Most guinea pigs are gentle creatures and not even slightly aggressive. However, there is still a chance you or your guinea pig’s cage mate will experience a bite. Treating a guinea pig bite varies based on the damage and how deep it is.
A Bite on a Human
Guinea pigs can communicate through nips and nibbles, especially if their squeaks are ignored. Often, these nips are surprising but don’t draw blood. In this case, treating the guinea pig bite is as straightforward as applying antibacterial cream.
While guinea pig mouths may be small, they can still cause puncture wounds in humans. Typically, these punctures are severe. Guinea pigs do not just randomly inflict punctures. At Guinea Pig Center, most of the puncturing bites on humans have come from breaking up fights. Treating these guinea pig bites is more complicated.
If you experience a puncture bite from a guinea pig, the first step in treatment should be the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, guinea pig mouths do contain bacteria that are harmful to humans. Visiting your local doctor for treatment helps ensure these bacteria are removed promptly.
Your doctor will also confirm whether you need a tetanus shot update. While your guinea pig is not a rusty nail, their bites can still cause similar issues. In rare cases, a guinea pig bite can also result in blood poisoning. Seeking immediate treatment for those guinea pig bites is essential to preventing widespread infection.
Guinea pig bites will generate the standard signs of infection. If the area around the bite is warm, streaky, seems to have expanding redness, or any other sign of infection, please proceed to emergency services.
Your doctor will prescribe a specific plan of care. In general, though, the goal is to protect the puncture while it heals. This protection includes bandaging the wound and applying the proper ointment.
Your doctor may also prescribe routine flushes of the wound. Treating a guinea pig bite does depend on the depth, and if your doctor foresees a long recovery, this requirement is more likely. This treatment helps prevent abscesses from forming as well, which are another concern.
A Bite on Another Guinea Pig
After a significant fight between guinea pigs, you should check to see if you need to treat any bites. Your guinea pig will be sensitive to having the area touched. You may even be able to find the puncture. However, guinea pigs should be seen by a vet for any puncture wounds.
Your local vet will clean up the puncture wound. This visit may or may not involve shaving the surrounding area. Depending on the injury, part of treating the guinea pig bite may be confirming there is no internal damage.
Treating guinea pig bites is a process while the puncture heals. Your vet will inform you of precisely what you need to do. Since bandaging a guinea pig is awkward, you may not need to do so.
Generally, vet flush is an essential part of treatment. You will need to catch the affected guinea pig one to two times a day and set them on a cleanable surface or towel. Then, you’ll need to run the prescribed amount of vet-approved flushing solution through the wound using a syringe. It will run right back out, so be prepared.
Your vet may also apply order ointment for the puncture wound. This ointment should be applied after each wound cleaning typically.
Separating the Pigs
Sometimes, guinea pigs simply do not get along. This difference often results in the puncture wounds that take an extended period to heal. Often though, the prevention for more guinea pig bites is to separate the guinea pigs into different cages. Even through the bars, this company is suitable for your guinea pigs.
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This article is not a substitute for medical or veterinary advice. Please see a licensed professional if you or your guinea pig is bitten.