Pets Are Important Too

5 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need To Know About Ear Infections

by Aurore Fontai

Guinea pigs are very delicate animals that can develop a wide range of illnesses. Some of these illnesses are also things that can affect people, like ear infections. Here are five things you need to know about ear infections in guinea pigs.

What are the signs of an ear infection?

The signs of an ear infection can be easy to miss since guinea pigs tend to hide any sign of weakness or illness. You need to pay close attention to your pig's behavior, since small changes could be a clue that your pig is sick. Ear infections can cause hearing loss, so you may notice that your pig isn't reacting to the sound of your voice anymore or isn't wheeking in response to its cage mates. You may also notice that your pig is rubbing its ear or is tilting its head sideways.

How do guinea pigs get ear infections?

Ear infections occur when bacteria or viruses get inside the ear. This can happen if your pig comes down with another disease like an upper respiratory infection or pneumonia, and then the bacteria or viruses travel to the ear.

Ear infections can also occur as a result of ear wax buildup. Guinea pigs produce ear wax just like humans do, but guinea pigs can't remove it by themselves. Too much earwax allows bacteria to thrive

Are ear infections serious?

You need to take ear infections very seriously, as ear infections can be a sign of life-threatening problems like pneumonia. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death in guinea pigs.

How do vets treat ear infections?

The treatment for an ear infection will vary depending on the exact cause of the problem. If your pig's ear infection was caused by another health problem such as a respiratory infection, that issue will need to be dealt with first. Your vet may use treatments like antibiotics and intravenous fluids to treat underlying problems. The ear infection can then be treated with anesthetic and antibiotic ear drops. Antiseptic washes may be used to clean the ears as well.

Can you prevent ear infections?

You can help your pig avoid ear infections by cleaning their ears regularly. You also need to monitor your pig for other health problems like pneumonia that could lead to an ear infection.

If you think your pig has an ear infection, make sure to see your vet right away. Ear infections can be a complication of more serious illnesses that could put your pig's life at risk.