Last updated on November 15th, 2023 at 06:43 pm
We all love to see our guinea pigs jumping around, making our day brighter and more fun.
But sometimes unwanted problems happen with our pets, one of those problems is the appearance of paralysis.
We immediately wonder what we will do now, how our guinea pigs will live with paralysis and how long they will live, will they recover?
Guinea pigs can live long even with paralysis if we help them to eat and drink water if we keep them and take care of them. Paralysis in guinea pigs can occur at any point in their lives and can be permanent or temporary.
Sometimes the paralysis can be treated, and sometimes it remains for the rest of the guinea pig’s life.
Of course, it should not disappoint us and we must continue to take care of our pets.
In today’s article, you will find out why paralysis occurs in guinea pigs, how it is treated, and the consequences of this unwanted phenomenon on their health.
How Long Will Guinea Pigs Live With Paralysis?
When a guinea pig is paralyzed it can live just as well as when it is not paralyzed.
When a guinea pig has paralysis, we need to give them more attention and care so that they can live as long as all other guinea pigs.
In such situations, we need to help them so that they can eat and help them not to feel disappointed and sad.
As long as we take care of them they will not die sooner.
Caring for a guinea pig with paralysis should be the same as caring for people with paralysis if we want our pet to continue its life.
Guinea pigs with paralysis can’t live long if there is no one to give them food and water to drink because they won’t be able to do what they used to do on their own.
What are the causes of paralysis in guinea pigs?
The most common causes of paralysis in guinea pigs are injuries and lack of proper nutrition.
Injuries in guinea pigs are very common and they can become paralyzed. Guinea pigs can get hurt if they fall from high places, or if they fall out of your hands.
Guinea pigs can be injured if larger pet steps on or hits them, as larger pets are stronger, have stronger muscles, and will easily injure the guinea pig.
It is very dangerous if you keep a guinea pig and a rabbit in the same cage because rabbits have very strong legs and if they hit the guinea pig it can cause terrible injuries.
Lack of nutrition
When guinea pigs lack certain vitamins and minerals, paralysis can occur.
Calcium is one of the most important minerals, and if there is not enough of it in the guinea pig, paralysis can occur.
Most often, when guinea pigs lack calcium, they get paralysis of the hind legs, and after enriching the diet with calcium, the guinea pigs will start to move their legs normally again.
When there is a deficiency of vitamins C and E, damage to the nervous system and death of cells in the skeletal system can occur in guinea pigs.
The consequences are the loss of their mobility, and the next thing is the appearance of paralysis.
A diet rich in vitamins C and E will restore mobility in guinea pigs and they will no longer be paralyzed.
Paralysis in guinea pigs due to stroke
Guinea pigs can become paralyzed as a result of a stroke.
When guinea pigs have a stroke, they may have a slight tilt on one side of the head, but most often the stroke causes greater consequences and paralysis.
In such situations, it is necessary to immediately take the guinea pig to a veterinarian for examination and medication.
Sometimes tilting to one side of guinea pigs or paralysis remains for the rest of their lives, but this does not prevent them from continuing to live normally.
Can a guinea pig recover from paralysis?
Let me emphasize right away that guinea pigs can recover from paralysis, but it all depends on the type of paralysis.
There are two types of paralysis:
- temporary paralysis
- permanent paralysis
When guinea pigs have temporary paralysis they can recover from it.
Temporary paralysis is most often caused by problems in the diet and certain deficiencies of nutritious substances, and this paralysis will pass when they introduce ingredients that are missing, that is, those that caused the temporary paralysis.
Permanent paralysis is already much more dangerous for guinea pigs and they will likely never recover.
They can get permanent paralysis if they have very serious injuries to the spine, as well as severe damage to the spinal cord.
How can you tell if a guinea pig is paralyzed?
When a guinea pig is paralyzed, it will no longer be the pet you know, it will not run and play, and it will be sad and disappointed.
Paralysis in guinea pigs can be seen in two ways:
- the guinea pig does not move
- the guinea pig does not feel pain
The guinea pig does not move
When you notice that your guinea pig is having trouble moving any part of its body it is a sign of paralysis.
When a guinea pig has paralysis on its hind legs, you will notice that it moves all the time with its front legs, but only drags the hind legs.
Sometimes a guinea pig can happen not to move only one side of its body, and the most common cause of this paralysis is injuries.
When a guinea pig has paralysis on one side of its body it has a lot of difficulties when it needs to stand up and it will not be able to walk, or it will walk with a lot of difficulties.
A very rare occurrence is when guinea pigs have complete paralysis and they cannot move at all, but as we said this happens very rarely.
The guinea pig does not feel pain
When guinea pigs are paralyzed they do not feel pain at the place where they are paralyzed.
If you try to poke or pinch them in that place you will notice that they do not react at all and there is literally no reaction.
If you are not sure if there is paralysis in any part of their body, it is the simplest and easiest way to find out if it is really paralysis or a momentary injury.
Hind leg paralysis in guinea pigs
Paralysis of the back legs in guinea pigs is when they can’t move them, they just drag them and unfortunately, it’s very common.
In this situation, guinea pigs rely on the functioning of their front legs.
This paralysis of their hind legs is usually caused by a lack of enough calcium in their body.
Sometimes paralysis of the hind legs can also be from damage and injury to the spine, especially around the lower back.
What to do if the guinea pig has paralysis of the hind legs?
It all depends on what caused the paralysis of the hind legs, whether it is a lack of calcium or an injury.
If the cause is a lack of calcium, then introducing larger amounts of this mineral will help the guinea pigs gradually recover and start using their back legs again.
Guinea pigs may also need acupuncture or laser treatments to normalize the condition.
Laser treatments are very successful in overcoming this problem with temporary paralysis of their hind legs.
It is also necessary to occasionally massage and exercises the guinea pigs’ hind legs while they are paralyzed in order to have circulation and maintain the musculature of the hind legs.
In any case, all of these ways to recover from paralysis of the hind legs must be done together with a veterinarian who will determine the right therapy for faster healing and regaining the use of their hind legs.
Paralysis of guinea pigs due to infection
When guinea pigs have paralysis due to infection then it is much more difficult to cure the guinea pig.
The infection attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing nerve damage, pain in movement, and eventually complete paralysis in guinea pigs.
When guinea pigs have paralysis from infection they have the following symptoms:
- breathing difficulties
- they refuse to eat
- they have a low temperature
- they are shaking
When guinea pigs have paralysis from infection they usually die within a month or much sooner within 10 days.
Guinea pigs often suffer from paralysis, which can be temporary or permanent.
Temporary paralysis is when they lack certain minerals and vitamins and enriching them in their diet, will restore the ability of our pets.
And when they have permanent paralysis, usually due to spinal injuries, then the guinea pig can remain paralyzed for the rest of its life.
In any case, guinea pigs can continue to live long even with paralysis, but they will need more care and attention from their owners.