If you have guinea pigs at home and some of different sexes live together without being sterilized, it is very normal that there comes a time when you wonder if one of your guinea pigs is pregnant. Will you have babies? Which are the symptoms of pregnant guinea pig? How long is gestation? In this article we are going to answer you the main questions!
Symptoms of a pregnant guinea pig
The first thing you should do is detect which ones are signs that a guinea pig is pregnant.
At first, before physical changes manifest, it will not be easy to determine. This is so because behavioral changes do occur, but these could be related to health problems that have nothing to do with pregnancy.
If it was in mating season, the simple fact that she stops mating with the male it will already be an indication that you may be pregnant.
On the other hand, your attitude will change. It is quite likely to show much more distant and surly than normal.
That will be reflected a lot in the contact with other guinea pigs and also in their interaction with us. For example, it can be more elusive when trying to catch it.
It also often happens that it becomes more sedentary.
Other symptoms of pregnant guinea pig will be the increased appetite and thirst. As far as his diet is concerned, it will be very important to consult a veterinarian to adapt the diet to his current state.
Physical symptoms of a pregnant guinea pig
When your pregnancy will be most undoubted is when the physical changes begin.
The weight gain will be evident and steady. The shape of your body will take the shape of a pear and, in addition to having a very bulging belly, their breasts will grow.
When there are just a few weeks left for the delivery, if we touch her belly gently we will notice the movement of the babies inside.
Of course, although we take into account all these symptoms, the ideal is to consult a veterinarian. This will perform a ultrasound that you will be able to confirm it.
The pregnancy process of a guinea pig
The truth is that guinea pig pregnancy can be quite a complicated process for them.
This is not only because of the changes that occur in your body, but because if certain care is not taken into account, it can be complicated and even you may lose your life.
Another fact to keep in mind is that a guinea pig reaches sexual maturity between 2 and 4 months of age. After this his zeal will come very often and constantly, more or less every 18 days, so the chances of pregnancy are very high.
At 10 months of age, you already have consolidated the bones of his pelvis. That means that they will not be able to have vaginal deliveries, only by cesarean section, and it is important that, once they are one year old, they do not cross guinea pigs if we do not know that they have already given birth previously.
That said, let’s clarify that the The length of a guinea pig’s pregnancy is between 56 and 74 days. After gestation they will be born in the same delivery of 1 to 6 pups, They will feed on mother’s milk for a month, although they are already born with the ability to feed on the typical food of guinea pigs.
Caring for the pregnant guinea pig and after giving birth
Scurvy in guinea pigs is very common. It means they have vitamin C deficiency in your body, which is unable to synthesize it by itself and needs a complementary contribution from us.
For this, in the feeding of the guinea pig, there should be no lack of foods rich in vitamin C or supplements with said vitamin that your veterinarian will recommend. Well, at the time of pregnancy, the doses of vitamin C should be tripled.
The contribution of football And in that case, alfalfa hay is a great option.
Also, as we mentioned before, your thirst will increase, so you may need to recharge your drinker more often.
Of course, in terms of the rest of the foods should not be multipliedSince the guinea pig will gain enough weight with pregnancy to overfeed it.
When handling your pregnant guinea pig it is essential that don’t pick it up and lift it off the ground. The guinea pig should not separate its feet from a surface, as its young can be at risk if it is held incorrectly.
A pregnant guinea pig needs reassurance
As your due date approaches, the environment in which your guinea pig is should be as quiet as possible. Do not make big changes, as it can cause stress. We mean, above all, that the temperature is pleasant, the room is quiet and that it is not disturbed (humans or animals).
For example, if your guinea pig hates brushing, don’t subject her to it every day.
Since with the increase in the size of your belly it will cost you more to move, we must facilitate access to food and water and rest areas.
On the other hand, it is very important that when a guinea pig becomes pregnant, you separate her from the male. This way you will avoid being disturbed.
It is also important that male and female are separated at the birth of the young and until some time after the end of lactation. This is because, as soon as she gives birth, the female can become pregnant again And doing it without having recovered from the previous pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, is very negative.
The delivery of the guinea pig
Focusing a little on the guinea pig delivery, one of the most curious things is that they usually have their young during the day.
Among the many sounds of guinea pigs, they will emit a very characteristic squeak that will indicate that labor has begun.
The time that passes between brood and brood they go outside does not usually exceed 5 minutes and, in general, complete labor lasts no more than 20-30 minutes. But of course, this will depend on the number of pups and if there are any complications or not.
Ideally, when labor begins, have the contact number of your trusted veterinarian handy in case you detect any problems.
The baby guinea pigs are each born with their amniotic sac and it is the mother who is in charge of cleaning them. Even so, if you detect that the mother does not do it or not completely, remove them yourself very carefully.
When the guinea pig expels the placenta, it will signal the end of labor.
Complications of childbirth in guinea pigs
A percentage of deliveries in guinea pigs, approximately around 20%, ends the life of the mother guinea pig.
This is mainly due to two reasons.
One we mentioned earlier and that is that after 10 months of life, if there have been no deliveries before, the pelvic bones of the guinea pig will already be welded and the only way to give birth will be by cesarean section. This is a fact that many do not know.
On the other hand, there is the problem of la toxemia. It is a very serious metabolic disorder that, if not detected at the beginning, will end the life of the female. It usually appears weeks before delivery and up to a week after it. Therefore, it is recommended that your veterinarian make a closely monitor your pregnant guinea pig.
As a final tip. If you do not want to run the risk of losing your guinea pig and you are not interested in it having babies, the recommendation will always be to opt for the most responsible option: sterilization.