How Can You Tell if a Guinea Pig is Pregnant?
If you suspect your guinea pig is pregnant, the best way to confirm is to see the vet for a check up. There are also some signals you can watch for in your guinea pig that may indicate she is pregnant.
Female guinea pigs will instinctively start to drink and eat more. Most guinea pigs eat more when it’s cold, when they’re experiencing a growth spurt, or suffering from specific illnesses, so don’t assume she is pregnant. If you notice your guinea pig eating and drinking more, look for other signals.
Another thing to look for is weight gain. An average adult guinea pig weighs 1-2 pounds and will double their weight just before the piglets are born. Like with eating more, you cannot assume that weight gain means your guinea pig is pregnant. Keep in mind rapid weight gain between six and eight months is normal for any guinea pig.
How Can I Physically Tell if a Guinea Pig is Pregnant?
If a trip to the vet isn’t feasible right away or if your curiosity gets the best of you, check the sow yourself. Use caution when checking a guinea pig for pregnancy to ensure you don’t injure her. Place your pet on a towel on a counter or table and steady her with one hand at the shoulders. Use your other hand to feel with your thumb and index finger in a C-shape, for any lumps in her belly. Guinea pigs can birth up to six piglets per litter.
At What Age Can Guinea Pigs Get Pregnant?
If your female guinea pig is at least a month old and has come in contact with a male guinea pig, there is always the chance she can become pregnant. Female guinea pigs can get pregnant when they are just one month old. This is much earlier than other animals and so most pet owners are caught off guard.
Male guinea pigs at just three weeks old are capable of getting another guinea pig pregnant so keep this in mind whenever you are bringing two guinea pigs together to play, regardless of their age.
What Should I Feed My Pregnant Guinea Pig?
The risk for guinea pigs during pregnancy is a calcium or Vitamin C deficiency. Pregnant guinea pigs can be fed alfalfa hay which has a higher concentration of calcium than timothy hay or orchard grass. You can use a Vitamin C supplement but do not feed multi-vitamin supplements.
Offer at least one cup of fresh vegetables a day and increase to up to 2 cups as she begins to eat more. Remove any uneaten vegetables from the pen daily. Never feed your pregnant guinea pig wilted vegetables. Offer a different vegetable each day to avoid the build up of any one mineral.
Fruits should be fed sparingly but pregnant guinea pigs are at risk for toxemia which is partly caused by insufficient sugar. For this reason, feed your pregnant guinea pig small pieces of fruit at least every three days to ensure adequate sugar levels. Make sure your piggie has fresh drinking water, monitor her consumption and consult your vet if you notice any appetite change.