Can Guinea Pigs Vomit? Why Guinea Pigs Can’t Throw Up!

Can Guinea Pigs Vomit

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You will never find a thrown up food in your guinea pigs cage even if they eat often. Likewise, primates and carnivores, herbivores can not move their contents towards the esophagus. That can make you think can guinea pigs vomit, or it is being concealed in some way.

Guinea pigs cannot throw up because their diaphragm cannot assemble the power to get moving the food through their throat. Guinea pigs don’t have a gag reflex. In addition to that, guinea pigs have tiny and delicate stomach muscles that lack the strength to vomit.

Not only guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and even horses come under the same category.

That may sound like happy news, but it is not. If your guinea pig cannot vomit, they will not be able to purge their stomach.

That increases the risk of intestinal blockages if they overeat.

Let us learn more about some health risks developed due to this.

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Why can’t guinea pigs vomit?

As guinea pigs lack a gag reflex, they can’t vomit. Things that make human throw up cannot be applied to guinea pigs. Guinea pigs will keep eating irrespective of any danger she is placing herself in.

In addition to lacking gag reflex, guinea pigs also have a thin and weak diaphragm. That means that your guinea pigs lack the strength to vomit.

Guinea pig’s digestive tract is like a one-way street where food gets entry through mouth and exit as feces.

As guinea pigs don’t have any idea about vomiting, they will not be cautious about it.

We go through specific warnings that indicate to us that we know will make us sick. But unfortunately, guinea pigs have no reason to think this way.

Guinea pigs will always rely on you without understanding it. Guinea pigs should never reach the stage where this is necessary.

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  • Toxic Food To Our Guinea pigs
  • Water For Your Guinea Pig (How It Can Lead To Bladder Stone)
  • 4 Complete Diet Chart To Follow With Veggie List

Do guinea pigs throw up in any way?

Do guinea pigs throw up in any way?

The nearest thing that guinea pigs can come to vomiting is coughing.

Guinea pigs have a bunch of molars hidden in the backside of their mouth.

The four incisors are necessary, but the real wonder happens in the back of their mouth, behind the closed cheeks.

Guinea pigs chew their food in this place before it goes down to their stomach.

When guinea pigs develop any problem with their back teeth, they are most likely to spit out their half-chewed that they have not swallowed yet.

If your guinea pig is coughing, there can be two reasons for the following:

  • Your guinea pig is not well: Your guinea pig may be suffering from a viral infection.
  • The Guinea pig has something stuck in their throat that they are trying to clear.

If Guinea pig throat is blocked, it will not be possible for them to eat, drink, or breathe.

Guinea pigs cannot vomit. That cannot happen naturally, and also cannot be induced.

Health problems caused by not throwing up

If your guinea pigs cannot vomit, it reduces your cleaning up work.

Despite this, the inability to vomit is not an excellent characteristic of your guinea pigs. It can lead to many health issues in our guinea pigs.

Some of them are as follows:

  • Digestive Blockages: Guinea pigs come under constant risk of digestive blockages. If your piggies overeat, they will not be able to vomit out the undigested food. It will be stuck in their digestive tract, leading to Obstruction.
  • Choking: If food is stuck in your guinea pig’s throat, they may go through a choking hazard as it will be tough for them to remove it. You will have to immediately help them out as if it continues for a long time. It may be possible that they may lose the ability to breathe.
  • Toxicity: If your guinea pigs consume something toxic, they can get rid of it by vomiting. Not only guinea but many other small animals also have the same problems with vomiting.

Guinea pig’s inability to vomit should never be taken lightly.

You must make sure that you feed your guinea pig an appropriate diet and always keep them away from anything toxic.

Not vomiting blocks a guinea pig’s gut

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It would be best if you were very careful when you feed your guinea pig.

Your guinea pig may look very small to you, but their diet is not that small. Many guinea pigs are greedy and will eat anything that is provided.

When you have your meal, your guinea pigs will try to tell you that they even want to eat.

But we will advise you not to share your meal with your guinea pigs no matter how much they request.

Food like meat and bread have terrible consequences as your guinea pig will not be able to digest it, which can lead to intestinal blockage.

What happens when your guinea pigs eat more than they can digest. Foods that are not suitable for guinea pigs will sit in their stomach. Guinea pigs will not be able to gain enough nutrition or water.

So the best option is to always provide a good supply of hay to your guinea pigs. The guinea pigs can’t eat hay in an excessive quantity.

Guinea pigs would be much happy if you provide them a good supply of hay. Pellets can also be served in small quantities. And if you wish to give a treat to your guinea pigs, you can provide them little pieces of fruits or vegetables.

We will advise you always to keep an eye on your guinea pigs grooming. As they are not able to vomit, it could be dangerous if they swallow fur. If they become careless, they can fill their gut with their hair.

A small number of hairballs can be anticipated, but if you find them struggling while they are eliminating, then their hair may be filling and blocking their intestines. On such your, guinea pigs will require urgent medical treatment.

Not vomiting can lead to blocked air passage in guinea pigs

guinea pig coughing

Your guinea pigs are more capable of choking if they cannot vomit. If your guinea pig has overeaten, or too quickly, their airways can be blocked.

