How To Treat Guinea Pig Constipation? (Causes+What To Do)


How To Treat Guinea Pig Constipation

Guinea pigs poop plenty of times due to their fiber-rich diet. But you don’t have to worry until they stop pooping altogether. If your guinea pigs are not pooping at all, then you have constipated guinea pigs. But how can you treat constipation in guinea pigs? I did some thorough research and here is what I have learned.

Remove pellets or any other dry food from the cage. Encourage them to eat green veggies and fruits, along with some exercise. If that doesn’t work out well, we need to rush them to a vet to give them an enema. Constipation can be life-threatening, so it is best to consult a vet early on.

Constipation in guinea pigs must not be allowed to last for longer than 24 hours as it advises that your guinea pigs are suffering from an intestinal blockage.

Your guinea pigs need immediate help to get her bowels moving again. If it doesn’t happen quick enough then their life may be at risk.

However, there are a lot of things you need to know to treat them right. So, keep reading until the end to learn all about constipation in guinea pigs.

Before you learn more, If you are looking for some great deals on supplies for your guinea pigs then head over to my page of essential supplies list where I have shared some awesome deals from all around the internet.

Can guinea pigs get constipated?

How do you train a guinea pig to use a litter box?

Your guinea pigs can have serious health problems due to constipation.

If your guinea pigs are not pooping at all, they are at a high risk of intestinal blockage.

It is due to feces hardening inside the guinea pig’s digestive tract. Symptoms can include: 

  1. Refuses to eat: Your guinea pigs will not be able to fit any more solid food into their stomach. Until they are not able to pass feces, as their intestines are clogged. 
  2. Swollen and distended stomach: Food piles up when there is a digestive blockage. That can be seen to the naked eye when you look at your guinea pigs belly. 
  3. Signs of your guinea pigs in pain: Your guinea pigs will show some signs when they are in pain like doubling over and grinding their teeth. Guinea pigs go through a lot of pain when they are suffering from constipation. Your piggie will not be able to hide their discomfort. 

You must make sure to provide enough hay to your guinea pigs to avoid constipation as hay holds the right amount of fiber.

If they avoid eating hay in favor of other solid food, then your guinea pigs can become constipated. 

Swallowing excess fur can also be a common explanation for constipation in guinea pigs, as they groom near regularly.

Your guinea pigs pull out more fur during the shedding season. If they ingest this, then it can cause internal blockage in guinea pigs.

How often do guinea pigs poop?

Average healthy guinea pigs can produce up to 100 poops per day. There is no need to worry if it sounds like far more feces than your guinea pigs produce.

The reality is that you will not be able to see all of these poop pellets. As guinea pigs are clean animals, they will eliminate in a private, unseen part of their enclosure. 

Guinea pigs also eat some of their feces that are known as cecotropes.

If guinea pigs are not allowed to eat cecotropes, they can suffer from malnutrition, as cecotropes help them gain nutrients. Cecotropes are a rich source of protein and Vitamin D for guinea pigs.

Healthy guinea pig poop

The quality of the poop is more critical than the quantity of the poop. You should be able to identify between healthy and unhealthy guinea pigs poop. You can locate it by considering the following: 

  1. Guinea pig’s poop is oval with uniform consistency. The color of guinea pigs poop should be medium to dark brown. 
  2. If you discover the poop small or misshapen, then your piggie must have a partial blockage in their gut. 
  3. Your guinea pigs poop should be firm and solid when it is fresh. It should quickly grind into fine powder when you roll it with your fingers. That suggests a healthy gut system. 
  4. If you discover two to three poop pellets attached, it means that your guinea pigs are experiencing slow digestion. You should give them guinea pigs- friendly probiotic. 
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There is no need to worry if your guinea pigs poop is attached with fur as it means that your guinea pigs are safely processing any swallowed hair.

Also read: How does healthy guinea pig urine look like?

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How long can a guinea pig go without pooping

Guinea pigs poop in a frequent interval. Don’t be surprised if you discover your guinea pigs eliminating every time they eat hay as guinea pigs like to poop when they are chewing hay. 

That means that if you notice your guinea pigs not pooping for a longer time, consider it a warning sign.

You should keep an eye on your guinea pigs. If you notice your guinea pigs not pooping in 24 hours, you should immediately consult a vet. 

The problem increases if you notice your guinea pigs not eating as these are symptoms of gastrointestinal stasis.

According to studies, gastrointestinal stasis is also called a silent killer. Even healthy guinea pigs will not be able to survive with such an issue for a longer time. 

