• You can find lots of information on how to settle in, understand your new guinea pigs in our New Owners Guide Collection but please ask any questions you have in Wannabe and New Owners' section.

Sudden change in behaviour.

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#1
I have two female guinea pigs, (Acorn and Flapjack) I have recently noticed that acorn won’t sit and eat her veg in the mornings and evenings, instead she takes a piece to her tunnel or her bedroom and hides. She doesn’t want to be picked up and squirms out of my hands and seems twitchy when on my lap. Before this change she was very relaxed on my lap and enjoyed sitting there. They are both 4 months old and Acorn is gaining an average of 20-30 grams every other day. (Sorry for a long message)
 

ElizaCavies

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
362
Likes
317
Points
350
Location
London
#2
I would reccomend taking her to the vwts just for s quixk checkup to make sure everythings ok x
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
61,133
Likes
26,075
Points
3,341
Location
Coventry UK
#5
I have two female guinea pigs, (Acorn and Flapjack) I have recently noticed that acorn won’t sit and eat her veg in the mornings and evenings, instead she takes a piece to her tunnel or her bedroom and hides. She doesn’t want to be picked up and squirms out of my hands and seems twitchy when on my lap. Before this change she was very relaxed on my lap and enjoyed sitting there. They are both 4 months old and Acorn is gaining an average of 20-30 grams every other day. (Sorry for a long message)
Hi!

I would recommend to have her vet checked to make sure that there is no medical reason (like skin parasites which make handling uncomfortable). Running off with food is perfectly normal behaviour.

It can however also be that your girl is starting to trust you enough to tell you how she really feels about being handled. But you can only know for sure that the second is correct if her health is OK.
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig
 

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#6
Hi!

I would recommend to have her vet checked to make sure that there is no medical reason (like skin parasites which make handling uncomfortable). Running off with food is perfectly normal behaviour.

It can however also be that your girl is starting to trust you enough to tell you how she really feels about being handled. But you can only know for sure that the second is correct if her health is OK.
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig
Ahh ok thanks, I hadn’t considered that she might be more comfortable in letting me know. I will get her checked to make sure there are no underlying problems. Is there a forum section for skin parasites? Would they be visible in a health check performed by the owner?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
61,133
Likes
26,075
Points
3,341
Location
Coventry UK
#7
Ahh ok thanks, I hadn’t considered that she might be more comfortable in letting me know. I will get her checked to make sure there are no underlying problems. Is there a forum section for skin parasites? Would they be visible in a health check performed by the owner?
Mites are not visible to the naked eye, but as mange mites start burrowing their eggs into the increasingly inflamed skin, handling can become very uncomfortable. It can be the very first symptom before you notice an outbreak.
Please do not home treat on spec with a low dosed bread spectrum shop product that can only suppress but not heal the problem. If it is a fungal issue, then parasite spot-on won't help.
Sorry, we don't have a section on parasites as we do not support home treatment on spec; too often we see piggies in a bad state as a result. We are not a medical forum and do not replace a hands-on vet visit (nor are qualified or legally enabled to do so).
We are a friendly pet owners forum that helps its members by telling them when to see vet, which avenues to best pursue with them and how to support your piggies during recovery as part of helping them to care for their pets to the best of their abilities. :)

Hopefully it is just your girl becoming a teenager and more confident.
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
15,336
Likes
15,499
Points
2,125
Location
Southampton, UK
#8
I would take her to see a vet. Take along Flapjack too as a comfort companion. I've always taken 2 to the vets as it is less stressful with a friend with the exception of Christian when he needed an operation 18 days ago to save his life. I have to take him back tomorrow for what I hope will be a final check up so may take a friend then as he is much better now.
 

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#9
I would take her to see a vet. Take along Flapjack too as a comfort companion. I've always taken 2 to the vets as it is less stressful with a friend with the exception of Christian when he needed an operation 18 days ago to save his life. I have to take him back tomorrow for what I hope will be a final check up so may take a friend then as he is much better now.
That’s what I would do, that must have been stressful for you and I hope your piggie has made a full recovery
 

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#10
Mites are not visible to the naked eye, but as mange mites start burrowing their eggs into the increasingly inflamed skin, handling can become very uncomfortable. It can be the very first symptom before you notice an outbreak.
Please do not home treat on spec with a low dosed bread spectrum shop product that can only suppress but not heal the problem. If it is a fungal issue, then parasite spot-on won't help.
Sorry, we don't have a section on parasites as we do not support home treatment on spec; too often we see piggies in a bad state as a result. We are not a medical forum and do not replace a hands-on vet visit (nor are qualified or legally enabled to do so).
We are a friendly pet owners forum that helps its members by telling them when to see vet, which avenues to best pursue with them and how to support your piggies during recovery as part of helping them to care for their pets to the best of their abilities. :)

