Guinea Pig Diarrhoea

Guinea Pig Diarrhoea

Guinea Pig Diarrhoea is not a normal occurrence and needs to be investigated immediately, there are of course many reasons why your Guinea Pig may be suffering from diarrhoea but prompt treatment will prevent serious illness. Some of the common reasons are as follows :-

  • To much Fresh Fruits & Vegetables.
  • Given Fruit and Veggies straight from the fridge
  • Sudden changes in Diet (Changing from Nuggets to Muesli or vise versa).
  • Intestinal Infection (coccidiosis, giardia, flagellates, protozoa)
  • Dangerous Antibiotic Treatment (see Antibiotic Related Diarrhoea below)

Fruit and Vegetable Cause

If you suspect that the soft Poo or Diarrhoea may be being caused due to excessive Fruit & Vegetables then I would say remove the Fruit & Vegetables from your Guinea Pigs Diet along by reducing the amount of Nuggets/Muesli and increase the amount of Grass Hay He/She is being fed. If there is no change to the poop within 24 hours then see your Veterinarian Immediately to rule out other Intestinal Problems.

Food Changing (Muesli to Nuggets or Vise-Versa)

If you are currently changing your Guinea Pig’s complementary food this should be done as a gradual change and not suddenly by cutting one out. It is recommended that they are on 85% of there normal food and 15% of there new food. You would then gradually decrease one and increase the other 7-14 days.

Antibiotic Related Diarrhoea

One of the most serious mistakes made by inexperienced vets is to prescribe an antibiotic which contains Penicillin which to a Guinea Pig is deadly even with the smallest amount of this Antibiotic will cause Diarrhoea and may even lead to death. This applies to all Penicillin based Antibiotics. The list below is a rough guide and is not endless :-

AmoxicillinClindamycin
AmpicillinDihydrostreptomycin
BacitracinErythromycin
CefadroxilLincomycin
CephalexinOxytetracycline
CephalosporinsPenicillin
CephazolinStreptomycin
Chlortetracycline

 There is also a need to point out that there are around 1-in-10 Guinea Pigs

out there that are also Intolerant (Sensitive) to Baytril

When medicating your Cavy/Guinea Pig with Antibiotics for the course of the treatment monitor your Guinea Pig for any changes in habits(Eating, Weight) as well as Diarrhoea. Remember Diarrhoea for a Guinea Pig can be Soft Squiggy Poo not the puddle of Watery mess that humans tend to have. Also remember any change in bowel habits could be a sign of Sensitivity to a treatment.

If you notice your Guinea Pig has Diarrhoea whilst on an Antibiotic Treatment it is important that you Stop treatment straight away and contact your Vet Immediately, They will then make the relevant decision on the next steps. It is important to remember that continuing the treatment may cause permanent Diarrhoea which may in turn lead to death of your loved pet.

Diagnosis Of Diarrhoea

Your vet will need background information prior to the Guinea Pig becoming ill, By this what is meant :- New Cage Mate, Change In Food, Medications Currently on. You vet may wish to perform a number of tests on your Guinea Pig and may consist Of :-

  • Faecal Float – Checks for Parasites such as Giardia or Coccidia
  • Gram Stain – Shows the rough amount of Gram+ and Gram- bacteria (An overgrowth of Gram- Bacteria can lead to Diarrhoea)
  • Culture – Takes slightly longer for the results, but will show what is there and to what it’s sensitive.

Treatment

  • Subcutaneous Fluids (Helps Restore Hydration)
  • If Parasites are Present (Giardia) then an Antibiotic like Septrin may be prescribed. If Coccidia is found Panacur or Albon may be prescribed.
  • If Yeast or other fungus are present, Nystatin may be prescribed.
  • If there is an overgrowth of Clostridium Difficile, A Bio-Sponge may help prevent Toxicity by absorbing toxins and bacteria.

Depending on the cause of the Diarrhoea will depend on what the Vet will prescribe to help your Guinea Pig. If antibiotics are prescribed then a good brand Pro-biotic may become useful in replenishing your Guinea Pigs Gut Flora. Something like ProC by Vetark or some Vets may even recommend using Fibreplex by Protexin contains High Fibre Content and pre-biotic. This is a great product which you should always be in your Medical Box for your loved Guinea Pigs.

You will need to avoid any Yogurt/Milk based products