Most guinea pig owners are concerned about their cavy shedding, and as an owner, you are asking yourself, why do guinea pigs shed? Is it normal?
Shedding is normal for cavies, especially if you have a Peruvian guinea pig or other long-haired cavies.
Luckily, if your cavy shed excessively and having some bald spots are easy to treat.
Guinea pigs can make great pets, and if you want to have a perfect relationship with them, you have to consider how to take care of them properly to keep them healthy and happy.
Let’s find out more about why guinea pigs shed and what causes their shedding.
What Are The Causes Of Guinea Pigs Shedding
There are so many reasons why guinea pigs shed.
It may be annoying for some owners but sometimes shedding is the cause of guinea pigs’ illness and serious medical issues.
These are maybe the causes of why do guinea pigs shed:
Mites are very annoying, they can cause skin irritation, unbearable itching, dandruff, scabs, and even seizures because of too much itchiness, and this may be the start of your cavy’s shedding.
Suppose you find all symptoms like itching, skin irritation, etc. Which are pretty obvious then, you should consult the vet right away.
Prevention is also the best thing to do; and you can do so by cleaning your pet regularly with the use of the best shampoo for guinea pigs.
If treating mites may not resolve the itchiness, then maybe there is another issue causing it.
Ringworms are also one of the reasons why guinea pigs shed. The fungus from ringworms can cause scaly skin, bald patches that your guinea pig may experience shedding.
It is best to consult the vet and probably recommend some shampoo or anti-fungal ointment to help your cavy.
#3. Ovarian cysts
These ovarian cysts are more likely to act on unsprayed female guinea pigs and can cause guinea pigs’ hair loss because of the hormones.
Other symptoms of ovarian cysts are having crusty nipples and irritable or moody behavior.
Barbering in guinea pigs is a kind of hair loss when they eat or chew their hair or their cage mate’s hair.
Guinea pigs do some stuff like this, and cavies may “barber” themselves as a sign of stress or if other parts of their body are hurt.
Old guinea pigs are barbering themselves because of some medical problems like arthritis and tooth problems.
Find the bald areas if it has swelling, lumps, or signs of tenderness.
Also, when you have more than one guinea pig in one cage, it is possible to barber him by his cage mate; this may be bullying and dominance.
If you ever see your guinea pigs doing this, immediately put the guinea pig in another cage or put a partition to their cage.
Some reasons why guinea pigs are shedding include inappropriate diet, lack of vitamin C, and no grooming routine.
How To Stop Guinea Pigs From Shedding
Guinea pigs usually have a lot of hair, especially when you have a long-haired Peruvian guinea pig.
You would notice your guinea pig is shedding a lot in springtime, but it is normal, and your cavy wants to shed some unwanted hair to remain fresh and cool during summer.
If you notice that your guinea pig’s shedding too much and excessively, these are the things you need to do in order to reduce and stop it.
Step #1. Regularly brush your guinea pig
Brushing your pet may help them reduce the amount of hair they shed. But you have to make sure to brush it gently and never brush it to the bald spots, guinea pigs have very sensitive skin, and this can really help them.
You can use a soft hairbrush or some greyhound comb to remove the hair gently. And most importantly, brush your guinea pig often; remember that they have long hair!
Step #2. Clean their cage
Cleaning is essential for guinea pigs to prevent irritation. Regular cleaning is a must because this can cause several health problems that could trigger hair loss.
And since guinea pigs don’t need to get regular immunizations, unlike some pets like dogs and cats. Properly taking care of them can keep them stay healthy.
Step #3. Give them vitamin C
Lack of vitamin can lead to excessive shedding in guinea pigs. Even though guinea pig pellets are rich with vitamin C, they could degrade over time.
The best way to ensure that you are providing your lovely cavy enough vitamin c is to give them healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables with high vitamin C in them.
Take note, too much fruit as a treat for guinea pigs could be harmful to them.
Step #4. Give them the right amount of protein
Even though your cavy is an herbivore, you have to make sure that they still require enough protein.
Too low protein intake could cause shedding and hair loss and give them at least 15% of their daily diet protein.
I make sure to feed Ginger, my cavy, the right amount of protein every day; I use to feed her ⅛ cup per day of good pellets that is free of sugar and seeds, timothy-based food.
Step #5. Look for the things that are stressing them out
Your cavy may shed a lot more if they are irritated and feeling stressed out. As an owner, you knew that guinea pigs are nervous and sensitive animals.
Stress and not feeling good are just a few factors why they are shedding.
Ginger once experienced excessive shedding, and then I figured out that guinea pigs are susceptible, and she used to be stressed out with other guinea pigs in her cage.
Now I made a new cage with partitions in it.
Step #6. Pregnancy might be a possible cause
If you have a female cavy who used to be with a male guinea pig, consider and think that pregnancy might be a possible cause of her shedding.
Just like humans, female cavies experience changes, especially if they are pregnant. Your cavy’s shedding would be gone once she delivers the babies.
Shedding and changing coats are pretty normal for some pets and animals in the wild. The good thing is, guinea pigs are light to moderate shedders.
But if your lovely guinea pig is experiencing extreme shedding, you have to make sure you know why they have these and what this happens.
In addition to that, taking care of guinea pigs could help them stay healthy and safe from any harm and avoid some illness and baldness.
I suggest seeking the vet if your guinea pig might get any of the symptoms.
Gladly you found this article; I hope that this may help you find why do guinea pigs shed.