What is the Most Common Cause of Death in Guinea Pigs?
Pneumonia is the leading cause of guinea pig mortality. This condition may be brought on by various bacteria or fungi or by an adenovirus virus strain, leading to infection and subsequent death.
Many illnesses strike guinea pigs suddenly with no obvious symptoms; look out for symptoms such as drooling, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite or weight loss.
Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death among guinea pigs. The bacteria responsible can come from any number of sources, such as contaminated feed or water sources, often without showing symptoms before passing away suddenly without apparent illness. A veterinarian can detect pneumonia by inspecting its symptoms: the lungs being examined closely while testing feces for organisms responsible.
Your veterinarian can treat pneumonia by prescribing antibiotics. He or she may also provide fluids and oxygen.
Some antibiotics can be toxic to guinea pigs. These medications can disturb the balance of bacteria in their digestive tract, leading to diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration and decreased body temperature. A veterinarian can treat this issue by changing diet by increasing roughage (fiber) intake while decreasing grains, as well as providing probiotics and fluid injections via subcutaneous route.
This condition arises from excessive rubbing and licking of feet (typically caused by wire floor cages). As a result, footpads become infected with fecal matter, causing severe pain and discomfort. Treatment includes antibiotic therapy, proper sanitation measures and switching over to solid flooring surfaces.
Guinea pigs can develop respiratory tract infections due to bacteria. If your guinea pig begins sneezing or having difficulty breathing, consult an exotic veterinarian immediately.
Guinea pigs can be sensitive to many of the antibiotics humans take. If given improper medication, guinea pigs could experience diarrhea, weight loss and possibly death.
Guinea pigs can be adept at concealing illness. However, signs such as rough coat, poor appetite, diarrhea or swollen joints/ribs could indicate more serious conditions in these small pets.
Guineas are herbivores and depend on an intricate balance of microorganisms in their cecum to maintain normal intestinal motility (movement). If this balance becomes disturbed, guinea pigs could suffer gut stasis and die as a result.
As guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C themselves, it must come through diet alone. A deficiency can result in scurvy (aka scorbutus), an often-fatal condition with symptoms including weakness, poor appetite, rough coat and weight loss. Abscesses (infected swellings containing pus and bacteria) may develop anywhere on lymph nodes, skin muscles teeth bones. For treatment this requires draining and irrigating as well as antibiotic therapy based on culture results for each abscess before receiving antibiotics based on culture results for each abscess as needed for each case.
Guinea pigs may develop tumors of the skin or internal organs, including their kidneys. While these tumors are usually painful and difficult to treat, surgery might be required in extreme cases. Mammary glands (breasts) or ovaries may also become infected and produce dangerous tumors which could become cancerous in due course.
Guinea Pigs possess extremely delicate digestive tracts that rely on an essential population of “good” bacteria to function normally. If this population of “good” bacteria becomes disrupted, gas may build up, food may move through too slowly or some ‘bad’ bacteria could overgrow and release toxins that cause diarrhea – all signs that something has gone terribly wrong in their system.
A guinea pig may exhibit other symptoms as well, including rough coat or fecal staining around its anal area, weight loss, reluctant eating habits or seeming lethargic or weak, excessive drooling or eye or nasal discharge that requires culture for identification of bacteria responsible so appropriate antibiotics can be prescribed.
5. Intestinal worms
Numerous bacteria and parasites may wreak havoc on a sick guinea pig’s digestive system, causing diarrhea. Furthermore, these harmful microorganisms may damage intestinal tissue, release toxins into its system, and eventually lead to its demise.
Guinea pigs possess an essential population of beneficial intestinal bacteria which plays an integral part in normal bowel function. If this balance becomes altered, other harmful strains of bacteria may overgrow and produce painful gas, slow food passage through their intestinal tract and even release toxic substances which lead to severe diarrhea or damage other organs in their bodies.
Signs of these disorders include rough fur coatings, anus staining from feces, lack of appetite and weight loss; lethargy; weight hunching posture and dull eyes. Treatment options may include antibiotics.
