Medical Emergencies To Watch Out For In Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs, like most other pets, should see a vet once a year for a checkup. This will help ensure that health problems are recognized early on before they become too serious. However, even with regular vet care, emergencies can and do happen. Here are a few medical emergencies to watch out for in guinea pigs.

Nasal discharge

If you develop nasal discharge, you probably just figure it's a cold or allergies and will pass within a few days. However, in guinea pigs, nasal discharge is a much bigger deal. As in humans, nasal discharge is a sign of respiratory illness, but respiratory illness is a much bigger deal in guinea pigs than in humans. What starts off as a sinus infection can quickly become pneumonia, which is almost always deadly. Take your guinea pig to the animal hospital as soon as you notice nasal discharge. The vet can give them fluids and antibiotics to help keep things from getting any worse.

Not eating and drinking

Guinea pigs are known for their ferocious appetites. Maybe there are times when your guinea pig won't wolf down their pellets, but if you offer them lettuce, they dig right in. If your guinea pig suddenly stops eating and drinking, this can be a sign of a severe digestive system ailment such as an intestinal impaction or bacterial infection. Such a guinea pig needs medical attention, and promptly.


Is your guinea pig simply laying there with no interest in getting up and moving around? They may stand up if you disturb them but then lie right back down. This does not just mean your guinea pig is tired; they may be suffering from anything from pneumonia to cancer. No matter what the cause, they don't have long to live unless they get fluids and other treatments from a vet.


Guinea pig poop should be hard and well-formed. If you give your guinea pig too many veggies, the stool might become a little loose. But if it's ever outright watery and liquid, that's a cause for alarm. Your guinea pig might have a gastrointestinal infection, or they might have consumed something poisonous. Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration and death without vet care.

If your guinea pig is displaying these or any other alarming symptoms, don't hesitate to take them to your nearest animal hospital. A veterinarian will know the best way to diagnose and treat them.