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Early Signs Of Illness

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sophiew (EAGPR)

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As guinea pigs are prey animals, they often continue to act as 'normal' even when they are unwell, as in the wild they would be picked off by a predator if they showed signs of weakness. Unfortunately this can make it hard for us as guinea-pig owners to notice when a piggy may be unwell. However, there are some early warning signs that can help:

1. Sitting 'puffed up' in the corner - often the guinea is huddled up into a ball, hair slightly on end (head in corner is a classic sign of a poorly pig!)
2. Dull, sunk or weepy eyes
3. Dribbling, wet under the chin
4. Loose poops or discoloured wee
5. Weight loss - which is why it's so important to weigh your guineas and keep a note regularly, as they can lose significant weight without appearing much smaller under all that hair!
6. Any change in or loss of appetite; eating less, drinking more or less
7. Change in behaviour - i.e not coming forward for food, less active than usual, tender to pick up
8. Change in coat / skin - hairloss, bald patches, scratches, any lumps or bumps
9. Swelling or ballooning up in stomach area
10. Limping or hopping walk

You know your guinea pig best and if they're not acting normally it could be cause for concern. Observe, monitor and seek veterinary attention if necessary as early diagnosis could save your guinea's life.

I'm sure there are others, but I'm stumped for now! Hope this helps

Sophie
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