Guinea pigs are popular family pets due to their playful nature.
They stay on a daytime schedule, are very social, and do not bite even in stress.
All these factors can make anyone want to have a guinea pig as a pet.
That said, when you look at these cute little pets, you can’t help wondering about their natural bodily functions.
One such question that might pop in your mind is ‘do guinea pigs fart?’
I thought about this for a while and researched to find out if I get one, would it fart.
And if it did, would the smell be unbearable?
Here’s everything you need to know about guinea pig farts!
Do Guinea Pigs Fart?
Like humans and most other animals, guinea pigs fart too. Their digestive process works the same way as ours.
The bloating and gases in the stomach during the digestive process can cause guinea pigs to fart.
It can be either due to swallowing air or having trouble breaking down some types of food.
Either way, if you hear a strange sound coming from your guinea pig followed by a smell, you should know exactly what happened.
If your guinea pig farts a lot and seems to be bloated, this can indicate a more serious problem.
You should consult your vet and rule out any health condition. In some cases, bloating can be fatal for your guinea pig.
Due to this reason, excessive bloating requires immediate medical treatment and you shouldn’t delay taking your guinea pig to a vet.
Do Guinea Pigs’ Farts Smell?
Like all farts, the farts of guinea pigs smell too. Waste and stinky gases are by-products of the digestive process of guinea pigs just like in the case of humans.
Traces of different gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane combine with hydrogen sulfide and ammonia in the large intestine.
This causes the smell in the fart.
Everyone knows this aspect of the human digestive system but many don’t know that it is the same in all other mammals too.
If you are near a guinea pig when it farts, you will probably smell it. However, Guinea pigs are so small that it’s possible that this escapes your notice.
The smell of the fart disperses before it reaches our nostrils. Frequent farts that smell strong and unusual could also indicate a health issue.
In case your guinea pig’s farts have an obnoxious smell, you must contact your vet immediately.
A fart with symptoms like diarrhea or bloating is a sign of an underlying health condition.
What Causes Gas and Bloating in Guinea Pigs?
Random and occasional farting by guinea pigs is not something to worry about.
Your guinea pig could be farting due to overeating or from certain food that causes flatulence.
Frequent farting can indicate a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.
Like in humans and other mammals, farting is a part of the digestive process in guinea pigs too.
The buildup of gas during the digestive process is the most common cause of farting.
Sometimes, guinea pigs also swallow air while eating. This is something unavoidable and the amount of air that they swallow can vary from meal to meal.
There are also some foods that create more gas when the body breaks them down during digestion.
Regardless of the reason, you should maintain a nutritious and wholesome diet for your guinea pigs.
This is to ensure a normal and healthy digestive process in your pets.
Once you understand why guinea pigs fart, you must also understand what causes bloating.
Excessive buildup of gases in the intestines can be fatal for a guinea pig. The buildup causes their belly to become bloated and causes severe stomachaches.
Intestinal twisting (Volvulus)
A major cause of bloating and often quite dangerous is intestinal twisting.
This is a condition in which intestines twist and cause a blockage. This condition can readily disrupt the digestive process in the stomach.
It can be very life-threatening as it prevents digestion and absorption of nutrients. As a result, the guinea pig holds in all the toxins which lead to distress and pain.
There can be various causes of intestinal twisting. It could be due to a virus, parasite, bacteria or it could be simply due to the excessive buildup of gases from the breakdown of certain food.
Either way, you should be careful about their diet and keep a check on their bodily functions.
Rare farting is nothing to worry about but if your guinea pig farts numerous times a day, you should consult a vet.
Your vet will most likely make use of an invasive procedure to treat intestinal twisting.
Sometimes, a hairball impaction can also be a cause of this health condition since the guinea pigs’ digestive tract won’t be able to break down the hair.
In case your guinea pig is displaying signs of extreme discomfort, keep a check on its bowel movements.
Intestinal twisting prevents regular bowel movements altogether. In such a condition, immediately take your pet to a vet for treatment.
Symptoms of Bloating in Guinea Pigs
Apart from frequent farting, symptoms of bloating can vary in guinea pigs. The most obvious symptom is a swollen belly.
If your guinea pig looks much wider in the ribcage, this is a clear indicator of bloating in the stomach.
A swollen belly can also be a result of overeating; therefore it is not always a sign of worry.
But, if the condition persists over two or three days, you should take your Guinea pig to a vet.
Your guinea pig might have to be treated in case of the buildup of gas.
Following are some common symptoms of bloating in guinea pigs:
- Fidgety and restless movements
- Heavy breathing
- No bowel movements
- Lack of appetite
You should keep a check on the diet of your guinea pig. Bloating can cause a lack of appetite.
You will notice that your guinea pig eats small amounts or refuses to eat at all.
