Guinea pigs have a delicate digestive system, which cannot always cope with changes in diet. When we change their diet or give them food they haven’t eaten before, they may get diarrhea.
Can guinea pigs die from diarrhea?
Guinea pigs can die from diarrhea if they do not start treatment in time, that is, no later than two days after the onset of diarrhea. When guinea pigs have diarrhea, if they do not have severe symptoms, they recover on their own, but it can have fatal consequences for their health and life.
In today’s article, you will learn how dangerous diarrhea is for guinea pigs, what causes it, and other questions related to the topic.
Can guinea pigs die from diarrhea?
Guinea pigs can die from diarrhea or wet tail when they have severe consequences of this disease. When guinea pigs have diarrhea they get low blood volume due to the loss of water in the body.
Then there is a disruption of the normal supply of nutrients and oxygen to all the organs in the body, which causes hypovolemic shock.
If the diarrhea is not treated in time, it causes the failure of the organs in the body and the death of the guinea pig.
That’s why it’s most important whenever you notice diarrhea in your pet, to immediately contact a veterinarian to help the guinea pig.
Why do guinea pigs get diarrhea?
The occurrence of diarrhea in guinea pigs can be for several different reasons.
Here are some of them:
- inadequate nutrition
- changes in diet
These changes and health problems can cause diarrhea in guinea pigs, so let’s take a closer look at all the causes.
Stress causes diarrhea in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs are very sensitive, it only takes a little time for them to get stress and diarrhea. Stress can be caused by the following things:
- predators or other pets such as dogs and cats
- very loud noise
- changes of residence
- poor diet
- low activity and boredom
When guinea pigs are stressed, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are produced in their bodies. When these two hormones begin to act in the digestive tract of guinea pigs, diarrhea occurs.
Apart from diarrhea, stress can also cause other consequences such as changes in behavior, weakening of immunity, and a bad influence on brain function in your pet.
In addition to causing diarrhea, long-term stress can permanently change the lives of guinea pigs.
Certain medications cause diarrhea in guinea pigs
Drugs such as clindamycin, ampicillin, and cephalexin are often prescribed for the treatment of guinea pigs but sometimes have side effects and diarrhea.
These antibiotics have their purpose and help the guinea pigs when they are sick, but unfortunately they obviously sometimes disturb the intestinal flora in your pets and diarrhea occurs.
That’s why every time you give them certain antibiotics, you have to be careful that such side effects do not occur.
If you receive an outbreak of diarrhea, you should stop immediately and talk to a veterinarian about changing the medication or giving other types of medication.
Intestinal parasites cause diarrhea in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs often have intestinal parasites that can cause diarrhea, as well as other problems such as abdominal pain and bloating.
The biggest problem with parasites is that they live attached to the digestive tract of guinea pigs and feed on the food your pet ingests.
If you notice diarrhea and other symptoms that we have listed, you should immediately consult a veterinarian to help your pet.
Infections lead to diarrhea in guinea pigs
The main cause of diarrhea in guinea pigs is bacterial and viral infections.
Guinea pigs usually get these infections when they eat dirty food, drink dirty water, and if there is not enough hygiene in their cage.
When the infection starts to spread in the guinea pig’s organism, its immunity is activated, which uses diarrhea to expel the infection.
The following bacteria commonly cause diarrhea:
- Bacterial enteritis
In addition to diarrhea, the following symptoms occur:
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- lethargic behavior
All of these bacteria that we have listed are dangerous to guinea pigs and it is best to call a veterinarian immediately to help your pet.
Introduction of new types of food
When you introduce new food to guinea pigs they can get diarrhea, regardless of whether the food is healthy and nutritious or not.
The problem is when guinea pigs’ digestive system, needs some time to get used to and adapt.
That’s why it is always recommended when introducing a new food, to start with small amounts first, so that the digestive system can get used to it without diarrhea.
Poor food choices cause diarrhea in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs can eat a wide variety of food, but some types of food can cause diarrhea or rather a lack of nutrients.
Guinea pigs need food that is rich in fiber, which helps them to have better digestion and a healthier digestive system.
When guinea pigs eat food with less fiber they have a better chance of getting diarrhea.
Sometimes even hay, which is their main food, if it does not contain enough fiber, then it is not a good choice to eat.
One of the best types of high-fiber hay is timothy hay, while alfalfa has much less fiber in its composition.
Dietary fiber helps guinea pigs not only prevent diarrhea but can also treat it.
Can guinea pigs recover from diarrhea?
Guinea pigs can recover from diarrhea, but you need to act very quickly to calm the diarrhea and prevent its further effects.
Sometimes the diarrhea will pass very quickly and the guinea pigs will recover without consequences and will not need veterinary treatment, but sometimes when the condition does not normalize then it must be treated immediately.
If the diarrhea is not treated, it can kill the guinea pig, and therefore if it does not pass within a day, it should be taken to a veterinarian for treatment with antibiotics.
the veterinarian with appropriate examinations will determine the condition of the guinea pig, and whether it is dangerous for his life, and will immediately start treatment.
What is the treatment of guinea pigs with diarrhea?
When guinea pigs have diarrhea they need to be treated and ministered in different ways, depending on the cause of the diarrhea.
