Most of the research says that guinea pigs poop more than any other animal; this is a kind of an overstatement. Guinea pigs poop many times compared to the other household pets, but how often is normal? How often do guinea pigs pee and poop? Let’s find out!
Guinea pigs poop a lot as they graze upon high fiber diet continuously. You can expect them to poop more than 100 times in a day. Guinea pigs can urinate every 15 minutes. They have a small bladder; thus, they need to empty it quickly. However, it will depend upon their age, health, and diet as well.
If your guinea pig rarely poops or pee, then it is a sign of health problems.
For example: Urine drip and watery stool are signs of illness. So the owner should check their guinea pig’s pee or poop regularly to detect health problems.
Also read: 25 common health problems in guinea pigs
Normal amount of pee and poop for guinea pigs
Guinea pigs are different, but most of them:
- Urinate every 15 minutes: The bladders of guinea pigs are tiny, so they need to pee every 15 minutes. Also, the quantity of urine is very different.
- Eliminate 95 -100 times (droppings) every day: These droppings are dry, pelleted, and a little bit smelly.
- Eliminate a Small Number of cecal pellets (loose Stools): You can not see these cecals because your guinea pig eats them quickly.
There is no need to be worried if your guinea pig is different from other creatures. Though, the vital thing to know is that no guinea pig should go for 24 hours without pooping or peeing.
If your guinea pig does not eliminate within 24 hours, then the medical treatment is required immediately.
Also read: How does normal guinea pig urine look like?
Different types of guinea pig poop
Guinea pigs are mostly different from other animals as they produce two types of poop; Cecals and droppings.
You will not be able to see cecals because your guinea pig eats them. But you can see hundreds dropping every day.
So, the question arises, what do the different types of guinea pig poop look like?
The fecal pellet is a scientific name for Guinea pig droppings. Droppings are small pellet-shaped.
The texture of droppings are quite dry and may fall to pieces if you smash them. A small amount of undigested hay is there in healthy droppings, and they are not smelly.
Black or brown is a common color of the normal guinea pig poop. Very small or dark droppings of guinea pigs may be a sign of infection.
If your guinea pig eats lots of fresh grass, then this could be the only exception. In this case, droppings that have dark brown texture are expected.
Cecals are generated in the pouch named cecum, which is placed between the small intestine and the large intestine.
The cecum pouch is filled with bacteria, which help to break down and transform indigestible fiber. Food that enters in the cecum is changed into cecals.
Cecals are very moist as compared to droppings, and also they smell terrible. They seem like small, brown grapes. However, you can’t see too many of them because your guinea pig will eat them immediately.
Guinea pigs eat them because they provide:
- Short-chain fatty acids
- Microbial proteins
Your guinea pig needs these to maintain their gut health. Contact your veterinary surgeon if cecals are stuck to your guinea pig’s bottom, and you can see them in your guinea pig’s enclosure.
The loose stool, or we can say diarrhea, is the third type of guinea pig poop, which is very dangerous for your guinea pig. That requires quick treatment because diarrhea can be life-threatening.
Also read: Why do guinea pigs eat their own poop?
Guinea pig diarrhea
A baby guinea pig will possibly pass away with diarrhea within a few hours if they don’t get any treatment.
As compared to adult guinea pigs, diarrhea is more common in baby guinea pigs. The reason is:
- Guinea pigs cannot get antibodies from their mothers because sometimes baby guinea pigs are weaned too early, leaving them weak and susceptible to illnesses like diarrhea.
- As baby guinea pigs are the cutest, so we can kiss or cuddle them but can’t help them. Human beings are covered in escherichia coli bacteria, which can be harmful to the baby guinea pigs. The owner should make sure that their hands are sanitized while having baby guinea pigs in their hands. Also, they should avoid the intention to kiss baby guinea pigs until they become mature.
- Coccidia is the other infection that can cause diarrhea in baby guinea pigs, a parasitic illness. If diagnosed at an early stage, then many antibiotics can treat this condition.
Do not get a baby guinea pig that is younger than four weeks old, to avoid these problems.
Also, if you find these types of happening, then inform the seller that it is risky.
While taking your baby guinea pig in hands, make sure to clean and sanitize your hands properly.
