How to Check if a Guinea Pig is Dead? (Find Out Now)

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:00 pm

Your guinea pig doesn’t seem to be moving, and you must wonder if it’s dead.

How can I check if it’s alive or dead?           

You can check if a guinea pig is dead by seeing if it is moving at all, checking for a heartbeat, if it has a body temperature, if it is breathing, checking its eyes do they have shine, and if it is stiff when you pick it up.

All these signs are crucial to know if a guinea pig is alive or dead.

In today’s article, you will learn more about all these signs and how to check them to know the condition of your guinea pig.

How to Check if a Guinea Pig is Dead?

Guinea pigs have a short life span and can easily surprise us and die. That’s why we must know the main signs when our guinea pig is dead or still alive.

Here are the main signs when a guinea pig is dead:

  • it doesn’t move
  • not breathing
  • his body is cold
  • stiffness
  • no sparkle in the eyes
  • his heart is not working

Now that you know the primary signs that a guinea pig is dead let’s take a closer look at how to properly check for these signs of death in a guinea pig.

Check if it moves or not

The first sign of whether or not a guinea pig is dead is to see if it is moving.

If the guinea pig is not moving, your pet will likely die. It needs some kind of movement to be able to say it is still alive.

If it moves its limbs or twitches its body even just a little, just slow movement is hope that it is still alive and can survive.

When the guinea pig shows the slightest movement you should immediately take it to the vet to examine it and see how bad the issue is with your pet.

It is of great importance that when you take the guinea pig to the vet, you can describe the situation with the guinea pig well and correctly to say which part of the body it is moving so that the vet can more easily determine what it is about.

Body temperature is an indicator of whether the guinea pig is alive

If you touch the guinea pig and it is cold, then your pet has probably died.

When they are alive, Guinea pigs have heat, which is a sign of whether they are alive or dead.

With a thermometer, you can measure the temperature of the guinea pig, but if you can’t, then the touch will show if the guinea pig is still alive.

However, sometimes their body temperature drops, and they may still be alive, so don’t rush to the conclusion.


You may not be sure how warm his body is, so it’s best to get your pet to a vet quickly to determine if he is dead or not.

check a guinea pig dead

Check his heart

When everything is fine, a guinea pig’s heart beats from 130 to 190 beats per minute.

If it is more than these numbers, it is not good and can mean shock and danger to your pet’s life.

When a guinea pig has no beats of its heart, it means it has died.

To check for a heartbeat you should feel his pulse by pressing on the inside of his back leg in the middle of the thigh.

Use your pointer and middle finger to apply gentle pressure so you can feel for a pulse or not.

Moreover, if it is alive, in one minute, you can count how many beats your pet has to know in what condition it is, if it is fine or if there is a problem.

If you do not feel any heartbeats then unfortunately your pet is no longer alive.

A guinea pig’s eyes show if it is still alive

A guinea pig’s eyes are an indicator of whether it is alive or dead.

When guinea pigs are alive then their eyes are shiny and they can look around.

Whereas when a guinea pig is dead then their eyes lose shine and have a matte look, then the guinea pig is either dead or about to die.

When a guinea pig is dead you may notice that flies begin to gather around their eyes, this is another sign that they are dead.

Make sure the guinea pig is breathing

If the guinea pig is not breathing, it is no longer alive.

There are two ways to check if he is breathing:

  • through the nose
  • through the stomach

When guinea pigs breathe they primarily use their nose, so put a finger under their nostril to see if there is airflow; if there is, then the guinea pig is alive, otherwise if there is no flow then unfortunately it is dead.

The second way is through the stomach, just look at its stomach, and if you see movement then the guinea pig is alive, and if there is no movement then it is dead.

In case the guinea pig is breathing but with a lot of difficulty, then it is not a good sign and you must immediately take the guinea pig to the vet, the sooner the better for his life.

Lift it up

Another way to check if your guinea pig is alive or dead is to lift it up to feel if there is any movement in its muscles or if it is completely rigid.

If there is no movement of its muscles then unfortunately the guinea pig is dead.

If there is even the slightest movement of the muscles and body, then the guinea pig is still alive.

Sometimes guinea pigs suffer from rigor mortis, or stiffness of their muscles, which can last up to 24 hours.

If after 24 hours the guinea pig still shows no signs of movement then it is the end of its life.

In addition to being numb, when guinea pigs are dead they are not breathing at all and you will know that your pet has died.

Read more: Can A Dirty Cage Kill Guinea Pigs? Answers And Advices

Do guinea pigs die suddenly?

Guinea pigs can die immediately, but this is very rare, they usually die gradually.

When guinea pigs are in the process of dying it can be noticed by the following signs:

  • strong heartbeat
  • convulsions
  • lack of appetite
  • rapid and labored breathing
  • sudden movements

If the guinea pig has any of these signs, it is a sign that the worst will happen, that is, it may die.

Usually convulsions are a telltale sign that your guinea pig is dying, although the heart and lungs may continue to work for a very short time.

check a guinea pig dead

Can guinea pigs be brought back to life?

No, guinea pigs once they die there is no way to bring them back to life, there is no such way for our pets.

Guinea pigs have an average lifespan of five to seven years.

If you keep them well with a proper and healthy diet, they can live up to ten years, and the record for the longest life of a guinea pig is 14 years and 10 months.

What do guinea pigs usually die from?

There are several causes and diseases for the death of guinea pigs, and the most common cause is pneumonia.

Other causes of death in guinea pigs include:

  • parasites
  • bacterial infections
  • digestion problems
  • urinary problems
  • eating disorders

Sometimes they do not show signs of diseases and disorders in their body at first glance, but that is why they should be regularly taken for examination by a veterinarian, who can promptly detect if something is wrong with the guinea pig.

Read more: How Long Can a Guinea Pigs Go Without Food And Water?


We can find out if the guinea pigs are alive or dead if we notice that they are not breathing, they are not moving, there is no more warmth to the touch of the body, if it is stiff, if the heart is not working and there is no shine and movement of its eyes.

Sometimes guinea pigs have rigor mortis or stiffness of their muscles and this can last for 24 hours and then they start moving again.

Once the guinea pigs die there is no way for them to come back to life.

So take care of your pets as best you can, give them quality and healthy food, so they live longer because their lives are short.