Are you prepared for anything that may happen to your beloved pets? Will you have the right things on hand for emergencies, cuts, scrapes and sicknesses. In this list is everything you need to kit together for first aid for guinea pigs!
While vets are always the best option, sometimes it can be handy to have a few items on hand just in case something goes wrong. There are also a few conditions like lice or mites that can be treated by you without the unnecessary vet bills, plus a few odd items that can be of use in the case of an emergency.
Basic care items
- Grooming brush
- Nail clippers
- Comb for longer haired guinea pigs
- Scales- to monitor your guinea pig’s weight
- Scissors or clippers for long haired pigs
- Coconut oil for grease gland cleaning
Emergency care Items
Critical care is an essential in every guinea pig owners medical kit. It contains all the essential nutrients to boost a sick guinea pig and has been known to save lives. It is used for guinea pigs who can’t or won’t eat; as guinea pigs need to eat all the time, it is hugely important that they get fluids down them as soon as possible. If they don’t eat within 24 hours they can start to shut down and die.
Ivermec is the most highly recommended treatment for mites or lice. If you look through your guinea pig’s coat you can sometimes see lice running around as yellow or black dots. Mites unfortunately cannot be seen but the symptoms are easy to spot- excessive itching and hair loss. Sometimes sores if your guinea pig has been itching hard enough 🙁
It can be brought over the counter at a vets clinic or online.
If your guinea pig needs to be kept warm, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or a heating pad can be a lifesaver!
- Cotton balls
- Syringes for ivermec or critical care
- Small animal wipes for cleaning eyes
- Mineral oil for cleaning ears
Never stick anything down a guinea pigs ear, one drop of oil inside the ear should clean it out and you can gently use a cotton tip to clean around the outside of the ear.
Guinea pigs are notorious for getting hay poke which irritates their eyes. Watch out for weepy discharge and irritation of the eyelids and eyes. This is when an eyedropper and some eye wash can be very handy for soothing the eye until you can see the vet.
Sometimes guinea pigs can develop skin allergies which can be caused by shavings, or irritating washing powder in their fleece bedding. This is when skin care creams can become very handy!
Often, first aid kits tend to fill themselves up over time as you become more knowledgeable and gain experience. Trips to the vet may reward you with antibiotics, ointments and anti-bacterial and anti-fungal creams to add to your collection and the instructions with when and how to use them. Make sure you check the expiry date and throw out anything that gets past it.
Visiting your vet
Not all vets know about the dangerous list of substances that some medications contain. Bring this list in with you on your first visit and make sure that your vet knows and understands not to use or prescribe anything with the items on this list…
When choosing a vet, make sure you find one that specializes in exotic animals. While guinea pigs may not seem like an exotic pet, many dog/cat vets often don’t see guinea pigs on a regular basis and don’t know how to treat them properly. It is important to establish a relationship with your vet so that you will both know exactly what to do if something goes wrong.
First aid for guinea pigs is just as important as for cats and dogs, don’t wait until it’s too late!