|There will be times in your guinea pig's life that they will need treatment by a vet and it is your duty as a pet owner to ensure your guinea pig is treated. This can sometimes be expensive but to help cover these costs, insurance companies offer a range of policies with different levels of cover. |
There are various aspects of routine care that you need to ensure you provide your guinea pig. Some of these are monthly, every 6 months, annually or one off treatments, find out more below.
Below are the average statistics of a healthy guinea pig:
Life span: 5 - 8 years
Temperature: 99 to 103°F
Heart Rate: 240 - 350 beats/min
Respiration Rate: 40 to 150 breaths/min
Gestation Period: 59 - 72 days
Weight: Up to 1.2 Kgs (2.6 lbs)
Guinea Pigs are natural prey animals and they usually hide any signs of suffering. You need to keep an eye on your guinea pig and watch closely for any signs of illness. Signs that there could be a problem include a runny nose, coldness, your guinea pig being unusually inactive, or digestive problems. If you are in any doubt about the health of your guinea pig, take it to your vet immediately as poorly guinea pigs can deteriorate quickly.
Your guinea pig's teeth will never stop growing so they need something to gnaw on to keep their teeth healthy. Sometimes this isn't enough and your guinea pig's teeth may need trimmed. Your vet will be able to carry out this procedure.
Likewise, their claws can become overgrown and uncomfortable for your guinea pig if they are too long. Your vet will easily be able to trim them.
Guinea Pigs can get worm-type parasites, although they are rare. If you suspect your guinea pig has worms, take a fresh fecal sample to your vet and he/she will be able to diagnose the problem. Your vet will then administer the appropriate medication for your guinea pig.
Guinea Pigs do not require any specific vaccinations.
Fleas & Ticks
You need to check your guinea pig regularly for fleas and mites. A range of flea and mite sprays are available that are easy to apply and effective in getting rid of infestations. Ensure you read the instructions on the label before you apply to your guinea pig.
Spay or Neuter
If you do not intend to use your guinea pig for breeding purposes you may wish to have them spayed or neutered. Spaying a female guinea pig (sow) will prevent unwanted litters and neutering a male guinea pig (boar) reduces the likelihood of them being aggressive and should make them easier to tame. Spaying or neutering may also reduce the risk of certain health problems in the future.
A licensed veterinarian will perform the surgery under anesthesia and they will be able to fully explain the procedure to you. If you are thinking of spaying or newtering a pet, getting it done at an early age is safe and effective so have a chat with your vet.
You may consider having your pet chipped. This involves a microchip being inserted under the skin on the back of your guinea pig's neck. This procedure is carried out by a vet and is quick and relatively painless.
If your guinea pig goes missing and is handed in to a police station they can scan the chip using a special scanner and it displays your name and address so you can be contacted to come and collect your pet.