Emergency medical guide

Why is my guinea pig unwell?

All the information below is based on an adult guinea pig weighing around 1kg. Often, symptoms are hard to spot, so this information is to help you identify an illness early on and is not intended to replace the opinion of a veterinary surgeon. If you have any concerns about the health of your guinea pig, take him to a vet as soon as you can.


Is he hunched up, and miserable, fluffed up coat, tight around belly and/or not eating? This could be Bloat.

Does he have weight loss, slobbering, difficulty in eating? This could be a dental problem.

Is he hunching his back, and squeaking intermittently when peeing? This could be Cystitis.

Does he have dry, scaly skin, is he scratching and/or fitting? This could be a fungal skin infection. 

Does he have a “V” shape on his back, is he scratching and possibly fitting? This could be Mange.

Is he hunched up, with sunken eyes and has runny poo? This could be diarrhoea.

Is he quiet, miserable and biting at his own body? This could be flystrike.

Is he down on his belly, shallow panting and has hot ears? This could be heat exhaustion.

Does he have laboured breathing? This could be a respiratory problem.

Is there a muscle tremor, with low head carriage? This could be poisoning.

Is he in a collapsed state with jerking eye movements? This could be a Stroke.

Are his quarters weak or paralysed? This could be a calcium absorbency problem.

Syringe feeding 

How to give supplementary feeding with a syringe here

How to administer medication using a syringe here