How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11508
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my guinea pig is breathing fast and heavy and you can hear

This answer was rated:

my guinea pig is breathing fast and heavy and you can hear it and she also had poop loose around her but and she is skinny i just noticed this in the morning today what should i do or could i do is it a cold or what?

I'm sorry to hear your guinea pig is ill. some additional information will be useful.

How old is your guinea pig?

Is there any discharge from her nose or eyes?

Any sneezing or coughing?

How is her appetite?

How is her energy level?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
about 5 months old!
no there is no discharge from her nose or eyes
yes to both sneezing and coughing thought no really often
as for appetite since this morning she has not aint anything i dont know if this was starting since the day before or what as for energy none i mean she will walk in her cage but not like before
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on your answer, and will post it as soon as it is typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Please don't reply to this post as that can lock me out so I won't be able to post your answer.

I'll be back shortly.

Thank you for waiting. From the symptoms you've described, your guinea pig needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Loss of appetite in guinea pigs, for any reason, is extremely serious. It is called anorexia. If they go for 24 hours without eating, a condition called ketosis develops and the guinea pig cannot recover. When a guinea pig exhibits lethargy and appetite loss, something serious is wrong. You’ll need a vet to diagnose exactly what it is. Here is where you can find a guinea pig/rabbit vet:

Until you can get to a vet, try to hand feed a variety of foods - a sprig of parsley, carrot, apple, a little piece of romaine lettuce. Be sure to leave the timothy hay in the cage, too, in case she decides to try eating it. You can read more about anorexia at these two sites:

If there is nothing that will entice your guinea pig to eat, you can feed her from a syringe. You must make sure that she is passing stools before doing this because if she has a blockage, it's dangerous to force food into her system. To be sure, you can place her in a box on paper towels and watch for droppings. If she's defecating normally, you can make a slurry of crushed pellets, water, and pureed vegetables. This can be more difficult than it sounds, so I'm giving you a link to a page that describes it in great detail, including variations on what to feed, and how often to feed:

There is a product called Oxbow Critical Care, available in pet stores, that would be even better than the homemade slurry. However, your time would be better spent in finding a vet.

It would also be good to give your guinea pig some unflavored Pedialyte (made for human infants), which you can buy in drug stores, discount stores, and many supermarkets. Continue running the vaporizor, too.

These measures may save your guinea pig's life in the short run, but they are first aid only, intended to keep up your guinea pig’s strength until you can get to a vet. The breathing difficulties may be signs of pneumonia, which is life-threatening all by itself. If you have further questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you're able to entice your guinea pig to eat and get him some assistance from a vet this evening.


(If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)

Edited by Anna on 2/9/2011 at 11:47 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ty so much i appreciate all the advice and will keep it for sure for reference for my other guinea pig but i want you to know i went to try her on a carrot and she had already passed away
I'm so sorry to hear that. I knew from your description that she was very sick, but hoped you'd caught the illness in time to save her. It's extra difficult when it's one so young. Although I know words can't really help, all I can do is offer you my condolences. I'm sorry for your sad loss.

Anna and 5 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ty so much for the condolences and i will now pay you your much deserved payment
Thank you.

Take care.