If you think that your guinea pig is pregnant, then you might want to take a trip to the vet as there can be a lot of complications, particularly if your pet is over a year old and has never had a litter before. Below are a few key ways through which you can tell that your guinea pig is expecting.
Perhaps the most obvious way is to consider whether or not your pet has been in contact with an unneutered male recently? Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity early, some when they are just five or six weeks old. Some owners have brought a young guinea pig home for the first time to find that she is already pregnant!
Babies are cute, but mothers often find the experience stressful and painful
If your guinea pig has been pregnant for more than about two or three weeks then you might be able to very very gently feel the foetuses in your pet. Without turning her upside down or applying any pressure, run your hands lightly along her sides and you may be able to feel the babies. If you hold her carefully by the shoulders when she’s on your lap or a towel, then you should be able to gently feel the lumps and bumps if you slide your other hand over her gently. Lumps may mean piglets, but they can also mean health problems such as cysts so it’s a good idea to take them to the vets for a checkup, or advice on how the pregnancy is progressing and health advice.
Keep a watchful eye on what your guinea pig eats. Since pregnant sows are creating other guinea pigs inside them, they’ll need to eat far more than usual, sometimes two or three times their normal amount. However, if your other guinea pigs are eating more as well, then this could actually be indicative of the cold rather than pregnancy.
Lastly, if your guinea pig is a full-grown adult then you can monitor her weight in order to try and identify whether or not she is pregnant. You probably won’t be able to do this without a proper instrument, as she’s only likely to put on a few grams a day. If you weigh her each week then you should be able to see noticeable differences if she is pregnant. By the end of the pregnancy her litter will be more than half her body weight, so she should be over double the amount she normally weighs.
If you notice any of these signs, then our advice is to take your guinea pig to the vet. This way, if one of these symptoms is not due to pregnancy you can get your guinea pig the right healthcare, and if your pet turns out to be pregnant then your vet can make sure that there are no complications, as well as offering you medical advice on how best to care for your guinea pig during and after her pregnancy.