How To Know When A Guinea Pig Is In Shock? Find Out Now

When the guinea pig does not react then it is in shock. Shock can be caused by several factors such as:

  • fighting with other guinea pigs
  • attacks by predators
  • too loud noise
  • changes in his environment

When the guinea pig is in shock, you must help him immediately, because it can have fatal consequences for his health and life.

It is best to eliminate or reduce the causes that lead to shock in your pet.

Do guinea pigs go into shock?

Guinea pigs can go into shock, such as the following types of shock:

  • anaphylactic shock
  • hypovolemic shock
  • behavioral shock

Therefore, let’s look at them in more detail so that you know what kind of shock your pet has, which will help you to know more easily what to do and help him overcome the state of shock.

Anaphylactic Shock in guinea pigs

Guinea pigs get anaphylactic shock due to exposure to allergens in food, air or it can be from some objects.

Anaphylactic shock is dangerous for their health because it can also cause breathing difficulties, during which they will not be able to get enough oxygen into the body.

When they don’t have enough oxygen it can affect their organs to fail and have fatal consequences.

Especially older guinea pigs, babies, pregnant and guinea pigs with pre-existing health problems are exposed to the danger of anaphylactic shocks.

Sometimes certain antibiotics can cause an allergic reaction in some guinea pigs that will cause shock.

Hypovolemic shock

When guinea pigs have hypovolemic shock, it is slightly different from other types of shock because they lose a lot of body fluids.

One of the reasons for this type of shock is when guinea pigs are dehydrated due to lack of water, illness, or diarrhea.

The second reason is that when a guinea pig gets injured, it can lose a large amount of blood, which causes its organs to fail.

When guinea pigs do not have enough blood, the heart cannot transport sufficient amounts of blood to all organs throughout the body and they experience hypovolemic shock.

Such a shock is very dangerous and can cause fatal consequences and death of guinea pigs.

Behavioral Shock to guinea pigs

Behavioral shock or fear shock is the most common type of shock that occurs in guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs are gentle and timid, they are small compared to other animals and therefore they are often prey. Any attack by predators such as cats, dogs, or other animals will immediately cause shock in your pet.

Regardless of whether they will be attacked or not, which will not happen in reality in a cage, the presence of other animals will cause shock in the guinea pigs.

Apart from animals, guinea pigs can also get shock from other things such as loud noises around the cage or in the immediate environment.

Unfamiliar people in their area of guinea pigs as a potential danger, because of which your pet can experience shock again.

If the guinea pigs have somewhere to hide they will do so, but if there is nowhere to find shelter they will go into shock and not react, rather they will just stand still.

What are the symptoms of shock in guinea pigs?

When guinea pigs are in shock they will show certain symptoms that let you know something is wrong with them.

Here are some of them:

  • they will not move
  • they will start to convulse
  • they will breathe faster
  • they can close their eyes
  • they will have a stronger heartbeat

All guinea pigs are different, some will twitch, and others will breathe faster, but will still have some of the above symptoms of to know when a guinea pig Is In shock

How do you know if a guinea pig is in shock or dead?

Sometimes a mistake is made, that is, some owners misjudge at first glance that the guinea pig is dead, when in fact it is in shock.

Of course, the shock can be fatal if you don’t react in time, but it is very important to know if your pet is alive. Always check for signs of life first, so you know what help to give your pets.

If it is alive, then try to determine what the problem is with the shock, to help them, while if it is dead, the guinea pig will not move, its temperature will drop and there will be no heartbeat.

Make sure it moves

Sometimes when guinea pigs don’t move at the same time it can mean they are in shock or dead.

However, if the guinea pig is in shock, it must make some occasional movement, while if it is dead, it will not move.

So when he won’t move wait to see if he makes the slightest movement which will mean he is in shock.

Sometimes if the guinea pig does not move at all, it may not be dead, but it is close to dying, in which case you should immediately take it to the vet, to try to save your pet.

