Before you can take care of a pregnant guinea pig, you need to know if she’s pregnant in the first place!
We have an article here if you’d like to learn some more about it before you go to the next step, which is caring for your sow (female guinea pig)!
Once you've determined whether or not she's pregnant, it's time to do some research to make sure that you're caring for her as best as you can and providing everything she needs for a smooth pregnancy.
She’s pregnant…what now?
Pregnant guinea pigs still need the same kinds of foods that normal guinea pigs eat, but they have a few extra nutritional requirements!
Pregnant sows need more Vitamin C than before, so it’s important to provide abundant sources of it in their diet of hay, fresh vegetables and fruits, and pellets. To see which foods are rich in vitamin C, check out our Vegetable Master List and our Fruit Master List for quick information at a glance.
Leafy greens are important because of the nutrients they contain! Try to include a small amount of kale to take advantage of the superfood qualities for your sow.
If your piggy isn’t getting enough of the vitamins they need, check out the GuineaDad Organic Guinea Pig Herbal Treats for a tasty and healthy supplement to your pregnant sow’s diet.
In particular, the GuineaDad RoseHip is a great source of vitamin C for your piggy! Also, GuineaDad Raspberry Leaf is a great herbal treat to give to pregnant sows because of how helpful it is for uterine recovery, which is important for after your piggy has had their litter. The properties of raspberry leaf help strengthen uterine muscles and improve blood flow to that region.
Possible Health Complications
Pregnancy toxemia is a condition that can be fatal when found in pregnant guinea pigs. It involves a deficiency of calcium, combined with high blood pressure. It’s usually found late in the pregnancy or a few days after giving birth, so it’s important to be observant from the very beginning to make sure you catch anything that may be going on early!
Symptoms include sudden depression, changes in appetite that result in anorexia, trouble breathing, and muscle contractions and seizures. The best way to reduce the risk of this includes making sure that the mother is at a healthy weight and has a healthy diet prior to being pregnant. Making sure they have enough calcium is a great way to reduce the chances of them suffering from pregnancy toxemia.
Dystocia is another condition that can afflict pregnant guinea pigs. This can be found in sows whose first pregnancy occurs after the age of 8 months. After this age the fusion of their bones causes their pelvis to be less flexible, which can lead to difficulty giving birth. This would be a reason for a guinea pig to get a c-section just like pregnant humans sometimes have to.
Another medical condition that can occur is mastitis, which is an inflammation of the mammary glands, usually due to infections from bacteria. It occurs when things like infected cuts or scrapes are on the mammary tissue. This condition can be painful for sows, and should be taken seriously. The infection can spread to their bloodstream, which can prove to be fatal not only to them, but their pups.
Keep your pregnant guinea pig comfortable
Near the end of the pregnancy, your sow is going to become quite large, especially depending on the number of pups she’s carrying. It’s at this point that it might get a little difficult for her to move comfortably with all the extra weight! Because of this, it’s a good idea to use materials and bedding that are gentle on her and her body.
This is where the GuineaDad Premium Liner and the GuineaDad Liner are the perfect guinea pig cage liners to use. It’s ultra-soft and cushioned for the most comfortable thing your piggies will ever walk on. This is essential for your pregnant piggy.
Take care of your pregnant piggy!
As we now know, the health of your piggy during pregnancy can be heavily dependent on their health prior!
Of course, you can’t always predict when your piggy is going to get pregnant, but there are also ways you can prevent pregnancy, if that’s something you want to do. Check out this blog to find out how!
In general, it’s important to make sure your piggy is eating a balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables to ensure their health to prevent issues in the future, whether it’s a sow or a boar.
If they’re not getting enough of the vitamins and other nutrients that they need, make sure to custom-tailor their diet to accommodate this, and supplement with herbal treats if you need to.
Need ideas of what fruits and vegetables to feed your piggies to keep them healthy? Check out or Vegetable Master List and our Fruit Master List for an easy and informative way to see which vegetables have what vitamins and how much to feed them at a glance.