Did you know that most Guinea pigs can get to be about 5 to 7 years old? That’s quite a bit longer than most pocket pets live. Also known as cavies, these guys usually reach their ‘golden years’ around age 4. Just like any other pet, your little buddy will benefit from extra TLC as they age. Read on as a local Castle Hills, TX vet discusses how to keep your Guinea pig happy and healthy in their golden years.
Comfort is a key point of caring for any older animal, and Guinea pigs are no exception. Your furry pal will appreciate having lots of soft beds and cozy spots to choose from. You may also want to add extra bedding. Your pint-sized pal may also develop vision loss. Avoid rearranging your pet’s belongings. Your cavy will be more secure if he or she knows where his bed and dishes are.
Like any other animal, Guinea pigs become more susceptible to illness and injury as they age. Some common issues we see in older cavies include kidney problems, heart trouble, and dental issues. Females are also prone to ovarian cysts, while males can suffer muscle loss or atrophy. And, given that they are prey animals, they tend to hide signs of weakness. It’s important for you to keep a close eye on your little buddy.
Weight loss is also pretty common in Guinea pigs. You may want to weigh your pet weekly. It will also help to feed your cavy at the same times each day. This will make it easier for you to monitor their food and water intake. You’ll also want to look for warning signs that your tiny furball isn’t able to eat properly. These may include drooling, loss of appetite, spitting food out, and avoiding harder foods. In many cases, a change in diet and improved dental care can help. Older cavies may also benefit from certain supplements. Just like younger ones, they also need lots of Vitamin C. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Last but not least, make sure that your fuzzy pal feels loved. Spend time with them every day. Just be very gentle when picking them up or putting them down.
Do you have questions or concerns about caring for an older cavy? Contact us, your Castle Hills, TX veterinary clinic, today!