Owning a guinea pig is one of the most fulfilling things to do. After all, they’re cute, small, and adorable, so what’s there not to like? However, there are some questions to answer, especially when they seem sick and with colds. It has you wonder: Why do guinea pigs sneeze?

Does a guinea pig sneezing indicate sickness or is it normal? When is it time to head on to the vet and how can you remedy these sneezes? If you’ve been wondering about these questions, then read on! I’ll show you all about the guinea pig and why they sneeze!


Why Do Guinea Pigs Sneeze?

So you hear your guinea pig sneeze… Or it sounds like it! It sounds adorable, but why does it happen anyway? There are actually a couple of reasons why:


The Usual Dust

If ever your home is a bit dusty, or your guinea pig’s page is still in need of cleaning, then chances are that they’re sneezing because of that. Dust is the usual culprit when sneezes occur, and just like us humans, this is how guinea pigs react to it!


Receiving Hay

Hay is one of the primary food sources for guinea pigs, but it can cause a bit of sneezing. This usually happens if you lay a new bed of hay, especially if it’s a bit dusty or with bits that can slightly irritate the guinea pig’s nose.


Infection or Allergy

If ever your guinea pig is sneezing a lot, then this is cause for concern. Sneezing a lot can indicate an infection or allergy, and must be treated immediately. It isn’t a very severe case, but it’s best to act upon it right away.


Upper Respiratory Infection

Upper respiratory infections are severe cases that need to be treated right away. If ever your guinea pig is sneezing and experiencing these symptoms, then it’s time to see a vet:

  • Wheezing
  • Labored breathing
  • Coughing
  • Discharge from nose and/or eyes
  • Eyes are semi-closed
  • Crackling sounds within your guinea pig


When Should I Take Them To The Vet?

While it’s okay for your guinea pig to sneeze sometimes, there are other times when it can be severe! So when is it time to take them to the vet for medical care? Here are some of the signs that indicate that the sneeze is more than just a sneeze:

  • Like mentioned, there are various symptoms if your guinea pig has an upper respiratory infection. Listen to him breathe; it must be easy and quiet, not with clicking and wheezing noises. Guinea pigs with allergies only have louder breathing, no trouble with it.
  • Look into your guinea pig’s eyes and see if it has any yellow or green discharge, or if it’s crusty from said discharge. The eyes may also look red.
  • Check their noses for yellow or green discharge as well. Take note that allergies can cause a sore nose because of scratching and rubbing it.
  • Your guinea pig may also appear sick, such as worsened fur, smaller from weight loss and without any appetite, as well as lack of activity and energy.

If you want to learn about the guinea pig and if it’s okay that they’re sneezing, check out this informative video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBU44QKxXvs


How to Care For A Sneezing Guinea Pig

If ever your guinea pig begins to suffer from severe sneezing and it seems dangerous, then it’s time to get checked! Besides taking them to the vet, you should also try these sneezing remedies:

  • If the vet prescribed your guinea pig medicine, then make sure that you give the right dosage at proper times. This can help quicken the recovery time of your guinea pig.
  • You may need to humidify the air around your pet’s tank, which can help him/her breathe better.
  • As your guinea pig recovers, he/she needs to be clean and calm to ensure a speedy recovery. Avoid excessive noise or lights near their home, and make sure that your guinea pig and their cage is always clean, along with providing clean food and water.
  • Continue to observe your guinea pig, making sure that they are doing well and getting in good shape. It may take a few days, but you’ll notice significant improvements.

But also, make sure that you get your guinea pig checked, especially if he/she suffers from severe symptoms!


Prevent Guinea Pigs From Sneezing

Now that you know about the severity of guinea pigs sneezing and how to care for them, what can you do to prevent such sneezes and illnesses? Here are some helpful tips you can follow:

  • Make sure that you purchase less dusty hay to prevent them from getting allergies or irritated.
  • Clean your home and your guinea pig’s cage regularly. It must be dust-free and away from irritants which can cause allergies and infections. Keep your guinea pig away from colognes, perfumes, detergents, and softeners, as well as household cleaners, air fresheners and pine or aspen bedding.
  • Continue to provide your guinea pig with a healthy diet filled with vitamins and nutrients, which can keep his immune system healthy. Exercise is also essential to his overall health!
  • If ever you own multiple guinea pigs and one of them is currently suffering from allergies or infection, it’s best to take him to another housing to prevent the infection from spreading.


Wrapping It Up

And there you have it! At most times, there’s no need to worry about a guinea pig sneezing. However, if you do feel like there’s something wrong and they experience other sickly symptoms, that’s the time to take them to the vet!

Hopefully, this article answers your question, “why do guinea pigs sneeze?” Now that you’re familiar with a guinea pig and the common cold or sickness. Start taking care of them to prevent such illnesses!

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