Guinea Pigs/Concerns


We bought out first guinea pig-hammy this past Friday. She seemed to he doing great. She sneezes a bit. Today when I came home from work her left eye was closed. Since Friday she has not eaten a full bowl of food jor a 16oz bottle of water (with vit c) she does however eat her veggie sticks and her Timothy hay. Pls advise.

The sneezing is typically not a concern in cavies as it is in humans. It may be a reaction to her bedding or surroundings. I would not suggest treating the sneezing as sometimes the treatment is worse that what you're trying to get rid of. All pigs sneeze periodically.

The crusty eye could be the same thing. If you easily wipe the debris from the eye with some warm water and a soft cloth it may just be a temporary thing.

You don't say how old she is, but if she's a youngster she may be eating more than you realize. The fact that she's eating the veggies indicates she still has a good appetite and that's the best indicator of a guinea pig's health.

Sometimes adding Vitamins to the water causes it to have a bad smell that we as humans can't detect. You may want to just offer her some parsley every day in small amounts and that will give her the vitamin C she needs. If she's eating a plentiful supply of veggies she's also getting water from that.

It doesn't sound to me like there is anything to worry about. Give her a chance to adjust and you will learn to understand her needs by watching what she likes and dislikes.

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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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