Some of the guinea pigs prefer to eat fast are liable to this condition. Some warning signs of guinea pigs with a blocked airway include:

  • Try to breathe through their mouth: Guinea pigs are obligate nasal breathers. If you find your guinea pig’s mouth open, then there is something wrong.
  • Constant shaking of the head: Your guinea pig must be struggling to lose something that is stuck.
  • Walking backward on the rear legs: If you find your guinea pigs head tilted back, your piggie is desperately struggling to suck in the air.
  • Bulging around the eyes: This is a general sign from guinea pig for lack of oxygen.

You can also see your guinea pig making a variety of sounds.

Coughing and sneezing is more likely in it. Guinea pigs are silent animals. If they are being noisy, there is something wrong with them which you will need to discover as soon as possible.

If your guinea pig has a blocked airway, it means that they are choking, which can be very dangerous if immediate action is not taken.

How to help a choking guinea pig: Guinea pig has something stuck in throat

We understand that you can’t stay calm while you are seeing your guinea pig choking. But we will advise you not to panic, and follow the two methods that can help your guinea pig.

The first method is as follows:

  • Gently hold your guinea pig against your chest and ensure that you have covered your piggie from their head and neck.
  • Point your guinea pig nose downward, this can be a little awkward, but it is essential.
  • Give a massage to your guinea pig using your finger on their stomach from the base of the abdomen to their ribs.
  • Do it very softly as they have a very delicate body. You can break their ribs if you push hard. You should apply a degree of pressure, though.
  • That will help to give pressure on the lungs of your guinea pig, which will help to create a surge of air. If everything goes well, this will be sufficient force to remove a trapped item form the throat.

The trapped object will drop out of your guinea pig’s mouth. As their head is facing earthward, this will not be able to get back to their throat.

It is possible that this method does not give fruitful results. In such a case, you can apply the second method, which is as follows:

  • Gently hold your guinea pigs between your forearms.
  • Firmly, hold your guinea pig in the air. Your piggie mustn’t wriggle.
  • Then your next step is to swing your arms downward. That will help to push your guinea pig’s internal organs up into their body, as this applies pressure on their lungs.
  • Your guinea pig will take a loud breath, which is enough to dislodge the choking hazard.

You should attempt this for 2-3 times for better results.

After such an incident, we will advise you to take your guinea pig to a vet as your guinea pig might be in shock. Some traces of the item may also remain in their throat.

Guinea pigs cannot vomit after consuming toxins

Another big danger posed by your guinea pig’s inability to vomit is the indigestion of toxins.

Your guinea pig can’t throw up the poison once they have swallowed it.

Neither it will be possible for you to induce vomiting so that they can clear it out.

You should always be careful to keep your guinea pigs away from any kind of toxins. These includes:

  • Pesticides and herbicides which are found in plants and grass
  • Rodent poisons in communal areas
  • You should keep them away from wild plants as they are poisonous. Even some indoor plants are toxic
  • Human medicines
  • Lead-based products.
  • You should keep them far away from moldy or spoiled food.
  • High dosage of flea treatments.

If you discover that your guinea pig has been poisoned, you should seek immediate medical help.

The symptoms might include seizures, changes in temperature, loss of appetite, paralysis, and general lethargy.

A guinea pig’s inability to vomit should be never be taken lightly as it can lead to terrible results.

You should always keep an eye on their food intake and them away from anything toxic.


  • Due to a lack of strength in the muscles, guinea pigs cannot vomit.
  • There are many several health problems that your guinea pigs can go through if they are not able to throw up.
  • Overeating can cause an intestinal blockage to your guinea pig.
  • Not throwing up can also lead to blocked airways in your guinea pigs.
  • As guinea pigs are not able to vomit after consuming toxins, it is advisable to keep them away from harmful toxins.

Lastly, we would advise you to take care of your guinea pigs and keep them away from all harmful toxins, as this may give very terrible results to our guinea pigs.

In addition to this, always shower them with all your love and care.

Sources: Treatment efficacy in a soman-poisoned guinea pig model, CARING FOR YOUR GUINEA PIGRESPIRATORY INFECTIONDyspnea in guinea pigsViral Pneumonia in Guinea PigsRespiratory Bacterial Disease in Guinea PigsMechanics of Respiration in Unanesthetized Guinea Pigs

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Also, Check Out Our Guinea Pig Essential Supplies Checklist To Get A Complete List Of Supplies For Your Guinea Pigs At Best Prices.
Guinea Pig Diet Plan For Beginners: Ebook & Paperback Available
  • List Of Vegetables And Fruits Guinea Pigs Can Eat
  • Types Of Hay+ How To Choose The Best One
  • Importance Of Vitamin C and Calcium+ How To Balance It
  • Toxic Food To Our Guinea pigs
  • Water For Your Guinea Pig (How It Can Lead To Bladder Stone)
  • 4 Complete Diet Chart To Follow With Veggie List


Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are one of the most lovely animals I have ever owned. So, I decided to spread some love for them and that's how this blog came up. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve. I have also written a book called Guinea Pig Diet Plan which you can check out on Amazon.

Medical Disclaimer
Our site intends to provide you with the most accurate and updated information about guinea pigs.
However, our site doesn’t provide you with any medical advice for your guinea pigs. For any medical assistance and advice, it is recommended to consult a licensed veterinarian.
You can refer to our Medical Disclaimer page for more information.

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