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Guinea Pig Trauma And Stress

Learn how to tell if your guinea pig is stressed.

By Audrey Pavia
Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

two guinea pigs cuddle under a towel
Guinea Pigs Speedy & Nate/Courtesy Lauren & Cameron Jurin
Providing a cagemate for your guinea pig can help reduce its stress.

Guinea pigs are sensitive and are prone to suffering from trauma and stress. You can tell a guinea pig is experiencing stress if you see the following signs:

  • Hiding a lot and refusing to come out of the nest box
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Not wanting to be handled
  • Poor appetite
  • Hair loss

The best way to prevent stress is to provide a guinea pig with a comfortable cage located in a quiet area of the house. Keep dogs and cats away from the guinea pig’s cage. Supervise children when they handle the guinea pig, and be sure to give the guinea pig time to relax and not be handled.

Provide your guinea pig with another cavy as a cagemate, and give them a good diet with plenty of hay to gnaw on. If a small pet seems ill, take it to an exotics vet right away.

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Reader Comments
My little cousin came to my house and he was a little bit rough with the guinea pigs, now all they want to do is hide and they don't want to be handled! Should I leave them a few days without handing them?
Lucy, International
Posted: 6/27/2014 10:20:20 AM
When I pick up my guinea pig he starts to shed and patches of his hair falls out. He also poops! Is it a possibility that my picking him up is stressing him out? What can I do?
Dreka, Greenville, MS
Posted: 12/2/2012 9:54:11 PM
Rebecca, Thanks for your question. Yes, please take your guinea pig to a veterinarian if it has a health problem. I hope it recovers quickly.
Marylou, Irvine, CA
Posted: 6/7/2012 9:11:01 AM
my guinea pig is pulling out hair and and hurting herself making opes sours what should i do besides taking her to the vet? she also has very dry skin.
rebecca, concord, CA
Posted: 6/5/2012 8:48:44 PM
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