Common Signs of Illness in Guinea Pigs

Have you recently adopted a Guinea pig? Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, make excellent pets. These little furballs are very cute and charming, quite easy to care for, and are relatively inexpensive. With all these great benefits, it’s no wonder they are so popular as pocket pets! Guinea pigs are generally healthy, but, just like any other animal, they are susceptible to certain diseases and conditions. Part of being a responsible pet owner is monitoring your furball for any indications of illness. Guinea pigs aren’t always easy to read, however, so you may find these tips from your local vet Vista helpful.


Guinea pigs should have soft, shiny fur and bright eyes. If you notice your pet’s fur looks unkempt, greasy, or matted, or appears puffy, there could be something wrong with the little one. Sunken or watery eyes can also indicate illness in Guinea pigs. A bloated stomach is also a warning sign that there is something going on with your furry buddy. Crusty eyes are another visible indication of illness in cavies. Hair loss is also a symptom of illness in piggies.

Lack of Appetite

Guinea pigs usually love to eat, so if your pet doesn’t seem interested in his dinner, he may be ill. Excessive thirst can also indicate sickness in Guinea pigs.

Weight Loss

Sudden weight loss is always a red flag in any animal, and Guinea pigs are no exception. If your pet drops weight quickly, he could very well be sick.


If you notice your piggy straining to defecate or urinate, he may be ill. Blood in your pet’s feces or urine are also indications of sickness. Diarrhea is also symptomatic of illness in Guinea pigs, and can be very dangerous, as these little ones dehydrate very quickly.

Breathing Problems

Rasping, wheezing or labored breathing are all signs that a Guinea pig is ill.


Guinea pigs will sometimes sit in a hunched-over position if they aren’t feeling well. Hammie may also huddle up in the corner of his cage, or simply lie down, listless. If you notice your pet is limping, scratching, or seems to tilt over, he may be ill.

Keep in mind that any unusual behavior in Guinea pigs bears close watching. Guinea pigs tend to mask illness as much as they can, so by the time your pet’s sickness becomes apparent, he could be very ill. These little cuties rarely get better on their own, so immediate treatment is needed. If you notice any of these symptoms, or any other abnormal behavior, in your piggy, contact your vet clinic Vista right away.