Common Health Problems For Guinea Pigs


Because guinea pigs are very delicate animals, you will find that they get sick easily. Here are some common ailments they might have.

Sneezing, Discharge of the Nose

If you hear and see your pet sneezing, he may have allergies or hay fever. There are many irritants that could trigger this. The best way to pinpoint which one is the culprit is to keep him away from that thing completely and see if the sniffles go away. It will be a process of trial and error. Start with his sheets.

If your pet has any sort of discharge around the nose is rubbing his nose, you need to get it checked out.


Constant coughing can be serious. If your guinea pig is coughing and is accompanied by wheezing, or labored breathing, you need to contact your vet, as it is most likely a respiratory infection of some sort.

Difficult Breathing and Wheezing

Again this could mean he has a respiratory disease, even pneumonia.


Excessive scratching is normally a sign of parasites or a fungal infection.

You can tell if your pet has a parasite by brushing through their hair and looking at the skin. Lice are normally a small brown color. If your pet has lice, you can get a medicated shampoo from your doctor. With parasites, you should always clean and disinfect the cage.

Unhealthy Urine

Normally, the urine a guinea pig produces has a slightly milky color to it, and this is completely normal. However, if your guinea pig has extremely clear/white urine, or his urine is overly sludge-y, this could mean that he has a higher-then-normal calcium level in his diet.

Pink or Red Urine

Guinea pigs get stones too. Having urine with blood is a symptom of this.

Send him off to the veterinarian asap.

Diarrhea or Extremely Soft Stool

This is a leading cause of death for guinea pigs and they can do so in a few hours if they have diarrhea.

Eating lots of hay will prevent this and make his diet more balanced.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is also a good supplement to give him.

Hair Loss

Mites can cause hair loss.

If your guinea pig is cut or bitten, the hair will fall out in that area until the skin is completely healed. This is normal.

If however the hair loss is too much, this could be a sign of ringworms or worse, ovarian cysts. Send him to the veterinarian immediately.

Watery Eyes

This is a symptom of an irritated eye or allergies. A veterinarian can check his eyes for this.

He might also have sore eyes, and this needs serious medical treatment.

Rigid Joints

This is a symptom of scurvy which is an effect of Vitamin C deficiency. This calls for medical attention.

A good way to prevent this is to give your guinea pig ten milligrams of calcium daily.

Head Tilting

If your piggy is tilting his head to one side, and having issues walking, it’s probably a middle-ear infection.

This may lead to an impairment in his hearing, so you have to send him to the doctor right away.


There are two ‘types’ of seizures. If his head is straight up in the air, without a tilt at all, then he’s probably got mites. Mites burrow under the skin and can sometimes affect the nervous system. Get him to a vet for treatment, and he’ll be just fine.

While a sideward angling of the head and a fetal body position is a more serious seizure.

Head to the vet as soon as possible, and get blood tests done.

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