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Guinea Pig Health

Guinea Pig Health Issues:

Guinea pigs are perhaps some of the oldest pets and sources of food for mankind.

The animals are not exactly pigs and are a variety of rodents that hail from South America where they were bred as a food source high in protein to get the local population through lean periods in the cold Andean winters. Since then, and outside South America, they are actually a popular pet because of the docile disposition and very domesticated nature.

Guinea pigs are, however, prone to quite a few diseases and for this reason, it is important to practice proper guinea pig health care to ensure that your pet is the in best of health that your guinea pig health issues are kept at bay.

From a dietary perspective guinea pigs should only be fed grass and fruits that contain some vitamin C. This is an aspect of guinea pig health care that should be inculcated from very early on as some pigs tend to be very obstinate about their food habits and would rather starve rather than change their dietary regime.

Scurvy is a major contributor to guinea pig health problems since just like humans; these animals cannot synthesize their own vitamin C. Their eating habits also cause a great deal of problems, especially when their food source dries up and turns into hay. Hay can usually end up getting into their eyes and this can lead to a corneal ulceration. Hay getting stuck in their throats can usually be identified by a swelling in the neck and hay that is inhaled and causes sneezing is usually a cause for concern because it can cause death. Other health problems that can afflict guinea pigs include hip dysplasia, ovarian cysts, a form of pregnancy related anorexia, and even a vaginal prolapse. Most of these conditions are incurable and inevitably lead to the death of the animal.

Some of the most prudent tips that you can use if you do have a guinea pig is to ensure that the animal gets as much exercise as it can. Guinea pigs tend to be continuous eaters and for this reason end up being obese, for this reason they must be allowed to exercise every day. Another important part of taking care of a guinea pig is to ensure that they are in an ambient room temperature. These animals cannot tolerate increases in temperature and can tolerate cold better than heat.
  Submitted on January 21, 2010