Guinea Pig Hypocalcaemia

Guinea Pig Hypocalcaemia

Guinea Pig Hypocalcaemia is similar in definition to Vitamin C Deficiency. Calcium is an essential mineral for several important functions of the body of a Guinea Pig. It is needed for fetal skeleton as well as for the secretion of milk in lactating sows, making pregnant and nursing guinea pigs prone to Calcium Deficiency if their increased nutritional needs are not being met.

The related type of Calcium Deficiency usually develops in the one to two weeks before or after giving birth. Also at high risk of Calcium Deficiency are obese or stressed Guinea Pigs or Guinea Pigs that have already been pregnant several times.

Some symptoms of Calcium Deficiency are very similar to those in cases where of Pregnancy Toxemia, a significant condition that is characterised as by the the presence of toxins, usually bacteria in the blood (known as Blood Poisoning). The only difference between the two is that with Pregnancy Toxemia the symptoms are a lot more severe then Hypocalcemia and the outcome more inclined to be fatality.

Symptoms and Types

Calcium Deficiency usually develops 1-2 weeks before or shortly after a pregnant Guinea Pig gives birth. Signs associated with Calcium Deficiency include :-

  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Muscle Spasms
  • And Convulsions

However some Guinea Pigs may die suddenly without displaying any signs or symptoms.

Cause

Deficiency occurs most often in the obese or stressed Guinea Pig, or in Guinea Pigs that have been pregnant several times. In the case of pregnant Guinea Pigs this is due to the extra nutrients required for the birthing process and subsequent nursing routines.

Diagnosis

You will need to provide your Vet with a detailed medical history leading to the onset of the symptoms, such as the following :-

  • Previous Pregnancies
  • Recent Illnesses
  • Previous Diet History

A veterinarian will then make an initial diagnosis based on the symptoms exhibited and by taking the Guinea Pigs current physical status. A different diagnosis may also be required, especially if Pregnancy Toxemia is suspected. Your Veterinarian will possibly run a blood test to confirm the calcium levels in the blood.

Treatment For Hypocalcaemia

Calcium Deficiency can be easily corrected with supplements and insuring your Guinea Pig is fed a Balanced Diet.

Moreover Guinea Pigs that are Pregnant or Lactating should be provided with a food formulated for the nutritional requirements for your Guinea Pigs condition.