How To Tell If A Guinea Pig Is Pregnant – What To Look Out For
If you think your guinea pig is pregnant, then it may be the to visit a veterinarian, but is there a way you can tell if your guinea pig may be pregnant? There are some signs on, how to tell if a guinea pig is pregnant, and these are visible sign which you should be able to see for yourself.
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Through this article we will delve into all the questions you may have about this topic, and detail the answers for “How to tell if a guinea pig is pregnant”. We’ll highlight the do’s and don’t which revolve around pregnant guinea pigs and also the complications which may occur from guinea pig pregnancies.
So let’s jump straight in.
What are the signs of a pregnant guinea pig?
Okay, so you’ve bought home a couple of guinea pigs for the family to enjoy as pets, but do you know that after only a few weeks guinea pigs will be sexually mature? Your new baby guinea pig which is only a few weeks old, could indeed be sexually mature already.
Guinea Pigs are sexually mature after roughly 8 weeks. This varies a little bit in each individual but this is an average figure. So you may be surprised if your female guinea pig is showing signs of pregnancy already. The best thing you can do is to go visit a veterinarian, so they can do all the correct procedures to diagnose a pregnancy or not, however there are some signs you can look out for at home also.
Feeling The Belly
At the early stages, guinea pigs won’t show many obvious signs of pregnancy. Baring in mid they eat all day long, it’s even hard to tell if they are eating more than usual. But there is a technique you can use to determine whether your guinea pig is pregnant or not.
Now, you have to be extremely gentle when you do this, as clearly you are unsure still whether your guinea pig is pregnant or not, but you’ll need to softly feel along the side of their stomachs. You can do with with either the front or back of your fingers, gently stroking from top to bottom, making sure you apply the lightest possible pressure.
If your guinea pig is at least 2 weeks pregnant, then you should be able to feel the babies inside your guinea pigs belly. Make sure you DO NOT turn them onto their back at any point throughout this process. You can still pick them up, but handling has to be done with the upmost care.
One extra little trick is, with both hands, run your fingers along both side of the belly at the same time. You should be able to feel the babies from both sides as usually there will be 2 or 3 in a littler. Doing this means you should be able to feel from both sides. If not, then you might be feeling a cyst which is a common guinea pig health problem, which will need to be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Watch what they are eating
This can be a hard one, as guinea pigs eat all day long. However, you can tell the difference in the amount they are eating compared to the other guinea pig which are housed with her. Like all pregnant animals, guinea pigs eat a lot more than they usually would. You should be able to monitor how much your suggested guinea pig is eating, which will tell you if they’re eating more than usual. This can sometimes be as much as 3 times the amount as usual.
Another thing you can try is to separate the individuals when eating. Offering them a large amount (but the same amount) will clearly show if your suggested female is eating more than the others.
Also, if she is eating more frequently than the other, however like stated before, this can be difficult as they seem to eat, or graze all day long.
Monitor her weight
If you have a digital pair of scales then this could be a very good implication that your guinea pig is pregnant. However, this will only work if your guinea pig is fully grown. Obviously if they’re not fully grown, they’ll still be growing.
I suggest digital scales as guinea pig will only put on a couple of grams a day maximum if pregnant. However over a few days this will increase enough for you to determine whether or not they’re pregnant compared to just pigging out, and eating more than usual.
Weighing her each week will give you the best results. Yo should see a small increase every week in comparison to the last. After a few weeks she will be visibly bigger anyway, which you should be able to see with your own eyes.
The last, and probably the most obvious is the fact the your guinea pig may look bloated. This will happen after a couple of weeks being pregnant, so this is a sign you should be looking for if you are fully unaware of any pregnancies.
The first few weeks you will not be able to see the difference in size, however ideally you’ll want to determine pregnancy well before this stage if possible.
What should you do once you realise the pregnancy?
Once you realised your guinea pig is pregnant, you should ultimately visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will have all the relative information you will need for a safe pregnancy. They will also be able to tell you exactly how far along the pregnant female is and when you should expect the pregnancy.
What are the complications for pregnant guinea pigs?
We won’t go too much into this subject as there’s another article you can read on this, however we will highlight the complications that you should be aware of.
Pregnant guinea pigs usually carry 2 or 3 pups in a litter, so they will gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. This extra weight, pushes organs in unnatural position and directions whilst putting stress on veins and arteries. All this equals to very poor blood circulation, so it’s recommended to keep your pregnant female as active as possible, keeping the blood flowing naturally.
Pregnancy causes a lot of stress for a guinea pig, so it’s best to keep them as calm as possible. Stress can be heightened by poor living conditions and incorrect dietary requirements also. So you’ll really need to keep on top of these factors.
Hypocalcemia is a deficiency in calcium, or lower levels than average. This goes without saying, across the board for all vitamins and minerals, that pregnant guinea pig need more as they are also providing for their babies.
A lack in calcium may lead to unhealthy babies, with brittle bones. This is most likely to occur only 2-3 weeks before the actual pregnancy, which is the babies fastest growing period.
There are some foods which are very high in calcium which you should be offering your pregnant guinea pig on a daily basis. These foods include; Spinach, Parsley, Kale, Dill, and Dandelion Leafs. All of these are suitable for a pregnant guinea pig to eat to help raise their calcium levels appropriately.
Hopefully this article has informed you with everything you need in answer to “How to tell if a guinea pig is pregnant”. In all situations, if you feel your guinea pig is pregnant then please visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Remember you can check for yourselves if your guinea pig is pregnant with four simple signs and actions. First by gently running your fingers down the belly and feeling for babies inside. Second to watch what they are eating. Thirdly by monitoring their weight. Fourth and finally if they look floated all the time.
Knowing these four factors will help you to determine pregnancies early. This is turn will give your guinea pig the best possible chance of a safe pregnancy.