Four Common Guinea Pig Illnesses

There are a variety of guinea pig illnesses that can affect your pet. Most conditions can be treated with better success if they’re caught early. This article will discuss some of the most common conditions that can affect cavies.


Guinea pigs are unable to make their own vitamin C, so they need it in their diets. If they don’t get enough vitamin C, then they will likely develop scurvy. Some of the main signs of this condition include diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, and lethargy. Other common symptoms of scurvy are eye and nose discharge and difficulty walking.

Heat Stroke

Cavies can generally handle colder weather better than they can hotter temperatures. When exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period, they are susceptible to suffering a heat stroke. This is especially a problem with long-haired breeds. You need to monitor your pet when temperatures go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. If the increased temperature is coupled with humidity above 70 percent, the likelihood of problems developing increases.


One of the next common guinea pig illnesses is a UTI, or upper respiratory infection. This condition is caused by bacteria. It causes symptoms such as difficulty breathing, eye and nose discharge, sneezing, and coughing. An upper respiratory infection needs to be treated with an antibiotic safe for use in cavies. If left untreated, your guinea pig will almost certainly die.

Ear Infection

Your pet can also develop an ear infection. Like a UTI, it is also caused by bacteria. The most noticeable symptoms are head tilting and difficulty walking. You will need to seek help from a vet so that your pig can take antibiotics to treat the condition. The antibiotics can be administered in either oral or topical form.