You must have wondered if guinea pigs have tongues or not, because you may have never seen one.
Do guinea pigs have tongues?
Yes, guinea pigs have little tongues, which you can see if you look into their mouths. Guinea pigs use their tongues to eat, drink, groom and maintain their personal hygiene.
In today’s article, you will learn something more about the tongues of guinea pigs, their purpose and other interesting things that may interest you on this topic.
What do guinea pigs use their tongues for?
Guinea pigs have tongues that are small in size and have a domed part at the back.
Guinea pigs have an excellent sense of taste in their tongues, they use chemoreceptors to better distinguish for example what food they are eating, and to determine what the food tastes like.
Like all other animals, guinea pigs use their tongue for eating as well as for other purposes, so let’s read in more detail about all its uses.
The tongue of guinea pigs is used for eating
First and foremost, the tongue helps guinea pigs break down the food they eat more easily.
The tongues of guinea pigs contain saliva, which is important for faster breakdown when they eat hay or some other food, making it easier to digest.
It is much easier when the food is partially broken down, it facilitates the work of the stomach and the entire digestive system in guinea pigs.
For drinking water
With the help of their tongue, guinea pigs can drink water much easier.
You must be wondering how?
The tongue helps to drink the water from the bottle and releases the non-stop mechanism that is on the bottle itself for drinking water, otherwise, the guinea pigs will have difficulties drinking the water.
Guinea pigs’ tongues help with grooming
Guinea pigs’ tongues help them groom and maintain their hygiene.
You may not have noticed when guinea pigs groom themselves with their tongues, because they also want privacy when they do it.
Guinea pigs’ tongue grooming looks very similar to what cats do.
Guinea pigs are very clean and always maintain good personal hygiene, and their tongue helps them with that.
Therefore, when using cleaning products for your furry pet, you should not use care products that contain chemicals that are harmful to the guinea pig.
Because by licking with their tongue they can ingest the dangerous chemicals through their fur and skin and get sick.
Showing affection and love
Yes, guinea pigs use their tongue to show affection to their owners or other guinea pigs.
They do this by kissing and licking with their tongue, which is really interesting and a sign of respect from the guinea pig.
Maybe you or I will never experience this moment of affection, but it can still happen, it all depends on the guinea pig’s affection towards us.
Don’t think that if the guinea pig doesn’t lick you with its tongue when kissing you that it doesn’t love you, it simply depends on the guinea pig itself, some do it and some don’t.
The tongue of guinea pigs and their teeth
A guinea pig’s tongue can be an indicator of a guinea pig’s dental problems.
Especially if the tongue is swollen and the guinea pigs do not want to eat for a long time, it means that something is wrong with their teeth.
Teeth are an important part of the health of guinea pigs, the healthier they are, the easier our pets will be able to chew and grind their food.
If the teeth of the guinea pigs have a problem, the following problems occur:
- overgrown and teeth out of alignment
- fungal infection of the mouth
- tongue injury
If any of the above problems occur, it is necessary to immediately take the guinea pig to a veterinarian for treatment.
Most of the time, a simple examination will be fine, although sometimes an X-ray may be necessary to reveal the exact problem.
In case there are any bacteria, appropriate medicines and antibiotics will be given to the guinea pig for easier and faster passing of the infection itself.
When a guinea pig has a problem with its teeth, sometimes it is enough to increase the amount of hay, which will reduce the teeth and the problem will be solved.
In any case, it is necessary to have a veterinarian examine the guinea pig and determine what is best for our pet.
If the guinea pig has inflammation of the teeth and tongue, it may take some time to feed it with a syringe, until the situation normalizes.
Toys are an important part of maintaining the teeth of guinea pigs and therefore they should always have a variety of toys available, they are undoubtedly good for their oral health.
What is the size of a guinea pig’s tongue?
When it comes to the size of the guinea pig tongue, is about 5-8 mm wide and about 20-35 mm long.
Since their tongue is covered with buds they help them to better taste what they eat.
Guinea pigs have small tongues that help them eat, groom and drink.
In the tongue of guinea pigs, there are chemoreceptors that serve to better distinguish food and its taste.
With the help of the tongue, you can notice if the guinea pigs are sick and if they have problems with their teeth.
Guinea pigs use their tongues to lick and kiss their owners and other guinea pigs to express affection and love.
There is no need to force the guinea pig to show its tongue, they will do it when they want to.