Guinea pigs are highly vulnerable to respiratory illnesses and often succumb without warning or symptoms being evident. Pneumonia, for example, is particularly prevalent and affects both young and elderly animals alike.
Pregnancy can be extremely risky in guinea pigs and complications may prove fatal. Dystocia occurs when fetuses cannot be delivered via vagina and treatment involves digital removal of fetuses, calcium/glucose supplementation for sows and administering 1-3 units/kg oxytocin injection (if the uterine symphysis is open), or cesarean section.
Malocclusion of guinea pig’s premolar and molar teeth is a common condition among older animals, leading to abnormal wear of these teeth, trauma to the tongue, and eventually inability to chew or eat properly. Symptoms may include drooling, weight loss and continuously moist fur around their mouth and chin. For optimal oral care and maintenance. an annual examination with your veterinarian and regular dental cleaning should help.
7. Urinary calculi
Guinea pigs possess sensitive digestive tracts that depend on an ideal combination of beneficial bacteria for optimal functioning. When this balance shifts or disequilibrium develops, harmful microorganisms may overgrow, producing gasses such as methane that inhibit food passage or cause severe diarrhea or intestinal blockage (intestinal stasis).
Guinea Pigs also suffer from kidney stones, caused by decreased urine volume and an increase in excretion of stone-forming components like calcium oxalate, urea cystine, uric acid and phosphate that form renal calculi – these stones are known as renal calculi.
Another leading cause of guinea pig deaths is overgrown teeth, leading to weight loss and other health complications. This condition, called malocclusion, can be diagnosed through careful oral exam with isoflurane and treated by trimming with dental drills, pediatric rongeurs or special files so as to avoid fractured or broken teeth.
8. Tumors of the mammary glands (breasts) or ovaries
Guinea pigs may develop tumors throughout their lives, including breast and skin tumors that often require surgical removal. Tumors may be caused by cancerous cells or other conditions like infection or inflammation – and tend to become more prevalent with age. Cancer treatment is more difficult in older animals.
An injured or sick guinea pig should receive immediate veterinary care if its appetite decreases, refuses to move, or exhibits other signs of illness. Failure to do so could lead to ketosis (an accumulation of byproducts from digestion that are toxic for liver), ultimately leading to its demise and even death.
Antibiotics can be toxic to guinea pigs, leading to diarrhea and weight loss. This could be because the antibiotic kills off bacteria normally living in its digestive tract or causes an imbalance of bacteria; in either case it’s important that you seek veterinarian advice immediately if you suspect your pet may be suffering from antibiotic toxicity.
9. Tumors of the lymph nodes
Guinea pigs can develop many kinds of tumors as they age, including skin tumors, mammary gland (breast) cancer and reproductive tract cancers as well as abscesses – which are infected swellings which may appear anywhere within their bodies such as their lungs, bones or internal organs.
Guinea pigs are fragile pets that need special attention in terms of care. Even minor deviations may have serious repercussions for their wellbeing and they are adept at hiding illness so much so that owners often do not recognize anything is amiss until it is too late.
Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C on their own, so it is crucial that their diet contains plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in this nutrient. Without enough Vitamin C intake, guinea pigs could suffer from scurvy which is marked by weakness, loss of appetite, limping, rough coat and diarrhea – symptoms which can ultimately prove fatal for their species.
10. Tumors of the lungs
Guinea pigs can develop fungal infections of their skin that result in symptoms including hair loss, itching skin, crusty scabs and difficulty breathing. Young animals as well as those that are overcrowded or experiencing stress due to poor diet, pregnancy or illness are particularly prone to ringworm infection.
Guinea Pigs contain a highly specific set of “good” bacteria (flora), which are essential to proper digestive function. When this normal flora becomes disrupted, bad bacteria flourish resulting in painful gas, slow digestion and food passage through their intestinal tract, release toxins that cause diarrhea and in severe cases can even be lethal – potentially even leading to death!
Guinea pigs that appear off their food, have diarrhea or are limping should be seen by your veterinarian immediately for evaluation and possible hospitalization or antibiotic treatment; your vet can recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.