Guinea Pig Labour

Guinea Pig Labour

Guinea Pig Labour is extremely risky and difficult on the pregnant guinea pig so breeding is never recommended. Some times by choice or by accident a pregnant guinea Pig comes in to our care.

Signs of Normal Labour

Normal labour should take anything from 15-40 minutes depending on how many pups she is carrying.

Their should be little or no blood especially when no babies have been produced. If you see your sow bleeding more then a tablespoon,dribbling blood even bloody patches within the bedding area with no pups then you should get to a vet immediately.

Either the babies are to big to get out or one of them has punctured the uterus calling for an immediate C-Section.

You will find your sow sitting in a square like position and a “hiccupping” type motion. When she has a Contraction she will kind of hunch her body up and when the pup is ready to join the world she reach under (as if she was going to eat a poop) and pull the pup out. She will clean the Sac from around its face then around its body.

Their are some occasions where the pups will come out so fast that the sow can not tend to each baby. If you are present and she is cleaning one pup and has not tended to the next you must follow the following procedure.

  • Get a clean towel and pick up the next pup and carefully remove the sac from around the body.
  • Gently rub the pup and make sure its breathing.

Be specially careful around the newborn pups eyes as it is possible to scratch the cornea’s of the eyes.

  • Gently drying of the pup once dry carefully place the pup down alongside mum.

Try and make sure that all the Afterbirths have been delivered (Should be one for each pup). If the mum does not bite off the placenta at the umbilical cord, you can sterilise a pair of cuticle scissors and carefully cut the cord about ½inch from the pups tummy. Otherwise she will be dragging the placenta around.

If you are not present at the births you will find no placenta as the sow will eat the afterbirths and all the bloody wood shavings. We have been in the position where we have gone to bed at 2am and woke at 7am without realising she had even given birth except her coming out of her igloo and being so skinny and pups running behind her.

If you are witness to any of the following signs you will need to get to a Guinea Pig Knowledgeable Vet immediately :-

  • Sow straining for more then 10 minutes without a producing a pup.
  • Sow Bleeding.
  • Sow squealing loudly with each contraction.
  • Sow getting exhausted and just giving up trying.
  • No Placenta’s being produced with the pups.
  • Sow smelling like Aceton or Nail Polish remover (this can occur anytime from two weeks before and up to 2 weeks after birth)

You might also keep in mind that 1st time mum’s are not the greatest. You may find that your Sow may possibly run to the other end of the cage as if she is terrified!! Normally by the 2nd day the natural instinct will take over.

New born pups will try and eat for themselves on the 1st day and they are born with enough energy to sustain them until mums instinct kicks in.

You should only need to intervene if mum attacks the pups or appears to be biting them

Sows can and will be very vigorous when cleaning up the pups as her instinct is to make sure they do not smell and attract predators. This may including grabbing there hair within her teeth and pulling until they squeal, she will lick and lick till you think she is trying to remove their fur (This is Normal)


You should never try and pull anything out from the sow’s as they can sometimes prolapse their uterus which would need Veterinary attention.

Sows may spot for 1-2 days after giving birth which is quite normal. This can last up to 4-5 days however if there are large quantities of blood or sticky gooey bloody stuff after 2-3 days I would recommend seeing a vet as she may have either retained a placenta or pup. The new mum will not act sick.

guinea pig labour

Breeding – Before Birth

guinea pig labour

Breeding – Afterwards