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Why has my Guinea Pig suddenly started tilting its head?

A Guinea Pig with a head tilt is not a normal thing. Most common causes for a head tilt in Guinea Pigs are normally caused due to an infection/infestations of sorts. This could be a Bacterial Inner Ear infection or could be being caused by an infestation by Mites and in some cases a combination of the two ailments.

If left untreated head tilt will possibly lead to a more serious problem to the health of your Guinea Pig, and if left constantly untreated may even lead to death.

So what are the common causes for Head Tilt?

The following list will give a guide to common causes for a Guinea Pig to have a Head Tilt :-

So what will my Veterinarian do?

Normal practise for a Veterinarian would be to use an Otoscope to look in both ears to confirm if the problem is a build up wax/dirt and also check to see if they can see anything moving around in the ear canal (Mites). They may use a Cotton Bud/Q-Tip to clean the ear and ear canal and then retry to use the Otoscope to see if they can see down to the Ear Drum. They will then check the eye area to find out if there is a foreign body somewhere in the eye orbit. If nothing is found wrong with the Eyes your Vet may then try one of following or in some cases try all three :-

Your Veterinarian will normally ask you to return after 7 days if there is no change to your Guinea Pigs Head Tilt.

If your Guinea Pig is suffering from a Head Tilt Do Not Ignore it and see a Veterinarian ASAP

If left this could become life threatening

Is there anything else I can do to help the recovery of my Guinea Pig?

You can never do enough to help your Guinea Pig when its ill.

If a Mite infestation is found then remember to clean your cage out completely and if any wooden products are in the cage then dispose of them and start with fresh toys.

If your Vet advises you that your Guinea Pigs ear is full of Wax/Gunk then you may want to try and change your Guinea Pig on to paper bedding for a couple of days to stop the risk of wood shavings dust entering the ear area and hindering the healing process. Your vet will normally get you to treat your guinea pig for around 7 days with an Ear Drop to help break up the Wax/Dirt build up. Then once you know your Guinea Pig is back to its usual self change back to the Wood Shavings.

If your Vet prescribes Antibiotics then you can also help your Guinea Pig by purchasing a Pro-Biotic from your local pet store, the reason for this is that antibiotics will destroy the gut flora of a Guinea Pig which may cause digestive complications.

If you Guinea Pig is not eating then hand feeding may be needed to insure the health of your guinea pig.

Guinea Pig Head Tilt