Guinea Pig Cystitis

Guinea Pig Cystitis

Guinea Pig Cystitis is a condition more common in Female Guinea Pigs (Sows) however recently it is also becoming very popular in Male Guinea Pigs (Boars). Normally the Sow Guinea Pig is more prone to this condition due to the fact that they have a shorter urethra then Boars have.

What causes Cystitis?

Usually caused by one or more of the bacterial organisms Streptococcus Pyogenes, Staphylococcus Spp and Escherichia Coli. Cystitis occurs when the inside lining of the Urinary Bladder is infected with the bacteria.

What are the Symptoms of Cystitis?

Directly-related symptoms include the following :-

  • Squeaking Upon Passage of Urine
  • Blood in Urine
  • Frequent attempts to Urinate (Which may be unsuccessful)
  • Constant Wetness underneath the pig (Caused by either Dribbling Urine or Frequent attempts)
  • Increased/Decreased Water intake.
  • Sometimes a Sow (Female) will lift herself up on her back legs as she finishes Urinating.
  • Either gender may spend more time trying to clean the area.

Indirect Symptoms may be the following :-

  • Reluctance to move.
  • Irritability
  • Loss of Appetite

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your Veterinarian will perform a clinical exam of your Guinea Pig, they may also obtain a sample of urine for a Urinalysis and bacterial culture and sensitivity. Your Veterinarian may also want to perform x-rays to determine and rule out Stones.

Once the Diagnosis of Cystitis has been made, Antibiotics such as Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim) also known as Septrin will likely be prescribed for a couple of weeks. Be very careful to give medication as prescribed and give all the medication.

Do Not Stop medicating just because the symptoms have gone away.

Your Guinea Pigs Bladder needs time to heal and stopping the Medication may cause the Bacterial Infection to come back.

If your Veterinarian chooses not to perform an x-ray and the signs and symptoms remain even after a day or two of Antibiotics, contact your veterinarian (who may then wish to take an x-ray to rule out the possibility of Stones in the Bladder.

Diluted Cranberry Juice would not hurt and most Guinea Pigs love it. However make sure you get Juice and not Sugar-Laden Cranberry cocktail.


Dandelions and Celery leaves have Diuretic properties and are good sources of Potassium.

Plantain has Anti-Inflammatory properties and a soothing, healing effect on the Urinary System.


  • Change your guinea pig’s bedding frequently. Try putting a small box with low sides in your guinea pig’s living quarters; some pigs will use a litter box!
  • Plain, unsweetened, diluted cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections and can be given in small amounts daily.
  • Also try filtered water if you live in a hard water area as this can attribute to Calcium Crystals in the Urinary system which can irritate lining of the Bladder walls which may make it more susceptible to infection.
  • Change Drinking Water Daily as Bacteria can build up if left for long periods of time.