It's not advisable to purposely breed your guinea pigs, but it's fairly easy to accidentally end up with a pregnant pig. Pet stores can misgender their pigs, meaning that you may unknowingly purchase a breeding pair, or your pigs could already be pregnant when you buy them. Pregnancy is very risky for guinea pigs, and can lead to serious complications like uterine prolapse. Here are four things you need to know about this scary situation.
What is uterine prolapse?
Sometimes, complications can occur during the birth of a litter of baby guinea pigs. If the babies aren't positioned properly or are too large, they may get stuck on the way out of the birth canal. If you try to help your pig by gently pulling the stuck baby out, your pig's uterus may also come out of her body. It can also occur when your guinea pig successfully delivers a large litter of babies, even if none of them got stuck. When the uterus is outside of the body, it's known as uterine prolapse.
How dangerous is uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse is a medical emergency for your pig. When the uterus is outside of the body, it can easily become torn or damaged, leading to severe bleeding. Infections are another major concern. Guinea pigs are messy animals and tend to leave droppings throughout their cage, and when an internal organ is exposed to this environment, bacteria can easily be introduced to the organ.
Can vets treat uterine prolapse?
It's possible for vets to treat uterine prolapse. First, they will inspect the uterus to make sure it's not damaged. Tears will need to be sewn, and if the tears are severe, the vet may want to remove the uterus entirely. If the uterus is undamaged, the vet will reinsert it into your pig's body, and if necessary, the uterus will be sewn in place.
Can you prevent this problem?
The only way to prevent uterine prolapse is to keep your pig from getting pregnant in the first place. Purchasing your pig from a reputable breeder instead of a pet store is a good idea, because they have more experience in gendering guinea pigs and won't accidentally sell you a breeding pair. If you've already bought pet store pigs, take them to a vet to have them neutered. This is a surgical procedure that removes both the uterus and the ovaries, so after the procedure, it will be impossible for your pig to get pregnant.
Uterine prolapse is a serious complication of pregnancy. If your pig suffers from this complication, you need to take her to an emergency vet such as River View Veterinary Service LLC immediately.