Health and Hygiene

The top of any list  should be a guinea pig competent vet. It is widely known that vets receive little training regarding guinea pigs, so care should be taken when choosing a vet. See our ‘Questions to ask your vet’ page.

The items below are best bought as needed unless otherwise stated. Some should be supplied by your vet on receiving treatment (e.g. a kit for flushing abscesses). A veterinary diagnosis must always be sought prior to treatment except in cases of emergency such as heat stroke or bloat, or minor wounds for example. If you are unsure of a condition, (skin problems are a good example), by treating it (i.e. bathing) you are washing away symptoms.

Delaying a visit to the vet can often allow symptoms to become much worse and treatment may become more complicated. A prime example of this is with Urinary Tract problems. Delayed operations where stones are present more than likely means a more complex operation will be needed.

Syringe Feeding Kit:

  • 1ml Syringe x2 (no needle) cut the end off unless feeding Fine Ground Oxbow Critical Care. Available from SPH Supplies in the nursing and first aid category.
  • Kitchen Roll
  • Probiotics to restore gut flora lost when antibiotics are given. Available from The Hay Experts.

Probiotics are also useful to give when there is diarrhoea or other digestive upset, a vet must also be seen.


  • Aloe Vera Gel for minor wounds until treatment can be sought if needed. Also where there is sore skin.
  • Manuka and Neem Shampoo from Gorgeous Guineas. A good maintenance shampoo especially for guinea pigs prone to flaky skin.
  • Perfect Paws/FM ointment: Both these are also useful for sore nipples, fungal patches and sores, also where an ointment is needed (as opposed to a cream).
  • Kwench Lotion is an all round lotion particularly useful for applying to fungal spots on the face and body. Can also be used on sore dry skin and ears. Available from Gorgeous Guineas.
  • Swarfega, for cleaning grease glands. Rub in and rinse off when the grease starts to break down. Available from Halfords and similar shops.

Many other varieties of shampoo are available, by keeping one in stock if a problem such as lice arises then at least a soothing bath can be given torelieve irritation until the Lice N’ Easy arrives.

Abscess Kit:

This may be given out by your vet when guinea has an abscess. Guinea pigs with abscesses should visit a vet to determine whether or not an antibitic (Topical or oral or in some cases both), is needed. Antibiotics can only be prescribed by your vet.

You will need:

  • A Canula, blue or pink, whichever is preferred.
  • A large syringe, 5 or 10ml is good.
  • Some sterile solution, i.e. Hartmans is recommended in lots of practises.

The cavity should be flushed out at least twice daily to begin with and may need to be ‘opened up’ again, sometimes within 24 hours. It is important that the hole is kept open to allow flushing to happen and for healing to be from the inside out. Abscesses on the jaw may mean dental issues and a dental inspection (without anaesthetic if possible) should be sought. More about abscesses here.


  • Otodex ear drops, especially for guinea pigs that get heavy build ups of ear wax. Often these are black/agouti/dark guinea pigs. Two drops in each ear at bathtime. Available from SPH Supplies.
  • Disinfectant, for cleaning out cages. Recommended at least weekly. Recommended disinfectants are: Conficlean and Virkon.
  • Manukacare 18+, a Manuka Honey specifically packaged for medicinal uses. Use for minor wound healing including abscesses (veterinary advice and treatment must also be sought, Manuka should be used alongside veterinary medicines).
  • Colloidal Silver, as a complimentary medicine usually. Used for flushing abscesses etc.
  • Nose Relief, often guinea pigs react to seasonal changes and have ‘hayfever like’ reactions to pollens. Nose Relief is a homeopathic remedy. Read Gorgeous Guineas’ article ‘Seasonal Snuffles’ for further information.
  • Bachs Rescue Remedy is useful if stressful times are anticipated. This might be the introduction of a new friend or moving into new surroundings (particularly where guinea pigs are coming into rescue). Put four drops in water or/and a drop on each ear twice daily while needed. Gorgeous Guineas’ article ‘Rescue Remedy’ gives more information.
  • Milton (or similar) baby bottle cleanser for sterilising water bottles. Found in supermarkets and chemists. A bottle brush is useful for cleaning the bottle, cotton buds or another tiny brush to clean the spout with.
  • Zolcal D is a veterinary formulated liquid Calcium supplement that is easy to administer. Useful where Calcium deficiencies are causing problems.

Cream Satin