Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

Concerning Breathing Changes In A Guinea Pig

by Calvin Newman

There are many different indicators that your pet guinea pig could be facing a health issue. Doing your best to watch for changes in the animal's appearance and behavior is a good way to catch something early on. If you notice a change, you can then contact your local animal hospital for advice. One thing that can be a warning sign of a health issue for a guinea pig is a change in its breathing. Some breathing changes can be indicators of serious health issues that require veterinary care. Here are some concerning breathing changes to watch for in your pet guinea pig.

Mouth Breathing

A healthy guinea pig breathes through its nose. It may either have its mouth closed while it breathes, or it may be eating. If you notice that the pet appears to be breathing through its mouth, this is a sign of a serious health issue. Mouth breathing can occur when the guinea pig has a serious respiratory infection that is preventing it from breathing through its nose. Mouth breathing can also occur when the pet has heart disease. Either of these situations can be grave and require the prompt care of a veterinarian.

Fast Breathing

If you're used to watching your pet guinea pig, you likely have a rough idea of its normal breathing rate. This will allow you to notice when the animal appears to be breathing rapidly. Fast breathing can occur for various reasons. If the animal is in a hot environment, it might breathe quickly. For example, if you've accidentally left its cage near a window and the sun has caused the area to heat up, you might see the guinea pig breathing faster than usual. A respiratory infection can also cause rapid breathing.

Wheezing Breathing

When a healthy guinea pig breathes, it doesn't produce any noticeable sound. Therefore, it can be a concern when you become aware of your pet's breathing because you're able to hear it. Wheezing, in particular, can be a warning sign of various health issues. This change in breathing can be indicative of a blockage in the respiratory system, as well as various heart-related issues — all of which can be serious. If you pick up on any of these changes in your guinea pig's breathing, don't wait to see if the breathing returns to normal. Contact your animal clinic to describe what you've noticed and plan to take the guinea pig to a vet promptly.