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Easy checks for a healthy guinea pig

As long as they're kept clean and well-stocked with healthy food, guinea pigs are rarely ill. But there are still daily checks to make, to ensure your pets remain healthy. Daily checks also make you very familiar with your GPs, so you will spot any changes in behaviour quickly and be able to take your pet to the vet at the first sign of illness.

Guinea Pig Eyes

A GP's eyes should be clear and bright, with no cloudiness or discharge. A cloudy eye may indicate an ulcer, something that can result from a small piece of hay in the eye. Any eye problems require urgent veterinary attention.

NOTE: Guinea pigs secrete a milky discharge from their eyes, applying it to their paws when grooming. So if you see this, it's nothing to worry about.
 Guinea pig eye
Eye to eye with a Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig Noses

A guinea pig's nose should be clean, and not runny. Any discharge or sneezing may suggest illness such as a cold.

Guinea Pig Coats

Guinea pig fur should be dense and clean. Bald or thinning patches, or areas of red, sore skin suggest your GP has mites. If this is the case the GP will do a lot more scratching than usual. The mites burrow under the skin and cause the condition called mange. As soon as you spot the problem, get it treated.

If you see tiny creatures crawling on your guinea pig's fur, these will be hay mites. They are harmless, and a simple wash with shampoo will get rid of them.

Guinea Pig Feet

Check the bottom of your guinea pigs' feet regularly for signs of soreness. Their feet are sensitive, and rough bedding can cause them problems. Straw should be avoided - wood shavings and soft meadow hay are the recommended bedding materials.

A GP's nails should not be allowed to grow too long, as this too can cause discomfort and accidental scratches and wounds.

Guinea Pig Bottoms

The guinea pig's rear end should be clean and dry. If it is damp and smelly in this area, it may have a urine infection. This will make the back legs wet too. Old male Guinea pigs often have problems with constipation, and they are then no longer able to pass and eat the edible droppings (caecotrophs) as they should. Your vet can give advice on how to help these individuals return to full health.

Customer Images

Ariel and hazelnut
baby guinea
Two healthy piggies!


Devil, 27 May 2020

i want to know more about these guinea pigs i have some at home 2 grown up and 2 young ones

Mitchell, 10 December 2019

How do I know if my guinea pig nails are too long please help I love her soo much.