Guinea pigs are renowned for being vocal and making a wide range of noises in order to communicate with each other and with us.
For example, guinea pigs purr when they are content, wheek when they are hungry, and rumble when in the mood for love. All noises that we are happy to hear our furry friends make, I’m sure you’ll agree?
Not all noises guinea pigs make are ones that display joy, or ‘normal’ interaction. Rather, some also indicate that your guinea pig is far from amused. Whining, for example, probably means your guinea pig is annoyed at being disturbed, whereas growling and teeth chattering are good indicators of general discontent.
But, what about when your guinea pig is sick?
Do they make any noises to display this? Well, yes they do, and the noise they make is one you’ll never forget!
Sick Guinea Pig Noises
The chances are if your guinea pig is sick that you will hear them shriek. This indicates that they are feeling pain and discomfort and the cause of this should be investigated straight away.
Hopefully, if you are taking good care and have your eye on your guinea pig, you will hear this noise very rarely or not at all.
It is also entirely possible that a sick guinea pig may growl, teeth chatter, or whine. This is due to all the aforementioned noises being linked with your guinea pig showing distress or that they are unhappy.
For more signs that your Guinea Pig is unhappy click here.
Though these noises are usually associated with reacting to behaviors or situations other than sickness, you shouldn’t rule it out.
For example, a guinea pig that usually loves to be handled starting to whine at being picked up could indicate illness or injury and should be investigated.
It is also worth taking into account that sick guinea pigs may display signs other than noise that they are ill. Symptoms, of course, will vary but will generally mean them displaying behavior that is not usual.
They may eat less, sleep more, become lethargic, or refuse to be handled.
Investigating Sick Guinea Pig Noises Or Behaviors
If you think that your guinea pig is making noises or displaying signs that they are ill, it is always prudent to try to locate the cause.
However, this can be easier said than done and it may be better to take your guinea pig to a vet. This is especially true since there are several illnesses common to guinea pigs, some of which will require outside care.
Please note that guinea pigs will often try to hide the fact that they are ill or injured. This is their attempt to stop themselves from being picked on by other guinea pigs or predators.
This can mean that by the time they are vocalizing their injury or illness it may be quite severe.
Common Guinea Pig Illnesses
Injuries – General injury can happen in any number of ways such as trips, slips, and when housed with others fighting. You will need to handle your guinea pig to check for injuries, parting their fur to locate wounds.
Respiratory Issues – Due to spending the majority of their time in an atmosphere that is full of small particles, guinea pigs are prone to nose, throat, and lung infections.
Symptoms will be similar to that of someone with an allergy and you will need to seek veterinary help should you spot them.
Tumours – These can occur all over your guinea pig’s body and you should be checking for them regularly. Do not be too alarmed should you find a lump, however, as though guinea pigs do get cancer, it is rare.
Any lump is more likely to be a treatable cyst which your vet will be able to help with.
Diarrhoea – Commonly caused by poor diet diarrhea is fairly common in guinea pigs. It does not mean, however, that you are not feeding your guinea pig correctly, but rather that more likely you are treating them to too much good stuff.
Lettuce, for example, is a laxative to guinea pigs in high quantities and can be the cause of diarrhea.
Foot Problems – Generally linked to injury, obesity, and disease, foot problems can be very uncomfortable for your guinea pig. They are often displayed as either limping or unhealthy pad color and are best treated by your vet.
Avoiding Sickness In Your Guinea Pig
Prevention is always better than cure and just as long as you keep your guinea pig clean and well fed you should avoid any problems.
However, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and this is why regular health checks are recommended.
Eye Check – There should be no signs of cloudiness or discharge in your guinea pig’s eyes. Rather, they should be bright and clear.
Guinea pigs do, however, secrete a milky discharge from their eyes which is normal. Guinea pigs use this discharge on their paws to groom themselves.
Nose Check – Like the eyes, the nose should be clean and not runny. Sneezing and discharge could mean that your guinea pig has caught a cold.
Coat Check – Guinea pig fur is dense and should always be clean. Patches of hair loss or areas where the skin is sore and red are signs of a problem.
Excessive scratching should also be a cause for concern as this could mean your guinea pig has mites, mange, or nits.
Feet Check – The nails of a guinea pig should never be allowed to grow too long. You should also check the soles of their feet for any signs of soreness.
If the feet are sore you will need to ensure their cage is clean, and that they are also provided with bedding as soft as possible.
Bottom Check – Like it or not, this part of your guinea pig needs health checking too. This area should be clean and dry, not wet and smelly, and if it is the latter could indicate a urinary infection.
Older guinea pigs also may develop a problem where their pooh gets stuck. Your vet, however, will be able to show you how to help them.
Conclusion: Noises guinea pigs make when they are sick
Last, but certainly not of least importance, it is vital that you get to know your guinea pig well. This will help you to recognize, and hopefully early, when something is wrong with their behavior and possibly health.