Healthy guinea pigs are active. They’re alert and move around a lot. But if you have a sick guinea pig, you might ask: “Is my Guinea pig sick if not moving?” or “Why is my Guinea pig not moving?”
Guinea pigs will not move if they are very sick or old. Whenever a guinea pig is in severe pain due to old age, arthritis pain or some other illness, she will have reduced movement or completely stop moving. Pet owners should take reduced mobility seriously as they care for their pet guinea pig.
But, if you just brought home a brand new guinea pig, she might only move around normally once she becomes used to its new environment.
So, what does it mean when your guinea pig is not moving?
Why is my Guinea pig not moving?
Sick guinea pigs move a lot less than healthy ones. They are dull. When sick, they have limited movement. If a normally active guinea pig is in one place for longer than normal, looking lethargic, take your pet to your vet. So, why is my Guinea pig not moving much?
When guinea pigs get sick, their condition can quickly worsen, so time is of the essence if you think your Guinea pig is ill.
Guinea Pig Not Moving a Lot
If your guinea pig is not moving much, it could be very sick. Not moving is a non-specific sign of disease. That means that any illness can lead to the symptoms you are seeing in your guinea pig. Your pet could move less because of toxins, infection, dental disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and cancer, to mention a few potential culprits.
Your vet will perform a complete physical examination at the veterinarian’s office and likely suggest blood tests and radiographs. The vet may even want a stool examination because you report diarrhea that can quickly debilitate a guinea pig.
If your guinea pig is not moving much, the best advice is to take her to the vet sooner than later. Guinea pigs that don’t move around normally are very sick. The longer you wait to take your pet to the veterinarian, the worse the prognosis. Rather than trying to wait and see if your pet gets better, see the vet right away.
Guinea Pig Not Moving But Breathing
If your guinea pig is not moving but breathing, he may be very sick.
Upper respiratory infections and pneumonia are common health problems in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs suffering from respiratory issues might have difficulty breathing, and thus they won’t be able to move around normally.
Your pet may be suffering from heatstroke. Guinea pigs suffer in extreme temperatures. Once the temperature is above 77 Fahrenheit, your guinea pig might move much less than normal.
To keep your guinea pig healthy, take care and keep your pet cool. Make sure your pet isn’t exposed to direct sun to avoid overheating. Heatstroke could lead to reduced movement and fast breathing.
In any case, it’s best to take your guinea pig to a vet for a check up if you see any signs of reduced movement or heavy breathing.
Guinea Pig Not Moving Back Legs
If your guinea pig is not moving her back legs, she may be very, very sick.
One reason your guinea pig is not moving his back legs is injury. When guinea pigs are active, play, and jump around, they are prone to injury.
Another reason your guinea pig is not moving his back legs is hind leg paralysis. It’s a rare condition, but it can happen. Some studies say a lack of calcium may cause hind leg paralysis. Many guinea pigs get insufficient calcium because their owners feed them a reduced calcium diet to prevent bladder stones.
Unfortunately, if you reduce the calcium intake of your guinea pig, it could result in paralysis.
In any case, it’s best to take your guinea pig to a vet for a check-up if your guinea pig can’t move her back legs.
Guinea Pig Not Moving and Gasping
If your guinea pig is not moving and gasping, she may be very ill and should be taken to a vet.
Guinea pigs can suffer from bacterial diseases such as pneumonia. Disease-causing bacteria may inhabit the respiratory tracts of otherwise healthy guinea pigs, causing shortness of breath.
Improper home care, stress, and inadequate diet can predispose a guinea pig to respiratory infection, although even well-cared-for guinea pigs may develop pneumonia.
Signs of pneumonia may include gasping, inappetence, discharge from eyes and nostrils, and lethargy. Some guinea pigs show no signs at all before dying suddenly.
Middle and inner ear infections occasionally result from respiratory disease in guinea pigs. Additional signs may include incoordination, tilting the head, circling to one side, and rolling.
A bacteria called Bordetella, generally carried by rabbits (without showing any respiratory signs), can often cause fatal pneumonia in guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Not Moving But Eating
If your guinea pig is not moving but eating, she may be injured. Guinea pigs are active animals and can get injured as they jump and play around.
To avoid further injury, make sure the cage doesn’t have levels high from where your pet can fall off or jump. Handle your guinea pig with care, and make sure they don’t jump. They could seriously get injured even if they only jump from a few feet.
A fall from a few feet could result in tissue or limb damage, resulting in reduced mobility.
If you see a sudden change in your guinea pig’s movement. A change in physical activity, alertness, and movement could be early signs of health problems, and you must take it seriously.
However, reduced movement is not always bad news. If a guinea pig is not moving around all the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are sick.
When you bring home a guinea pig, she might only move around a little at first. Don’t be surprised if your pet hides for a couple of days. But does that mean your guinea pig is sick?
No, it doesn’t mean your pet is ill. Your new pet is just getting used to her new home. It might take some time before they start moving around and showing interest in their new environment. This is normal behavior for these shy pets.
Disclaimer: This is just a guide, and nothing can replace expert advice from a great vet.