Do a heart check

You can tell if your pet is in shock or dead by checking their heartbeat. A simple way to check is to press the guinea pig’s leg with your finger to feel for a rhythm or beat.

Usually, the heart rate of guinea pigs ranges between 200-250 beats per minute. If the beats are even bigger or irregular then obviously your pet is in shock.

If you don’t feel any beats then the guinea pig has probably died. Sometimes it’s a little harder to feel their pulse, but still, if it’s alive it will definitely be felt.

Do a breathing check

Another way to check if the guinea pig is in shock or dead is to check if it is breathing. Place your finger in front of the guinea pig’s nose to feel if it is breathing and if air is passing through.

Or if you watch the guinea pig closely and notice the rise and fall of its belly then it is still alive.

To know if it is breathing you can bring the guinea pig in front of a mirror and if you notice fog on the mirror then it is breathing.

If you don’t notice any of these signs of guinea pig breathing, then, unfortunately, it has died.

Do a temperature check

To know if a guinea pig is alive in shock or dead, it is enough to touch its body.

If your pet is warm to the touch then it is not dead, while if the touch is cold then unfortunately the guinea pig is dead.

The colder it is to the touch, the more likely your pet is dead.

What to do when a guinea pig is in shock?

When the guinea pig is in shock, you need to react immediately to help him, because it can save his life.

So here are the good tips for all shock situations and how to help your pet.

Anaphylactic shock

Because anaphylactic shock occurs as a reaction to a certain food, air, and other things.

The most important thing is to immediately call a veterinarian who will give you instructions on how to act to help your pet.

Hold the guinea pig by its chest to prevent suffocation. The neck should be stretched out so that the guinea pig can breathe better and its life can be saved.

In the end, it remains to take him to the vet to examine him and help him to survive the shock.

After the shock of the guinea pigs passes, you should think about what contributed to the occurrence of anaphylactic shock and its prevention in the future.

Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic Shock occurs when the guinea pig has suffered certain injuries or due to lack of blood in the body.

If the injuries are external then you can treat them yourself to some extent, but if they are internal then you must take the guinea pig to a vet immediately.

When the guinea pig has blood loss then you should apply pressure to the wound to prevent further bleeding.

Of course, you should contact a vet to tell you what to do, and if you should take him for an examination.

Behavioral shock

If the guinea pig is in shock behavior then you need to find out the reason to help him.

First, eliminate all possible causes of the appearance of shock:

  • other pets
  • loud noise
  • unknown people

Then dim the lights in the guinea pig’s room and keep him quiet so he can get over the shock more easily. Start talking to him calmly so that he feels more secure and can relax.

When he wakes up from the shock, give him food and water so that he can gradually return to normal.

Of course, it is also inevitable that you take him to the vet to examine him and see if he needs additional treatment or something to know when a guinea pig Is In shock

What happens if guinea pigs get too scared?

When guinea pigs are too scared they show signs of aggression and anxiety.

When your pet is scared, it starts to freeze, be limp and throw its head in the air.

When guinea pigs are scared, they grind their teeth, they may bite someone near them, and other signs of aggression.

Read more: Why Guinea Pigs Are Suddenly Scared? And How To Help Them

Can a guinea pig be traumatized?

Guinea pigs can have some trauma due to injuries from falling or hitting an object.

They are especially traumatized if they fall from a certain height, especially if they fall out of our hands when we hold them.

Trauma in guinea pigs can also occur as a result of being comforted by other guinea pigs or being attacked by predators.

Read more: Are Guinea Pigs Afraid Of The Dark? Let’s Discover


When guinea pigs are in shock they stop moving. The condition is similar to when they are dead but again has some important things that will help you to know what condition it is in.

Check if he’s breathing, if his body is warm and if he’s moving, so you know it’s just a shock.

Guinea pigs can go into shock for various reasons such as fear of predators, lack of blood in the body due to injuries and bleeding, and more.

In such situations of shock in guinea pigs, you need to help them in time to overcome the shock and continue to function normally.

Read more: Why Does My Guinea Pig Not Want To Come Out of The Cage?