Over the years, we have often brought one or two of our residents indoors if they were under the weather so we could keep them under close observation. This might be so that we could keep them on towels or vetbed looking for signs of blood in the urine or any other problem which would not normally show up on normal bedding. Or they might be recovering from surgery, be on long-term medication or need syringe feeding, for example.

April Lodge Guinea Pig Sick Bay looks after outpatient guinea pigs, especially those whose owners cannot cope with their medication or care because of work commitments. We also operate guinea pig welfare checks here at April Lodge which are by appointment only – this is a free service for all guinea pigs re-homed from April Lodge and £6 per check for guinea pigs not from April Lodge.

We have two qualified Rodent Health Advisors on site who both trained at The British Association of Rodentologists, including Val Savage, the founder of April Lodge. We do not have X-Ray facilities and cannot supply prescription only medication. However, we are legally allowed an opinion on your guinea pigs’ welfare and can provide observation facilities if required.

Make no mistake, a vet who has rodent training and is experienced where guinea pigs are concerned is irreplaceable in our opinion. If you make an appointment to see a vet because your guinea pig is ill, you would be advised to ask for the exotics vet or the farm vet as guinea pigs are more in line with horses and cattle than cats and dogs. A vet has x-ray facilities, anaesthesia and can supply prescription only medication. We are more than happy to recommend a vet in the Sandwich/Deal/Canterbury areas should the need arise.

Our welfare check includes:

  • Nail clipping
  • Oral wormer (optional) treating lung-worm etc
  • Microscopic skin slide
  • Weight monitoring
  • Dental check
  • E.N.T check
  • Heart and respiration check
  • Advice
  • Other services: coat care and boarding

Please note: this is not a veterinary service and prescription only medication cannot be supplied.

At the check we often pick up on renal, gastric, mange and fungal problems and respiratory problems that are sometimes overlooked.


Guinea pigs contract worms from the garden where wildlife drop parasites.  It is worth noting that even if you keep your guinea pigs indoors, worming will help to balance the gut flora which in turn will aid the guinea pig in absorption of nutrients.

We keep records of all guinea pigs that attend our welfare checks, so we can compare notes from previous checks and you don’t have to worry about bringing their notes along.

Please park in the visitors’ parking area