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Bordatella Between Guinea Pigs And Rabbits

Pet_Lover

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I currently have 3 rabbits and am getting 2 guinea pigs once my dad and I have built a shed. Issue is, they'll have to share a shed. The rabbits will have a two story hutch and full run of the floor space during the day while the guinea pigs will have a raised hutch. Each will have a separate run. They won't have any contact but I'm worried about the guinea pigs catching bordatella through the air. They would have windows covered in mesh and vents to ensure it's well ventalated but I'm also worried that the rescue I want to get the piggies from will refuse because of the bordatella risk. Any advise?
 

Wiebke

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I currently have 3 rabbits and am getting 2 guinea pigs once my dad and I have built a shed. Issue is, they'll have to share a shed. The rabbits will have a two story hutch and full run of the floor space during the day while the guinea pigs will have a raised hutch. Each will have a separate run. They won't have any contact but I'm worried about the guinea pigs catching bordatella through the air. They would have windows covered in mesh and vents to ensure it's well ventalated but I'm also worried that the rescue I want to get the piggies from will refuse because of the bordatella risk. Any advise?
I would recommend to speak about it with the rescue and to ask them about whether they have any tips and recommendations to minimise any risk of transmission. You'll generally get a lot further with a rescue if you come across as a conscientious, cooperative owner looking for advice in a problem area. ;)

As they do not share any space directly, you are hopefully fine, but it always depends on the rescue.
 

MintyAndGarry (TEAS)

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I wouldn't worry too much about it. The buns and pigs aren't sharing accommodation units, just a larger space.

Here at TEAS, we have a similar set up to yours for some of the piggies. They are in cages, raised off the floor on tables, and a pair of buns live on the shed floor, with access to an outside run, via a cat flap. To this date, we've never had a bordetella problem in this set up.

I did have a bordetella flare up around five years ago, with two of my own pigs. They had no contact whatsoever with any other species of animal, but they still got it. Pigs are like all other species - they will either eliminate the bacteria naturally, become asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria, or they will get ill with it.

It's farcical, really. Bordetella is essentially kennel cough, so cats and dogs are also potential carriers, but this is often overlooked as a risk in a house where there are also pigs. The rabbits always get the blame!
 

Wiebke

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Bordetella transmission from rabbit to guinea pigs is pretty rare if they are not sharing their living space directly; we see more cases with transmission from dogs. What we actually see more of on this forum is transmission of e.cuniculi from rabbits to guinea pigs, which is usually initially mistaken for a potential ear infection. If any guinea pig developes ear issues, please always mention straight away that they share a shed with rabbits.
Generally, as long as you keep your rabbits and guinea pigs strictly in their own spaces, there is little risk of direct transmission.

However it is down to every rescue to make that decision according to their individual criteria. Your safeguards sound reasonable to me, and you are certainly a well informed and caring owner to take this aspect into your consideration before you try to adopt.
 
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