A guinea pig back bottom must always remain dry. If your guinea pig is damp around their bottom, then they are having trouble urinating. A strong smell from the rear area is also a sign of health issues. Some guinea pigs also have a patch of fur missing in their back area and their hind legs. All these indicate that your guinea pig is having trouble urinating or is urinating in its own skin leading to urine scald in guinea pigs.
If your guinea pigs have urine scalds, Sudocrem can be applied to the inflamed skin. Examine the reason why the scalding has occurred. Your guinea pigs may have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or limited mobility leading to scalding. If not treated on time, it can further lead to flystrike.
You can manage urine scalding in your guinea pig if you take action at the right time.
Your guinea pigs will need proper medication and change in diet to recover quickly.
However, you must be aware that it is a symptom and not a disease.
It causes swollen red skin between their back legs, and it can also lead to serious medical problems like bladder stones or urinary tract diseases.
What is urine scalding in guinea pigs?
When your guinea pig has problems urinating, their urine will sink into their fur and will go down towards their legs, and then their fur will turn yellow.
It would help if you remembered urine scalding are symptoms of a broader problem. So just washing your guinea pig is not a sufficient treatment. You must need to get to the root of the issue and resolve it.
What are the symptoms of urine scalding in guinea pigs?
There are many ways that urine scald impacts your guinea pigs.
Depending upon the severity of urine scalding, your guinea pig’s back will be damp or soaking wet.
Neither of these is an ideal situation for our guinea pigs. It should be dry at all times.
Some symptoms of Urine scalding in guinea pigs are as follows:
- Clear and visible urine stains on the backside.
- The strong smell of ammonia from your guinea pig back part.
- Bald patches and lacking fur around the back legs and bottom.
- Red skin patches and open wounds down the hind legs.
- Squealing noise due to pain while urinating
- Loss of appetite.
If you see any of these issues, you will need to take immediate action as your guinea pigs are not comfortable and are in danger of severe health issues.
Urine scalding in guinea pigs can be controlled if measures are taken on time. Otherwise, it may lead to serious health issues.
What are the causes of urine scalding in guinea pigs?
There are many possible explanations for urine scalding in guinea pigs. It may be connected to their lifestyle or medical.
Among all some of the most common reasons for urine scalding in guinea pigs are as follows:
- Arthritis and Joint pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Injury or trauma
- Neutering complications
Urine scaling can also happen if your guinea pig lives in an unclean environment.
A guinea pig’s cage needs good quality absorbent bedding and daily maintenance. Doing so will help reduce waste buildup and prevent scalding up to some extend.
Obesity can be the most crucial reason for urine scalding in guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs in the wild do not have the luxury of growing obese.
When your guinea pigs urinate, the surplus skin will come in between in which the urine can become trapped.
The urine will then dribble down to their backside and legs, leading to scalding in the long run.
You must lower their intake of pellets and vegetables and offer them fresh good quality hay.
Then slowly, your guinea pig will start losing weight.
You can also add up some exercise for your guinea pigs, which will help them to reduce their weight faster.
Arthritis and Joint Pain:
Urinating guinea pigs shower backward, but if they have arthritis, they will not be able to do this. Their legs and bottom will touch the ground and urine resulting in scalding.
Give your guinea pigs hind legs a massage which will help loosen up their muscles, and make the movement easier.
Supplements can also act as a relief in pain. As their arthritis pain gets relieved, they will have better flexibility and mobility, which can prevent scalding in guinea pigs.
Urinary Tract Infection:
Your guinea pig may have crystals in their urethra, which will be very painful for them when they will urinate.
It means that their urine will leak and discharge out, and roll down their hind legs. Although this might not be the case with all guinea pigs, this definitely is not a rare occurrence either.
Urinary tract infection is unpleasant and upsetting, so seek proper treatment as soon as possible.
Some symptoms of urinary tract infection are as follows:
- Discolored urine.
- Blood in the urine
- Constant and small urination
- Severe pain and distress while urinating.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
You must remember to maintain hygiene in their cage regularly and provide them a balanced diet. Excessive calcium can also lead to UTI in guinea pigs.