Another sign that would be quite apparent is weakness or lethargy. You will notice that your Guinea pig is spending a lot of time resting and laying in a corner if it is bloated.
This state of inactivity indicates weakness in your pet.
Breathing should also be normal after bowel movements.
If you pick up your guinea pig and notice heavy breathing, you should immediately take it to a vet.
This state is especially life-threatening for your pet as it makes it difficult for them to breathe.
What is the Treatment of Bloating in Guinea Pigs?
There are two types of treatments of bloating in guinea pigs: non-invasive and invasive.
The vet will almost always use the non-invasive method to treat bloating.
This means that your vet will prescribe anti-gas medications with antibiotics to restore normal bowel movements.
Depending on the condition of the guinea pig, some might prescribe only anti-gas medications or only antibiotics.
For the stomachache, the vet might also prescribe a pain reliever.
Vets rarely opt for the invasive method to treat bloating in guinea pigs.
This method involves surgery and since bloating can happen again, vets usually avoid this procedure.
Medications can treat bloating but it is difficult to determine how long would it take for the medication to treat the condition.
There is also no guarantee that bloating would not happen again.
Foods to Avoid
Farting and the buildup of gas have a lot to do with the diet of the guinea pigs. Some foods can cause your pet to create excess amounts of gas during digestion.
It does not mean that your pet should steer clear of such foods all the time.
However, you should limit the intake of these foods to a few times a week in a set quantity.
In any case, if you notice a certain food causing excessive farting with a stinky smell, you should avoid them completely.
Following are some vegetables that can be difficult for your guinea pig to break down:
- Collard Greens
These vegetables, in particular, are difficult to digest in their raw state.
This is because they are rich in fiber and require more energy to digest. Like humans, guinea pigs can also have varying digestive problems.
A food that might upset the stomach of one guinea pig might not be problematic for another.
Any signs of restlessness and distress should indicate that there is something wrong with their diets.
Apart from these vegetables, you should also avoid giving your guinea pigs dairy and beans.
These two can be especially a cause of excessive gas and bloating.
As a rule, you should consider that the things that would make you gassy would also cause gas in guinea pigs.
Keep a check on their diet and adjust according to the digestive capability of your guinea pig.
How to Prevent Excessive Farting in Guinea Pigs
You can avoid excess farting in Guinea pigs by making the right adjustments to their diet.
The trick is to remember the foods that work best for your guinea pig’s diet. Keep everything in moderation to maintain a balanced diet for your pet.
You should also keep in mind that like any other pet, they would also need variety. Introduce other foods than just hay and pellets.
It is also important to give your guinea pigs a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This will keep the amount of fiber intake in check.
Too much fiber or the type of fiber that is hard to break down for the body can also cause excessive farting and buildup of gases.
Soluble fibers are the best types of fiber because they regulate the digestive process.
Excessive intake of water can also lead to many stomach problems including diarrhea.
What to Do If My Guinea Pig Doesn’t Fart at All?
Occasional farting is normal and healthy in Guinea pigs. It expels excess gas from the intestine.
However, your guinea pig might not fart at all at times and this can be a serious health condition.
Health problems like intestinal twisting can prevent the gas from leaving the intestine.
The twisting of the intestine makes it impossible for the guinea pig to fart. This keeps building up gas in the stomach and causes bloating.
Such a condition requires immediate medical attention and treatment.
If you notice that your guinea pig has to bloat and it looks constantly distressed, take your pet to a vet right away.
When Should You Contact the Vet?
Since bloating can be dangerous and fatal for your Guinea pig, always keep a check on any possible symptoms.
You should also be aware of when it occurs.
If the condition persists, consult the vet immediately.
If your Guinea pig seems agitated and makes a lot of noise, this is a clear indicator that it is in pain.
Lethargy and unusual behavior can also suggest stomach issues.
An out-of-the-ordinary change in appetite is also a sign of bloating in guinea pigs.
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, visit the vet immediately for an examination.
Due to the gravity of this health condition, you should never leave it unchecked.
Always take prompt measures to treat bloating and excessive gas problems in guinea pigs.
Intestinal twisting and bloating are very rare in Guinea pigs. Fortunately, only 20% of Guinea pigs suffer from bloating.
This means that these conditions are not always the cause of farting.
More often than not, a guinea pig that is farting a few times a day is one that is healthy and normal.
Like any other animal, your guinea pig will also fart once in a while.
If your pet displays any other accompanying signs of a medical condition, you should not delay treatment at all.
Discomfort and weakness should indicate that there’s something wrong with your pet.
The best you can do to avoid flatulence is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet for your guinea pig.
Identifying any subtle or obvious changes in your pet’s behavior can also help to determine when something is going wrong.
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