Guinea Pig Diabetes

Guinea Pig Diabetes

Guinea Pig Diabetes is not an uncommon condition like it is in Humans. However a full investigation and Urine analysis should be done before putting a Guinea Pig on to medication to treat Diabetes. Treating for Diabetes without it being correctly diagnosed can prove fatal like it can in humans to a Guinea Pig.

Feed & Treats

One of the main causes for high Glucose in a Guinea Pigs Urine is normally caused by what it is being fed.

  • Muslie – Muslie type food contains EC Permitted Colorants which contain High Sugar Content.
  • Treat Sticks – Treat Sticks and Blocks along with other treats can contain High Amounts of Sugar.

Muslie

Looks very colourful and appetising however owners tend to overfeed. I myself have spoken to many people who completely fill a bowl with muesli then when its empty re-fill the bowl again. On most bags of Muslie they advise the Recommend Daily Feed (normally between 30-50g daily). Filling a bowl completely could weigh anything up to 80-100g if not more.

Feeding excessive amounts of Sugars can lead to Diabetes and Excessive weight gain. Giving your Guinea Pig a Healthy Diet is paramount for its survival and long life.

Symptoms Of Diabetes

  • Lethargic (Sleeping Excessively)
  • Cataracts in One Or Both Eyes
  • High Glucose in Urine on Test Strips
WARNING

Bear in mind that Cataracts in One or Both Eyes is not just a symptom of Diabetes there may be some other reason which could be Injury, Infection. Do Not Assume that Cataracts is Diabetes.

Treatment For Diabetes

Insulin Lente is the safest, commonly used drug to treat Diabetes in Guinea Pigs. However this should only be used once Diabetes has been officially diagnosed by a Veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) I have been to my Veterinarian who run a Urine Test and found High Glucose in my Guinea Pigs Urine, He has given me Insulin Lente straight away and told me to medicate my Guinea Pig straight away. Is This Safe?

I would hope that your Veterinarian has asked you the right types of questions before coming to this conclusion and not just given you Insulin Lente to treat a possible condition. I am not a Veterinarian however I would recommend further investigation be completed before starting this medication. There is a self test which can be run for approximately 3 weeks where you would re-test the urine before treating with Insulin Lente. If after this test has been performed the Glucose Result is still High then Insulin Lente would be prescribed.

Q) What is the Usual Dose of Insulin Lente for a Guinea Pig?

There is no specific dosage of Insulin Lente prescribed. Generally your Veterinarian will put your Guinea Pig on a Low Dose for a few days and re-test the Urine. If the Glucose is still higher then it should be he/she may increase the Insulin Lente slightly then re-test a few days later. Once they have found the right dosage your Guinea Pig will be left on that dose but re-test the urine on regular intervals to insure there are no more adjustments needed.

Q) My Guinea Pig is on Muesli type food should I move them across to an alternative type food?

Personally I would recommend moving your Guinea Pig over on to a Nugget type food as this does not can any form of colorants therefore less sugars. This should be done gradually and not just changed as this will cause Tummy Upset and could cause problems like :-

  • Diarrhoea
  • Gastric Stasis/Bloat (Can be Fatal if not detected and Treated.

I would recommend giving 85% Muslie to 15% Nuggets then over the course of 7-14 days gradually Decrease the Muslie and Increase the Nuggets until they are completely on Nuggets.

Q) I Give My Guinea Pigs lots of Treats more then once a week is this safe?

Again I would recommend cutting back on the Treats to prevent excessive sugars and weight gain to your Guinea Pig. I would only give them treats say once if not twice a month.