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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11510
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My sons guinea pig has impacted debri and poop in the back

Customer Question

My sons guinea pig has impacted debri and poop in the back feet. I bathed him with baby soap and cleaned which determined it was very bad looking I used an old toothbrush and peroxide to clean more thoroughly
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one has responded to you sooner. Different experts come on at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. I'm working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I'll be back shortly.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for waiting. The first thing you absolutely must do is get rid of that amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is very toxic to guinea pigs. It is often fatal. We can hope Bugsy has not consumed enough of it to kill him. The fact that he pooping a lot indicates he has consumed it. Throw it out and give him clean water. Guinea pigs are not like dogs and cats. Their digestive systems function differently, and certain antibiotics kill the good bacteria in their guts, and have fatal consequences. You can confirm this information on the following reputable websites:

You should also buy some probiotics to give Bugsy at once. A brand called BeneBac is sold in pet stores. Give it to him twice a day in hopes of replenishing the good bacteria. You can't overdose on this, so don't worry about that.

Now for the foot. It sounds like Bugsy has pododermatitis, commonly called bumblefoot. It usually begins with a slight injury, and then infection sets in. This may not sound extremely serious, but it is. It is a common cause of death in guinea pigs if it isn't treated. The best thing you can do is make an appointment with a vet familiar with guinea pigs. Here is a link to directory that will help you find one near you:

Bumblefoot can actually spread into the bone, requiring amputation of a leg, or resulting in death. This is why it is recommended to see a vet right away. Safe prescription antibiotics, such as Baytril, are often needed, sometimes for as long as a month. Be sure to find a vet familiar with guinea pigs. Those who see mostly dogs and cats often prescribe unsafe antibiotics for guinea pigs.

If a vet isn't possible, supportive treatment is all that can be provided. Providing towels for Bugsy to rest on, and continue washing his feet with mild soap. Hydrogen peroxide, however, isn't recommended. Recent research has found that, while it kills germs, it also damages tissue and delays healing. There are better soaks to use. One is Epsom salts. Mix 1/8 teaspoon of Epsom salts into 1/2 cup of warm water. Soak Bugsy's feet for 10 minutes three times a day. Epsom salts can irritate the eyes. so be sure not to splash. After each soak, you can apply plain triple antibiotic cream, such as Neosporin.

I also like to give any sick or injured guinea pig supplemental vitamin C to boost the immune system. You can use children's chewable tablets if he will eat them, or liquid vitamin C that you can buy in human health food stores. If you use the liquid, place it in the side of Bugsy's mouth using a syringe. He needs 50 mgs. a day while he's ill. It works faster if you divide that dose into more than one time, for example 25 mgs. twice a day, or 10 mgs. five times a day.

Bumblefoot can be very difficult to clear up and the infection expands easily. I hope the steps above will help Bugsy, but if you can somehow arrange a vet visit, that would be better yet. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I wish Bugsy a full recovery.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Do you need any additional information? How is Bugsy doing?