Guinea Pigs/Foot problem


I'm not sure if you know how to help but I have been on line looking for answers for my daughters guinea pig problem. 2 days ago we noticed that he (popcorn) was not coming out of his cage and staying under his house. He is eating and drinking, including eating his timothy hay but is not active or excited as he usually gets when getting food or hay. I noticed he is not putting weight on his front left paw but can not see anything on the padding. I looked at the other front paw and it looks a little swollen so I put the "vet given" antibiotic on that one last night. I'm unsure if he has a fracture or what is bothering him. He's 3 years old. Can you tell me what you think about this situation? It's very expensive to go to the vet.

He may have something called 'bumblefoot'.  It's a condition that just happens, we don't know why, and is generally not curable. It can be painful for the pig to put weight on as the pad of the foot is swollen, sometimes to twice normal size.

Attached is a picture of an especially bad case, but gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. I've only had a couple of older pigs that got bumblefoot, but no matter what I did for it nothing seemed to make a difference.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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