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Guinea Pigs/My Guinea Pig Wees on Herself



My guinea pig is five or six years old and appears happy and healthy, with no previous health issues. However, recently (in the last couple of months) whenever I hold her I find her hindquarters soaked in urine. She seems to not move when she urinates and then sits in it. As a result I now bathe her bottom regularly with water but I worry that this is bad for her skin (as she is wet with urine only hours later) - is there something wrong with her, and is there any way to avoid this problem? She doesn't seem in pain and eats and drinks plenty.



Your little girl is suffering from what human women often go through as a result of the aging process. She has a leaky bladder from loss of muscle control. It's not necessarily an infection, it's just a chronic problem that can cause a great deal of discomfort for her.

I've had several old sows that developed this and it requires some effort on your part to keep her clean and comfortable. Because of the high ammonia content in the urine, the constant contact with the skin can cause a severe breakdown and actually cause the skin to bleed from the irritation.

What you will need to do is give her a daily 'sitz bath' which is a medical term for a soaking of her bum. We use this in human medicine for similar things. It's quite easy and won't take more than 15 minutes of your day.  

Fill your bathroom sink with about two inches of lukewarm water. Put a tablespoon of baking soda in the water and stir it up until it is all dissolved. Then just sit her in the water. Most pigs enjoy this soaking as it is soothing to their skin. The baking soda is to help neutralize the acid that is on her skin from the urine. Let her soak for about ten or fifteen minutes.

When you take her out use a very soft towel and gently pat the area dry. Don't rub, as this is more irritating to the already sore skin. Once she is dry you can apply Vaseline on the area to help keep the urine from penetrating to the skin. Basically you're treating as if you had a baby with a diaper rash.

She will appreciate the effort and the comfort it will give her. Although her skin has not yet broken down, it will if left untreated. Sows can get a yeast infection that is very painful and difficult to get rid of. If her skin opens up and bleeds, and a crust begins to build on the area you can use the same medication that is sold for women with yeast infections. You simply dab it on the same as you do the Vaseline.

As long as she has not shown any evidence of a yeast infection just use Vaseline as a barrier to protect her delicate tissues. There is nothing you can do to prevent this leakage as it is sadly just part of getting old. But you can keep her comfortable and help prevent further problems.

I wish there was an answer to make this condition go away, but there is not. I hope this helps you. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.

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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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