Runny poop in guinea pigs
In adult guinea pigs, diarrhea is minimal. Nevertheless, adult guinea pigs sometimes create loose stools.
The following elements can cause loose stools:
- Urinary Tract Disorders: The urinary area infection can slow down the movement in the intestines. Also, this will damage the balance of bacteria in the cecum of guinea pig, making it tough to produce Cecals.
- Starchy Food: Bread, crisps, and biscuits are those useful items which contain too much complex carbohydrate can also cause loose stools.
- This means they move directly through the gastrointestinal area of guinea pig, and produce watery poos.
- Arthritis or Obesity: Your guinea pig will not be able to eat the Cecals if they find they have mobility issues, and they will stop and end up sitting on them.
- Mashed Cecals can look like watery stools. Although they are not as important as real watery stools, they concern because the guinea pig will fail to take the nutrition they need.
- If the owner doesn’t clean their bottom, then they will be in danger of flystrike.
- Other Health Conditions: Dental pain and head tilt can also cause slowing down of intestines, which may lead to watery stools.
- No Hay to Chew on: To keep their GI area healthy, guinea pigs need to constantly chew on hay. Their intestine muscles will become inactive if guinea pigs don’t chew on hay.
- That can affect the delicate balance of bacteria and stability in the cecum of guinea pig. That can lead to something called Cecal dysbiosis, once these bacteria are knocked out of balance.
- That means that the guinea pig will produce watery stools rather than strong Cecals.
Guinea pig pooping a lot
The amount of poop could be increased if you recently changed the diet of your guinea pig.
There is nothing like too much poop for guinea pigs. But the wrong kind of poop is a sign of concern. To repeat, the following are cause for concern:
- Red or dark black droppings
- A tiny amount of droppings
- Poop that is stuck on the guinea pig’s bottom.
- Watery poop
- Visible Cecals: Guinea pigs should eat these so that they should not be visible.
If you recognize any of the above then it means that something is definitely wrong with them.
Improving your guinea pig’s diet is a longterm solution but try to find medical treatment for the current situation.
Healthy diet for guinea pig gut
It is essential to feed your guinea pig with a proper diet for good gut health. A guinea pigs proper diet include:
- Unlimited timothy hay
- Unlimited water
- 1/8th Cup of pellets
- A bowl of fresh vegetables
Fresh hay is essential because guinea pigs need to eat continuously to keep their gut movement active and healthy. This pushes the food through the gastrointestinal area of guinea pig, resulting in healthy cecals and poops.
The owner must avoid processed food because it causes digestive problems.
Fruit (for example, apple flesh) can be served to your guinea pig in tiny amounts, but this needs to be given as an occasional treat only.
Carrots are a perfect treat for guinea pigs. If you plan to change the diet of your guinea pig, you need to do it slowly.
How often should guinea pigs pee?
Guinea pigs urinate every 15 minutes. That will differ depending on their age, weather, and amount of water consumed.
Guinea pigs can stop urinating when they are very stressed or ill. So, the owner needs to check the guinea pig, whether they pee daily or not.
Line the litter box with newspaper and place hay on top to check your guinea pig’s urine.
It is simple to scan the urine color in the newspaper so that you can see if anything is wrong or not.
Guinea pig urine problems
The following strategies would be the cause of concern:
- Dirty urine is concerning: Guinea pigs urine might contain a lot of calcium, so cloudy or white urine is normal, but if you can see grainy calcium deposits or slimy urine, this can be a cause for trouble.
- Too much or too little urine: Your guinea pig has generated much less or much more urine than regular but with the same water intake. In hot weather, guinea pigs drink more water, so it is normal for a guinea pig to produce more urine.
- Blood patch in the urine: There is no need to be confused, as eating beetroot by your guinea pig can also cause red urine entirely.
- Noise while urinating: Your guinea pig is crying or whimpering, trying to pass urine.
- Struggling to urinate: A tiny urine mark (or drip) can indicate a urinary area infection.
Darker-colored bedding is concerning as it is easier to see changes in urine in light-colored paper pellets and newspapers.
What color should guinea pig urine be
White, orange, brown, yellow, purple, or even red can be the urine colors of guinea pigs.
