Guinea pigs are cool, but they're also a little different from most other animals. That creates the need for a little investigation into these unique animals.
Guinea Pigs, known as cavies among professionals and enthusiasts, make excellent animal companions. They have a range of interesting behaviors and they're ultra-easy to care for. They come in a variety of breeds and colors to suit all tastes.
The prospective guinea pig owner will want to research the local vet situation before bringing his or her new friend home. All vets have experience with dogs and cats because they're such overwhelmingly popular pets. But guinea pigs, though hardly unknown, are not found in every home. Vets tend to have less experience treating them. Find a vet that can treat your pet.
As with any other species, guinea pigs have a set of common illnesses and symptoms. Eye and respiratory problems from hay or bedding particles are commonplace. Certain genetic conditions predispose them to specific illnesses. Skin problems are a typical concern. Knowing a little bit about what they are and what to look for will help protect your pet.
Even when you've selected a vet and become knowledgeable about symptoms to look for, it's wise to review which medications are safe and which are not. Penicillin, for example, is highly beneficial to a number of species, but is toxic to cavies. Most vets will know this if they have any experience with guinea pigs or rabbits, but it's always a good idea to double check.