Guinea Pigs can become very unwell very quickly, so it is important to find a vet who is confident and experienced in dealing with small animals, and check with him or her when you become concerned about your guinea pig’s health.

Guinea Pigs are susceptible to a number of respiratory viruses, may suffer with Vitamin C deficiency or scurvy, and are temperature sensitive and prone to heat-stroke or pneumonia. They are also prone to eye problems so you will need to ensure that the bedding you use is dust-free. Other common problems are mange (itchy skin), teeth problems due to a diet too low in fibre and vitamin C, overgrown claws and obesity.

You should consult your vet immediately if you have any concerns at all about your guinea pig’s health. In particular you must not delay if you notice diarrhoea, excessive consumption of water, trouble with breathing, hair loss, lethargy or reluctance to move, loss of appetite or anything else you think is unusual. Consultation with your vet should occur sooner rather than later – with small animals such as Guinea Pigs it is safer to err on the side of caution, as serious illnesses can develop very quickly.