One of the things guinea pigs do best is poop, and it can be a lot. A healthy guinea pig can produce up to 100 droppings a day, which makes it essential that their cage is cleaned multiple times a day. The poop is rich in nutrients and is great for composting or using on garden beds. However, some people worry that the bacteria and viruses in guinea pig feces can be dangerous to humans. The answer to is guinea pig poop toxic is no, but the condition of your guinea pig’s poop can tell you a lot about their health.
Guinea pig poop usually looks dark brown and oval, with little or no smell. If your guinea pig’s litter box smells very strong, it may be due to a food change or diet problem. If your pig has soft, wet or watery poop, it could indicate a digestive issue, which is very serious. If you see this in your pet, seek immediate veterinary attention.
In addition to the normal bacteria found in all fecal matter, guinea pigs can pass diseases to humans through direct contact with feces or by touching contaminated bedding and then inhaling it. Infections like salmonella and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) can be passed through this method, especially when the guinea pig is sick. This is why it is important that all people handle a guinea pig properly, and never touch their face or eyes.
Another way that guinea pigs can pass on infection is through saliva. Guinea pigs will often lick their own poop and urine to clean themselves, and this can introduce harmful bacteria to the skin. This can lead to an illness called salmonellosis, which is often very unpleasant and painful. It can also cause diarrhea. Guinea pigs are more likely to be infected with LCMV than other domestic animals, and this can spread to humans through direct contact, or even by breathing the air near a dirty cage.
Guinea pigs can also carry the Toxoplasma gondii bacterium, which is associated with a range of serious respiratory problems. If you are pregnant or have a weak immune system, this can be life-threatening.
The key to keeping your guinea pig healthy is to feed them the right diet and make sure they have plenty of fresh, high-fiber grassy hay available at all times. The hay is also good for their teeth and gut, which can be very sensitive. If you notice that your guinea pig’s stool is soft or wet, it may be a sign of a digestive issue, so try cutting back on veggies and encouraging more hay. If the poop is red or bloody, it’s an emergency and you must get to a vet immediately.
You can safely use guinea pig manure and bedding as garden mulch if it is fully composted first, but I wouldn’t suggest putting it on edible crops or fruit trees because it might contain bacteria that could harm them. You can also put it on non-edible plants, but you should be careful to use it sparingly.