METACAM AS A PAINKILLER FOR GUINEA PIGS

Guinea pigs, like people, experience pain after surgery. To help keep them as comfortable as possible your vet has prescribed Metacam oral suspension, an easy-to-administer liquid which helps control pain during recovery from surgery.

If your guinea pig has had a general anaesthetic it may take them a little while to settle back into their normal routine, although the after-effects of the anaesthetic will normally have worn off by the time they come home. It is important to follow your vet’s discharge instructions and if you have any concerns about your guinea pig while they are recovering from surgery you should contact your vet for advice.

SIGNS OF PAIN

How do guinea pigs show that they are in pain?

For the first 24 hours after surgery, it’s not unusual for guinea pigs to be quieter and less active than usual. Pain can persist for several days following surgery and, unlike people, guinea pigs cannot tell you when they are in pain.

So how can you tell?

The best way to tell if your guinea pig is in pain is by looking out for any changes to their normal behaviour. Signs of pain or discomfort:

Grinding teeth

Grinding teeth

Reluctance to move

Reluctance to move

Shivers or quivers

Shivers or quivers

Sits hunched, with hair spikey

Sits hunched, with hair spiky

Squealing or excessive noise

Squealing or excessive noise

Not eating or drinking

Not eating or drinking

Heavy or rapid breathing

Shallow, rapid breathing

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1.
Grinding teeth
  • A slow steady grind of molars, different from chattering

2.
Reluctance to move
  • Guinea pigs that are slower or more reluctant to move around may be in pain

3.
Shivers or quivers
  • This can sometimes be seen rippling along the body

4.
Sits hunched, with hair spiky
  • Some guinea pigs in pain sit hunched up with their back arched
5.
Squealing or excessive noise

Guinea pigs are vocal creatures but squealing and excessive noise especially if they are different to normal may indicate that they are in pain

6.
Not eating or drinking

It’s normal for guinea pigs to be messy eaters, so cleanliness around the food bowl can be a sign that they have a reduced appetite

7.
Shallow, rapid breathing

Breathing faster than normal or panting can indicate pain

 

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HOW TO HELP

Things you can do to keep your guinea pig comfortable: 

Comforting your guinea pig

After surgery, rest is very important, so make sure you follow your vet’s advice to help your guinea pig make a full recovery. Ensure bedding is clean, comfortable, warm and dry.

Careful feeding

It’s important your guinea pig starts eating again as soon as possible following surgery. Unless instructed otherwise, offer them food such as fresh grass or hay when you get home, with plenty of water. If your guinea pig doesn’t eat or pass droppings after returning home, please contact your vet for advice.

Gentle stroking

Your guinea pig may find it soothing if you gently stroke or groom them, this may help them stay calm and reassured. Remember to avoid touching any affected areas as these may be sore or painful.

Give them company

Guinea pigs are herd animals and don’t like to be alone. Unless otherwise instructed by your vet, keep your guinea pigs together to ensure they have company and to help them feel safe and secure.

Don't forget

Remember, your guinea pig may take a little while to get back to their old self. Your vet is best placed to advise on how to help your guinea pig and what to expect during their recovery.

Other advice

Remember that if you are concerned about your guinea pig you should seek the advice of your veterinary practice.