Stroke or Heart Attack
Like us, guinea pigs can have strokes or heart attacks. In some instances you may simply find that your piggie has died and be wondering why. This is more common with aged piggies than with younger ones.
It is possible with a milder attack; you could find your guinea pig completely unresponsive but still alive. Usually other symptoms are present, like twitching, eyes that are ‘flickering’, or your piggie unconscious. Flickering eyes are an indication of neurological damage (brain damage).
Again this is a medical emergency and the prognosis is not usually good. Your piggie needs expert care for help in recovery and assessment that this is the issue.
In the event that you get your guinea pig quickly to a vet they may opt for a steroidal injection if they feel it may assist in recovery.
Urination of blood can be caused by several different conditions all of which will require a veterinary appointment – however compared with something like heatstroke where immediate help is required; you can wait until the first available appointment.
If you suspect blood being present – you need to confirm this. Place your piggie on a white cage lining (such as a towel) and leave with food and water for a short time (an hour or two). As they regularly toilet, you will soon be able to identify if blood is present.
There are different colours of blood that can indicate different things. Bright red indicates fresh blood and current blood loss somewhere, where dark brown is blood that has been excreted that is older.
Guinea pigs can have strokes. With less severe strokes they may survive but you then notice they have a head that is tilting to one side. This might be more likely if your guinea pig is elderly (7 – 9 years of age) as your piggie may have sustained some neurological damage as the result of a stroke. Other indicators can be with their eyes and they may be ‘flickering ‘or behaving more unusual.