!Let's Talk! Button

Caring for a Senior Guinea Pig

June 15, 2021

Do you have a Guinea pig? These little balls of fur may be small, but they’ve got some pretty big fans. They’re very popular children’s pets. One reason for this may be because they don’t live very long, and therefore aren’t a long term commitment, as dogs and cats are. However, that short lifespan means cavies become seniors in just a few short years. Read on for some tips from a Thorold, ON veterinarian on helping your pet age gracefully.


Know What To Expect

Most Guinea pigs live between 5 to 7 years. However, some cavies make it to 9 or even 10. (Note: the oldest Guinea pig on record lived almost 15 years!) You can consider your fuzzy pal as a senior when he’s around age 4.


Typical Health Problems

Senior Guinea pigs often develop many of the same issues as older people do, such as arthritis and vision problems. Your pet will also lose muscle mass, and may get stiff and sore. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for signs of sickness, such as lethargy, anorexia, diarrhea, unusual posture, and uncharacteristic vocalizations. Contact your vet if you notice any of these issues.


Consider A Different Cage

Younger Guinea pigs often benefit from having cages that are two or even three stories high. Since cavies in their golden years can’t climb as easily, you may want to get a cage that offers ample space on one level. Or, adjust the ramps so the angle is gentler.


Avoid Rearranging

Guinea pigs, like other pets, feel safest when they are in familiar environments. Try to avoid rearranging your little buddy’s home.


Bedding

Comfort is always king with older animals. Your tiny furball will appreciate having soft bedding. Fleece is a good option. Go for a lighter color: this will make it easier to monitor your cute pet’s waste.


Heat

Soft beds, cozies, and tunnels will help your pint-sized pal stay warm and comfy during their retirement. You can also give the little guy heated towels to snuggle up against on cold nights.


Food

Your pet’s dietary needs may change a bit. Many older Guinea pigs benefit from having extra Vitamin C. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.


Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about Guinea pig care. As your Thorold, ON pet clinic, we’re here for you! 

  • All
  • Uncategorized
Gray cat finger fed with sliced cucumber

Unusual Cat Eating Habits

Cats are mysterious creatures. We all know that, but did you know that their eating…
Read More
Cat with blue eyes

Eye Problems In Cats

Our feline buddies have strikingly beautiful eyes. Cats’ eyes can be many different colors, from…
Read More
Two adult huskies with doc cake

5 Things To Do For Holistic Pet Day

Holistic Pet Day is August 30th! There is a growing awareness of the benefits of…
Read More
Brown hairy dog breed and gray cat snuggling together on the floor

Caring For A Super Senior Pet

Is your pet entering—or already into—their golden years? Pets age the way many people do…
Read More
Names tags collar

Pet Names

Did you know that Max was the top male dog name of 2021? We love…
Read More
Black dog in a cage with pink ribbon on the neck

Is Fostering Pets Right For You?

May is National Foster Care Month! Many of our furry patients are former fosters, or…
Read More
Gray cat in a grassy yard with small yellow flowers

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Stressed-Out

Cats do a really good job at hiding that they’re sick or injured. The same…
Read More
Parrot with a blue back and yellow under body feathers

How to Tell If Your Bird Is Sick

Birds have a knack for hiding signs of weakness or illness, a handy skill they…
Read More

What Skills Do Veterinarians Need?

 A wise man said: “Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success“ To be…
Read More
1 2 3 21