Guinea pigs urinate often and this is completely normal for our little pets. But sometimes it happens that the guinea pig does not urinate, which is certainly worrying and you need to see what it is about.
Why is my guinea pig not peeing?
Guinea pigs do not pee if they have bladder stones. Then there is a blockage and you need to take the guinea pig to the vet immediately to help him.
In today’s article, you will learn a little more about why guinea pigs do not pee, what to do to help them, and similar questions related to the topic.
Why is my guinea pig not peeing?
The main reason guinea pigs don’t pee is that they have bladder stones. If the guinea pigs have a urinary tract infection then they will not urinate, or they will urinate but in a small amount and very rarely.
Bladder stones in guinea pigs are crystals formed from calcium salts and can appear in various places in the urinary tract.
The urinary tract of guinea pigs consists of:
- kidneys – where urine is produced.
- ureters – carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
- bladder – an organ where urine is stored.
- urethra – a channel through which urine passes from the bladder to external expulsion or urination.
Guinea pigs often have bladder stones that can be small or large, and they get stuck in their urethra.
Bladder stones form when urine stays in the bladder for a long time or when the bladder cannot empty itself of urine.
Bladder stones prevent guinea pigs from urinating normally. We should emphasize that stones in the urinary bladder in guinea pigs most often appear in older and mature guinea pigs.
Why does my guinea pig have bladder stones?
Guinea pigs often get bladder stones when they don’t have a proper diet. Guinea pigs if they don’t eat enough hay and eat too many pellets then they can get bladder stones.
Bladder stones can also be the result of bladder infections, but they can also occur if your pet is not drinking enough water.
An excessive amount of calcium also leads to the appearance of stones in the bladder, but this is again related to food.
When guinea pigs do not drink enough water, they become dehydrated and have thicker urine, resulting in the formation of crystals or stones in the bladder.
Urolithiasis in guinea pigs
Urolithiasis in guinea pigs is called the condition when they have stones in the bladder. The name uro-lith means stones in the urinary system of guinea pigs.
Several types of uroliths can appear in the urinary system of guinea pigs, depending on which mineral they consist of.
The most common occurrence of bladder stones in guinea pigs is calcium salts.
The most common uroliths in guinea pigs are the following:
- Calcium oxalate
- Calcium carbonate
- Calcium phosphate
Trigone in guinea pigs
Urine exits the guinea pig’s body with the help of trigon. The trigone prevents urine from returning to the ureters, allowing it to enter the bladder.
When guinea pigs have kidney stones they are probably stuck in the trigone itself and are not allowing urine to pass out of the guinea pig’s body.
In such situations, an operation is performed to remove stones in the bladder so that urine can pass freely and come out.
Before the operation, the veterinarian moves the stones from the trigone back into the bladder, which clears the way for urine to pass and the guinea pigs can then urinate.
But that’s just preparation for surgery because the stones must be removed otherwise they can tear the urethra of the guinea pig and it will die.
Can guinea pigs pass stones through their urine?
Guinea pigs can pass bladder stones through their urine, but this is not always possible.
Only if they are small stones (5 mm or smaller in size) then the guinea pig will pass them out by urinating, while larger stones from the bladder will remain stuck in the urethra.
The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder and if the stones are larger they will not be able to pass, and will cause pain in your pet.
What are the signs when guinea pigs have bladder stones?
If you notice that your guinea pig is urinating with blood in it, then this is a sign of bladder stones. Urinating blood in the urine is also accompanied by abdominal pain and your pet urinating less often.
Other signs that guinea pigs have bladder stones include:
- infrequent urination
- blood in the urine
- abdominal pain when urinating
- remains of stones or crystals of dry urine
- making sounds of pain when urinating
- decrease in appetite
Apart from these signs, when guinea pigs have stones in their bladder, they also have problems when they poop, making repeated sounds of pain.
Sometimes it happens that guinea pigs have difficulty breathing and walk hunched over because of the pain they feel from bladder stones.
There are also situations when guinea pigs do not show any signs or symptoms at all that they have bladder stones, but this is rare.
How are bladder stones diagnosed in guinea pigs?
Diagnosing bladder stones in guinea pigs requires a veterinary examination. Once you notice that your pet is showing signs of bladder stones, you should take him to the vet immediately.
The veterinarian will determine if there are stones in the bladder with a urinalysis, X-ray, and physical examination of the guinea pig.
It is enough to touch the guinea pig in the lower abdomen to feel stones in the bladder. While an x-ray will visually prove that there are indeed stones in the bladder.
Can guinea pigs with bladder stones die?
It all depends on the size of the bladder stones and how much they prevent or do not prevent the guinea pigs from having problems urinating.
If the stones are small, the guinea pigs can continue to live for a long time, but if the stones are large, then there may be fatal consequences and the death of the guinea pigs.
Death of guinea pigs from bladder stones is possible because additional problems arise that are too dangerous.
Here are some of them:
- Damaging to the bladder
- Kidney problems
That is why an examination must be done by a veterinarian who will tell if surgery or another treatment method is needed to destroy the stones in your pet’s bladder.