Hopefully it is just your girl becoming a teenager and more confident.
Yes I would never home treat any illness, I just wondered if there was somewhere with some information about parasites. I would never let my pigs come to any harm
 

Merab's Slave

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
8,042
Likes
6,782
Points
1,545
Location
Marlborough, Wiltshire
#11
Hope all goes well when you see a vet.
It’s even better if the vet reassures you nothing is wrong. I hope that will be the case.
Running away with food is normal - mine do that with certain favourites like cucumber so that they don’t have it ‘stolen’ by one of the others.
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2017/18
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
15,336
Likes
15,499
Points
2,125
Location
Southampton, UK
#12
That’s what I would do, that must have been stressful for you and I hope your piggie has made a full recovery
Thanks Abbie Yes Christian has made a full recovery and is on AB's until Tuesday. If you want to read about our journey it is here https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dont-know-what-to-do-about-christian.159303/ and here https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/christians-abscess-being-cut-open-warning-do-not-watch-if-you-are-squeamish.159587/re
 

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#13
Hope all goes well when you see a vet.
It’s even better if the vet reassures you nothing is wrong. I hope that will be the case.
Running away with food is normal - mine do that with certain favourites like cucumber so that they don’t have it ‘stolen’ by one of the others.
Hehe, guinea pigs are so cute! I’m hoping it is just her becoming more comfortable to be herself around me.
 

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#14

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
61,133
Likes
26,075
Points
3,341
Location
Coventry UK
#15
Yes I would never home treat any illness, I just wondered if there was somewhere with some information about parasites. I would never let my pigs come to any harm
There are thankfully only three species specific guinea pig parasites, mainly skin burrowing mange mites (trixacarus caviae) which are by far the worst, hay/fur mites (chirodiscoides caviae) which live off debris on the skin/hair and fix their egg cases to the hairs and lice which are blood sucking.
It is best to hit them hard with a good quality ivermectin treatment as soon as they are diagnosed so that they never become more than a nuisance if they make an appearance. They are usually kept under control by a fully operational immune system. Treating with a low dosed product as a prevention will not necessarily prevent an acute outbreak in a frail guinea pig and can lead to any dormant mange mite eggs in the skin developing resistance to ivermectin.
It is also worth noting that fungal skin infections and mange mites can look very similar in the early stages and happen outside the textbook areas; textbook pictures can be rather misleading in that respect! ;)

A couple of transmittable parasites generally require contact with the species they are specific to and are correspondingly much rarer in our experience.
Guinea Lynx :: Parasites
 

Abbie Brooks

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
120
Likes
66
Points
215
Location
United Kingdom
#16
There are thankfully only three species specific guinea pig parasites, mainly skin burrowing mange mites (trixacarus caviae) which are by far the worst, hay/fur mites (chirodiscoides caviae) which live off debris on the skin/hair and fix their egg cases to the hairs and lice which are blood sucking.
It is best to hit them hard with a good quality ivermectin treatment as soon as they are diagnosed so that they never become more than a nuisance if they make an appearance. They are usually kept under control by a fully operational immune system. Treating with a low dosed product as a prevention will not necessarily prevent an acute outbreak in a frail guinea pig and can lead to any dormant mange mite eggs in the skin developing resistance to ivermectin.
It is also worth noting that fungal skin infections and mange mites can look very similar in the early stages and happen outside the textbook areas; textbook pictures can be rather misleading in that respect! ;)

A couple of transmittable parasites generally require contact with the species they are specific to and are correspondingly much rarer in our experience.
Guinea Lynx :: Parasites
Ah ok, I’ve got an appointment with out local vet for tomorrow around lunch time so will update when I hear more. They seem quite comfortable at the moment and don’t seem too in pain or anything. Thanks for all the infomation and links. I will give them a read.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
61,133
Likes
26,075
Points
3,341
Location
Coventry UK
#17
Ah ok, I’ve got an appointment with out local vet for tomorrow around lunch time so will update when I hear more. They seem quite comfortable at the moment and don’t seem too in pain or anything. Thanks for all the infomation and links. I will give them a read.
Hopefully she will get a clean bill of health!
 
Top