There are differing degrees of sore feet.
As guinea pigs do not have fur on their feet they are prone to injury if they are not housed in the right way. The pads of their feet are the areas that come into direct contact with the housing surface and carry their full body weight.
The first sign of feet being painful is a reddening to the pads. This redness could be caused by too much moisture on the cage floor or incorrect bedding. If the cage is not cleaned regularly enough or there is no padding and they are just walking on paper then the pads will become inflamed. If your guinea pig has black feet – you may not notice they are sore as the redness will not be seen.
As the inflammation increases there is a risk that bumble foot can develop. Bumble foot is very painful and debilitating and can ultimately result in a limb needing amputation or the guinea pig may die as a result of infection.
To read more on bumble foot – click here
If you notice that only one pad is red – then it may be due to injury to that limb. Check carefully for any skin that is broken or pierced and also that the guinea pig is moving smoothly and not limping or showing that they don’t want to weight bare on that limb.
If there is a cut and infection then your piggie may require antibiotics. Certainly if you suspect bumble foot, most definitely will require antibiotics.
Treatment for red pads
You can use natural products such as calendula cream, aloe vera, Manuka honey as well as a number of others to massage into the area and sooth the skin. I find with Manuka that it is very sticky so for that reason tend to opt for the first two. But they are all wonderful and if you do this twice a day, you will see improvement quickly as the redness dissipates.
Consider the substrate that they are on. Is it clean? Do you need to clean more regularly? Use a different substrate?
If you are treating feet with sticky substances like Manuka, consider using flannel or cloth as the ground covering as you will struggle with shaving sticking to the treated areas. If the feet are only red then you will not need to bandage them. Bandaging is used when there are open wounds in this area from bumble foot and it can be useful in treatment.