The Peter Gurney Guinea Pig Health Guide
Bite wounds in guinea pigs.
The best way to avoid bite wounds is to try and avoid the situations which would lead to aggression.
When it comes to boars, keep adults that are strangers to one another, apart. I know that sometimes you can get two adults to settle down together, I have done it myself, but nine times out of combat is to be expected, if not immediately, a short time after they have been in together.
If you have a pair of boars who live together contentedly, keep it that way by not allowing any sows near them. The male of this, and most species, tend to do the macho bit when the 'girls' are about!. If you have been handling a sow, be careful to wash your hands to rid it of any of her scent before handling boars.
Occasionally you will come across a sow who simply will not live with any other sow. The most likely scenario for this is in cases where one of a pair of cohabiting sows has died and the surviving sow refuses to cohabit. However, in the main you can keep as many sows together as you wish.
More often than not, when you first introduce a sow to a new pack, there will be a bit of niggling, raised hackles and teeth chattering but it usually fizzles out after a short time. If warfare does break out, persevere and arm yourself with a spray bottle filled with water. You can usually single out the worst offender and a quick squirt on the snout now and again usually gets the message home that how ever mighty she thinks she is in the scheme of things, you are mightier!.
|Most bite wounds are minor and occur, more often than not in the rump or in the neck area. This is because when guinea pigs fight though they both aim for the head and eyes, they are usually good at ducking weaving and manage to deflect them to the neck or very often the rump when one shows a clean pair of heels to the other.
Many times these wounds won't be noticed, for the damage could have been done unobserved and unless they become infected, which they seldom are, heal up on their own. The ones you do pick up on are those that cause the animals to scratch at them, usually when they have become inflamed with puss. Place the guinea on a towel, have paper tissues handy and holding it firmly squeeze out the puss. Flush the cavity with some Aserbine Dermisol lotion and cover with antiseptic ointment.
A good tip is to make sure that there is a good ruck of towel between your thigh and the piggy's incisor teeth if you are carrying out this work on your lap. I haven't, a couple of times, and felt the animal's displeasure at what it regarded as a deliberate assault and reciprocated accordingly!. Take my word for it, it hurts!
I am against the use antibiotics as a precaution against infection for these kind of wounds. However their use is recommended in the more serious cases where lips or nostrils have been torn and these wounds may also need to be sutured.
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