Guinea pigs are amongst the favorite choices of first-time pet parents, especially if there are small kids at home. They are adorable, intelligent, tiny, and easy to adapt to in most conditions.
But like other rodents, they also have a survival instinct for concealing their diseases. Thus it is crucial to recognize early and deal with any sickness as they are fragile creatures.
If not treated early, wheezing can become a life-threatening issue for our pet. If you are a guinea pig pet parent, read our article carefully.
Causes Of Guinea Pig Wheezing
Generally, they get an infection leading to wheezing from other animals like dogs. It is often caused by bacteria transmitted by other animals, mainly Bordetella bronchiseptica. Therefore it is always preferred to minimize guinea pig’s interaction with other animals.
If wheezing is persistent, it is advisable to take your guinea pig to the vet before it can do severe damage to these creatures.
Wheezing can also be caused by an allergy to particular food articles, allergy to environmental changes, or appear after surgical treatment. These should be tackled on a case by case basis by understanding the exact cause and introducing early treatment.
Guinea Pig Wheezing When Eating
It could be caused by numerous reasons, the most common being food allergy. Check whether you have made any recent changes to their diet or try to identify ingredients that might cause the allergy. Removing the element from the guinea pig’s diet can permanently solve this situation.
Another reason is gulping, which usually happens if you feed dry pellet food to your guinea pig. Try giving them wet food; you can soak the pellets in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes and then feed them to your pet.
You can also include ingredients like curd to make food wet. If the problem persists, it is probably due to an upper respiratory tract infection, for which you need to call upon a vet as soon as possible.
Guinea Pig Wheezing When Squeaking
It generally happens due to unhygienic bedding arrangements, especially wooden shavings on top of the bed. Some guinea pigs are allergic to wooden shavings, and they start to wheeze when they squeak.
Wooden shavings are known to cause respiratory illness in guinea pigs. You can use newspaper to cover wooden shavings or use a soft barley or paddy straw on top of the bed. Look for other signs of upper respiratory illness that will require a vet visit.
It can also be caused by a chest infection, which can cause wheezing like sound. Listen to his chest while he breaths. If there is any strange sound, it is probably due to a chest infection.
It generally occurs in older guinea pigs. Arrange a visit to the vet and get an MRI scan performed as soon as possible.
Guinea Pig Wheezing After Surgery
Your guinea pig might require instant medical attention when wheezing after surgery. It could be a life or death matter for your pet. Fix an emergency appointment with your vet as soon as possible. Vets usually do a post-surgery check-up after 24 hours.
It is also possible that your pet has still not recovered from anesthesia, which causes labored breathing. It could be due to a post-anesthesia medical complication called NPPE, which causes upper airway obstruction.
Sometimes fluid gets deposited in the outer layer of the lungs after surgery. It would be best if deep breathing and coughing exercises are done within two days after surgery. And hold a meeting with the vet for assurance.
- Labored breathing because of respiratory problems.
- Mucus like substance coming out of guinea pigs eyes, especially of greenish color with redness of eyes generally indicates respiratory infection.
- Runny nose, especially when sneezing, and substance with greenish color coming out of the nose. This is due to respiratory diseases or an allergic reaction to a foreign substance.
- Weight loss, appetite loss, lethargy, fur loss, or change in overall behavior also indicates something wrong is going on inside your guinea pig.
- Guinea pigs are very active pets. If they are beginning to get tired early or are not coming out of their cage, it indicates that they are ill.
Guinea Pig Wheezing Treatment
- The best option would be to make an appointment with a vet. Respiratory illnesses like wheezing can become serious for these tiny creatures in no time and could prove fatal.
- Provide your vet with complete details about your guinea pig-like any recent surgery, changes in food ingredients, bedding, environmental conditions, etc.
- Ensure the X-Ray or MRI scan is performed to identify the true cause of the problem. This will help you understand whether it is a respiratory problem or a chest infection.
- Opt for a blood test; it will help discover if any bacteria are present and, if yes, then of what kind. This will help provide exact medication so that the root of the problem is eliminated.
- If a vet is not available in your area and emergency treatment needs to be done, you must look for antibacterial medicines (e.g. Baytril, or doxycycline).
- Apart from antibacterial medication, you can provide some probiotic supplements and curd. Increase Vitamin C intake. You can also use a nebulizer if you have one at home.
Wheezing for a guinea pig could be dangerous and is troublesome for pet parents. But most of the time, it can be easily treated if identified and diagnosed early.
If the problem comes back after treatment, it usually indicates an underlying serious problem requiring a thorough examination by a specialist.