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Sick Guinea Pig Sounds

This article will discuss sick guinea pig sounds, how to spot them, and what else to look for when you have a sick animal.

No one likes to be sick, and guinea pigs are no exception. It’s important to pay close attention to our piggy pals if we want them to stay in good health by learning what sick guinea pig sounds and body language mean.

Guinea pigs are very social animals with a variety of sounds they make.

It’s our job to watch for signs of a problem and get them to a veterinarian as needed.

Sick guinea pig sounds are only part of the equation; you also need to look at their body language, which will create a fuller picture to help you figure out what’s going on.

Guinea pigs like to hide when they aren’t feeling well if they can.

guinea pig getting some medicine
Photo source- Canva.com

What guinea pig sounds tell me my pet is sick?

  • Shrieking/squealing means your pet is very unhappy and typically indicates that they are in pain or in a bad situation; you should immediately check on your guinea pig. It will sound like a high pitched squeal.
  • Chirping is not greatly understood. It is similar to a bird call, and happens rarely if ever. It may be a sign of distress and the animal will be in a trance like state. An attempt to investigate the source of the chirping is a good idea if possible.
  • Whining- if they are whining, something is likely going on that’s bothering them.
  • Crackle, wheezing, clicking, or hooting are all signs of respiratory distress. Your guinea pig might be having difficulty breathing; you should seek immediate medical care.
  • Teeth chattering is typically seen when a guinea pig gets aggressive, but it can also happen if they aren’t feeling well.

Again, physical examination of body language is important to follow along with their noise. All of the noises above can be made without being sick; visual cues are your friend.

What are the typical signs that my guinea pig has a health issue?

These are the big ones but not limited to these problems.

  • trouble eating
  • no appetite
  • blood in urine
  • weight loss or a rough coat
  • hair loss
  • diarrhea
  • eye discharge
  • nose discharge
  • breathing problems
  • weakness
  • sore joints
  • drooling

Any of these symptoms can indicate a serious condition, and it would be best if you talked to a veterinary medicine doctor (a vet) about their health.

Taking a look at your guinea pig’s poop is a significant indication of their health. We have a whole article on poop here if you’re interested in learning more.

What common sickness do guinea pigs get?

  • Respiratory infections
  • UTIs
  • Bladder stones
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Diarrhea
  • Ringworm
  • Skin parasites
  • Dental problems

Can guinea pigs get respiratory infections?

A guinea pig is subject to respiratory problems due to its environment. There is a lot of debris between their pellets, hay, and in their living habitat.

An upper respiratory infection can go from a minor cold to pneumonia rather quickly in guinea pigs. This condition should be brought to a vet immediately as this is a life-threatening problem. Typically guinea pig’s pneumonia is caused by bacterial infections but can also be a viral infection.

What are the signs of respiratory infection in a guinea pig?

  • loss of appetite
  • lethargic
  • cough
  • rapid or trouble breathing
  • sneezing
  • nasal discharge
  • eye discharge

Can guinea pigs get urinary tract infections?

Yes, they can, and it needs to be addressed by a veterinarian. Female guinea pigs seem to be more susceptible to UTIs. If you think your pet has any following symptoms, give them a call.

Signs of a UTI in a guinea pig-

  • when emptying the bladder, they will often squeak in pain.
  • blood in their urine
  • no appetite
  • a temperature
  • weakness
  • pain when touched
  • dehydration

Bladder stones-

Bladder stones are typically seen in older adult guinea pigs and will need veterinary surgery to remove them.

What are the signs of bladder stones in guinea pigs?

  • difficulty urinating
  • blood in urine
  • frequent urinating

Vitamin C deficiency-

Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin c and require a vitamin c supplement daily, so they don’t acquire scurvy and other health issues. A lack of vitamin c is detrimental to your guinea pigs’ health.

What are the signs of a vitamin C deficiency in a guinea pig?

  • rough hair coat
  • loss of appetite
  • not wanting to move
  • painful and swollen joints
  • ulcers in their mouth
  • diarrhea


Diarrhea puts guinea pigs at risk for dehydration. It’s best to make sure you’re feeding your guinea pig properly to avoid them getting diarrhea. However, other sicknesses or health problems can cause diarrhea. You should consult your vet if you’re concerned.

What are the signs of diarrhea in a guinea pig?

  • watery diarrhea
  • small appetite
  • low body temp
  • general weakness
  • dehydration
  • a dirty bottom area


Ringworm is a fungal infection that your guinea pig can get and spread to another guinea pig or with direct contact to humans as well. A veterinarian typically treats this with topical and sometimes oral anti-fungal treatments.

What are the signs of ringworm in a guinea pig?

Guinea pigs will have a patch of skin that may have the following;

  • flakey
  • dry
  • patches of hair loss
  • can be crusty
  • itchy

Skin Parasites-

Guinea pigs can get mites, lice, and mange which your vet can diagnose and treat with topical and or oral medications as needed.

What are the signs of skin parasites in guinea pigs?

  • red skin
  • itchy
  • loss of hair
  • uncomfortable

Dental problems-

Guinea pigs can also have a dental problem that can cause your furry friend to be feeling unwell.

Guinea pig’s teeth are constantly growing and getting filed down by eating a proper amount of hay daily.

Malocclusion can happen when their teeth end up not being even, and when this happens, the teeth can go into their soft tissue, causing pain. If this happens, they won’t want to eat and will likely lose weight. Malocclusion is typically an inherited problem but can occur if their diet isn’t proper. They will need to see a vet to file the teeth down.

What are the signs of malocclusion in guinea pigs?

  • drooling
  • loss of appetite
  • unable to swallow
  • pain in their mouth
  • protruding teeth
  • weight loss

Before adding a new guinea pig to your family, you should do a visual health inspection to ensure they are in good health.

If you are introducing it to another guinea pig at home, it’s always a good idea to have it in a separate cage for a few days to ensure it doesn’t have any health issues that it will share with its cage mate.

These are not the only health issues guinea pigs can get, but these are the most common. If you have any concerns about your guinea pig, you should bring them to a competent veterinary care center for immediate medical attention.

To recap, sick guinea pig sounds can be sounds that are heard regularly but paying attention to their body language will give you a better picture of what’s going on. The most common sounds heard when a guinea pig is sick are shrieking, whining, teeth chattering, and different breathing patterns. If you’re ever concerned about your pet guinea pig, you should seek a vet’s advice.

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