Guinea pigs are fastidiously clean animals that will groom themselves several times a day. Once in a while, you will see them tidying up which makes it unnecessary to schedule baths for them.
Short-haired guinea pigs can live their whole lives without needing to bathe. All they require is regular grooming and nail trimming with baths only when necessary like if they get really dirty.
Long-haired guinea pigs on the other hand require regular bathing. Their hair needs to be trimmed before it touches the ground because when it does they get very dirty.
They will sweep the ground with their hair while carrying dirt and bacteria. This makes them susceptible to illness.
Guinea pigs will also get their bottoms dirty in one way or another. We are going to look into how to clean them up for a tidy healthy pet. Keep reading.
How to clean a guinea pig’s bottom?
Guinea pigs are wonderful groomers but they may be unable to reach their bottoms and clean themselves up. Their bottoms may get sticky and stinky with unusual dirt brought by wet or dried up poop. This happens if they are unable to move, have stomach upsets, or are long-haired. They can be cleaned up using a dry bath with no water or a wet bath that will involve water.
What brings about a dirty bottom in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs may get a dirty bottom due to:
Inability to move
If your pet is unable to move, they will keep pooping in the same place resulting in poop sticking on their bottoms.
They could be:
- Sick – if they are ill they will be inactive.
- Injured – an injured pet may stay in the same place because they are in pain and cannot move.
- Aged – aged guinea pigs develop conditions like arthritis that make their movements problematic.
- Obesity – obese pets will not move much and they will even have trouble grooming themselves.
Guinea pigs have sensitive stomachs that are prone to digestion problems. Eating sugary foods, or ingesting certain foods in large quantities will lead to stomach upsets that bring about diarrhoea in your pet.
Diarrhoea involves watery stool that will easily stick on their bottoms and fur at the same time leaving them dirty and stinky.
Long-haired guinea pigs have a hard time grooming themselves. Their hair is long may get in the way of their poop getting stuck with it and making the poop stick on their bottoms at the same time.
The hair around their bums should be trimmed short to avoid this. If they sit on their waste with all that hair, it becomes worse.
Guinea pig poop
Guinea pig poop is normally uniform and oval-shaped. It’s brown in colour and firm with low moisture content.
Guinea pigs will also produce cecotropes which are a soft moist and nutritious type of poop that they will ingest back into their bodies. These are not easy to find as they take them straight from their bums as they are dropping them.
Sometimes they will be ill or have stomach upsets giving them diarrhoea. The loose stool sticks on their bottoms, fur, and beddings.
This makes it essential to ensure that guinea pigs are feeding on the right diet. They should have a lot of hay to aid in digestion for their sensitive digestion systems.
They should also be fed fruits in low quantities so as not to give them a lot of sugar that causes stomach upsets. Veggies should be moderated to one cup a day to avoid giving them more that could bring about health risks.
How to clean up a guinea pig’s bottom
Guinea pigs dislike baths as they are stressful procedures for them. A good alternative to a water bath is a dry bath.
Dry baths are good for watery stool that is sticking around the bottom. All you need is dry shampoo and a dry towel.
Sprinkle the dry shampoo all over their bottoms and let it soak in the wet matter. This will make it easier to clean when it dries.
After drying up, use the towel to wipe it off. Remember to be gentle with your pet.
Although they will not like water, some of their waste may be hard for dry wiping making you require water for the process. You don’t need to wash their full body though as you can only wash the dirty bottom.
Put some warm water in a shallow bowl. Have a towel for your guinea pig to stand on to avoid slipping but also hold them firmly.
Pour some shampoo in the water and use a small cloth for washing. Dip it in the water and begin wiping the bottom.
Repeat this until the bottom clears of all the waste that was stuck on it. Change the water if it gets too dirty.
You can have several bowls with warm water at hand before starting so that you don’t have to stop the washing to fetch more water. This will make it even more stressful for your pet who is already uneasy about the water.
Dry them up with a towel afterwards. You should always ensure that your pet is dry before putting them back in their cage.
Do guinea pigs get flystrike?
Flystrike is a condition in which flies lay eggs on a guinea pig’s body, mostly their bottoms if they are dirty. These eggs hatch into maggots that begin feeding on a guinea pig’s bottom flesh.
They will eat away deeper and deeper while releasing toxins that are toxic and can lead to death. Flystrike is a common and fatal painful condition.
It can however be treated but only if noticed early on. If you notice some flies or maggots around your pet you should check up on them right away as that’s a major sign of flystrike.
Cleaning your guinea pig’s bottom will prevent flystrike and also get rid of odours that the waste brings about.
A guinea pig’s bottom can be cleaned using water or without water. Keep it clean to ensure that they are healthy, happy, and content.
You should always keep an eye on your guinea pig to notice any flies or maggots that could mean they have flystrike.