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Emergency & First Aid for Guinea Pigs

If one of your guinea pigs is injured or sick, a visit to the vet is always necessary. In case of an emergency, you should also be equipped with an emergency pharmacy.

You can treat your guinea pig’s minor health problems yourself until your vet’s office hours. Never wait longer than 24 hours to visit the vet. If your guinea pig is in visible pain, is lying apathetically on its side, or is breathing heavily, you should contact an emergency veterinarian immediately! For first aid in an emergency, however, you should get a small emergency pharmacy.

The emergency pharmacy for guinea pigs

The first aid kit for guinea pigs should include the following items:

  • Critical Care is used as a feed-in case of refusal to eat due to illness. The powder is mixed with water and administered orally using a syringe without a needle. Critical Care is available from the vet.
  • Syringes without a needle (1ml, 2ml, 5ml) are used to administer forced feeding and medication.
  • Sab Simplex/Elugan Suspension helps against gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence. 0.1 – 0.3 ml is mixed with the same amount of water three to five times a day and administered orally using a syringe.
  • Bird Bene-Bac supports the intestinal flora and is used, for example, against diarrhea. For acute symptoms, a pea-sized amount is administered twice a day. Bird Bene Back is available from the vet.
  • Radicular is a supplementary feed that can be given directly in the mouth or via the feed to support the digestive processes in the event of gastrointestinal problems such as constipation.
  • It contains, among other things, linseed and rapeseed oil as well as extracts from various medicinal plants. Guinea pigs are given 5-6 drops three times a day.
  • You can buy ascorbic acid/vitamin C in powder form in pharmacies or drugstores. In the event of illness, a small pinch can be placed on the fresh feed daily.
  • Bepanthen eye and nose ointment is used in the initial treatment of minor injuries to the skin and eyes, for example, superficial bite injuries
  • Bandages and swabs are necessary for injuries such as bite wounds.

First-aid measures for guinea pigs

It is important that you, the owner, are able to provide first aid to your injured or sick guinea pig in an emergency. These are:

Bleeding in paw, ear, etc.

Fold up a swab or cloth and press it onto the wound. Put an elastic bandage over it and fasten the whole thing with leucoplast or adhesive tape.

Heatstroke

Guinea pigs do not tolerate temperatures above 22 degrees very well. From around 28 to 30 degrees, rodents can very quickly suffer from heatstroke. Heatstroke has the following signs:

  1. First signs: shallow, labored breathing and apathy
  2. In the further course: shock, which can be accompanied by cramps

As a first-aid measure, the animals must be taken to a cool place immediately and wrapped in damp, cool compresses. The guinea pig should then be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

So that it doesn’t get that far, you should provide the animals with cooling when the temperatures are high. Pay attention to the location of the guinea pig enclosure: Both in the apartment and in the garden there must always be enough shade and good ventilation must also be ensured. In addition, you can place cooling objects in or on the enclosure (e.g. tiles, damp towels, ice packs wrapped in cloths, or bottles that are 3/4 full with ice water).

Food refusal of guinea pigs

If your guinea pig stops eating or eats too little due to illness, force-feeding is necessary. For force-feeding, mix 1 level tablespoon of Critical Care with 1.5 tablespoons of lukewarm water.

If the prepared mixture is too thick, for example, the feed does not fit through the opening of the syringe, you can add lukewarm water until the desired consistency is reached. With the help of the syringe without a needle, the feed mash is slowly administered orally.

If your guinea pig does not take any or not enough liquid, this must also be supplied with a syringe. Instead of Critical Care, hay/herb pellets can also be ground up and dissolved in water. You may also add mashed vegetables made from carrots or celery.

Emergency cards for guinea pig owners

The emergency card set for owners of small animals, birds, fish, and terrarium animals contains small stop signs that you can put on cardboard, cover with foil and attach to the apartment door. If something happens to you or a fire breaks out in your home, helpers will know right away that there are animals in your home to rescue.

Also included is an emergency card to keep in your purse or wallet. All you have to do is cut them out, fold them at the breakpoint, glue them together and fill them in. If you have an accident or collapse unconscious, the card will certainly be found and your animal will not be left uncared for.

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