Weight is a significant indicator which determine guinea pigs’ health. Losing weight can be a major concern for guinea pig parents. Many parents struggle very hard to find the causes why their guinea pig loses weight.
When guinea pigs are born, their weight is around 100 grams. Then, they may reach their full weight within about 8 months. The average weight of an adult male guinea pig is around 2-3 pounds, while for the females 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.
It is very important to tract your guinea pig’s weight regularly. It may be hard and take a lot of work, but by doing so you can save their life once they experience health issues leading to weight loss. Beware of these signs your guinea pig is sick.
So, here they are the 11 common reasons of sudden weight loss in guinea pig every owner should be aware of.
- Overgrown Teeth
This is the most common reason of sudden weight loss in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs do have ever-growing teeth, and sometimes it can grow and hurt their food pipe or gums.
This condition surely affect their food consumption as it causes a lot of pain. If it is too painful, your guinea pigs may refuse to consume their food properly.
- Teeth Issues
Besides overgrowing teeth, there are some other teeth issues guinea pigs may also experience. An overbite or under-bite may be the other causes of sudden weight loss in guinea pigs. Once they experience these, they may find it challenging to eat. Broken teeth or reduced tooth strength also affect their interest in food.
Malnourishment can be experienced since the early age. It often becomes the reason your guinea pig never reaches its ideal or potential body weight or even has a robust growth.
Make sure you also know about the essential nutrients guinea pigs need so you can prevent malnourishment.
Just like humans, stress can also cause a guinea pig to have sudden weight loss. When you notice that they are more skittish or nervous than usual, then they might get stressed. There are some factors leading a guinea pig to be stressed, such as changes in the environment.
Watch out for these signs guinea pig is depressed so that you can find the best way to treat it.
- Lack of Water
Lack of water may also cause sudden weight loss in guinea pigs. Dehydrated guinea pigs may suffer from weight loss. That’s why it is very important to keep them hydrated by serving plenty of freshwater throughout the day.
- Dominant Guinea Pigs Take all the Foods
This condition commonly happens when your guinea pigs share a cage together. Each guinea pig has different characteristics, one of which is being dominant.
When a guinea pig seems to be dominant, he may take all the food and leave nothing for the others. As a result, the other guinea pigs in the cage are malnourished because of the dominant guinea pig who consumes most of the food.
- Gastrointestinal Disease or Other Health Issues
We all know that weight loss is a common indicator of most diseases, including gastrointestinal disease. Sudden weight loss can signify other health issues too, so make sure you consult with your vet about this.
Those gastrointestinal diseases may also lead to abnormal growth and poor appearance. The other significant health issues causing sudden weight loss in guinea pigs are respiratory issues, organ failure and urinary tract infections.
There are two main types of infection: bacterial and viral infections. Both of them are harmful for your guinea pig and they may lead to sudden weight loss in a short period of time. Consult with your vet about how to treat the infections so that you can stop the weight loss.
- Changes in the Environment
Guinea pigs may lose weight if you change his home or new pig sharing the crate. The lighting system and the room’s climate are two significant factors affecting the pig’s health and weight.
- Poor Quality of Hay
Poor quality of food, such as hay could also lead to sudden weight loss in guinea pigs. Make sure the hay you feed your pig is healthy and has good quality.
As your guinea pigs get older, they may start to be pickier about their food. This condition may also lead to sudden weight loss in guinea pigs. If it happens that your old guinea pig starts to be picky about their food, then you can break up the meals into smaller meals. Make sure not to leave any uneaten food in the crate.