that require surgical intervention. The easiest way to spot this is by looking at the bedding when you next change it out. Check if there are any unusual stains. Please note, sometimes beddings will react with urine and create an orange tint which can easily be mistaken for blood.
  • Not Passing Urine – If your guinea pig has stopped peeing all together (and has plenty of water) this can also be a sign of some sort of infection. The infection is usually related to the kidneys rather than the urinary tract itself.
  • Urine Test – If you want to get down a bit of a rabbit hole with this, you can purchase some hydrogen peroxide and conduct your own test on the urine (more on this here).

Treatments For Guinea Pig Urinary Problems

Typically, if the urinary problem is related to a bacterial infection, a vet will prescribe antibiotics. Depending on the strain of bacteria they detect, which will show up in testing, they my prescribe a more specific type of antibiotic. If the problem is causing noticeable pain to your guinea pig, the vet may prescribe an anti-inflammatory. This will reduce some of the pain originating from the various stress points, acting as a sort of painkiller.

On the other hand, if the problem is more related to kidney stones or something along this line, surgery may have to take place. Unfortunately with guinea pigs, being as small as they are, surgery of this nature can be relatively complex and difficult to perform.

As I said above, this type of illness is pretty wide reaching in terms of the types there are. To find out more, read this article here, I have referred to these guys a few times when it comes to identifying the various problems I or other guinea pig owners might have.

A Guinea Pig With Bumble Foot

A Picture Of Bumble Foot In A Guinea Pig

Bumble foot is one of those more obscure guinea pig illnesses that you really don’t hear about. Honestly, I had never heard of it until about last year myself. Basically this is one of those odd bacterial infections that occurs in your guinea pig’s feet. This type of illness is not just restricted to guinea pigs but is also seen in birds, rabbits and other small creatures. If left untreated this infection can lead to further complications and the potential need for amputation later on.

This is typically a slow moving infection and can take months for it to reach a point where it is truely a problem. That is not to say ‘wait till it gets to that point’ however. Just keep in mind this might be a harder to detect illness than some of those previously mentioned.

Causes Of Bumble Foot In Guinea Pigs

Usually, this illness is the result of a few problems coming together as one. As with most bacterial infections, they tend to enter the body from an external source. If your guinea pig has small cuts on his or her feet, this is the perfect opportunity for this illness. This, when combined with an unclean cage, can result in ‘bumble foot’.

Overgrown nails are also a common culprit. The nails can sometimes cut into the tissue of your guinea pig’s foot and lead to infections later down the road.

One of the more less known causes however is a lack of vitamin C. A shortfall in this essential vitamin (read more here) can cause the cracking of skin and therefor an entry point for bad bacteria.

Symptoms Of Bumble Foot In A Guinea Pig

The list of symptoms for this type of illness is actually pretty short:

  • Guinea Pig Bumble FootLoss Of Hair – The affectedfoot will display a significantly reduced amount of hair due to the infection.
  • Inability To Walk – Due to the pain caused by the infection, your guinea pig will be either unable or unwilling to walk. If the infection is in its earlier stages, your guinea pig may display difficulty with walking rather than an inability to walk
  • Swollen Feet – This is the most obvious of all the symptoms with your guinea pigs feet being much larger than usual. There may also be a slightly calloused look on your guinea pigs feet

Treating Bumble Foot In Guinea Pigs

The best way to go about treating these types of guinea pig illnesses is to try and figure out the root cause. Antibiotics will certainly need to be administered, followed by probiotics, however, to truely solve the problem, we need to look a bit further into the cause of this illness.

If the cause of the bumble foot was an unclean cage, you will need to look at changing your cage cleaning schedule (read more here). Also look at removing any wire from the bottom of your cage as this could potentially cause cuts and other open sores.

If the cause was a vitamin C deficiency (which your vet will help you identify) then you will need to look at introducing some

vitamin C supplements into your guinea’s diet. These are not too expensive and really easy to get a hold of. I wrote an entire article about the best supplements you can get for your guinea pig, check that out here.

All of this will be discussed in further depth by your local vet 🙂

Guinea Pig Heat Stroke

A guinea pig’s natural habitat is the high plains of South America. The average temperature there ranges from 15 degrees Celsius to about 20 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit). As a result, we have to be mindful that when we bring our guinea pigs into our own environments, that the range of temperatures can effect them in a negative way.

Heat Stroke In Guinea Pigs

Causes Of Heat Stroke In Guinea Pigs

As far as guinea pig illnesses go, this is one of the more straight forward issues with clear causes and clear consequences. If the weather is significantly hotter than what a guinea pig would experience in its own habitat (above 70 degrees Fahrenheit/20 degrees Celsius), there is a high a chance of a heat stroke.

