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What are the causes of guinea pig deaths?

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Quick Answer

Respiratory infections, particularly pneumonia, is a major cause of death among guinea pigs, as well as extreme diarrhea, bacterial infections, bladder obstructions and overheating. Guinea pigs also succumb to accidental poisoning from eating grass or plants treated with insecticide.

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Guinea pigs are very cute, but are delicate creatures that need to be monitored closely for signs of serious health problems. Outside of natural causes, pneumonia and similar respiratory illnesses account for many deaths in these animals. Guinea pigs are natural carriers of strains of respiratory bacteria that quickly develops into pneumonia. Their lives may be saved with antibiotics and other emergency medical treatment.

According to the Veterinary Information Network, guinea pigs do not process vitamin C naturally and must obtain this vital mineral through the food they eat. Lack of vitamin C causes them to develop a condition called scurvy, which makes them more vulnerable to illness and disease. Adding a vitamin C supplement to their diet resolves this problem.

The VCA Animal Hospital states that bloody urine indicates possible bladder stones, which makes urination difficult. Diarrhea in guinea pigs is very serious and causes the animal to dehydrate rapidly. Guinea pigs placed in temperatures over 85 degrees with high humidity are at great risk of dying from heat stroke. A veterinarian experienced in treating guinea pigs can provide emergency help for these serious conditions.

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