4 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need To Know About Poisoning

Posted on: 2 September 2015

Many foods are toxic to guinea pigs, and if your pig eats the wrong thing, they could be poisoned. Here are four things you need to know about poisoning in guinea pigs.

What foods are toxic to guinea pigs?

There are many foods that guinea pigs can't eat. Both the leaves and stalks of tomato plants are poisonous to them, while they can safely enjoy the fruit of the tomato. The leaves and stalks of tomatillos are also poisonous. Other poisonous foods include garlic, mushrooms, rhubarb, and green or sprouted potatoes.

Many wild plants and flowers are poisonous to them, too. Common garden flowers like bougainvilleas, chrysanthemums, and buttercups are also toxic. Houseplants such as philodendron are also very dangerous for your pigs.

What are the signs of poisoning?

The symptoms of poisoning can vary depending on what your pig ate and how much they consumed. You need to stay alert for signs like diarrhea, increased urination, and drooling. Pigs that have been poisoned may also have trouble breathing (listen for breathing that sounds strained or otherwise different from normal). You may also notice that your pig is shaking or that its muscles are twitching; seizures can also occur in severe cases. These signs need to be taken seriously since prompt treatment could be the difference between life and death for your pig.

Can vets treat poisoning?

To treat poisoning, your vet can flush your pig's stomach, either with a tube or with surgery. Activated charcoal can also be fed to your pig to absorb the poison and prevent their digestive system from being damaged any further. These procedures are necessary because guinea pigs can't vomit, unlike humans and other types of pets.

Your vet can also give your pig supportive treatment like intravenous fluids to ease their symptoms until the poison is eliminated.

How can you keep your pig safe?

If you let your pig play outside in your backyard, you need to check the area beforehand to make sure there are no poisonous plants in the vicinity. Keep your pig confined to a small, fenced area that you are sure is safe and don't let them explore your backyard unattended.

If a friend or family member is watching your pig while you're away, make sure to tell them which foods are dangerous for pigs. You should provide a list of safe foods that they can feed your pig while you're gone.

Many foods and plants are toxic to guinea pigs, but if you're careful, you can keep your pig safe. If your pig eats something that they shouldn't, take them to an emergency vet, like those at River View Veterinary Service LLC, right away.


Keeping Your Pets Healthy

After I started staying home full time instead of working, I realized that my pets weren't as healthy as I thought they were. They basically laid around the house all day, and I started growing increasingly concerned about their well-being. I wanted to know more about their health, so I visited a veterinarian in my area. He gave me a few really good tips on reducing their caloric intake and encouraging exercise. Now, I can say that my dogs are truly healthy and energetic. This blog is all about keeping your pets healthy so that you can continue to enjoy their company.