Guinea pigs often get various infections from which they can have problems with their health and their lives. One of those infections and dangers is bumblefoot or an infection of the feet.
I was a little worried about my guinea pig and so I did some research to see how dangerous bumblefoot is to my pet.
Can bumblefoot kill a guinea pig?
Bumblefoot if not treated promptly can kill the guinea pig, as the infection can spread to their bloodstream and other body tissues.
Fortunately, this infection is very easily treated with antibiotics and cleaning the infection at the vet.
In today’s article, you will find out how dangerous bumblefoot is for guinea pigs, how to treat it promptly, what the treatments are, and similar issues related to the topic.
Can bumblefoot kill a guinea pig?
Bumblefoot is an infection that can unfortunately cause fatal consequences and death in guinea pigs if not treated promptly.
When guinea pigs have bumblefoot, there is initially a small cut on their feet through which bacteria can enter the guinea pig’s body.
Then the guinea pig’s foot becomes swollen and infected, and if not treated, the infection starts to spread throughout the body.
Next is the spread of the infection throughout the body including the bones and other surrounding tissues, eventually entering the bloodstream where the guinea pig may die.
That is why bumblefoot must be treated immediately, otherwise, if it spreads through the bloodstream then it will already be too late for your pet.
Why do guinea pigs develop bumblefoot?
Guinea pigs can get bumblefoot for a number of different reasons although the most common cause is poor bedding in their cage.
If the surface of the bedding is rough or if they have a wire cage, these surfaces irritate their feet and they may develop bumblefoot.
Poor hygiene in the cage is another reason for such unwanted occurrences of guinea pigs.
If the guinea pigs have overgrown nails it can cause a problem because they will not want to move around enough and become a target for the appearance of bumblefoot.
Being overweight causes bumblefoot in guinea pigs
Being overweight also makes it impossible for guinea pigs to move around enough and increases the risk of developing bumblefoot.
When guinea pigs don’t get enough exercise they have more stress and again this can cause foot problems and infection.
If the guinea pigs are very fat they sit in one place and bacteria accumulates in their feet.
Vitamin C deficiency causes bumblefoot in guinea pigs
When the guinea pigs do not have enough vitamin C in their diet, it indirectly affects the appearance of bumblefoot.
This happens because when they don’t have vitamin C, which they must get through their diet, guinea pigs weaken their immunity and are susceptible to injuries, weakness, and infections.
The lack of vitamin C makes it impossible for the guinea pigs to fight against foot infections, that is, it causes the appearance of bumblefoot.
How to prevent the occurrence of bumblefoot in guinea pigs?
In order to prevent the occurrence of bumblefoot in guinea pigs, you should check that everything is in order with their feet.
Especially the front feet often suffer from bumblefoot, so once a day you should check both the front and back feet.
When guinea pigs have bumblefoot on one foot it is likely to spread to the other feet.
This happens because then they will avoid stepping on the feet with the infection, but in doing so the pressure of the weight will increase on the other feet and they have a high chance of getting bumblefoot.
Here are some tips on how to prevent guinea pig bumblefoot.
A clean cage prevents bumblefoot in guinea pigs
You should always maintain the hygiene of the guinea pigs’ cage, regular daily cleaning is necessary.
All dirt, excrement, and other dirty things are dangerous and can cause bumblefoot in your pet.
A wet floor together with dirt is a breeding ground for infections such as bumblefoot, so hygiene comes first.
Guinea pigs need plenty of activity to keep their feet from developing bumblefoot.
Therefore, provide them with enough space and let them out of the cage occasionally so that they can run and exercise.
They like to run and play, which also helps to maintain their body weight at an optimal level. An overweight guinea pig is prone to developing bumblefoot.
A healthy diet prevents bumblefoot in guinea pigs
In order to prevent the appearance of featherfoot in guinea pigs, you should provide them with a healthy diet rich in minerals and vitamins.
A healthy diet, especially vitamin C, provides better immunity and protection against infections and diseases such as bumblefoot.
Guinea pigs that have a healthy diet, in addition to having better protection against bumblefoot, have overall better health, less stress, and a longer lifespan.
Treatment of Guinea Pigs When They Have Boomfoot
If you notice the appearance of bumblefoot on the feet of guinea pigs, you should immediately take them to the veterinarian.
The vet will do an examination and see if and to what extent the guinea pigs have bumblefoot. He will give you advice on improving nutrition, cage hygiene, and other useful things.
If the situation is more serious, they can be prescribed antibiotics and medicines for the treatment of bumblefoot in your pet.
In extreme situations, he may even recommend surgery, but this is only done if the condition with bumblefoot becomes a threat to the guinea pig’s life.
In the event that the bumblefoot infection has spread to the bones, then amputation may be recommended.
How long can bumblefoot last in guinea pigs?
When guinea pigs have bumblefoot the treatment and cure of this infection can be a long process.
It takes time and attention for guinea pigs to fully heal from this unwanted condition.
Sometimes the treatment against bumblefoot can last up to several weeks, depending on the severity of the disease and its expansion in the guinea pig’s body.
How do you treat bumblefoot in guinea pig at home?
If the guinea pig has only the initial stage of bumblefoot, you can do the treatment at home.
You will need warm water and Epsom salt to dissolve together and place your pet’s feet inside the solution.
This way it will soften the skin on the feet of the guinea pigs and clear the infection, but only if it is in the initial stage.
Can guinea pig bumblefoot heal on its own?
When guinea pigs have bumblefoot you cannot leave them without treatment.
The infection will not be cured by itself, so it must be treated to cure it.
While in the future, after the treatment, you will have to pay attention to the diet, bedding, and hygiene of the cage so that there is no recurrence of bumblefoot.
Is bumblefoot painful for guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs certainly feel pain when they have bumblefoot, the infection makes it difficult for them to move.
If one foot is infected due to the pain the guinea pig will avoid stepping on that foot.
Guinea pigs spend most of their day standing up, so discomfort and pain are inevitable whenever they have bumblefoot.
What antibiotics are used for bumblefoot in guinea pigs?
Antibacterial agents are commonly used to treat guinea pig bumblefoot. They contain antibiotics such as enrofloxacin, marbofloxacin, butorphanol, and sulphonamides.
What is the best bedding for a guinea pig with bumblefoot?
The best bedding for guinea pigs with bumblefoot is paper bedding and fleece liners. These beddings are dust free and very comfortable and soft for guinea pigs’ feet.
What disease can kill a guinea pig?
Pneumonia is the most common disease that can kill guinea pigs. When guinea pigs have pneumonia it is usually caused by a bacterial infection such as Bordetella bronchiseptica, but other bacteria can also be the cause such as Streptococcus pneumoniae or Streptococcus zooepidemicus.
Guinea pigs sometimes get a foot infection called bumblefoot, which can be life-threatening and kill them if not treated promptly.
Bumblefoot usually appears as a result of insufficient hygiene in the cage of the guinea pig, lack of vitamin C, stress, and insufficient activity in your pet.
When guinea pigs have bumblefoot it is treated with antibiotics, creams, and medicines prescribed by a veterinarian.
While all guinea pig owners should provide them with a clean cage, a healthy diet with vitamins, and enough exercise to prevent bumblefoot from developing in their pet.