Welcome to vnonline.co.uk

vnonline.co.uk provides the veterinary nursing profession with the latest news and industry developments, as well as events, resources, learning materials and careers.

Our website is dedicated to veterinary nurses and we strive to provide a platform where you can voice and explore your interests.

Not a member yet? Sign up for free!

Register for free with vnonline.co.uk to gain unlimited access to news, resources, jobs and much more!

Click here to become a member

Log in to vnonline

Forgot your password?

Posted: 28th March 2024

Study reveals most common guinea pig disorders
Overgrown nails were the most commonly seen condition.
Researchers examined clinical records of over 3,500 guinea pigs.

Overgrown nails, ringworm, and eye ulcers are the most common conditions seen in pet guinea pigs in the UK, a new study has found.

Researchers from the VetCompass research programme at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) analysed anonymised clinical records from a random sample of 3,785 guinea pigs which were under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2019.

The records showed that overgrown nails were by far the most recorded disorder, seen in 26.55 per cent of guinea pigs. The second most common issue, ringworm, affected 6.02 per cent of the animals in the study, and 4.99 per cent had an eye ulcer. Other common health issues included anorexia and abscesses

Males were found to be more likely to have bite injuries, anorexia and dental problems such as overgrown incisors, whereas females were more likely to have eye disorders, such as coreal ulcerations, and abdominal masses

The research also revealed that females lived longer than males, with female guinea pigs having a life expectancy of 4.56 years compared to the males’ 3.74 years.

As several of the most common disorders are linked to sedentary lifestyles, the authors believe that the findings can help veterinary professionals advise guinea pig owners about providing the right conditions and care to keep their pets healthy.

Dan O’Neill, lead author of the study, said: “This study highlights that many of the most common health issues of pet guinea pigs are related to how we keep them as pets in captivity.

“With this new awareness, owners can better understand the world from the guinea pigs' perspective and provide exercise, bedding and nail care to ensure these wonderful creatures enjoy healthier lives.”

The study has been published in the journal PLOS One.

Image © Shutterstock

Become a member
or log in to add this story to your CPD history