Here are some tips for treating diarrhea in your pet:
- using electrolytes and vitamins
- antibiotics such as doxycycline, fluoroquinolones, or fenbendazole
- a diet rich in more fiber in composition to calm diarrhea
- less stress in the guinea pigs’ environment
- cage maintenance and hygiene
All of these tips are helpful and help make it easier to treat guinea pigs when they have diarrhea.
What does diarrhea look like in guinea pigs?
When guinea pigs have diarrhea, the first thing you may notice is a change in the appearance of your pet’s poop.
Normal guinea pig poo is firm and like small pellets, while when they have diarrhea the poo becomes wet and sticky.
In the following text, you will learn about all the most significant symptoms when guinea pigs have diarrhea.
Soft and colorless poop is a sign of diarrhea
The main sign when guinea pigs have diarrhea is watery stools and a bad smell.
When the symptoms of diarrhea are milder and not so pronounced, their poop will be softer than usual, but it will not be so drastically changed.
Apart from the fact that the poop will be softer, the color of the feces will also change and will become dark brown.
In any case, immediately when you notice changes in pooping or shape, you should consult a veterinarian.
When guinea pigs have diarrhea, the most important thing is to react quickly so that the condition does not worsen.
A bad smell from guinea pigs’ poop is a sign of diarrhea
When guinea pig poo has a bad smell it is a sign that something is wrong with the poo and it is probably the beginning of diarrhea.
When the poop of the guinea pigs soaks into the bedding and it starts to smell bad. The bad smell of guinea pig poo is normal because when they have diarrhea the poop consists of:
- dead cells
- poorly digested food
- remains of the digestive system
All these ingredients together produce a bad smell that is a consequence of diarrhea. The more the guinea pig’s diarrhea gets worse, the worse their poop will smell.
Lethargy is a sign that guinea pigs may have diarrhea
When guinea pigs have diarrhea they become lethargic because they do not have enough energy to move normally.
Diarrhea does not allow the guinea pigs to make the most of the nutrients from the food and they cannot even properly absorb the water they drink.
Guinea pigs have a fast metabolism and when they do not consume enough calories, it is very difficult to keep their organs in proper condition.
They become lethargic and do not have enough energy to play and run around all day.
In any case, diarrhea exhausts their organism and they have a problem until they recover from this unwanted condition.
When they have diarrhea, guinea pigs have sunken eyes
When guinea pigs have diarrhea, it is also manifested by sunken eyes.
This happens because the guinea pigs lose water and begin to dehydrate, which can be seen in their physical appearance.
In addition to having sunken eyes, they may also have a crust around the eyes that will be dry normally because they do not have enough water in their body.
Guinea pigs are messy when they have diarrhea
When guinea pigs have diarrhea they don’t groom as often and they don’t groom their whole body.
This happens because when they have diarrhea they don’t have enough energy and can’t pay enough attention to cleaning their fur.
Dirt will be noticed on the back part of the body, and it will be more pronounced if diarrhea lasts for a long time.
What is diarrhea in guinea pigs?
Diarrhea, also called wet tails, is a gastrointestinal problem in guinea pigs. The most common signs of diarrhea in guinea pigs are:
- stomach ache
- watery stool
- bad smell of poop
Diarrhea in guinea pigs usually occurs due to bacterial infections or unclean food and water.
Guinea pigs with diarrhea have watery stools and can become dehydrated and eventually die if not treated promptly.
If the guinea pig’s diarrhea does not go away within a day, it should be taken to a veterinarian to examine it and prescribe medicines and antibiotics.
If diarrhea in guinea pigs is not cured in a few days, they may die, so it is most important to start treatment immediately.
Can apples give guinea pigs diarrhea?
If guinea pigs eat too many apples, they can get diarrhea and problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
However, we must mention that when they have diarrhea from apples, it will go away when they stop eating large amounts of this fruit.
That is why it is always recommended to eat various types of food in moderation, so that side effects such as diarrhea do not occur.
Can bananas cause diarrhea in guinea pigs?
Bananas can cause stomach problems and diarrhea in guinea pigs.
This fruit contains a lot of sugar in its composition, which in large quantities creates problems for guinea pigs.
If guinea pigs eat small amounts of banana they will not get diarrhea and problems such as obesity and diabetes.
How do I stop my guinea pig from having diarrhea?
When guinea pigs have diarrhea you should immediately give them one Buscopan each day for the next two days.
In doing so, the intestines will relax, and with the addition of probiotics, the diarrhea should decrease. From food, give them only hay and dry food so that their pooping can be regulated and diarrhea stops.
Of course, you should not give them anything on your own before consulting a veterinarian.
Guinea pigs can die from diarrhea if not treated promptly.
If more than two days pass and your pet still has diarrhea, it can be life-threatening.
Sometimes diarrhea can go away on its own if it is in a milder form, but the risk is still very high, so it is best to consult a veterinarian immediately if you notice diarrhea.
Antibiotics are available to treat diarrhea and will alleviate and cure diarrhea in piglets. To avoid the occurrence of diarrhea, the guinea pigs must ingest enough food rich in fiber.