A guinea pig that shows the first signs of illness must be taken to a veterinarian. Transport to the vet should be as stress-free as possible. You should pay attention to this when your guinea pig has to go to the vet.
Even before one of your guinea pigs falls ill, you should find out which veterinarians in your area have experience treating guinea pigs. If your vet’s practice is closed in an emergency, you will need to visit a veterinary clinic. Every time you visit the vet, you should be able to provide information about age, sex/castration, current symptoms of illness, previous illnesses, and any medication that has already been administered. Once your veterinarian has made a diagnosis, have them explain the nature of the condition and possible causes in detail.
Don’t be afraid to ask your vet detailed questions. Write down exactly how you want your guinea pig to be treated:
- Which medications must be given?
- In what quantities, how often, and for how long do the drugs have to be administered?
- Are additional vet visits necessary?
- Are special care measures necessary to support healing?
If certain husbandry conditions or poor nutrition are the cause of the disease, these points must be improved.
Transportation of guinea pigs
For the vet visit, you need a good transport box. Such a box is part of the basic equipment of every guinea pig owner. The transport box must not be too small. It is optimal if two guinea pigs can be transported in it without any problems.
It is important that the box is not transparent, but as dark as possible and has enough ventilation slots. The Riga* transport box, for example, can be opened from above and offers the guinea pigs enough space, as does the Petgard* transport box. And the “Mini Capri” box from Trixie* has two handles and a carrying strap.
For example, place an old towel on the bottom of the transport box. Litter and hay should not be placed in the box. The trip to the vet is as short and stress-free as possible. Never leave your guinea pigs alone in the car, for example, to do something. Especially in summer temperatures, there is a risk of life-threatening heatstroke.
Peculiarities of operations
Unlike cats or dogs, small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, or rats should never be operated on sober. Always provide these animals with fresh water and food until the surgery date. Discuss this with your vet in advance.
Warmth is particularly important for the little ones after the operation because they cool down easily when they sleep after the anesthetic. Wrap the little patient in a towel – the head should of course remain uncovered – and place him under an infrared lamp. But regularly check the temperature under the lamp with the back of your hand so that the pet doesn’t get too hot. In the first few days after the operation, the patient should be kept separate from the other animals, not on bedding but on lint-free towels or paper towels. Because litter could impale itself in the wound and cause infections.