When you adopt a guinea pig, you probably aren’t thinking about your pet developing a reproductive disease. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon, so it’s definitely something you should think about before you schedule your first appointment with your veterinary clinic.
The question is, what is guinea pig reproductive disease? And is there anything you can do about it?
What is guinea pig reproductive disease?
Although there are many problems that are associated with male guinea pigs, it’s primarily the females that develop reproductive problems in the form of ovarian cysts. What exactly is a cyst?
Cysts are encapsulated, fluid-filled sacs that can be found in the organs of the reproductive system. Not all cysts are dangerous. Some are part of the normal reproductive cycle and don’t cause any problems. However, some cysts can lead to bilateral fur loss, reduced appetite, lethargy, and a bloated appearance. They may even increase your pet’s chances of developing uterine cancer.
It’s estimated that up to two-thirds of female guinea pigs have some kind of ovarian cysts, so it’s an important potential health problem to consider.
Is there anything you can do about cysts?
Knowing about a problem is only half the battle. You have to know what to do about it. When it comes to cysts, you have a few options.
You can wait until your guinea pig develops cysts before you tackle the problem. Keep an eye on her behavior, and if it changes, schedule an appointment with your local clinic right away. If it is determined that your pet has cysts, you’ll have a few treatment options. Medical treatments, like Lupron injections, can help shrink the size of cysts. If they’re bad enough, surgical removal of the reproductive tract may be recommended.
A preventative approach can keep your pig from suffering or feeling uncomfortable in the future. You can have your guinea pig spayed. Not only will it prevent cysts, but it can help you get better behavior out of your pet as well.
Spaying a guinea pig can be hard so you may want to consider having just the ovaries removed instead. Your pet will recover from this sort of surgery much faster than a full spay.
For help determining the best course of action for your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinary clinic. Learn more here.