We would advise you to keep an eye on your guinea pig’s enclosure, and litter tray for poops daily as guinea pigs like to poop in soft places.

Also read: How to litter train your guinea pigs?

What can you give a guinea pig for constipation?

How much lettuce should we serve to our guinea pigs?

If your guinea pigs constipation is temporary, then you have the following two options: 

  • You should offer your guinea pigs a small dosage of laxatives. 
  • You should physically stimulate your guinea pigs into pooping. 

The technique that you adopt depends on how severe your guinea pigs constipation is.

Safe laxative for guinea pigs

We would advise you to get some guinea pigs laxatives. You can also ask a medical store employee for advice. 

You can even reach out to your vet for the same. However, if you are unable to find any laxative around then you can begin with some fresh food.

Start serving green veggies that are rich in fiber to restart their gut system.

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You can also syringe feed sherwood recovery food to your guinea pigs.

This food contains vital nutrients that can help guinea pigs recover quickly.

How can I make my guinea pig poop?

You should construct a guinea pigs obstacle course and encourage them to run around. That will help to get their digestive tract moving again. The more cardio your guinea pigs do, the faster they will relieve themselves. 

Even if they do not poop while going back to their enclosure, they will get thirsty. That means that your guinea pigs will be thirsty. They will then drink plenty of water, which will help to soften any hard feces. 

Also read: Why is my guinea pig not drinking water?

We will advise you to take away pellets and other solid foods too. You should provide your guinea pigs, a post-exercise snack and hay must be ideal. The fiber, along with the physical movement and water, will help no end to your guinea pigs. 

You can also dip a cotton ball under warm water and rub it on your guinea pig’s genitals. But this will be useful only for young guinea pigs.

That means that you are imitating the sensation of being licked. That is how guinea pigs inspire their babies to relieve themselves. Your guinea pig’s body will go through a reflex reaction. 

What causes guinea pig constipation

Some causes of constipation in guinea pigs are improper diet, viral infection, and dental issues.

We will advise you to make sure that 80% of your guinea pig’s diet is full of hay.

Improper food can lead to constipation in guinea pigs. You should always serve them plenty of fresh food and hay.

Food that causes constipation in guinea pigs

Best Guinea Pig Pellets

You must know that an improper diet can lead to constipation in guinea pigs. Your guinea pigs need to eat plenty of hay. Their regular diet must consist of 80% of hay. 

Timothy, meadow, and grass hay holds the right amount of fiber as alfalfa hay holds more protein. Along with fattening, this can also clog up your guinea pigs. We would advise you to avoid alfalfa hay in adult guinea pigs. 

Also read: Learn all about types of hay and choosing the right one!

You should also keep an eye on how much dry fruit your guinea pigs are eating.

Green, leafy vegetables are essential to our guinea pigs as they provide them with all the nutritional benefits. You should also go easy on starchy veggies like broccoli and cauliflower as these foods take longer to digest. 

You should avoid serving high starch foods to your guinea pigs. Foods like bread and potatoes can lead to immediate constipation in guinea pigs.

It can also lead to serious health problems for your guinea pigs if they consume them in excess as guinea pigs digestion will not be able to cope with them. 

Those guinea pigs who eat plenty of hay and drink water regularly will also be fit and healthy. Indigestion of fur can affect even the healthiest guinea pig’s diet.

You should always keep an eye on how much hair your guinea pigs swallow while grooming. 

That is essential during heavy shedding seasons. At the time of spring, guinea pigs lose the majority of their fur naturally. Your piggies will try to cool them by removing the fur by themselves, though. 

That can eventually lead to consuming large amounts of hair, which can further lead to constipation.

We would advise you to set up your guinea pigs grooming regime during these times and clean their enclosure regularly.

Other causes of constipation in guinea pigs

It is not just your guinea pigs with an improper diet that could lead to constipation. Even medical diagnosis can explain your guinea pig’s pooping problem. 

As we have already talked about the threats of guinea pigs bloating and constipation. These are some symptoms of intestinal blockage.

It occurs when your guinea pigs overeat. They are not able to digest their food, and thus cannot poop. 

Most guinea pigs cannot survive for more than 48 hours with a digestive blockage. We would advise you to treat your guinea pigs through massage, laxatives, and, if required, an enema. 

Stress is also a common reason for constipation in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have very soft digestive tracts. Suppose your guinea pigs are emotionally upset. That will be shown in their poop. 