Urinary tract infection causes death in guinea pigs
Urinary tract infection can cause death in guinea pigs with bladder stones. Bladder stones cause urinary bladder infections because they prevent guinea pigs from urinating normally.
When guinea pigs have a urinary tract infection, the following symptoms appear:
- decreased appetite
- blood in the urine
- pain when urinating
- pain in the lower abdomen
This condition is too dangerous for the life of the guinea pigs and requires immediate treatment by a veterinarian because the life of your pets is in danger.
How to prevent bladder stones in guinea pigs?
To prevent the appearance of stones in the urinary bladder of guinea pigs, you should pay attention to their diet and lifestyle.
Here are some tips to prevent or reduce your guinea pig’s chances of getting bladder stones.
A healthy diet prevents bladder stones in guinea pigs
You should always provide guinea pigs with a balanced diet rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. Hay must always be the main source of food, followed by fruits and vegetables.
You need to know what kind of food you give them, especially the composition of the food and that there are not very large amounts of calcium that cause accumulation and the appearance of stones in the bladder.
The pellets that you give them in their diet should be with a lower amount of calcium and do not give them more than 1/8 cup of pellets per day.
Water prevents bladder stones in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs should always drink enough water to prevent the formation of bladder stones. Water is also important for sufficient hydration of the whole body of guinea pigs.
The water should always be clean and fresh, and the water bottle should be cleaned regularly so that the guinea pig can drink clean water.
When guinea pigs drink enough water, they are easier to clean and reduce the chances of forming stones in the bladder, because they urinate more often.
Physical activity prevents bladder stones in guinea pigs
Physical activity is closely related to reducing the chances of bladder stones in guinea pigs.
When guinea pigs exercise, they drink more water and urinate more often, thus cleaning the urinary tract.
Physical activity also makes the guinea pigs eat more, taking in fiber and other nutrients for better digestion and fewer bladder stones.
Buy a guinea pig from a reputable breeder
Genetics can play a big role in whether guinea pigs are more or less likely to develop bladder stones.
Therefore, if you can, buy guinea pigs that are bred by reputable breeders.
If you can, also ask for a family history of the guinea pigs when you buy them to see if they have had problems with bladder stones or other diseases.
Read more: How Often Do Guinea Pigs Pee? Let’s Find Out
Use anti-bladder drugs for guinea pigs
When a guinea pig gets stones in the bladder, it needs treatment, but you can prevent this occurrence in time.
For this purpose, certain drugs prevent their formation, one of them is potassium citrate.
In doing so, potassium citrate binds to calcium and prevents the formation of stones in the bladder of guinea pigs.
How to get rid of bladder stones in guinea pigs?
It all depends on the size of the stones in the bladder of guinea pigs, it depends on whether your pet can easily get rid of them.
Here are some tips on what to do:
Give them more water
If the stones in the bladder are small, a larger amount of water taken in through drinking by the guinea pigs can cause the stones to be expelled from their bodies.
The vet himself may suggest more water intake to help flush the small stones from the guinea pig’s bladder.
Sometimes some guinea pigs cannot be operated on and therefore drinking large amounts of water is the only solution to expel the stones from the bladder.
Surgery to remove stones in the bladder of guinea pigs
If the stones are larger then surgery must be done by a vet to remove them and the guinea pig can continue to live normally.
To remove the stones, the veterinarian makes an incision in the urinary bladder, which is called a cystostomy, and then removes the stones.
In the most severe case, stones in the bladder can damage the urethra and urine starts to pour out through the abdominal cavity of the guinea pigs.
In such situations, euthanasia of the guinea pigs is recommended because the guinea pig cannot be helped.
Do guinea pigs pee all the time?
Guinea pigs urinate very often, more precisely every 15 minutes, it is completely normal for them and you should not be worried. If they do not urinate regularly then it is a problem and may mean the appearance of stones in the bladder or other problems.
Do guinea pigs pee when scared?
When guinea pigs are scared, they urinate much more often. When they are stressed or nervous, they urinate more often, this is a completely normal phenomenon.
Why isn’t my guinea pig peeing or pooping?
When guinea pigs don’t pee and poop then it means something is wrong with their diet and fluid intake. When they don’t poop enough it means they don’t eat enough food, while if they don’t drink enough water then they won’t pee regularly.
Do guinea pigs know where to pee?
Guinea pigs themselves choose a place where they urinate, and it is usually the same place in a certain part of the cage. If they have a house inside the cage then they will probably pee there because they feel safer there from predators.
Guinea pigs cannot urinate when they have stones in the bladder, causing a blockage in the urinary tract.
Then they feel pain, urinate blood, do not eat, become lethargic, depressed and have other signs and symptoms that indicate that something is wrong.
Bladder stones are usually formed due to an excessive amount of calcium, which is a consequence of poor nutrition.
When guinea pigs have small stones in the bladder, they can expel them by themselves, but if they are larger, then surgery is required to remove them.
When guinea pigs do not urinate, you must immediately take them to the vet, because it can easily cause dangerous and serious consequences for their lives.