Do guinea pigs fart like other animals do? Do they know when they need to fart, or do these guinea pigs fart subconsciously?
If these cavies do indeed fart, what exactly causes it to happen? What causes guinea pig gas to build up inside the little ones, and what can you do to prevent it?
What happens if gas is allowed to build up inside their body, and the guinea pigs can’t get rid of it?
Find out the answers to all of these gassy guinea pig related questions, and more, below.
Can a Guinea Pig Fart?
Guinea pigs can indeed fart if the conditions are right. The complete answer is actually two-fold.
Guinea pigs aren’t able to consciously pass gasses produced in their intestines. If there is enough of it, this can lead to a very dangerous condition called ‘Bloat’.
The gasses will normally continue down the large intestine and stop at the colon. While they can pass these gasses, the guinea pigs don’t seem to have conscious control over it like a human does.
Guinea pig farting is probably more an involuntary response than anything. You can provide medications to help the farting along (see Bloat/GDV below) if your piggy is bloated.
Do Guinea Pigs Fart Loud?
Guinea pig farts are actually very quiet. You would have to be straining to hear them at all, know exactly what you are listening for, or be very familiar with the noises your little piglet makes.
Guinea pig farts are so quiet, you could be listening to a youtube video of them, knowing exactly what to listen for, and still miss them.
Of course, not all guinea pig farts sound exactly like that. They are usually just as quiet though.
In the end, a guinea pig fart is just about exactly as loud as you would imagine a fart for a creature that size should be.
What Do Guinea Pig Farts Sound Like?
Imagine a tiny human fart, or a tiny puff of air exiting your guinea’s bottom. Sometimes you can hear what sounds a little like a sponge is being squeezed very faintly.
Think of a not completely silent, not so loud, short half second human fart. Now imagine it so soft you have to be straining to hear it.
Picture a very tiny zipper on a pair of guinea pig sized jeans.
Guinea pig farts don’t always sound the same, just like human or dog farts don’t always sound the same. All you have to do is ask yourself what is going on down in that area at the time of the guinea pig gas to know why.
What Causes Gas in Guinea Pigs?
To put it into context, imagine a human, just like you or I. We are all the same in this regard, and would become very sick if we weren’t.
We are made up of about 30 trillion or so cells, or about 3×10 to the thirteenth power cells. We actually have a few trillion more, about 33 trillion or so, microbes living inside of us.
Anyway, not all of the carbohydrates we eat are digested by bodies, some passing into the large intestine and becoming a meal for all of these bacteria. These bacteria will break down the undigested sugars, starches and fiber, creating gas as a byproduct.
Specifically, methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide are combined with ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine.
This is what we call ‘farts’. A guinea pig’s digestive system isn’t really that much different than ours, so naturally they would fart too.
Excess gas might also become a problem if the little fellow’s small intestine can’t break down enough sugars, leaving them to continue on and allow bacteria to do the job. This becomes a question of your piggy’s diet.
What is Bloat (GDV)?
Guinea pigs can’t simply pass gasses whenever they feel like it. If too much gas builds up, it can lead to stomach distension, or ‘bloat’, a serious problem for our pets.
Bloat, or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, is a serious condition that can be very painful for our little ones. As the stomach fills with gasses, it can rotate, cutting off its own blood supply and becoming a medical emergency.
If the stomach does indeed rotate, the lack of blood will lead to ischemia (lack of oxygen), causing the stomach cells and tissues to turn necrotic (die). Even if this doesn’t happen, a bloated belly is probably very uncomfortable, causing the guinea pigs to cease or alter their normal social behaviors.
Unlike bloat in dogs, GDV in guinea pigs isn’t as well researched because of the higher mortality rate. Risk factors could be current or former pregnancy, rapid or infrequent feedings, rapid eating due to food competition, anxiety or stress, and advanced age.
- Pregnancy (current or former)
- Rapid eating
- Random or infrequent feedings
- Resource /food competition
- Anxiety, depression, stress
- Older age
Foods That Cause Guinea Pig Farts
Avoid feeding your piglet foods like broccoli, peppers, collard greens, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, and radicchio.
Offering fresh grasses when your piglet isn’t accustomed to them can contribute to these gassy problems.
Foods high in fiber, like hay and other roughage, along with readily available fresh water, can help limit your guinea pig farting activities.
Nearly all animals will also swallow air while eating meals, ending up with little bubbles of air in the digestive tract. That air needs somewhere to go, contributing to those adorable piglet farts.
|Avoid Feeding||OK to Feed|
|Broccoli, Peppers, Collard greens, Cabbage, Bok choy, Cauliflower, Radicchio||High fiber foods, Hay, Fresh Water, Romaine (Never iceberg) lettuce, Fresh leafy greens, Timothy-hay based guinea pig pellets|