Wait, my guinea pig has a …WHAT!… that I have to clean!?
You may not even have known it existed, until now! The grease gland is located at the base of the tail. Yes, guinea pigs have a tail (though it is so small that it can’t be seen). Sometimes, this area gets blocked up with dried grease and dirt. To leave it would be problematic because the area could become infected.
An active grease gland is one that is constantly used for scent marking, but some guinea pigs don’t really do this very often and don’t need to be cleaned.
You only need to regularly clean an active grease gland, one that looks mucky like this.
To get started you will need…
- Shampoo must be made especially for critters
- 100% Pure coconut oil
- Warm water
- Clippers or scissors
Trim the area around the grease gland so that you can see what you are doing. I use clippers but you can use scissors if you prefer. For first timers, it is impossible to know exactly where to find it you will need to locate it by feeling for a patch of bare skin with your finger. Once you have found it, trim away some of the hair before you begin. If you have a wriggly piggy you may want to distract him with some fresh greens to keep him quiet before you begin.
Rub coconut oil onto the skin until the area is clear and the skin underneath shows up pink and pretty!
Lather shampoo onto the area and let it sit for a few minutes. Now wash the shampoo off with warm water and dry gently with a towel. Now you’re all done! Include the grease gland in your regular health check and to make sure that you keep on top of the buildup.
Oh, and you may want to wear a face mask because of the smell! 😀