The high heat accompanied with a low supply of water can also further contribute to your guinea pig having a heat stroke. Make sure you have a suitable guinea pig water bottle (read more here) and the water bottle is removed from direct sunlight. Keeping the water bottle out of direct sunlight can help keep the water cool and help reduce your guinea pig’s temperate when they drink it.

Symptoms Of A Guinea Pig Heatstroke 

A lot of these symptoms are also symptoms for dehydration but I thought I would include both just because dehydration usually precedes a heatstroke:

  • Red Tongue – Your guinea pig’s tongue will be a bright red colour and may also be swollen.
  • Rapid Breathing – These types of guinea pig illnesses usually always effect the breathing pattern of your guinea pig. In this case, you may notice your pig panting rather rapidly.
  • High Pulse – Your guinea pig’s heart will be beating very fast leading up to and after the stroke. This means you should be able to detect an irregularly high pulse in your guinea pig due to the rapid circulation of blood flow being caused by the heart.
  • Drooling – Unlike dogs, guinea pigs really shouldn’t be drooling, and if they do it means there is probably something wrong.
  • Dazed – Your guinea pig may look like it is in a stupor or even act slightly drunk, this usually one of the more tell tale signs of this type of illness.
  • Hot Weather – As far as signs go as to whether or not your guinea pig is at risk of having a stroke, this is the biggest giveaway. If the weather is hot, simply move your guinea pig to a cooler environment.
  • Not Moving – Your guinea pig may be unwilling to move. This is largely due to exhaustion and shock.  Please note, your guinea pig may be able to move but only slowly.

If your guinea pig has plenty of water and the temperature is not overly high, then your guinea pig may have a different type of illness. If this is the case, take your little guy to the vet to diagnose the problem with more accuracy.

Treating A Guinea Pig Heatstroke

The first step to treating this type of illness in your guinea pig is to reduce the temperature. If your guinea pig in enclosed in a room, open the windows and get some airflow going. When the temperature is high outside, get hold of a fan to produce this airflow. If you keep your guinea pig outside and the temperature is exceeding the recommended range, move him to someone where cooler.

Wrapping A Guinea Pig In A Cold Towel

Ensure that your guinea pig has plenty water and that the water is cool. Like I mentioned above, make sure the water is cold water will help lower your guinea pig’s core body temperature more effectively than warm water. If your guinea pig is severely dehydrated, you may have to administer the water yourself. Get a needle free syringe and feed your guinea very slowly, drip by drip. Like all cases of guinea pig illnesses, feeding your guinea pig either food or water can be a difficult task. The trick is to be patient and introduce the substance slowly.

The overall goal here is the lower your guinea pig’s body temperature. Do not put your guinea pig in a cold bath as this can shock him. It is not unheard of for humans who quickly switch from one temperature to another to have a heart attack. On top of this, your guinea pig will have a low level of  meaning they may not be able to tread/support themselves in the water. I recommend wrapping your guinea pig in a cool wet towel (and changing it regularly). This helps lower the overall temperature of your guinea in a stable and safe way.

Guinea Pig Lice/Mites

Out of all the guinea pig illnesses your little guy can have, this is definitely one of the least fatal. However, if left untreated, there is a high chance that this type of illness will form into something more problematic. So what is the difference between lice and mites? Well, lice feed themselves by consuming the skin from your guinea pigs. Mites on the other hand, feed themselves by consuming the blood from your guinea pig.

There is huge range of lice and mites out there. If you are interested in figuring out what these are go ahead and check out this article here. That link is more tailored for chickens, however the information still holds true for guinea pigs. Typically, both the mites and the lice will gravitate towards the heat spots on your guinea pig. These are around the neck and groin area. This actually helps with identifying this illness as these areas tend to get inflamed.

Causes Of Lice & Mites In Guinea Pigs

A lot of the times, both lice and mites will get transferred to your guinea pigs from other guinea pigs or even other animals. Along with this, guinea pigs that live outside are more vulnerable to contract lice or mites simply due to the environment. Keep in mind, mites and worms are actually the same thing, just two different names.

Lice and mites tend to thrive in areas that are dirty and unclean. Unchanged bedding is certainly a common culprit as it provides the perfect breeding ground for these buggers.

Symptoms Of Lice & Mites In Guinea Pigs 

Guinea pig illnesses that effect the skin are typically pretty easy to identify:

  • Constant Grooming & Scratching – Both lice and mites will cause a constant itching sensation in your guinea pig. Your guinea pig will respond by grooming and scratching the infected areas (usually the neck and groin).
  • Patchy Hair – With lice, the hair will most likely be patchy simply due to your guinea pig constantly scratching. Mites on the other hand can actually cause the hair to fall out as the skin becomes more and more infected.
  • Yellowish Hair – If the mites have been left untreated for a long period of time, the skin will become infected. You will notice this by the slight discolouration of hair around the effected areas and in extreme cases, the complete loss of hair in the infected area.

