When you are a guinea pig owner you need to do everything that you can to take care of your pet. There are things that you can do to ensure that they stay healthy and fit. Make sure that you provide them with a proper diet that includes the right amount of vitamin C as your cavy cannot produce this themselves.
Another important area is cleanliness. A guinea pig will use its cage as a toilet and you do not want them to get an infection because of this. Use the right type of bedding, such as a fleece, to ensure there is minimal contact with waste. Do a spot clean of the cage daily and give it a thorough clean at least once a week.
Check your guinea pig often to look for signs of health issues. Is your guinea pig eating properly? Are they drinking enough water? Do they look healthy? Is their coat OK and showing no signs of bald spots or other problems?
Check the eyes and ears of your guinea pig for any discharge. Monitor them for excessive itching and scratching as this is a sign of mites. Is your guinea pig getting enough exercise? If you can cordon off an area in a room and let them roam free on a regular basis so that they can run around.
There are some things that you cannot do and you will need the assistance of an experienced vet. The answer to the question “how much does it cost for a guinea pig to go to the vet?” is that it will vary from one vet to another and will be dependent on what the vet needs to do.
We have provided some costs here but these are only an indication. If you want to know for sure then you need to find a good vet that has experience with guinea pigs and ask them directly.
What is the cost for a sick Guinea Pig?
The cost of examining and treating a sick guinea pig will vary widely. If your guinea pig has a cold then the diagnosis and treatment for this is going to be a lot different than for something more serious.
A lot of vets will charge for a scheduled visit where you make an appointment. Expect this to start at around $60 and go up from there depending on what the vet needs to do. There is a time factor here and also the cost will go up if special equipment or testing is required to diagnose the problem that your guinea pig has.
If you have to rush your guinea pig to the vet for an urgent problem then the cost will be higher. Expect to pay at least $100 for this. For “out of hours” visits this is likely to increase. The health of your guinea pig is very important so be prepared to pay the price for an urgent health issue.
What is the cost for x-rays for your Guinea Pig?
If your guinea pig needs an x-ray then you will have to pay for this on top of other charges for examining your cavy. This is going to vary from one vet to another and if you have an emergency visit then the costs will likely increase. As a guide the minimum you are likely to pay for a guinea pig x-ray is $50 and it can cost up to $150 or even more.
When you have an emergency your normal vet may not be available to perform an x-ray. Most towns and cities have an emergency animal clinic and if you have to use one of these you can end up paying even more than you would at the vet’s office.
What is the cost for the vet to check your Guinea Pig?
It is always a good idea for your vet to perform a regular health check on your guinea pig on an annual basis. If there are any problems on the horizon then this health check can pick up on them. Finding a problem early is far better than discovering it late as there will be more treatment options.
Your guinea pig is also more likely to be treatable if the vet detects a health issue early. Of course if you have more than one guinea pig then you are going to have to pay for each one to undergo a health check. As an indication you should expect to pay from $50 upwards for each of your guinea pigs.
What is the cost to neuter a Guinea Pig?
When you decide to neuter your guinea pig the vet will remove their reproductive organs. This is true if the guinea pig is male or female. You will commonly hear of neutering male guinea pigs and the spaying of female guinea pigs. When a vet spays a female they remove the uterus and ovaries. It all amounts to the same thing so we will call it neutering.
Neutering not only prevents guinea pigs from reproducing but it can also prevent health issues such as prostate cancer in males and uterine cancer, mammary tumors and ovarian cysts in females.
If you are going to go ahead with neutering then it is essential that you find a vet that has the necessary experience to do this. Your current vet may not be the right choice. As with any surgery there are risks for a guinea pig. There have been cases of bad reactions to anesthesia for example.
After neutering your guinea pig the vet will provide you with post operation instructions. If you own more than one guinea pig then keep the guinea pig that has had the surgery away from the others. Keep them isolated for around three to four weeks.
You need to add bedding to the cage that is easy to change and towels are a good idea here. Be sure to change the towels at least twice a day. Your guinea pig will require vitamin C to speed up recovery so make sure that they get this through their food and use an additive in their water if necessary.
As for the cost of neutering a guinea pig this depends on the vet and where you are located. If you live in a city like New York, Washington DC or Los Angeles then it is very likely that you will pay more than if you live in a rural location.
As an indication you can expect to pay a minimum of $150 for a neutering and this can be as high as $500 in some locations. There may be additional charges for post op care as well so ask your vet in advance to confirm their prices.
When to take your Guinea Pig to the Vet
If you are regularly checking your guinea pig for signs of health problems and all appears to be well, we recommend that you take your cavy to the vet for a standard check up at least once every year. Make sure that you use the services of a vet that has experiences of dealing with guinea pigs. Not all of them do.
If you suspect an illness
When you see signs of a respiratory infection or any other kind of illness then make an appointment to visit your vet straight away. It doesn’t matter if your guinea pig had an annual checkup last month, illness can strike a guinea pig at any time. If you do not get treatment for some illnesses then your beloved pet could die.
Respiratory problems can be really hard going on a guinea pig. An infection from cold or flu germs from you or another member of your family is a possibility. If anyone in the home is suffering then keep them away from your guinea pig.
Your guinea pig has very small lungs and airways. If their airways clog up due to an infection then they can really suffer. It is very likely that your vet can diagnose and treat a respiratory infection so don’t waste any time making an appointment.
If your guinea pig becomes seriously ill then don’t wait to make an appointment. Take them straight down to the vet’s office and explain the situation so that they can receive emergency care. Some locations have special animal clinics that can provide emergency care for your guinea pig if your vet is unavailable out of hours.
It is usually straight forward to detect signs of illnesses in your guinea pig. One of these is a sudden change in appetite. Also your guinea pig may not be using the bathroom as often as usual. Check to see if your guinea pig is lethargic or showing any other physical symptoms.
A guinea pig in pain will often emit a squealing noise to let you know. Some guinea pigs suffer from dental issues and are unable to eat properly because it is painful when they try and chew. If your guinea pig has suddenly lost weight then this will certainly warrant a trip to the vet’s office.
Consider the Cost of your Guinea Pigs health
You may not have paid very much to obtain your guinea pig or you may have paid nothing at all. It is best to put some money aside for the unexpected when you become a guinea pig owner. You just never know what can happen. At the very minimum have your beloved cavy checked by a vet once a year.
If you have not obtained a guinea pig yet and want to own one then think about the cost of visits to the vet. It is vital that you budget for this and have some other money available should emergency care be required.