Have a difficult time finding out if your guinea pig is pregnant? Looking for signs how to tell if your guinea pig is pregnant? Being tiny creatures, we often don’t identify gestation for guinea pigs so easily. Their signs may be fairly negligible for us to comprehend early on, but always be on the lookout for signs of pregnancy. If you feel your furry rodent is showing signs of being pregnant, take it to the veterinarian for a pregnancy diagnosis, regardless of how minuscule the signs maybe, as they get pregnant easily and early. Guinea pigs tend to mature early, so stay vigilant of their activities.
How to Tell If Your Guinea Pig is Pregnant?
At the onset of pregnancy, you may not be able to tell if your guinea pig is pregnant, but if you have good knowledge about your pet’s usual behavior, you would likely see a change in its activities. The gestation period for pigs is in between 59-72 days (65 days on average) and get sexually active very early. It would be best to separate male ones from females as early as 3 weeks old. Moreover the females have to be bred before they are 7 months old. Here are some of signs of pregnancy in guinea pigs, let’s get into this.
It is one of the first physical signs your guinea pig is pregnant shows. Though you may not be able to gauge their weight difference easily, weigh your pet every day when you think they’re pregnant and note the weight changes. The guinea pigs weight increase starts with a few grams per day. However your pet will have doubled in weight by the time they’re ready to give birth.
Contact with an unneutered Male
Male guinea pigs (known as a boar) being sexually active as early as 3 weeks old may contact a female (sow). Male guinea pigs cannot be neutered until they are four months old, so the males and females must be separated until the procedure is done. Even after Neutering, they remain fertile for a few weeks and still have a chance of getting the females pregnant.
Ever wonder what does a pregnant guinea pig look like? Close to the 2-month mark, about 50-60 days to be precise, you may notice your guinea pig’s abdomen getting considerably big. This is due to the developing babies and the extra weight.
Drinking and eating more
This is one of the first indicators of pregnancy. The weight gain happens due to increased eating and drinking. Therefore, their nutrition needs to be looked after vigilantly during pregnancy for healthy weight gain. Make sure to give a balanced healthy guinea pig food for complete nutrition.
Being able to feel the babies
In guinea pigs, you may be able to feel the tiny pups forming inside the sow. With one hand and very little pressure, gently feel the sides of the sow, and you may feel little lumps forming over her. You can also hold the guinea pig gently on the shoulders with one hand and the other hand feeling the pregnant belly.
Widening of the pelvis
A few hours before birth, and if your piggy is less than 7 months old, you will notice her pelvis widening to give birth to her babies. It should be an inch wide or a little bit wider. You need to take caution if your sow is older than 7 months, as she will be unable to expand her pelvis, and the vet must performa a cesarean section.
Guidelines to be followed when Expecting Newborn Guinea Pigs
If you suspect that your Guinea pig might be pregnant, take her to a veterinarian specializing in small rodents. An ultrasound will be performed to determine how many babies your sow is carrying, rule off any potential complications, and provide instructions to you for the next stage. It would help if you fed the Pregnant guinea pigs a mixed diet like:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Small amounts of high-quality commercial pellets
- Grass hay and/or grass
- Small amounts of vitamin-C rich foods like kiwi, citrus and so on
Ask your veterinarian for a diet plan for your piggy and structure their meals accordingly.
How to Care for a Pregnant Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs are vulnerable to illness due to stress during the time they are pregnant. It can scare and prevent them from eating and drinking properly and trigger diseases such as toxemia. Ensure you eliminate all forms of stress and keep her away from any items that might induce stress for your pig.
- Keep the sow away from direct sunlight.
- Reduce handling of the sow a lot during pregnancy. Please keep it to a minimum.
- Minimize or eliminate exposure to loud noises
- Do not man-handle the sow during the last two weeks of pregnancy. Gently coax her onto a clean and cushioned box or towel instead.
Tips for Breeding Guinea Pigs
- Give the sow a thorough check twice a week to be aware of any illnesses or problems. Allow the sow her usual floor time, and ensure her activity is gentle and soft. Light activity prevents obesity and promotes healthy blood flow.
- Do not rush her to run fast or do fast-paced activities. Remove any boars from her housing to avoid the chances of the sow getting pregnant again.
- If you have any other sows in the housing with the pregnant sow which she does not get along with, it is necessary to move them to a different location to ensure the safety of the pregnant sow.
- Please do not place the sow in multi-level housing as they will find it hard to climb and is very risky to their health.
- Make sure their housing is very clean to avoid other hygiene-oriented health problems. Make sure to ready a fleece or soft hay bedding layout of 2-3 inches, which will be comfortable. You can check for the best guinea pig bedding for odor control from Amazon.
- Use a veterinarian familiar with guinea pigs and not just a dog or cat vet. Limit grooming the guinea pig during pregnancy, as it involves handling the pig and is harmful.
- When a guinea pig has long hair, carefully cut it short (with the help of a vet if needed) to help make it easier for the sows to clean themselves naturally and avoid the fur getting dirty and tangled.
How Many Guinea Pigs Are in a Litter?
Ever wonderd How many babies do guinea pigs have? The litter size if guinea pig usually ranges from 1-8 pups, but 2-4 pups are more common. A female can give birth to up to 5 litters of pups a year. The first litters of a sow tend to be smaller than the subsequent litters. Therefore, it is important to determine the number of babies in the womb to make sure the mother sow has delivered all the pups successfully, and none are left unaccounted for.
Births are beautiful miracles, and our furry guinea pigs need us to ensure that it is done properly and healthily. Then, when all the steps are performed with care, we reap the adorable fruits- healthy piglets.