Why a guinea pig …?

Below are some of the most common breeder questions that start with “Why a guinea pig …?”

Why does the guinea pig squeak?

Generally speaking, a squeak is not quite the correct definition for sounds that are characteristic of guinea pigs. Well, they do not squeak! Rather, they do it like this: “wick-wick”.

This, as it is often called the “squeak” of guinea pigs, is usually associated with hunger. If there is a specific time when you usually feed your guinea pig, then it is at this time that the “wick-wick” is usually heard most often.

Also, if your pig sees you approaching it with food, be sure to hear an impatient “squeak”. Sometimes you can even notice how the pig’s ears begin to move in unison with this “wick-wick”. In other cases, you can see the “popcorn” of the guinea pig with the same sound accompaniment.

The guinea pig “squeaks” solely in order to attract the attention of the owner. This, one might say, is an acquired, artificial sound, aimed only at attracting the attention of us, humans. How do we know this? Guinea pigs have come to the conclusion that these sounds are not typical of wild guinea pigs. Probably because they never had people there who feed them pellets by the hour and bring juicy treats.

Thus, such a “squeak” is typical only for domesticated guinea pigs and means either “Hey, master, I’m here!”, Or: “It’s time to eat!” …

You can read more about sounds in the article ” Guinea pig sounds “

Why a guinea pig ...?

Why does the guinea pig jump?

Some breeders are very surprised and even puzzled when a guinea pig suddenly jumps in place for no reason (sometimes even with a turn in the air), and bounces quite high and unexpectedly.

The first question is: what is she?

Some begin to suspect that their guinea pig has a nervous breakdown or spasm, someone thinks that she was frightened, and the most impressionable even suggest rabies 🙂 I confess that at first I was also puzzled by this unusual behavior of our young female. But exactly until I found out about popcorn.

The term “popcorn” came to us from the West and, I must say, it quite accurately reflects the peculiarity of pig leaps – by analogy with corn kernels, which jump unexpectedly high from heating.

Why a guinea pig ...?

I hasten to reassure you, popcornning is a very typical behavior for guinea pigs. And quite funny and funny, I must say! Some pigs can jump straight into the air with their whole body, and some can alternately kick up with their front and hind legs. Often at the same time, the pigs make a characteristic sound.

Popcornings are common in young gilts. Adult guinea pigs will pop corn as well, although usually not as often, and they do not jump as high as young ones.

“Why is my pig jumping? What is the reason for this behavior?” – you ask.

Popcornning is a guinea pig’s behavior, when the animal by jumping expresses its joy and good spirits.

When a guinea pig is jumping, this is the first sign that she is very happy and excited. This behavior can be observed when you give the gilts fresh hay or a tasty treat, or even just walk up to the cage and start talking to the pig.

Breeders often want to demonstrate the effect of popcorn to friends or film this funny sight, but, unfortunately, getting the pig to “popcorn” on command will not work. The pig does it according to his mood, so to speak. The best way to encourage them to jump is to do things that make them happy, such as feeding them well, spending time with them, playing and talking. And then the pig will delight you with its happy jumps!

Why a guinea pig ...?

Why does the guinea pig whistle?

The high-pitched, high-pitched sound of a guinea pig, often called a whistle, is most often a signal of alarm, fear, or pain.

If you hear this sound, it would be a good idea to check if the guinea pigs are doing okay to make sure the guinea pigs are not in danger and that none of them are hurt.

It sounds something like this:

But it can be much louder and shrill.

You can read more about sounds in the article ” Guinea pig sounds “

Why does a guinea pig itch?

Guinea pigs are quite tough animals that rarely get sick. But sometimes you suddenly notice that the guinea pig has begun to scratch.

Generally speaking, scratching and brushing a coat is a natural and regular hygiene procedure that is quite common for guinea pigs. These animals are extremely clean by nature, cleanliness of the body and lack of smell is the key to their survival in the wild, a guarantee that the predator will not find them by smell. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish the usual “washing” from persistent scratching.