As we have read, the pee turns red because the beetroot and red cabbage can turn the pee color to purple.
But if guinea pigs have light-color urine and dotted with flecks of red, this could be blood.
If your guinea pig’s urine is brown or orange, then encourage your guinea pig to drink a little more water.
Dirty urine is not suitable for a guinea pig, as cloudy urine is normal.
If you see slime in your guinea pig’s litter pan, immediately look for vet advice.
UTI in guinea pigs
Sadly, urinary tract infection (UTI) is very common in guinea pigs.
Often, the guinea pig’s urine is the first sign of a UTI. However there are a lot of other disease that can accompany UTI.
It is helpful to be aware of these diseases to take care of your guinea pig’s urinary health.
Here are the most common urinary tract disease in guinea pigs:
- Sludgy Urine: Growth of calcium in the guinea pig’s urinary area is a cause of sludgy urine. Once, it was believed that a high calcium diet could cause sludgy urine, but this is not the case.
- Kidney Disease: Kidney disease can be caused by diabetes, trauma, and Infections. It causes painful urination.
- Bacterial Cystitis: This is a bladder infection. It is caused by Pseudomonas spp and Escherichia coli. A guinea pig with bacterial cystitis may strain to pee, only produce small drips of pee or have a very smelly pee.
- Kidney Stones: In the end, sludgy urine develops into kidney stones. The kidney stones can be excruciating and can stop the guinea pig from peeing.
Most of the urinary tract diseases can be treated. But, early observation is essential. Also, try to prevent these infections in the beginning.
Also read: Urine scalds in guinea pigs
How to improve guinea pigs urinary health
Some tips for improving urinary health of your guinea pigs are:
- Treat any Pain Conditions: Muscle relaxants can improve the ability to move if your guinea pig has arthritis. That means that your guinea pig will stay healthy and clean.
- Cleanliness: Daily Sanitize and clean the water bowl, enclosure of your guinea pig, and litter pan. The litter pan and water bowl should be cleaned regularly. That will minimize the bacteria inside the enclosure. If a guinea pig’s cage is kept clean, they are more likely to clear their bladder completely.
- Feed Unlimited Grass Hay: Orchard and Timothy are the best types of hay for guinea pigs.
- Reduce Stress: This will enable your guinea pig to clear their bladder when peeing altogether.
- Hydrate: Hydration cannot be highlighted enough. Dehydration can cause urinary tract infection and inflammation.
- Regular Exercise: If your guinea pig exercises daily, then it can help to protect against UTIs and other diseases as well.
To avoid sludgy urine, do not cut calcium out of your guinea pig’s diet. That was the recommended suggestion.
But we have since understood that a high calcium diet is not a cause of sludgy urine; it is caused by metabolism.
The guinea pig could start sucking-up calcium from its bones if you cut calcium out of your guinea pig’s diet, which could be a bad idea.
Rather than this, follow the above tips. Take your guinea pig to the veterinary surgeon if you find the first signs of sludgy urine.
Healthy elimination in guinea pigs
It is hard to say precisely how repeatedly a guinea pig will eliminate, as Guinea pigs poop and pee at different rates. Here are some basic principles to remember:
- Diarrhea or Watery poo is not normal. It should be treated immediately.
- It is normal to have colorful urine from your guinea pig. But blood-flecked and sludgy urine are not healthy.
- If your guinea pig doesn’t poop or pee for 24 hours, then medical treatment is needed immediately.
- All guinea pigs produce Cecals. As these are smelly, and you can’t see these cecals because the guinea pigs eat them. You should take your guinea pig to the veterinary surgeon if you see they haven’t eaten cecals.
- Guinea pigs poop hundreds of droppings every day as these should be brown-grey, circular in shape, and quite hard.
Remember that guinea pigs are clean animals, and they prefer to live in a clean atmosphere.
So, clean the litter pan and cage regularly if you want to keep your guinea pig happy.
Source: MSD VET MANUAL, Sawneeanimalclinic, Urine sampling, ureteral obstruction in a pet guinea pig, Composition, and characteristics of urinary calculi from guinea pigs, Development of the urinary system in guinea pig females, Cystitis, urolithiasis and cystic calculi in aging guinea pigs.