Your sweet little buddy, the guinea pig, is usually active and playful. But due to some cases, they might hesitate to move. Why is my guinea pig not moving? Today we are going to explain some potential reasons for guinea pigs to behave like this. Some matters are negligible; for example, if the pig is new to the cage, he or she may hide without moving. But if it is a physical difficulty, you need to take some action.
Why is My Guinea Pig Not Moving?
- Sicknesses – they might avoid moving due to some health issues such as heatstroke or respiratory illness. In general, guinea pigs are not able to tolerate temperatures higher than 25 C and direct sunlight. So, you need to place the cage in a cool place. And also, they can suffer from pneumonia or upper respiratory infections, which are common illnesses for guinea pigs. Then, their breathing patterns can be changed. Moreover, they hesitate to be active. So, you have to take the pig to a vet immediately.
- Injuries – while they are playing, guinea pigs might be injured or sprained. If they jump off from a place more than 2-3 feet high, the result will be limb or tissue damage. Then they cannot move their legs properly due to the pain. Some of these injuries are visible, while others are not.
- Leg Paralysis – if there is a lack of calcium in your pig’s diet, their hind legs can be paralyzed. But this a rare incident. However, if there is such an issue with the pig, they cannot move.
- Malnutrition – if your guinea pig avoids having food, he/she might be weak eventually. Then they will not move or play as they did. So, you need to take him to the vet for diagnosis.
- Mange Mites – mites can harm the body of guinea pigs severely if you do not get rid of them quickly. When they bite, mites burrow under the pig’s skin. As a result, guinea pigs intensely itch and twitch. Eventually, they fall on the sides and do not move much.
- Surgeries – after a surgery like spaying, they might not move as usual until they recover.
Is It Normal for a Guinea Pig to Not Move?
No, it is not! Usually, they move in the cage. And sometimes, run and play with their mates and toys.
But there are some situations in which they avoid moving, and those are normal. If they have a fear of something, they freeze until the situation becomes normal.
They can be frightened by a loud noise or another animal. Then they avoid moving to protect themselves. And if the guinea pig is new to the cage, they may hesitate to move until they adapt to the new environment.
You should not force them to move or play. After a few days, they will move and show their normal behavior. And baby guinea pigs do not move much because they do not want to leave his/her mother.
Is your Guinea Pig Sleeping or Sick?
In general, guinea pigs sleep 4 to 6 hours a day. Mostly, it is not a continuous sleep; they like to have naps from time to time. They like to sleep in a pile of hay or a nest box. And guinea pigs take some time to rest in a hidden area in their cages. And surprisingly, they do not close their eyes when sleeping most of the time. Therefore, sometimes, it is hard to tell whether they are sleeping or suffering from an illness
Usually, guinea pigs do not lie down when sleeping because they want to stay alert. If they lie down on their side, probably the pig is sick or injured. And if they sleep a lot more than usual, it indicates that there is a health issue. Lethargy and loss of appetite are some symptoms of infections. Thus, if you notice some differences in their sleeping habits, you should take the pig to a vet for necessary treatments.
Is My Guinea Pig Depressed?
Yes, guinea pigs can depress due to various reasons. If their environment is full of noise and fuss, they are not willing to live there. And some of your guinea pigs might be scared of other pets in your home. If there is a nasty mate in the same cage, guinea pigs can depress.
In general, guinea pigs are social and love to play. But when they are depressed, they avoid being active. What’s more, they can refuse to come out from their secretive places in the cage and have food. Lethargy and the lack of social interaction are the main things that show the state of mind of guinea pigs.
Therefore, you are responsible for keeping things away which make your pigs depressed.
Is My Guinea Pig Getting Enough Exercise?
As a general recommendation, you should allow guinea pigs to get exercise for 3 to 4 hours a day. Exercise is highly important to maintain good health.
Moreover, they will not get depressed if they can get enough exercise. In order to allow exercising, they should have adequate space. So, avoid small cages. And also, you are highly encouraged to provide some toys to play with.
Then they stay active most of the time. And you can install some exercise equipment, such as a wheel or stairs, in the cage of guinea pigs.
How Do I Know If My Guinea Pig is Hibernating?
Guinea pigs are not a species that hibernate. But usually, they tend to cuddle up with other mates in the cage when the temperature is low. It helps them to stay warm and conserve energy.
Moreover, they may show a drop in their usual active behavior, then their heart rate becomes slow, and they can conserve energy.
Sometimes, they may not eat and drink in winter as much as they do in other seasons. But they do not have long periods of sleep during the winter like other animals.
However, you need to take care of them in the winter because they might have health issues such as hypothermia if the temperature drops dramatically.
Guinea pigs cannot tolerate temperatures below 15C. Hence, remember to make their cage warmer in the winter months. You should provide proper bedding and shelter for them.
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