Pregnancy sickness in guinea pigs

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Highly pregnant guinea pigs can get a condition called pregnancy sickness, which is unfortunately a complicated and serious condition. It is so serious that most guinea pigs die of pregnancy sickness, as poisoning occurs with the body's own waste products. It is therefore always a good idea to try as far as possible to prevent the disease.

In most cases, you can see symptoms of the disease, which take the form of unconsciousness or coma, wobbly gait, loss of appetite or lethargy. Some of these symptoms can also be rooted in other diseases - loss of appetite can also be rooted in the disease diarrhea or pneumonia. However, it is not always that symptoms appear before the disease has managed to kill the guinea pig.

Your guinea pig can show symptoms and that way you can know that you should probably seek a vet, who can then start examining for pregnancy sickness if the guinea pig is either heavily pregnant or has just given birth. The vet examines for the disease by taking a blood sample, where it is examined whether there is too little sugar, too many ketone substances and too much fat.

The treatment for pregnancy sickness

If you notice that your guinea pig has lost its appetite, you must react quickly, as it should preferably start treatment within 24 hours, otherwise the guinea pig has a high chance of not surviving. The vet will give antibiotics to the guinea pig to prevent inflammation. In addition, the vet will give the guinea pig some sugar water to give it some energy and then an adrenocortical hormone injection. In some cases, it may be a good idea (if possible) to perform a caesarean section on the guinea pig, so that she does not have to use energy on the fetuses into the stomach. However, adrenal cortex hormone will also result in a miscarriage after a few days in any case.

It is possible that your guinea pig will recover after the treatment and in that case, it must not become pregnant again. However, it is most common that guinea pigs affected by the disease die, even if they have been treated.

There are two causes of pregnancy sickness (mainly):


1st reason: The blood vessels are subjected to too much pressure from the uterus and therefore the blood flow is reduced. This means that the fetuses are nourished with too few nutrients and oxygen. The lack of oxygen can mean that gangrene occurs in some parts of the uterus. From gangrene, toxins are released which cause small blood clots, affecting the blood and kidneys. In this way, the guinea pig loses its appetite and after that we are over in the 2nd reason.


2nd reason: In the feed the guinea pig eats, there is not enough energy in relation to the guinea pig's energy needs, therefore the guinea pig's body begins to use the fat reserves to get more energy. Here, fats will be released at such a rapid rate that the liver will not be able to convert fat into energy. As a result, fat accumulates inside the body, which damages the liver. The liver's most important function is to clean waste substances in the blood, which the liver does not reach and the guinea pig is thereby poisoned.


This is most often in the case of a sudden change of feed, where there are digestive problems as a result, during a stressful period, two guinea pigs being brought together, diseases that cause loss of appetite, when the guinea pig is slimmed or when there are too many fetuses etc. reasons.

Risk of pregnancy sickness:

It's about. 50% risk of pregnancy sickness if your guinea pig is fat during the period it is pregnant. It is therefore appropriate to slim down your guinea pig before it becomes pregnant. The disease most often occurs in the 2nd or 3rd pregnancy.


A male guinea pig and non-pregnant females can also get 'pregnancy sickness' if they are too fat - which is referred to as 'ketosis'. However, this does not happen very often, as neither effort is needed to create fetuses in the womb nor to breastfeed.

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