Guinea pigs are very easy targets for urinary tract infections. That is one of the most well-known guinea pig facts.
All guinea pig breeds have short legs. Their low height and musculature makes their genital regions closely parallel to the ground. The ground teems with bacteria which come from wet beddings and guinea pig droppings. If a cavy sits on a bacterial pool, then the bacteria can colonize inside the guinea pig’s narrow urinary tract.
There is no excuse not to treat urinary tract infections in guinea pigs right away. UTIs are easy to identify when they occur. The color of the urine is red (blood in the urine) or pinkish (diluted blood). When blood dries up in the urine, the urine turns to brown. After a period of standing, urine can change to an orange color. Always take note of these colors. You might also notice blood around the rectal area. The most obvious indicator of UTI in a guinea pig is the squeaking noise when peeing. The cavy is in pain; that’s why it makes a noise when it pees.
Antibiotics are the only means to cure UTI. The infection does not go away on its own. Guinea pigs that suffer from UTIs are treated with antibiotics for two or three weeks.
A vet has to be the one to prescribe the antibiotics for your pet. Never introduce antibiotics to guinea pigs without a prescription. Otherwise, you will end up harming them. There are guinea pigs that need a longer period of treatment to cure the infection. A longer treatment period allows the scarred walls of the bladder to heal.
If the vet did not perform an x-ray test and you still see the same symptoms even if your pet is already on antibiotics, then make sure your guinea pig takes an x-ray test as soon as possible. Something is really wrong if the antibiotics are not doing their job.
To relieve the symptoms, dilute cranberry juice (use the unsweetened kind) and let your ailing pet drink it. The cranberry juice will not cure the urinary tract infection, but it helps to stop the worsening symptoms.
In order to prevent UTIs in guinea pigs, perform the following checklist:
- Always make sure that your pets are dry.
- Regularly trim the butt hairs of long-haired guinea pigs.
- Frequently change the beddings.
- Clean up the droppings and the urine as soon as possible.
- Use polyester or hay as bedding material to ensure dry conditions.