While shaking is in general not typical behavior for guinea pigs, it’s not necessarily a sign that something is seriously wrong. Although it can be upsetting when you see it for the first time, you need to find out why your little furry buddy is shaking before you panic.
A shaking guinea pig can scare the daylights out of its owner, making you want to shout, “why is my guinea pig shaking?”, but you can probably remedy the situation in no time at all.
There are three basic reasons why a guinea pig will shake, and you need to find out right away what is wrong. The reasons for guinea pigs shaking are if they are scared, cold, or sick.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Shiver?
1. Your Guinea Pig Is Cold
One of the most frequent reasons for a guinea pig to shake is because they are cold. Usually, when you find your guinea pig shaking, it is essentially because the little furry critter is too cold.
Maybe you just turned on the air conditioner in a room where you keep your pet’s cage and it’s busy still trying to accommodate itself to the temperature.
Remember that guinea pigs have small bodies, thus making them a great deal more liable to experience a reaction to an abrupt change in temperature, particularly if it’s too radical. One thing you should never do is place your guinea pig’s cage by an open window because the chilly breeze that comes with evening can be too cold for them.
Furthermore, the sunlight pouring in to their cage throughout the hottest parts of the day may cause the cage to overheat. With guinea pigs, you must always check that the temperature is ideal – meaning not too cold nor too cold.
It may also come to your attention that your guinea pig is shaking right after you’ve given it a bath. The more experience you’ve had owning a pet, the more likely it is that you realize that most often a pet will hate getting a bath. Guinea pigs are no exception to that rule.
This is probably because baths are just plain too cold for them. So if you’re planning on giving your little buddy a bath, be certain to use lukewarm water and don’t draw out the bath,
but make it as short and quick as possible. Once you are finished, take a blowdryer and gently run it over your guinea pig to dry their fur.
Make sure the dryer stays set on low-heat and try not to blow too much air on the ears because they are a very sensitive area for guinea pigs.
2. Your Guinea Pig Is Sick
You’ll find that another basic reason why guinea pigs shake is due to the fact that they are not feeling well. It may be the case that they’re just mildly unwell, or they could be seriously ill.
As with humans, guinea pigs exhibit several symptoms when they’re genuinely sick. One of these is shivering, which can be an indication they are more than just unwell, but sick enough for you to be worried.
Don’t ignore this symptom. Most especially, if you see that your guinea pig has been shivering non-stop for a while and won’t remain in one place for long, then you need to take it to your vet.
Some other symptoms that you should be aware of in your guinea pig are not eating or drinking, heavy breathing, lethargy, diarrhea, drooling, sneezing and loss of hair, or any other type of activity that isn’t normal.
This means that it is especially important to pay attention to your pet so that you can take notice if something is wrong by noting any physical signs or by learning the ways it uses to try and tell you that something is amiss.
3. Your Guinea Pig Is Scared
Although your guinea pig is like family, remember that they are animals, and shivering in animals can often mean they are scared.
If you see that your guinea pig is shivering but is not wet or sick, then most likely it is afraid. Now, as with any good pet owner, you love your pet and don’t want to see them upset, so the natural thing to do is to find out what is making your guinea pig afraid so that you can put a stop to it.
However, with guinea pigs, this is not as easy as it sounds. Because they are prey animals, and instinctively cautious of their environment, the most ordinary things can cause guinea pigs to be scared.
It can be something as simple as a truck backfiring, or your dog barking outside, but the sound is enough to make your guinea pig take off in search of shelter.
They usually like to have something narrow and dark around to hide in. It’s possible, however, for a guinea pig to become so terrified that it will freeze in its tracks. You will be able to note it shiver as it attempts to figure what move to make.
Listed above are the three basic reasons why your guinea pig may shake. Be aware of these reasons and you can determine what is wrong and provide comfort or warmth to your little friend. Knowing these things will help you to take better care of your guinea pig, and they’ll love you all the more for it
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.