Diarrhea is a common issue that plagues many guinea pigs.
However, whatever the underlying cause may be of the condition, you must treat it at your earliest.
If the diarrhea is very watery, you must immediately take your guinea pig to the vet.
Other measures for treating this condition include dietary changes, environmental alterations, and medication.
Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs
If you notice soft, unformed stool in your guinea pigs, they might be suffering from diarrhea. This is often the first sign that something unusual is going on.
Guinea pigs have sensitive gastrointestinal systems, which is why they are prone to frequent conditions of diarrhea.
If they don’t eat or have an improper diet, it can lead to such issues, which causes diarrhea.
While it is easy to spot, you must still take the necessary measures to identify the problem. And the sooner you act, the better it is for your furry friend.
Diarrhea is normally caused by a lack of nutrition and an improper diet. This often leads to loss of appetite, which can make the condition worse.
However, there are also other reasons that might be causing diarrhea in your guinea pigs.
It is vital that you read up on everything about diarrhea in guinea pigs before trying to treat them.
Diarrhea is not exactly a serious condition, but it can worsen if it is left untreated.
Causes of Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs
Before anything, you need to learn what is causing this condition in your guinea pig.
This will help you understand their condition and choose a suitable treatment method.
Here are some of the main reasons that might cause diarrhea in your guinea pig:
The most common reason behind diarrhea changes is your pet’s nutritional intake and diet. Unlike humans, guinea pigs don’t need variety in their diet.
They like to eat the same thing every day, which keeps them healthy. A healthy diet for these animals includes hay and pellets fortified with vitamin C.
They also enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits. However, they should be a small portion of their diet.
You should always give your guinea pig pellets that are designed for them. Pellets designed for other animals may be harmful to them.
When the guinea pig eats more grains than grass, its stomach might get irritated. This can lead to digestive issues and diarrhea.
If you make dramatic changes to a guinea pig’s diet or add too many new things, it may upset their stomach. An upset stomach can then lead to diarrhea.
Too many vegetables, fruit, or any other food that they are not accustomed to can mess up their system.
Moreover, you should avoid giving them certain foods.
Avoid feeding your pet rhubarbs, nuts, potatoes, human junk food, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, etc. This can affect their digestive systems and lead to health problems.
Dental problems might be an underlying reason why your guinea pig has diarrhea. This is because dental problems cause problems in chewing.
Hence, if the guinea pig does not chew their food properly, it can negatively impact their digestive systems. If you suspect dental problems, look for its signs.
Drooling and mouth sores can indicate dental problems. These problems may be caused by poor diet.
In such cases, you should take your guinea pig to the vet at your earliest.
In some cases, even stress from the environment may cause guinea pigs to have diarrhea.
New pets or children and unknown changes in the environment can all stress them out.
Even temperature changes can cause your pet to have soft stool.
If your guinea pig is suffering from severe diarrhea, it could be due to a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract. In such a case, you must take them to the vet immediately.
Some bacteria that can cause such a condition include salmonella, which is the most common. Others are E.Coli, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and clostridium.
Besides taking them to the vet immediately, you should also thoroughly clean their bedding. Such infections can be passed down to humans.
How to Treat Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs
Now that you are aware of the main causes of diarrhea, it is time to figure out how to treat it. The first thing you must do is figure out the underlying condition of diarrhea.
If it seems like a bacterial infection, you must immediately take them to the vet. You can follow other steps to manage and treat the condition if it is something else.
Managing diarrhea in guinea pigs can be tricky since they are very sensitive to their environment. Hence, you need to be patient and treat the condition as soon as possible
If you want to know what you should do if your guinea pig has diarrhea, follow these steps:
Ensure a Proper Diet
Improper diet or changes in diet are the most common reasons why diarrhea occurs in guinea pigs.
Hence, this should be the first thing that needs to be fixed.
Give your pet a diet rich in fibers, healthy, and does not contain any harmful foods. The major component of your guinea pigs’ diet must be fresh hay.
You should also keep their vegetable intake to a minimum since that also causes diarrhea. Fruit intake should be reduced even more since they contain a lot of sugar.
If you are introducing new food to them, make sure you do it gradually.
Keep Your Pet Hydrated
When guinea pig has diarrhea, they can quickly become dehydrated since they lose fluid content.
This is why you need to ensure that your pet is properly rehydrated and maintains fluid levels.
Make sure you give them enough water. Moreover, if an underlying condition causes diarrhea, take them to the vet for fluid therapy.
Fluid therapy is normally undertaken in such conditions to properly rehydrate the animal.
Change Their Bedding
Dirty bedding is also one of the main reasons your pet has diarrhea. Hence, make sure that you change it regularly.
You should also be thoroughly cleaning their cage whenever needed.
This simple step can help your guinea pig recover significantly since their environment stays clean and fresh.
This should ideally be your last measure when diarrhea worsens. You must use medication and antibiotics sparingly and only when needed.
Some guinea pigs can be sensitive to certain antibiotics. Hence, you will need to be vigilant of their condition and see if it worsens or is the same.
Moreover, don’t prescribe antibiotics on your own. You should visit a vet who would give suitable and relevant medication.
Deworm Your Guinea Pig
If a bacterial infection is causing diarrhea in your guinea pig, consider deworming them. In such cases, you should take your pet to the vet.
They will examine your pet and then prescribe a suitable dewormer. You can then administer it independently or let the vet do it.
Force Feed Your Pet
As with all organisms, it is necessary to eat to stay alive. However, guinea pigs tend to avoid eating altogether when sick with diarrhea.
This can make their condition worse and become life-threatening. Hence, you must force-feed your guinea pig until they are well enough to eat voluntarily.
Nutrition is of utmost importance during such times when they are sick. However, you must also force-feed your guinea pig with care.
You can use syringes to inject fluids into them.
Ensure Proper Dental Hygiene
When guinea pigs get diarrhea, pet-owners tend to forget to check their dental hygiene.
But you must pay attention to this since it is very important.
When treating diarrhea, you must also treat their dental problems. This will allow them to eat and drink comfortably, improving their condition.
Groom Your Pet
Guinea pigs are hygienic animals that prefer a clean environment. But when they have loose stools and diarrhea, it can leave them dirty.
Hence, when they are being treated, you need to properly clean and groom them. To clean them, use a damp washcloth.
Additionally, you must also keep their cage and bedding fresh and clean. Both should ideally be changed regularly.
All of this will reduce their stress and help them feel better. It will also keep them free of any infections of bacteria.
Signs of Diarrhea in Guinea Pigs
When you notice watery stool in your guinea pigs, it might indicate diarrhea. This is a sure sign of the condition.
However, there are other things you can look out for that show a sick guinea pig.
For example, they might have abnormal body temperature, hunched posture, loss of appetite, and more.
If you notice any signs of diarrhea in your guinea pig, you should first determine its cause. You can then make treatment, diet, and environmental changes accordingly.
The most common reason behind diarrhea is improper diet and changes in it. Hence, to treat diarrhea, you must fix their diet and take care of what they eat.
If your guinea pig has severe diarrhea and its condition seems to worsen, take them to the vet immediately.
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