It is straightforward to cause stress in guinea pigs. Let us discuss some of the sources of stress: 

  1. Excessive handling: As guinea pigs are prey animals, they prefer to keep their all four paws on the ground. We will advise you not to pick up your piggie unless it is strictly necessary. 
  2. New Experiences: Guinea pigs enjoy familiarity. Car rides, or visits to the vet, can lead to stress in guinea pigs. It is advisable to introduce our guinea pigs to new experiences gradually. 
  3. Left alone for long periods: As guinea pigs are social animals, they will loathe spending too much time. A second guinea pig will be an ideal solution. 
  4. Boredom: Your guinea pigs need to be entertained regularly. If your guinea pigs lack mental stimulation, they can grow distressed. You should fill their enclosure with toys if you cannot get them a companion. 
  5. Trapped in a small enclosure: Guinea pigs are full of energy, and they require space. If they are being trapped in a small enclosure, it can lead to stress in them. You should always make sure that your guinea pigs get the chance to exercise. 
  6. Sudden fluctuation in temperature or environment: Guinea pigs always prefer consistency. You should never flip-flop between keeping your guinea pigs indoors and outside. 
  7. Loud Noises: As guinea pigs have a great sense of hearing, loud noises can be deafening and frighten your guinea pigs. 
  8. Lack of structure and routine: Guinea pigs prefer to know what to expect as your piggie does not enjoy surprises. It is advisable to get them into a schedule of feeding, exercise, and playtime. 

Guinea pigs always have a sense of fear. That is how they survive as a prey species. We recommend you do whatever you want to enrich your guinea pig’s life and keep them content.

Also read: How to keep your guinea pig’s happy?

Guinea pig eating but not pooping

If you discover your guinea pigs eating but not pooping, then stress is the most likely reason for that. If your guinea pigs have a gastric blockage, it will be very much painful for them to eat. 

You should always keep an eye on your guinea pigs and prepare a mental checklist of their behavior.

If they look healthy, then the constipation is likely to be temporary. You should always ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Are your guinea pigs eating with their usual, healthy appetite? 
  • Are your guinea pigs running around and exercising as ordinary? 
  • Do your guinea pigs appreciate your presence, coming towards you for grooming and petting? 

If the answer to the above questions is yes, then something likely happened to upset them. Even if your guinea pigs have overcome their discomfort, it will take time for their bowels to normalize. 

There is a possibility that a wild animal entered your yard in the night and frightened your piggie. There may be a car that backfired and spooked them. You may be late to greet them in the morning. 

All of these can lead to temporary bouts of constipation in your guinea pigs. But this should not last for a longer time.

It is advisable to use a laxative or physically induce excretion if you are particularly worried about your guinea pigs. You should permit your guinea pigs for a few hours before attempting this. 

I would advise you to remove any dry food such as pellets from their enclosure. You should provide your guinea pigs with plenty of hay and water to drink. 

Guinea pig peeing but not pooping

If you discover your guinea pigs peeing but not pooping, it is due to stress in your guinea pigs.

You should make sure that your guinea pigs are not relieving themselves elsewhere, though. They may have found an area in the house that they claim is theirs. 

Your guinea pigs may be constipated due to another reason. Urination and excretion are not always attached. That means that if your guinea pigs are still drinking and urinating, it doesn’t mean that they are struggling to poop. 

You should know that if your guinea pigs can drink, then their stomach will not be bloated to excess. The liquid that your guinea pigs consume will also dilute any hard feces and move it along. 

If you can help your guinea pigs at home, you should do so. You will get a response, and your piggie will also get stressed by the experience.

If you discover an Intestinal blockage, then it is advisable to seek help from a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Conclusion:

Lastly, we would like to advise you to take care of your guinea pigs and shower them with all your love and attention.

You must always remember that your guinea pig’s diet should hold approx 80% of hay.

You should always avoid serving high starch food to your guinea pigs, which can lead to serious health problems in your guinea pigs.

Foods like potatoes and bread, if taken excessively, can also lead to passing away of our guinea pigs overnight. 

In addition to this, you should always serve plenty of hay and water to your guinea pig. Treats should not be served more than two times a week as excessive treats can also lead to constipation in guinea pigs. 

As we have discussed above, stress is also a common reason for constipation in guinea pigs.

You should always make sure that your guinea pigs are not going through stress, as stress can lead to many health problems in your guinea pigs. You should always make sure that your guinea pigs are stress-free and happy.


Sources: Fecal impactions, Constipation and Obstipation in Small Animals, GI stasis in guinea pigs.

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Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. 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.

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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.
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