If you notice that one of the pigs begins to scratch suspiciously often or show other signs of anxiety, if you find sores or sores on the body, then this is an alarming sign. Fungal infections are the most likely cause of itchy skin in guinea pigs, but there may be other more serious causes. In this case, for an accurate diagnosis, you need to contact your veterinarian. Most often, a doctor can make a diagnosis based on the results of a visual examination, but sometimes there are cases when a scraping of the skin and hair of a guinea pig is necessary to determine the cause of the itching. Unfortunately, not all veterinary clinics in our country deal with guinea pigs, so scraping can be problematic.

Fungal skin infections

Bacterial infections can cause itching and inflammation, and dry skin or allergies can cause intense scratching and scratching. External fungal infections are among the most common causes of guinea pig itching. These infections usually start on the face and spread to other areas of the body. Such infections are usually accompanied by active hair loss and the appearance of sores and scratching of the skin. Treatment is prescribed depending on which microorganism is the causative agent of the infection. Usually, after a few injections, the mumps returns to normal and recovers quickly.

External parasites

Itchy skin in guinea pigs is often the result of external parasites such as fleas, ticks and lice. These parasites are very small and can cause significant itching, scratching, hair loss, and other symptoms. If you suspect that your guinea pig has any of these parasites, contact your veterinarian immediately. Rapid treatment with modern drugs will help eliminate infection and prevent complications.

Why a guinea pig ...?

Allergy or dry skin

Dry and sensitive skin is a problem that affects many purebred guinea pigs. One of the reasons for dry skin is frequent bathing of the guinea pig, especially with the use of the wrong shampoo.

Why does a guinea pig chew on a cage?

To begin with, guinea pigs are rodents by nature, their teeth grow all their lives and to grind them out, they constantly need to gnaw something. Usually it is fodder or hay, but sometimes branches of fruit trees go with a bang. The pigs happily gnaw the bark off them.

If, despite the presence of a sufficient amount of food in the cage and the presence of twigs, the guinea pig methodically continues to gnaw the rods of the cage, then in 99% of cases this is a cry from the heart. It is boring for a pig to sit in a cage. Especially if the cage is tight. Especially if the pig is alone, without a relative. Buying a new friend or a new, more spacious pig home will solve this problem once and for all! I tell you this from my own experience;)

So, let’s consider all the possible reasons why a guinea pig chews on a cage:

  • the most common reason is that the pig is bored and cramped to get out of the cage
  • if there are other guinea pigs in the room, then gnawing the rods of the cage, your pig may show interest in relatives (for example, when the male smells the female)
  • Another option – the pig is just hungry and does not want to wait any longer for the usual feeding time.

Read more in the article ” Guinea pig gnaws a cage “

Why is the guinea pig hiding?

This is usually a scare signal. Running and hiding is a natural reaction of any guinea pig to a loud sound, a new person, a change of scenery and other stressful situations.

When a pig gets scared of something, it usually runs, as fast as it can, to the nearest dark corner, trying to find some secret place or to bury itself. This behavior is characteristic of burrowing animals, in which flight is a defensive reaction. If the animal cannot find shelter, it will flee as soon as possible and as far as possible. In the event that all paths to escape are cut off, it stops, standing with its back to the wall, and freezes in immobility.

So, the guinea pig hides when it is scared. Hides to feel safe.

Why doesn’t the guinea pig sleep?

The guinea pig needs very little time to sleep and, although considered a diurnal animal, it is also active for much of the night. They sleep only four to six hours a day.

Why a guinea pig ...?

Why does a guinea pig eat its droppings?

Some owners are concerned when they notice that the guinea pig is eating their droppings.

Yes, guinea pigs have this strange habit, which, although it may seem shocking, should not bother you.

This phenomenon, which is also characteristic of hares, rabbits, rats, dogs and other animals, is called “coprophagia”.

To the questions “Why?” and why?” experts answer that it is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system of the guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have a simple stomach, unlike ruminants (which have split stomachs) such as cows, goats and sheep. In the stomach of pigs, food is digested, but nutrients are not fully absorbed and partially digested, but not absorbed, they leave the body along with feces.

In the simple digestive system of guinea pigs, swallowed food moves faster than in the ruminant system. But the absorption of nutrients is carried out to a lesser extent, so the use of feces allows you to restore nutrients that were not used during the first pass through the digestive system.

So this is a completely normal phenomenon, characteristic of many rodents and due to the special structure of the digestive system.

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