How do you Treat Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs?
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Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs
Diarrhea is a common problem in many different types of pets, and guinea pigs are no exception. Soft, unformed stools are not only difficult to clean but can also indicate a serious problem with your cavy.
Knowing what could be causing this diarrhea and how it is treated safely can help keep your guinea pig healthy and clean.
What is diarrhea in guinea pigs?
Diarrhea is defined as loose, unformed, or watery stools. It occurs several times a day and, unlike guinea pig droppings, diarrhea is dirty, smelly, and abnormal.
Signs of diarrhea in guinea pigs
- Loose, soft, or unformed fecal granules
- Messy butt
- Dirty bedding
- Bad smell
- Hollow eyes
If you don't see normal, formed fecal pellets in your guinea pig's cage, you may find accumulated fecal matter on its rear end. Diarrhea does not fall easily from a guinea pig-like normal poop does and instead clings to the coat and legs.
This quickly creates a messy rear end in addition to a foul odor. You may notice some soft, loose, or unformed fecal pellets in the cage, but guinea pigs with diarrhea often have very dirty bedding.
Normal fecal granules don't soak into the bedding as watery diarrhea does. Finally, if diarrhea is not treated, dehydration can easily occur, making the eyes appear sunken in the head.
Causes of diarrhea in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs can develop diarrhea from a variety of things. Some of the more common causes include:
- Improper diet: If a guinea pig is not offered and a proper diet is not eaten, it can lead to diarrhea. An imbalance of good bacteria in the gut, hypovitaminosis, excess water, and a lack of fiber can make stools runny.
- Bacterial or Viral Infection: Infections can disrupt a healthy gut and cause diarrhea in your guinea pig if they become a systemic problem. Breathing problems, overgrowth of bacteria in the gut, and even infected wounds that go untreated can cause diarrhea.
- Parasitic infection: While intestinal parasites are not common in guinea pigs, they can become infected with external parasites such as scabies and lice. These parasites can be annoying or even painful for your guinea pig and cause them to become stressed and develop diarrhea.
- Stress: While any illness or infection can cause stress on the body, there are also environmental factors that can cause diarrhea. New cage mates, other pets, children, or noises outside the cage, movements, changes in temperature, and other things can make your guinea pig's stool soft and not forming well.
- Other Illnesses: Various cancers and other illnesses can lead to diarrhea depending on how it affects your guinea pig.
To treat diarrhea, you will need to know the underlying reason. Diet may need to be corrected by adding vitamin C or more fiber, environmental stressors may need to be removed, and infections, parasites, and disease may require multiple medications. Fluids may also be needed if your guinea pig is dehydrated from diarrhea.
Your vet may need to run some tests after performing a physical exam to determine the reason for diarrhea if it is obviously not related to diet or environment.
How to prevent diarrhea in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs should eat high fiber diets along with dark leafy vegetables to maintain a healthy gut and help prevent diarrhea. An improper diet is a common cause of diarrhea, but it is also highly preventable.
Your guinea pig's cage should be kept out of drafts to help prevent them from getting sick, as well as avoiding areas where cats, dogs, and other pets can frequently make them feel threatened. Cages should also be cleaned regularly to avoid a dirty environment that could cause infection.
New guinea pigs should be quarantined for at least a week before introducing them to your senior pigs. This can help prevent the spread of parasites that can stress a guinea pig and lead to diarrhea.
Finally, if your guinea pig is not acting normally or has had recurring diarrhea for more than a day, take him to your vet as soon as possible.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about Guinea Pigs With Soft/Mushy Poops: What To Do!
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