Farting is a normal part of the digestive system. It is the passing of gas that has accumulated in the intestines.
This gas has nowhere to go so it has to come out. Just like humans, animals do fart although not all of them. Some animals like birds and octopus do not fart.
If you’ve heard a soft or loud popping sound coming from your guinea pig’s cage, don’t be surprised. It could have been a fart.
Do guinea pigs fart?
Yes, guinea pigs fart. You may or may not have heard it, but they actually do. A fart is a by-product of digestion. Guinea pigs have a delicate and sensitive system. They don’t have the ability to pass gas as easily and normally as humans do.
If gases build up in the intestines, the guinea pigs may become bloated and get their intestines blocked. A vet should be called right away.
What causes farting
Farting is brought about by the accumulation of gases in the intestines that have nowhere to go but to be let out. The gases get in the digestive tract through two ways:
1. Swallowing of air
It’s a usual occurrence for air to be swallowed up while eating. The air swallowed varies depending on the food being eaten.
Guinea pigs are different and they will ingest air differently while eating.
2. Digestion process
Some foods are easier to break down than others. Hard to digest foods bring about gas.
Some foods produce more gas than others. Just the way beans give more gas to some humans than other foods.
Do the farts smell?
Yes, guinea pig farts smell just like all farts. Farts have an egg-like smell because of the presence of sulfur that is produced during digestion.
It’s not easy though to smell the guinea pig’s fart. This is because they are small animals and the smell usually dissipates in the air down there before it can reach you.
However, if you begin noticing that the smell is strong enough to get to you and it’s farting a lot more than usual, that’s a sign that something is wrong.
Foods that produce a lot of gas
As stated earlier, some foods do produce more gas than others. This is due to their delicate digestive system that may have a hard time digesting them.
Foods with very high fiber content if eaten raw need stronger digestion which guinea pigs are not capable of. They will instead upset your pet’s stomach.
These foods include collard greens, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage. Dairy products are also not okay foods for guinea pigs because they are hard for humans to digest let alone the tiny pets.
Signs of a guinea pig with excess gas
Excess gas brings about problems to your guinea pig. It causes bloating, a condition that is not only painful but very uncomfortable to experience.
To know if your guinea pig is bloated check out for the following signs:
- Sounds – guinea pigs communicate with sounds. If they are in pain they will make unhappy sounds to express it.
- Has a distended or swollen stomach.
- Looks sluggish.
- Bowel movements stop. They poop less than usual or do not poop at all because the digestion process stops.
- Seems quite agitated.
- Walks around restlessly.
- Has heavy breathing.
- Keeps lying around in unusual positions.
- Lacks appetite. They stop eating completely.
Sometimes a guinea pig may experience intestinal blockage called volvulus. This is a condition where intestines twist themselves.
It is not common but it does happen. It is extremely fatal as it stops all normal digestion processes.
What to do if a guinea pig has excess gas
If you notice that your guinea pig is bloated with excess gas, there are various things you can do to make it get better.
- Feed your guinea pig a balanced diet. Mix up its foods to include a variety of fruits and veggies.
- Change any foods that seem to be upsetting its stomach. Opt for fruits like carrots and cucumbers.
- If you are feeding them foods that may cause gas, give them in small quantities and only once in a while.
- Another thing you could do is to provide a lot of hay and fruits like pineapples so as to provide enough roughage that aids in the digestion process.
- Always give them enough amounts of water. Water helps in flushing out the digestive tract and minimizing gas buildup.
- Take great care of them. Ensure you give them only what’s enough for them and do not overfeed your pet.
- Always observe them keenly to be able to notice any changes in their behavior and activity. This helps you to easily spot if something is wrong so you can take action fast.
Something you should always keep in mind is that if certain foods give you gas, they will definitely give your pet gas. So try to avoid feeding them foods that make you gassy.
Excess gas treatment
If your guinea pig remains gassy and you recognize bloating, it is vital to get a vet immediately. This is because it could be fatal due to the fact that guinea pigs don’t have a well developed digestive system that can pass gas normally.
Veterinarians normally give anti-gas medication and they may also give antibiotics to smoothen the intestinal functions. Sometimes pain medication may be given to minimize the bloating pain.
In serious cases, surgery is usually required.
Farting is normal for guinea pigs. Sometimes your guinea pig may be naturally gassy and that’s okay.
Gas buildup is dangerous for guinea pigs and it gets serious very fast. If gas builds up to the point of you noticing a bloated stomach that means that the problem is at an advanced stage.
Veterinarians usually advise that you feed your pet lots of clean water and you ensure that the feeding dishes are clean at all times too. It is quite common for the condition to repeat itself in some guinea pigs.