General Guinea pig health problems-
click on the headings below to go to each page.
Eyes- from runny eyes & foreign bodies to cataracts& fatty eye
Paws- Spurs, Calluses, Bumble foot
Digestive sytem-mouth, teeth & bodily functions! Coming soon
Breathing-Nose & Mouth
Skin-Fungal problems& Mites (see bathing & grooming page for additional info)
Boar Specific/ 'personal' Health Conditions
(for more general health problem info see above)
What is it? Impaction is a problem which can affect boars, usually elderly ones though it also happens on occasion to younger boars too. If you have boars you really need to check for signs of impaction as part of your general once over.
It involves a problem in the boar expelling the soft pellets that guinea pigs usually eat, a boar with an impacted anus no longer able to do this so they collect in his anal sack & form a foul smelling congealed lump, which must be expelled with a little help from you, the owner. Left: Rex pig Josh needs assistance every couple of days from his doting care giver Karen to empty his fecal matter.
An impacted anus is very apparent from the dirty residue, and sometimes hard lump which is visible. An impacted pig will also be squeaking in pain if left.
What do I do? The condition doesn't need any medication. You don't even need to see a vet about it unless you are unsure of what to do... in which case they will show you. You will need to expel the lumps for him and keep the area scrupulously clean. Use moisturized baby wipes with aloe vera to help you do this. You can also use a cotton bud to help clean out the sac- cut it in half then gently scoop out the poop. When you expel the lump, always offer it back to the pig, however disgusting this may sound, guinea pigs would eat these themselves were everything working naturally. And it contains essential vitamins & forms an important part of the digestive process.
You will need to continue doing this for the rest of your little boys life, but you (& he) will get used to it. At fist you may need to clean once or twice daily, but you may well find that once he has had a couple of good clean outs, you will only have to do this between 1-4 times a week depending on the piggy, but keep a close eye on him, as left unattended can cause infection, and the piggy will be in great pain.
Make sure he has plenty of hay is his diet and lots of fresh vegetables daily.
What is it? This is a condition where the boars penis is misshapen does not retract fully into the body as is the case with the average boar. Instead a little part of it remains visible outside the body & looks almost like the top of a cauliflower. Hence the name.
What do I do? Usually other than keeping the area clean (which is especially important with a boar with this condition as he is more likely to get infections etc as his parts come into contact more with cage bedding, hay etc) you just need to keep a close check on the area. Above: Karen's Rascal has 'Cauliflower Willy', this picture shows you what to look out for.
What is it? Male guinea pigs suffer from Cystitis- a urinary tract infection which causes them great discomfort. You will notice your piggy's squeal & may stand raised when they urinate. They will probably also be wet round the area.
What do I do? These symptoms can be indicative of something more serious like bladder stones so if the problem persists for more than 4 days & does not respond to this treatment you need to get your piggy to a cavy savvy vet pronto,(remember guinea pigs DO NOT need to & SHOULD NOT be X-rayed with anesthetic. You can do this successfully by simply towel wrapping a guinea pig.See left hand bar) Initially though you would treat it just as an infection & treat with pearly barley water syringed down in the largest quantities you can get them to take.
What are they?
What do I do? Prevention is a major factor here. By trying to feed in such a way as to avoid bladder stones. However if your pigs already have stones boars usually need surgery to remove the stones unlike sows who can sometimes pass them naturally.