Treating Both Lice & Mites In Guinea Pigs.

A picture of ring worm in guinea gigs

My first recommendation is to get hold of some nice deworming/anti-lice shampoo. If you are after a recommendation, check out my article on deworming shampoo here. The article is titled ‘ring worm in guinea pigs’ but the information still holds true for both lice and mites (ringworm is actually another name for mites). Using this shampoo (a few times) should effectively remove the lice and mites.

If the condition of your guinea pig is pretty bad, I recommend taking your little guy to the vet.  Here they may decide to hospitalise your guinea pig until it becomes healthy once again. Antibiotics may be required if the mites have caused a bacterial infection

All these above treatments are great for this curing this illness but unless you change the source of the problem, they will simply be temporary solutions. This goes for all guinea pig illnesses, look for the root cause and eliminate it. In the case of lice and mites, this may involve moving your guinea pig indoors, or simply changing your guinea pig’s bedding more often. Also don’t forget to give your guinea pig cage a good clean (more on this here) after you have taken your guinea pig to the vet/given him a shower. Both lice and mites can survive for a while without a host’s body. Make sure you get rid of all of them before they find their way to your guinea pig again!

Fungal Infections In Guinea Pigs

Fungal infections are actually just another name for ring worms (read more here). If you are after any information, simply refer the above section of check out that article in the link.

Guinea Pig With Broken Teeth

A picture of guinea pig's teeth

A guinea pig with a broken tooth is not that uncommon of an illness. Honestly, this is more of an injury rather than being one of the guinea pig illnesses mentioned above. But, I thought, while I am at it, why not write something up about this topic anyway?

Guinea Pig Broken Teeth Causes 

More often then not, broken teeth are the result of food that is too hard combined with an insufficient amount of Vitamin C in your guinea pig’s diet. Vitamin C helps support healthy bone growth, much like calcium. Any shortfall in this essential vitamin can cause brittle bones.

Unlike humans, a guinea pig’s teeth will continue growing throughout its entire life. This means it is up to us to give our guinea pigs a form of chew toy that is hard enough to both wear their teeth down but to not break them. If you are interested in my guinea pig chew toy recommendations, check out this article here.

Symptoms Of A Broken Guinea Pig Tooth 

  • A Picture Of Broken Guinea Pig TeethA Broken Tooth – This one goes without saying really, but simply take a look at your guinea pig’s teeth. If there are any glaringly obviously cracks or missing pieces, then you have yourself a broken guinea pig tooth.
  • Unwillingness To Eat – Due to the pain caused by the broken tooth, you guinea pig may avoid eating to prevent any further irritation.
  • Swollen Face – If the broken tooth becomes infected then this will probably lead to swelling the face. Just to clarify, the tooth wont actually be infected but the gums around it will.

Treatments For A Broken Guinea Pig Tooth

Typically, there is much isn’t much you can do or need to do if the break isn’t to severe. One of the good things about guinea pig’s teeth is that, as mentioned above, they don’t stop growing. This means the teeth will eventually fix themselves.

However, there are two exceptions to this. First off, the growth of your guinea pig’s teeth is out of order. By this, I mean if the teeth begin growing inwards (curling) or sideways. If this happens I recommend you take your guinea pig to a vet. They will professionally trim your guinea pig’s teeth to insure they grow back in a healthy and non-dangerous way.

Broken Guinea Pig Teeth

The second exception is in the case of infection. If the broken tooth in your guinea pig has caused some kind of infection in the gum, you will need to go to the vet. Typically, they will fix the tooth’s growth direction and prescribe some form of antibiotics to cure the infection. Occasionally, they may look at lancing the infected area if it has become an abscess or cyst.

Make sure you cut your guinea pig’s food into smaller portions to insure they can continue eating. Also, make sure you prevent the problem from happening again. If you think this was due to to hard a food, get rid of it!

Guinea Pig Flu’s

I have an entire article on this subject. Rather than repeating myself I’ll let you read over the article yourself. Check out it here.


Well, there ya go. I hope I answered all your questions in relation to guinea pig illnesses. I have tried to create as big a list as possible but I am sure I have missed some points. If you have any recommendations or pointers, please let me know in the comments section below.

Also, if you have any questions please fire away below as well. I love hearing from you guys and I’ll do my best to answer all your questions to the best of my ability.