Do Guinea Pigs Need to Go to a Vet?

By Naomi Millburn

Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Whether you own a cat, dog, ferret, guinea pig or any other pet, regular veterinary care is an absolute must. Smaller animals are just as prone to illness as larger ones, and guinea pigs are certainly no exception. Make sure your precious guinea pig sees the veterinarian for a thorough checkup at least once per year.

Guinea Pig Veterinarian Visits

If all seems fine and well with your guinea pig, take him to the veterinarian for standard checkups -- a minimum of once a year. Since guinea pigs are a little rarer than dogs and cats, look for an exotic veterinarian who has a focus on rodents.

Emergency Veterinary Appointments

In the event of possible illness, it is absolutely imperative to take your guinea pig in for a veterinary appointment -- even if his routine annual examination was just a month ago. Always take medical emergencies into careful consideration when contemplating bringing a guinea pig into your home.

Symptoms of Illness

If your pet cavy is a glowing example of optimal health, he should have glossy and full fur, focused eyes, a healthy appetite and firm and regular bowel movements. On the other hand, if your guinea pig is somehow ill and needs to see a veterinarian immediately, you may observe in him glazed over eyes, low energy, exhaustion, limping, nasal discharge, hunching over, balancing problems, protrusion of the lower belly, salivation, grooming neglect, reduced appetite, weight loss, difficulty breathing, constipation or runny stools. If you identify even one of these possibly serious indications, get your fluffy friend to the veterinarian as soon as you can. A wide array of different ailments occasionally affect cavies, from scurvy and heatstroke to dental issues.

Cost Considerations

Properly owning and caring for a guinea pig certainly isn't free, and actually can get pretty pricy when emergency situations are involved. Before making a commitment to any sweet cavy, take financial obligations into consideration. Even if your guinea pig is in perfectly good condition, once-a-year veterinary checkups are not free. Medication and any necessary nutritional supplements can also add up.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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