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.
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:
Reluctance to move
Shivers or quivers
Sits hunched, with hair spiky
Squealing or excessive noise
Not eating or drinking
Shallow, rapid breathing
A slow steady grind of molars, different from chattering
Guinea pigs that are slower or more reluctant to move around may be in pain
This can sometimes be seen rippling along the body
Guinea pigs are vocal creatures but squealing and excessive noise especially if they are different to normal may indicate that they are in pain
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
Breathing faster than normal or panting can indicate pain
Things you can do to keep your guinea pig comfortable: