Guinea Pig Impaction

Guinea Pig Impaction

Guinea Pig Impaction occurs in older Boars. This is where the muscles in the Perineal Sac become weak and are no longer able to expel faecal pellets. As Guinea Pigs are Coprophagic (which means they eat there own droppings to help there own digestive process). There are two types of fecal pellets known as Caecal Faeces and Fecal Pellets.

The Caecal Pellets are generally lighter and softer in appearance and contain important B-Complex Vitamins which are needed by your Cavies Digestive tract. On average your Guinea Pig will eat around 150-200 of these pellets. When your Guinea Pig is suffering from Impaction this is where this vital pellets are trapped in the Perineal Sac and the harder pellets are pushed out of the rectum.

A Small Anatomy Lesson

When you tip your Guinea Pig up you will be able to see the folds of the rectum. If you pull the two folds apart you will see that the rectum is split in to two parts. They are described as follows :-

  • Perineal Sac – which is actually 95% of the area and contains a sticky fluid produced from two glands.
  • Rectum –Which is a small opening where both the Caecal Pellets and Normal Pellets are expelled from the Digestive Tract.

In older Boars (Rarely younger and Female because the Sac is much smaller) the muscles of the Anus become Stretched/Weakened and the boar is no longer able to properly expel the Caecal Pellets from the Anus. If left unchecked your Boar will begin to lose Physical Condition because he is no longer able to eat the caecal pellets and the blockage interferes with the normal digestive process.

If this condition develops, its necessary to clear the impaction every day. To accomplish this, flip your Guinea Pig on his back and smear a small amount of mineral oil inside the anus. Gently push down on the bottom side of the anus and ease the impacted mass out. Sometimes your Guinea Pig will ingest some of these pellets if you offer them to him, However more often then not you will have to supplement his diet with Vitamin B-Complex which is dissolved in water and fed by syringe. (the dosage is normally 25mg per day)

A Regular Routine (No Matter What Age)

The perineal sac is a collecting place for all sorts of debris from hair, cage shavings and even Hay. And should be cleaned out on a regular basis. Mineral Oil, Warm Water Soaks and/or flushes, and Q-Tips work well for this procedure. Make sure you retract the folds of the Anus enough that you can see in to the perineal Sac clearly (its quite deep). Your Guinea Pig will not like this procedure however it does not hurt although the smell can sometimes be quite strong!!.

It is also possible that Guinea Pigs that have not been cleaned regular enough to develop an Anal Plug, This basically where Solid Mass or debris and grease will be stuck to the Anal Wall. This can be worked out using Liberal amounts of Mineral Oil to release the edges of the plug without tearing the skin. This can take some time and patience.

Cleaning The Penis

After examining the Anal Sac, Examine the penis and clean out any debris you find. The Whitish material is called “Smegma” and may be odorous. Cold pressed Coconut oil has been found to be excellent for softening Stubborn Dirt and Debris. Apply and let sit for 20-30 minutes before gently wiping off.

Then clean gently with warm water and lubricate the Penis with mineral oil, or cold pressed coconut oil. If you happen to come across any raw Skin or Sores, a thin film of Antibiotic Ointment.

To extend the penis, press down gently just above the penis until the Prepuce draws back

Neutering

This is a Surgical Procedure and ALL Surgical Procedures carry real risks, even when its performed by an experienced Veterinarian. If you consider this last option make absolutely sure you have located a Vet with extensive experience and a good tract record to minimize the possibility of losing your pet during the surgery (problems with Anaesthetic’s) or Recovery (Post operative infections).

  • Anal Impaction is often found in Older Boars, unusual in Females. Occasionally Young Boars may develop an impaction.
  • In Older Boars, This may be caused because of Loss Of Muscle tone or difficulty in removing the pellets. (In some Cavies but not all the harder pellets can be expelled.
  • Impaction in Younger Boars can be due to marking habits and personal hygiene.
  • Boars that have been Neutered very rarely if ever experience Impaction.
  • Routine Examination of the Anal Area will help prevent problems from affecting the health of the Boar.
  • A few older boars may require daily cleaning of the perineal sac. Periodic Occasional cleaning may also be beneficial for boars that are not impacted.

Exercise Care in removing any debris and Do Not pull anything out forcibly. Soften the matter until it can be safely removed. If your Guinea Pig re-ingests the pellets, Mineral Oil is the best lubricant to use for cleaning purposes.