Injury or Trauma:
Your guinea pigs may lose flexibility in their hind legs if they have undergone severe trauma. That means it will be tough for them to move while urinating.
A loss of mobility can make the situation extremely difficult for our guinea pigs. As constant scalding can lead to infection in the wound as well.
If there is a pain that is stopping your guinea pig from moving, that can be managed.
One solution could be to muffle your guinea pigs’ leg. A bandage, or something similar, will help to protect the skin.
It would be best if you remembered to change it at regular intervals as your guinea pig urinates, though.
If your guinea pig is alone for any prolonged period, this technique cannot be used.
Neutering Complications is not common, but it does happen as neutering a male guinea pig is a delicate procedure. We would recommend only that veterinarian with good experience in handling these animals attempt this.
Sometimes, the urethra of a neutered guinea pig is uncommonly tight.
That makes it difficult for guinea pigs to urinate, but this issue can be solved. Guinea pigs urethral opening will need to be stretched. That can be done smoothly by an experienced vet.
Why does urine scalding in guinea pigs needs to be treated?
Sometimes, you can’t prevent urine scald for your guinea pigs. In the case of rear leg paralysis, your guinea pig will always have problems avoiding it. You can apply some lifestyle steps to lower the risk.
Only cleaning up your guinea pig urine scald is not enough. Your guinea pig has a problem that must be resolved. Always remember that if you fail to solve these problems of your guinea pig, then it may lead to serious health issues. Also, constant urine scald is very much painful.
Urine scald must not be taken lightly because the longer the issue continues, there are more chances a guinea pig would develop flystrike.
What is flystrike and what is its potential danger for our guinea pigs?
Flystrike happens when house flies begin to circle your guinea pig. They are mostly attracted to the scent of your guinea pig’s urine and poop. That is why regular cleaning and maintenance of the enclosure is required.
Guinea pigs that endure prolonged urine scalding will develop open sores. These sores are the best spots for a fly to lay their eggs. These eggs will hatch as maggots after some hours.
Maggots feast on dead flesh, so they will start to eat the necrotic skin. After that, they will start eating healthy skin. Flystrike means that your guinea pig is eaten alive from the inside out. That can cause dreadful pain to your guinea pig.
If you see any flies in your guinea pigs cage, they must be clean out as soon as possible. After that, observe your piggie. If you find any open wounds, then flystrike is approaching them very rapidly. In such a case, take them immediately to the vet.
An experienced vet in guinea pig care can give better treatment to your piggie. They will remove any maggots from their skin using tweezers. Please note that a beginner should not attempt this as a sedative will be necessary first.
Once the maggot infestation is treated, your guinea pig’s injury will be bandaged. Antibiotics will be prescribed, which might include painkillers.
Guinea pig urine scald treatment
The crucial thing is treating the immediate collision of urine scald, which will soften your guinea pig’s pain quickly. You must then learn what is causing the problem.
You may need an expert veterinarian help afterward. A vet will start the tests to find out the cause of urine scalding. If any medication is required, this will be prescribed. That may include antibiotics for Urinary tract Infection.
It would be best if you made some changes to your guinea pig’s lifestyle. Try to remove some vegetables and pellets and add some fresh hay to their diet. The fiber in hay is essential for a healthy gut system and bladder control.
Urine scald treatment at home
If your guinea pig has burning skin, you can rub Sudocrem on the bump area. It will help to recover your guinea pig sore skin.
Analyze the size of your guinea pigs cage. As guinea pigs grow faster, and it is not hard to estimate how big they get. Is your guinea pig cage the appropriate size?
Always remember that if your guinea pig does not have room, they will be open to their urine.
And this can then lead to scalding. So you should make sure to upgrade your guinea pigs cage with its growing size to avoid such medical issues.
How to clean urine scald in guinea pigs?
If you discover urine scalding on your guinea pig’s fur, clean it as soon as possible. It can be processed in two ways, wet and dry. You should follow some steps to clean your guinea pig without bathing them.
- Make sure that your guinea pig is calm and comfortable.
- You can also take some dry cornstarch and apply this to their rear legs.
- Make sure that you do this softly because urine scald is very painful for your guinea pigs.
