More about Pregnant Guinea Pigs

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Pregnant Guinea Pig

Pregnant guinea pig – Guinea pigs can have many babies quickly if we don’t pay attention. However, having baby guinea pigs is not always simple. It is like a health thing for the mom guinea pig, and the little ones.

Babies could happen when a girl guinea pig and a boy guinea pig are together. Sometimes, guinea pig owners do not want baby guinea pigs, but it might still happen. So, it is good to know about pregnant guinea pigs and be ready, just in case your guinea pig will be a mom.

When can a guinea pig become pregnant?

Girl guinea pigs can start having babies between two and four months old. However, sometimes, they and boy guinea pigs can be ready earlier. They can be ready to have babies at any time, but it is more common in the spring. Since it is hard to tell if they are boys or girls when they are young, they might accidentally become parents.

People who have guinea pigs might mix boys and girls, thinking they are all the same. Even stores or new guinea pig owners might make this mistake, or guinea pigs might grow up faster than expected. This can lead to surprise baby guinea pigs.

Even though two months sounds young, it is actually good for a guinea pig to have babies before they are 8 months old if it is on purpose. Later, we will talk about why, especially if there are issues or worries about the pregnancy.

When Can Guinea Pigs Have Babies?

Girl guinea pigs can start having babies at two to four months old, but sometimes both boys and girls can be ready earlier. They can also be ready to have babies at any time of the year, with spring being the most common.

Because guinea pigs grow up fast and it is hard to tell if they are boys or girls when they are young, they might accidentally become parents.

Sometimes, people with guinea pigs put boy and girl guinea pigs together, thinking they are all the same. This can happen in stores, with new guinea pig owners, or if guinea pigs grow faster than expected. This can lead to surprise baby guinea pigs.

Even though two months might sound young, it is actually good for a guinea pig to have babies before they are 8 months old if it’s on purpose. Later, we will talk about why, especially if there are issues or worries about the pregnancy.

How do you know if a guinea pig is having babies?

It is not easy to tell if a pregnant guinea pig will have babies and how long they will be pregnant. In the beginning, they might not look or act differently. Guinea pigs usually take around 59 to 70 days to have their babies, so when their belly gets bigger, they might already be well into the pregnancy.

Besides a bigger belly, there are few sure ways to know if a pregnant guinea pig by yourself. If you see your guinea pig getting heavier quickly or if a girl and a boy guinea pig have been together, it is a good idea to go to the vet.

Vets who know a lot about small pets, like guinea pigs, can use ultrasound to check if a guinea pig is pregnant. Sometimes, they can even guess how long the pregnancy has been going on and how many babies might be coming by using X-rays or feeling the belly.

Finding out if a guinea pig is pregnant and how many babies are coming is really important for a good pregnancy plan. Having a vet for your pet makes it easier to get help from a pro if there are any issues before, during, or after the mom gives birth.

Taking Care of a Pregnant Guinea Pig

When a guinea pig is going to have babies, there are a few extra things to do. First, it is a good idea to keep the pregnant girl away from boys, especially as she gets closer to having the babies. This is because she can get pregnant again right after giving birth. Having babies and feeding them takes a lot of nutrients and energy, so having one pregnancy after another is not great.

Pregnant guinea pigs need to eat a mix of grass hay, vitamin C, balanced guinea pig food, and lots of leafy greens with calcium. It is also good to give them treats like GuineaDad pea flakes, which are rich in nutrients. If this means changing your guinea pig’s food, do it slowly.

The aim is to give the best nutrition and reduce stress. Having a safe and clean hiding spot where your guinea pig can rest when the babies come is good.

Issues or Worries About Pregnant Guinea Pigs

Sometimes, we can see problems with pregnant guinea pig early on. One significant issue is when they have trouble giving birth, which is called dystocia. This is more likely in guinea pigs having their first babies after 8 months.

When guinea pigs are 8 months old, their pelvic bones start to join, making it harder for them to give birth. They might need a cesarean section. If guinea pigs have babies before 8 months, their pelvis stays flexible, making it easier for them to give birth.

Dystocia can happen for other reasons too. Normally, guinea pigs give birth over 30 minutes, with breaks of 5 minutes between 2 to 4 pups. If it takes longer or the number of pups differs from what the vet expected, it is time to get medical help for your guinea pig.

Even if everything goes well during the birth, risks can still exist. Pregnancy toxaemia is one such risk. It starts with not eating or drinking and can lead to muscle twitching and seizures. This happens when there is insufficient calcium in the blood, but the blood pressure is high. Usually, it shows up after the birth. If not treated, it is often deadly, and even with treatment, things may not look good.

The best way to deal with pregnancy toxaemia is to prevent it. A balanced diet with lots of calcium is excellent for avoiding low calcium. Those most at risk are guinea pigs who are overweight or have already had babies, so it is crucial to keep a healthy weight during pregnancy and not have too many litters.

Another worry is mastitis, an infection in the milk glands that can affect any nursing mammal. You can spot it when the mammary glands are swollen, red, and hurt, and there might be blood in the milk.

It can be treated with the right medical care, but it is important to take it seriously. If the infection is not treated, it can be deadly for both the mom and her babies.

How do you stop a guinea pig from having babies?

To keep your guinea pig healthy and avoid having lots of litter, it might be a good idea to prevent them from getting pregnant. One easy way is to keep boy and girl guinea pigs apart, but sometimes they prefer being together.

Another choice is to get your guinea pigs spayed or neutered. Neutering a boy is less complicated than spaying a girl, but all surgeries for small animals have risks.

Usually, surgery on small animals is not recommended because it can cause serious problems. If you want to get your guinea pig fixed, it is best to find a vet who is really good at doing surgeries on small animals.

Some FAQs

How long does it take for guinea pigs to show they are going to have babies?

Early in their pregnancy, guinea pigs might not look or act differently. Usually, they take about 59 to 70 days to have their babies, so when their belly gets bigger, they might already be well into the pregnancy.

What are the signs of a pregnant guinea pig?

If you are paying attention, you might notice a slightly bigger belly around 80-90 days into the pregnancy. The tummy might grow a bit, and the mom’s boobs could start to show signs of milk 24-48 hours before she has the babies.

How can you tell if a pregnant guinea pig is without a vet?

Without turning her upside down or pushing, gently run your hands along her sides, and you might feel the babies. If you hold her carefully by the shoulders while she is on your lap or a towel, you should be able to feel bumps if you slide your other hand over her gently.

How do you take care of a pregnant guinea pig?

When a pregnant guinea pig, she needs double the vitamin C, around 20mg every day. So, give her fresh fruits or veggies every day. Food in the fridge or cut into pieces loses vitamin C quickly. Also, she will need twice as much food as usual.