Everybody who knows a cat or dog owner knows that they have to deal with shots for their kitten or puppy.
Naturally, guinea pig owners want to make the best possible decisions when it comes to their pet’s health.
It’s our responsibility to make sure our little cavies have the appropriate diet, enough exercise which includes mental exercise and enrichment and we have to make sure there are no diseases or anything that’ll affect their health status.
Taking symptoms like sneezing or excessive shedding lightly is relatively easy, even though simple symptoms like these can point to underlying medical problems.
Have you ever seen the list of vaccinations for your puppy, not to mention all the optional ones?
Among the many disease that can plague our other pets, there are many that don’t even have a vaccine and need other treatment and there are some that are only administered once you have a confirmed case.
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica
- Lyme disease
- Kennel cough
Some of these can be no big deal at all, as long as they don’t develop and affect your dog’s overall health like kennel cough can do, for example.
Rabies or lyme diseases sounds pretty plausible, even for cavy owners.
So, it’s just natural to ask ourselves whether guinea pigs need shots or not.
Guinea Pig Vaccinations – Essential?
No, guinea pigs don’t need shots.
But for those of you who are curious why, bear with me.
Think about all the reasons why dogs need shots.
They’re outside a majority of the time. They interact with other dogs and people. They visit new places.
Guinea pigs live their whole live in solidarity and isolation.
That sounds like a bad thing but it doesn’t have to be because you can (and should) still get a second guinea pig for companionship as well as getting your guinea outside for some quality time.
In fact, it’s recommend to take your guinea pig out in an appropriate enclosure so they can stretch their legs a bit.
However, guinea pigs don’t have to be walked and they’re not exposed to any diseases that are known to be harmful to them.
Do Guinea Pigs Need To Go The Vet?
Yes, guinea pigs still need to visit the vet.
Even though some experts recommend regular check ups (once a year, for example), you should be absolutely fine if you’re monitoring your guinea pig’s health and keep them as sharp as possible through their activities and diet.
In case a health-related issues arises, you should immediately consult your vet.
Make sure your vet specialises in small pets as a lot of vets are only focusing on cats and dogs since that’s their bread and butter.
Even though a guinea pig may not seem “exotic”, it’s important to find a knowledgeable vet that will answer all your questions and address your concerns.
Even though you can’t vaccinate against something like excessive sneezing which might in turn be caused by a respiratory infection, it’s really important to consult your vet.
To keep your furry fellow healthy in the meantime, follow these simple tips:
- Keeping cage clean
- Brushing 1-2x per week
- Controlled outside environment
- Enrichment toys
- Appropriate diet (watch the vitamin C)
Provide your cavy with these things and the outside world shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Limiting exposure to any potential hazards is always a good way to go and keeping your pet clean will also reduce any potential smell or skin infections.
As you can see, even though guinea pigs don’t need shots, there are many things you can do to keep them happy and healthy!