- Softly hold your guinea pig in place, and make sure that they are calm and as they need to sit still till the cornstarch dives into their fur.
- After a few minutes, the cornstarch will start absorbing the dampness.
- Lastly, brush and cuddle your guinea pig and set them free.
You will still need to discover why your guinea pigs have urine scald as fixing the symptom is not a cure to the problem. You will have to eliminate the root of the problem.
But remember that in the case of unmanageable urine scald, you will need to bathe your guinea pig.
Bathing your guinea pigs
You have to take care that this shouldn’t take place more than once a week as many guinea pigs may find the bath time stressful. So if you want to bathe your guinea pigs, you have to follow these procedures:
- You will have to fill a basin or sink with approx 3-4 inches of lukewarm water. Ensure that it is not too hot as guinea pig’s skin is delicate and can burn quickly.
- Pour some guinea pigs shampoo in the water and mix it properly. It must be made for the guinea pig’s skin pH.
- Gently, pick up your guinea pig and hold them close to you but not so tight that they will hurt themselves trying to escape.
- You are covering your guinea pigs backside gently and adequately lower them into the water. Make sure that the water should not be higher than its rear legs.
- Gently massage the shampoo into their fur and then wash it off properly. You must empty and refill the water at least for one time during the process.
- Once your guinea becomes clean, you can dry them off with a soft towel. Ensure that they are appropriately dried because if they are not adequately dried, they can get chills.
Following these techniques will help to pull out the urine stains from your guinea pig’s fur, which will make them comfortable and will keep them safe for a short period.
It would be best to remember that cleaning urine scald cannot be considered as treating the problem.
Cleaning is just a temporary solution. It would help if you eliminated the root of the problem so that it can be cured permanently.
How can urine scalding in guinea pigs be prevented?
Unfortunately, there is no preferable solution to prevent urine scalding in the first place.
Many guinea pigs, at one phase of their life, will have to struggle with urine scald. You can take some following steps to delay the inevitable:
- Proper Enclosure: If your guinea pigs cage is too small, it will increase the chance of them urinating into their skin. Your guinea pig’s cage should be upgraded with size, as it is not difficult to estimate how big your guinea pig can get.
- Litter Training: If you litter train your guinea pig, they will start urinating in one particular place. This also helps them to spend less time in their waste. It, therefore, decreases the chances of urine scalding.
- Regular Cleaning: An unhygienic cage increases the health risk for guinea pigs. It would be best if you keep cleaning your guinea pig’s cage once a week and should change their bedding every other day to maintain proper hygiene. An unclean environment is the root of many diseases.
- Diet And Exercise: You must not serve excessive fat to your guinea pig as a guinea pig with excess weight gives an invitation to urine scald. Make sure that your guinea pigs intake a healthy diet and exercise regularly to stay fit and active.
- Grooming: Your guinea pig will perform a marvelous job of taking care of their hygiene. But they will never say no to a helping hand. Grooming is also a great idea to detect any problem with their fur.
- Identifying the symptoms: You must learn to detect the signs of Urinary Tract Infection in your guinea pig. If you are successful in treating it quickly, urine scald will not be an issue.
You should always make sure that urine scald should be treated as soon as possible as your guinea pig while suffering this goes through a dreadful pain.
Guinea pig’s backside is not supposed to be wet. If you ever notice that your guinea pig’s backside is wet, you immediately start a further investigation.
It is not a good sign if you find your guinea pig smelling like ammonia because guinea pigs are meticulous groomers. If they are starting to feel bad, they are grappling to achieve their goals of hygiene.
Urine scalding is not a big problem if it is taken into consideration in its early stage. It can turn out to be a devastating issue if it is taken lightly.
Lastly, we advise you never to show ignorance on such health issues as it can lead to significant problems for our guinea pig. Always try to provide the hygienic environment and shower them with all love and care.
Sources: Urinary Tract Disease in Guinea Pigs, Diagnosis: Urine Scalding Dermatitis, Infertility, and Diseases of the Reproductive Tract of Stallions, Bladder and Urinary Tract Stones in Guine Pigs, Disease Overview of the Urinary Tract in Exotic Companion Mammals