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Difficulty Giving Birth in Guinea pigs

Treatment

 

Under normal conditions, the process of giving birth is relatively quick. If your sow's labor continues for an abnormally long time and the sow is in obvious discomfort, your veterinarian will suspect a case of dystocia. Once this has been confirmed on X-ray, your doctor may administer oxytocin, a drug that helps labor to progress by stimulating uterine contractions.

 

If the sow is still unable to deliver, your veterinarian may perform a cesarean section to deliver the pups. The C-section in guinea pigs is usually not advocated because mothers usually do not survive it. Birth is a very dangerous time for a guinea pig, and unfortunately, you will need to be prepared for the possibility of a fatal outcome for your pregnant sow.

 

Living and Management

 

A guinea pig that is recovering from dystocia should be given time to rest and nurse her young in a clean, quiet, and undisturbed environment. Any supportive care that has been advised by your veterinarian should be administered routinely.

 

Keep the male(s) separate from the female during this time, as well as after. If you are breeding your guinea pig, the male and female can be in the same space for breeding purposes, but if breeding is not intended, you will need to keep your male and female guinea pigs separated until one or both of the guinea pigs has been neutered. It should be noted that breeding is not advised in most cases, both because of the inherent dangers in the birth process for guinea pigs, and because guinea pigs are difficult to place in new homes.

 

Prevention

 

Dystocia in guinea pigs can be prevented by either breeding the female between four and eight months of age or by preventing pregnancy altogether by housing male and female guinea pigs separately or by spaying and neutering.

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