Guinea pigs are cute animals to pet at home. These small animals are active most of the time. All the pet owners must want to have their guinea pigs to stay active and healthy for their whole life.
However, in over time, your guinea pig may be getting lethargic and start sleeping a lot. These are the common symptoms of old age in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are considered seniors when they reach 5 years of age.
There are many other signs you should look out, such as loss of vision, color changing fur, sleeping a lot and loss of hearing. When your guinea pigs are getting old, they will depend more on you to stay healthy. Let’s see these 6 common symptoms of aging guinea pigs that need concern.
- Changing in Color of Coat
When your guinea pig is getting older, its fur will become white or grey. Besides, the fur on its coat can become more elegant and thinner. It will become rougher or harsh in the texture than before. You will notice some grey hairs behind or around its ears.
However, not all guinea pig’s coat turns grey as there are some other common signs you need to watch out. Are you looking for some tips on guinea pigs? Then, you can find these ways to make your guinea pigs shiny coat.
- Loss of Vision
When your guinea pigs are getting older, their eyesight will start deteriorating. However, it can develop some ocular issues, such as cataracts, glaucoma, blindness, conjunctivitis and others. If your guinea pigs suffer from eye infection, then look at these ways on how to treat eye infection in guinea pigs.
Blind guinea pigs don’t need to live in a discouraging or depressing life. They’re able to adapt to their newly discovered condition over time, depending on their smell and sense of hearing to get around.
Just make sure that you are nearby or allow them to smell you so that they won’t be frightened or scared of you when you reach them.
Make sure to put water, some food and litter box at the same time. By doing this, your guinea pig will be able to remember where they should go to get these things.
- Loss of Hearing
Besides loss of vision, an aging guinea pig may also lose its hearing. Guinea pig’s sense of hearing is very sharp as they can hear the sound clearly that even humans’ ears can’t understand.
As guinea pigs are aging, their sense of hearing may get dull. They can even become deaf at some point. Guinea pigs which have drooping ears are more likely to have problems as their skull is built or shaped. The ears of guinea pig tend to be automatically flow down.
As a result, they are more likely to suffer from ear infections, narrowed ear canals, pain in ears and extra amount of ear wax build-up. If these conditions are left untreated, then it will make your guinea pigs deaf permanently.
To prevent those conditions, make sure that their ears stay healthy and clean and do several check-ups with your veterinary.
- Sleeping More Often
As your guinea pigs are aging, their unlimited energy will start decreasing. They may sleep longer than they used to and may not be able to play with you as they used to do earlier.
When your guinea pig wants to sleep and relax, do not disturb them. In the day, most of the time, your guinea pigs may feel energetic, so allow them to play during this time.
- Problems in Mobility
Old guinea pigs are prone to have problems in mobility. The most common problem is osteoarthritis. The guinea pigs which have arthritis will have joint inflammation, which is really painful and able to slow down the movement.
There are some other signs of arthritis in guinea pigs, such as difficulty in moving around, doesn’t enjoy to be handled or touched, losing balance on their back legs, reduced grooming and so on.
If you don’t encourage your guinea pig to exercise or play, it will be likely to become obese or overweight. Arthritis is caused by the weight which puts pressure in its joint, then it can cause wear and tear.
- Weight Loss
As guinea pigs become older, their weight will also change. According to their weight change, the owner needs to change the diet. Avoid giving many pellets to your guinea pig if they have become overweight.
However, if your guinea pig’s weight is less, you can boost the quality of pellets to feed your guinea pig every day. If after this your guinea pig still loses weight, then you can contact your vet as it can be a sign of some severe digestive or dental disorder.
You should also investigate sudden weight loss in guinea pigs as it can be dangerous. If they lose appetite, then you should read the causes your guinea pigs do not want to eat. If you raise a guinea pig at home, then try to make your own DIY tunnels for guinea pig.