Guinea Pig Remedies
Below we have some common guinea pig (cavy) diseases along with some guinea pig remedies.
Unlike other mammals both humans and cavies are unable to manufacture their own vitamin C and must rely on outside sources like supplements or foods containing this vitamin. Such foods are fruits and vegetables like carrots, spinach, celery, apples, cabbage and broccoli just to name a few. Pellets which are fed to cavies should also contain vitamin C.
In both humans and cavies scurvy will develop with insufficient vitamin C. It will kill our pet if it continues unchecked. Signs include swollen and painful joints making it difficult for the cavy to move around. Gums can suddenly bleed with no seeming cause. There can be poor tooth or bone development.
Guinea pig remedies include making sure they get 10mg per day and about 20 mg for a pregnant female. If you feed him pellets with vitamin C keep them in a dark, dry, cool place because vitamin C will corrode in direct light or heat or moisture. If you should suspect scurvy take your cavy to the vet for diagnosis and treatment which could include a diet or an injection.
Lumps in the neck
A bacterial infection can cause swollen lumps under the jaw which emit a pus. The vet can give it an antibiotic injection or if it is particularly large surgically remove it.
Lumps in the neck can also be caused by hay consumption which may injure the lining of the mouth or throat which can cause a temporary swelling of the neck lymph nodes.
Ringworm is a fungal infection and signs include patches of hair loss on face or nose or top of the trunk with flakey skin in the hair loss area. Unfortunately the ringworm can be transferred to humans so if you suspect it don’t handle and if you have to wear gloves and wash afterwards. The vet will prescribe an ointment to be applied to the areas or oral medicine. Ringworm is more usual in the young cavies. After treatment when it’s all cleared up he is again safe to handle.
Lice can infest a guinea pig coat. They and their eggs will attach to the hair. If your pet is scratching too much this should be checked for. You can actually see lice by combing through their coat they will be little small flat, brown bugs, not moving. There is the “running lice” and these are usually white and can be seen traveling through the hair. Treatment is effective which consists of bathing him with a medicated shampoo. The good news is they are not transferable to humans so don’t worry about picking him up.
Cavies have stout compact bodies making them resistant to cold. But they do not do well in prolonged heat above 90 degrees F in fact 85 can be too high if they are fat or have thick fur. Keep them out of the direct sunlight. If they are next to a window with the light coming in right on them move the cage to a shaded place. Consider ventilating with a fan. Indications of heat stroke are a lack of movement, weakness, slobbering, panting and convulsions and can lead to death. Take your overheated cavy and spray him or bathe him in cool water. Prevention would include the shade, a fan blowing over a container of ice to lower the temperature, or a continuous mist of water.
Females lose some hair with each pregnancy so thinning is common when they are repeatedly bred. Ringworm or hormonal imbalances like ovarian cysts can cause massive loss so in cases like this refer to a vet for treatment.