Unlike other pocket pets, guinea pigs live quite a long life. These rodents can live as long as eight years, which means regular visits to your vet are key in making sure that his life is long, healthy, and happy.
Although it’s true that a veterinary professional can greatly enhance your guinea pig’s life, there’s quite a bit that you can do too. Keeping your pet around for many years to come is made easier when you check in on your critter’s health at least once a week.
Take a close look at your guinea pig’s eyes. They should be clear and wide open. A little milkiness in the corner of the eyes is okay, but if there is any discoloration or discharge, or if a crust has developed around the eye, you should schedule an appointment with your animal clinic.
Guinea pigs sometimes need to have their ears cleaned, so make sure you’re removing earwax as needed. During your weekly inspection, you should also look for black dots or unusual markings that could mean your pet has a fungal or parasitic infection.
It’s important to inspect your pet’s nose too. If there’s a lot of discharge, it may indicate that your guinea pig has a respiratory infection, which requires veterinary care.
Guinea pig teeth grow continuously, which means you should check in each week and make sure that your pet’s teeth aren’t overgrown. If your critter has angled wear on his incisors, it could be an indication that he’s favoring one side of his mouth. This can be a sign of scurvy or another health issue.
Believe it or not, but it isn’t uncommon for guinea pigs to develop sores on their feet. It could be something as simple as soiled bedding, or your pet could be overweight or have scurvy.
Skin and hair
Each week you should be looking at your guinea pig’s skin and hair as well. Make sure that your pet isn’t developing any bald patches. Skin should be pink, not red. You should also check for sores, swelling, or lumps. Cavy’s with long hair should be free of mats.
If you find anything out of the ordinary during your weekly checkup, you should schedule an appointment with your vet right away. It’s much better to be safe than sorry! Learn more here.