Guinea pigs are furry little rodents that make good pets. Like any other pet, guinea pigs can and do get sick. They can suffer from a variety of conditions and diseases. One of the most common bacterial diseases guinea pigs can suffer from is pneumonia. Thus, if you own a guinea pig, you should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of pneumonia in him or her.
According to Simple Pet Care, pneumonia in guinea pigs is caused by bacteria living in your pet’s respiratory tract. The condition is most often a result of improper care, stress, and/or improper diet. If your guinea pig has pneumonia, he or she may exhibit one or more symptoms, including: lethargy, fluid leaking from the nose and/or eyes, difficulty breathing, and a loss of appetite. However, some pets will remain asymptomatic and may die suddenly without ever appearing to be sick.
Guinea pigs suffering from pneumonia may also develop middle or inner ear infections. Symptoms of these types of infections may include rolling around, appearing disoriented, circling, and tilting the head to one side, according to Animal Hospitals USA.
There may be several different types of bacteria that lead to pneumonia in guinea pigs. While not all of the bacteria that cause this condition are known, according to Pet MD, one bacteria that may lead to the disease are streptococci pneumonie.
If you notice any of the symptoms described above, you should take your guinea pig to a veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will ask you for your pet’s health history if the doctor doesn’t have a record of it already. While an initial diagnosis of pneumonia may be made by a vet by simply examining your pet’s physical symptoms, the vet will need to collect samples of your pet’s bodily fluids to confirm the diagnosis. More specifically, your veterinarian will need to take blood, urine, and mucous from your pet’s lungs and nose to send to the laboratory to confirm the presence of streptococci.
Treatment for pneumonia in guinea pigs may include antibiotic injections and supportive therapy. Supportive therapy may include vitamin and mineral supplements as well as fluids, according to Pet MD. Additionally, the condition may be spread from one guinea pig to another when an infected pet sneezes or coughs or has direct contact with another guinea pig. Thus, if you have more than one guinea pig, you may want to separate your pets during the time in which one of them is sick.
As a pet owner, it is important that you recognize abnormal physical symptoms in your guinea pig. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, please take your pet to the veterinarian right away so that he or she can receive a diagnosis and proper treatment.
Simple Pet Care: Guinea Pig Diseases:
Popular Pets: Pneumonia:
Pet MD: Pneumonia Infection in Guinea Pigs:
Animal Hospitals USA: Guinea Pig Diseases: General: