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Little bundles of joy

Guinea pigs are quite capable of cleaning themselves and taking care of their hygiene. In fact, taking a bath could be stressful as they aren’t natural swimmers

Little bundles of joy
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My guinea pig seems to have blood in his urine. What should I do?

If your guinea pig is peeing red-coloured urine then it can be a symptom of Uroliths or bladder stones. This can be a very serious ailment for your pet and very painful as well. Sometimes, if the stones are small they can pass out on their own but if they are big they can get stuck in the urethra or cause irritation in the bladder. Sometimes these stones can cause a tear inside the bladder leading to serious complications. If you notice any symptoms like blood in the urine, pain in the abdomen area, change in urination patterns or not urinating at all, then immediately consult your vet. It is possible to avoid further complications and problems if the condition is caught early. Also, as preventive measures, give your guinea pig plenty of water and a healthy and balanced diet to reduce chances of Uroliths.

My guinea pig has become slow and listless these days. Is something wrong?

Generally, if you notice a change in the behaviour of your guinea pig, it is wise to check for other symptoms as well. Immediately, check if your Guinea pig has laboured breathing, bloated abdomen, is he/she eating and drinking normally, are there any changes in the faeces or urine passed? If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to consult a vet as a disease or any condition can make your pet go downhill very quickly.

Generally, if you notice lethargy in your guinea pig, it can be a sign of an URI (Upper Respiratory Infection) or allergies. URI is a more serious condition and will require immediate action from your vet. Guinea pigs are prone to pneumonia because they do not do well in the cold. So ensure that your guinea pig is warm and there are no drafts and stay away from your pet guinea if you have a cold.

Do I need to bathe my guinea pig?

No. Guinea pigs are quite capable of cleaning themselves and taking care of their hygiene. In fact, taking a bath could be stressful. They are naturally not swimmers and they are prone to cold so taking a bath could lead to some serious diseases. Your guinea pig has natural body oils which get stripped when it takes a bath, leaving it susceptible to parasites infestation. You should not give your guinea pigs a bath unless they are very dirty and need to be cleaned up, if your guinea pig recently had a parasite infestation and you need to clean out the dead parasites, if he/she has a dirty rump because of bladder infection or diarrhoea. If you must give your guinea pig a bath, make sure of the following details:

The water is not too cold; The room in which you are giving your guinea pig a bath is not too cold; Do not use a deep washing bowl and ensure the water is not deeper than the animal; After the bath, immediately, dry your guinea pig with a towel or flannels by gently rubbing or patting down in the direction of the fur.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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