A guinea pig’s scream is like a long, loud, and sharp cry. Guinea pig owners who have never heard such noise before may get alarmed with the sound.
It can be a disturbance for some people as well. But why do guinea pigs scream? Is it an emergency? I did some research, and here is what I have learned.
Guinea pigs scream when they are in pain, fear, or psychological distress. Your guinea pigs may squeal when they have a fear of losing their lives by being attacked. Excruciating pain is yet another primary reason that can make your guinea pigs scream. Some guinea pigs also scream just before they die as well.
If you hear a loud scream of your guinea pigs, make sure you reach out to them immediately.
Look out for pain, injury, or any other discomfort they may be experiencing.
Try to calm them down by petting them, playing their favorite music, or offering them their favorite treat.
Once they are calm and quiet, you can get a vet appointment for them.
Your vet can find out the reason behind the scream as sometimes that cause is not so apparent.
What does it mean if a guinea pig screams?
Guinea pigs don’t make large noises like other mainstream pets do.
However, a sudden piercing noise can surely alarm any guinea pig owners.
One of the primary reasons for screaming in guinea pigs is pain, while the other is fear.
If your guinea pig is in extreme pain, then they will scream just like any other living being does.
Fear is another primary reason for the squeal. Guinea pigs don’t have any defense or any help to protect them.
So, whenever they feel that their lives are in danger, they cry out loud to make sure someone comes for their rescue.
Other reasons for guinea pigs to scream includes Extreme anger and food.
Guinea pig screaming in pain
Excruciating pain and severe injury are likely to make your guinea pigs scream out loud.
Like any other living being, a loud screech is the natural reaction of the body, and the same is true with our guinea pigs as well.
If your guinea pig is screaming our of pain or injury, then the scream will likely be accompanied by various other symptoms.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Teeth grinding
- Hiding and Unwilling to come out
- Rough coat
- Lethargy and not moving much
- Hunched posture
- Loss of appetite
Causes of pain in guinea pigs
The signs and symptoms may vary depending upon the problem your guinea pig might be experiencing.
If you suspect any physical injury, then you can check by touching your guinea pigs and looking at their response.
If your guinea pig recoils back when you touch a particular area, then that area might be the area of concern.
Severe gas and bloating are yet another reason that can lead to unbearable pain in guinea pigs.
Other health concerns, including bladder stones and Urinary Tract Infection, can also be a possible reason for severe pain in guinea pigs.
These can also leave your guinea pigs screaming for relief.
Because guinea pigs are prey animals, they can hide any signs of illness or disease for an extended period.
If you are already experiencing a symptom in them, that means they have the problem for quite a while now.
Chances are it has already reached a severe stage. It is recommended to take them to the vet immediately.
Never try to treat your guinea pigs for any diseases, especially if you are a beginner. Things can go wrong quickly.
A guinea pig can lose their life to common health issues like diarrhea and bloating if we don’t provide them with the right treatment and care on time.
It takes less than 48 hours for a situation to turn life-threatening from Mild.
Guinea pig screams when picked up
A guinea pig may scream loudly if they are inappropriately handled. Never let a child (under 12 years) to handle your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs don’t enjoy being held on for long, or if you pick them up incorrectly.
Thus, you should only let someone pick them up if they are trained to do so.
Guinea pigs are fragile animals, and improper handling can lead to physical distress in them.
Another major problem is that guinea pigs lack a sense of depth in their vision, so when you pick them up, they cannot see the ground, and they feel predators from above are attacking them.
Thus making sure you handle your guinea pigs properly is extremely important.
Some guinea pigs also have severe diseases like arthritis and limb pain, and trying to touch them or pet them can trigger severe pain in their body.
Guinea pigs do scream out loud when they experience such pain.
Did you know? A lack of Vitamin C in your guinea pig’s diet can lead to severe health conditions like scurvy. A guinea pig may experience extreme pain in their body if they are suffering from scurvy. Thus, make sure you provide them a diet rich in Vitamin C.
