Guinea Pig Anorexia

Guinea Pig Anorexia

Guinea Pig Anorexia (Not eating or eating very little) is an extremely serious condition and needs Diagnosis and Treatment from a trained Vet. Failure to do so will lead to further complications like Gastric Bloat, Ketosis and even death.

Remember your Guinea Pig is counting on you.

 If Your Guinea Pig is NOT passing Urine or Faeces and is not Eating.

You Must Seek Veterinarian Attention Immediately.

In addition, a pet that is losing weight (or if a young pet failing to gain weight) is at great risk. Guinea pigs are especially vulnerable because of their need for Vitamin C and tendency to Develop “Ketosis”.

“Irreversible ketosis may develop rapidly in Guinea Pigs despite resumption of eating” stated in multiple sources.

Possible Causes of Guinea Pig Anorexia :-

  • Food Changes (too Hard or Unpalatable Food or poorly designed Diet).
  • Dental Malocclusion
  • Infectious Disease (Pneumonia)
  • Metabolic Disorders (Such as Vitamin C Deficiency or Renal Failure).
  • Gastric Stasis (Bloat)
  • Loss Of Cage Mate.
  • An Aggressive Cage Mate (Preventing Eating/Drinking)
  • Changes In Diet
  • Wide Temperature Changes
  • Poisoning
  • Water Deprivation
  • Mechanical Problems with Sippers & Feeders (Blockages)
  • Pain
  • Loss Of Smell
  • Obesity
  • Oral Lacerations
  • Analgesic Use can cause Anorexia.

Some Guinea Pigs prescribed antibiotics, Especially Baytril, will stop eating. If this happens, The vet should be notified and consideration given to switching to a different drug (See Antibiotics Also See Diarrhoea Also See Dangerous Medications )


The animal may seem hungry and would like to eat or may be “Truly Anorexic”. Diagnosis will be based on information on Diet, Environment, Recent Changes, Character of Urine and Faeces and on Physical Examination of the Respiratory and Digestive Tracts, Head and Mouth, and on the results of Blood, Faeces and Microbial tests. A Urinalysis may be helpful. A full blood panel Is best done before any Medication is prescribed.

Dental Examination

“A Dental Examination is Mandatory in cases of Anorexia” – From Multiple Sources

It is vitally important to conduct Dental Examinations in all cases of Anorexia. Foreign Bodies, Fractures, Root Abscesses and most importantly Dental Malocclusions may be the cause. Excessive Saliva (also called “Slobbers”) and Oral Ulcers will indicate the need To check the pre-molar and Molar Teeth. Skull Radiographs are useful in determining the nature of a Dental Problem. A Guinea Pig with Malocclusion may try to eat but be unsuccessful or extremely slow. (See Symptoms of Malocclusion on our Malocclusion page.)


Depending on the cause, Treatment may be as simple as feeding palatable foods (calf manna, Fresh Greens, and Vegetables), giving B Vitamins (B Vitamins complex at .20mg/kg) or changing the environment to enable incompatible individuals to eat in peace. Infectious Disease and Dental Problems will need Immediate Veterinary Treatment. Subcutaneous Fluids will help restore hydration.

If the vet determines there is no Bloat or Blockage of the intestinal tract, hand feeding can keep your cavy alive. Be sure to read the Hand Feeding tips.