You can learn more about Vitamin C for guinea pigs from our article.
Guinea pig screaming in anger
Guinea pigs also make a high pitched noise when they are angry. It is similar to a boisterous child losing their temper.
When a guinea pig screams out of anger, then it means that the situation they are in is extremely upsetting for them.
Some guinea pigs also yell when we do something they don’t enjoy.
A fight between two guinea pigs is yet another reason that can make them scream out loud.
However, screaming out of anger is a rare scenario among guinea pigs.
Most guinea pigs show other signs of irritation like teeth chattering, rumbling, hissing, etc.
Guinea pig screaming due to fear
Fear is yet another factor that can make your guinea pigs scream out. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they don’t enjoy the company of other animals like dogs, cats, birds, etc.
If you house your guinea pigs outside, then the risk of predators surrounding them is even high.
Coyotes, foxes, eagle, and a lot of other predators are out there that may come around your backyard looking for some food.
Thus, make sure your guinea pigs have a secure enclosure and reach out to them if they make loud noises as it can be a signal for some unforeseen threat.
Loud sounds of music player, lightning, etc. can also be frightening for your guinea pigs.
Avoid playing loud music or watching movies around your guinea pigs.
A guinea pig might get extremely stressed out when they are frightened.
Such stress can lead to life-threatening situations for them as well. Thus, make sure you are around to comfort them when they need you the most.
Guinea pig screaming for food
Guinea pigs can sometimes scream for food or water if they are extremely hungry or thirsty.
There have been some scenarios where the bottle nozzle was not functioning, and even though the water bottle was full, guinea pigs were not able to drink water from the same.
Thus, make sure you look out if they make loud noises. You can pinch their belly skin lightly, and if it takes some time to get back to normal, then it means they are severely dehydrated.
The same goes for food as well. Some guinea pigs suffer from dental issues that prohibit the proper intake of food in them.
Thus, your guinea pigs might starve to death under such circumstances if you don’t lookout for the same at the right time.
Therefore, making sure your guinea pigs are eating their daily diet properly is crucial.
Some guinea pigs ‘Wheeks’ when they feel their owners are around. They especially do so when they know its veggie time or treat time.
However, they don’t scream loudly for food until and unless there is an emergency similar to what we have discussed earlier.
Why do guinea pigs scream before they die?
Your guinea pigs might scream right before they die. This usually happens when they pass away due to extreme circumstances like heart disease, seizure, etc.
Guinea pigs can get frightened and stressed out easily. Although not very common, some guinea pigs do lose their life due to sudden stress or extreme fear of something.
There have been cases reported of guinea pig passing away due to no reason.
Such events occur when they get frightened and stressed out due to some events happening in the surrounding.
Maybe there was a sudden loud noise, a storm passing by, or some predators broke into your guinea pig’s living space.
Such unforeseen circumstances can lead to extreme fear and heart attack in some cases.
Guinea pigs who passed away in such situations make a loud screaming noise before they pass.
It is the same as a human being screaming out of fear of something.
How do I get my guinea pig to stop screaming?
If you find that your guinea pigs are screaming, then take it as a sign of psychological distress.
Offer them some comfort and try to calm them down. Once they feel relaxed, lookout for signs of any injury or trauma, and reach out to a vet if you cannot find something conclusive.
Too much stress can lead to a life-threatening situation in guinea pigs. Thus, getting rid of anything that is rising their anxiety level is essential.
Reaching out to the pet, gently petting them, and trying to whisper to them is the best way to bring their stress level down.
If you can detect the source of your guinea pig’s stress, then eliminating the same ASAP is essential for your guinea pig’s wellbeing.
If you suspect your guinea pig is suffering from extreme pain or is on the verge of passing away, then laying them down gently is the right choice.
Alternatively, you can take them to a nearby vet for treatment, if possible.