Guinea Pigs, Mice, Rats: What Are The Common Diseases Of Pet Rodents?

Guinea Pigs, Mice, Rats: What Are The Common Diseases Of Pet Rodents?
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It is commonly believed that the best people always depart first. Regarding pets, we could say that the cutest ones pass away first: pet rodents, as adorable as they are, have a very short lifespan.

In contrast to many other pets, which may pass away peacefully, rodents such as rats, guinea pigs, and mice frequently succumb to painful diseases such as respiratory issues, anorexia, and lethargy, as well as impacted teeth and tumors. Here is a summary of the most prevalent diseases that affect pet rodents.

Respiratory diseases


Pneumonia is one of the most prevalent diseases of pet rodents. Its symptoms include nasal and ocular discharges, as well as coughing, wheezing, and mouth-to-mouth breathing. In such a scenario, your animal will cease eating and become lethargic until it is unable to sustain life.

Bacterial infections

Mycoplasmas and bacteria such as Bordatella, which can be fatal to your rodent, can also cause respiratory issues. The best way to prevent such bacterial respiratory infections is to keep your pet in a clean, dry, and warm environment, and to avoid overcrowding its cage.


Antibiotics will be required in the case of respiratory diseases. However, rodents are known to be sensitive to certain antibiotics, with some causing severe stomach upsets and others being fatal. In any case, ensure that you never use antibiotics from another pet and that you consult your veterinarian before administering any medication.

Anorexia and Lethargy Are Symptoms of Illness

Even if anorexia (complete loss of appetite) and lethargy (significant lack of energy) are not diseases in and of themselves, they are clear indicators of illness in rodents. These symptoms can confirm that your animal is ill, but they cannot tell you what disease is present.

It could just as easily be pneumonia, cancer, or renal or hepatic failure. The sooner you have your guinea pig, mice, rat, or any other rodent examined by a veterinarian, the sooner he will be able to administer the appropriate treatment, and the higher the likelihood that your pet will recover in time.

Teeth Overgrowing

Do you know that rodents’ teeth continue to grow throughout their entire lives? They simply continually gnaw their lower teeth on their upper teeth to maintain the proper length. This is why their nose is always so adorablely moving.

If the upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly, or if the teeth don’t wear down as they normally would, they can become excessively long and even pierce the opposite labia. Clearly, this can cause serious infections in your pet, who will eventually stop eating. Early symptoms of this illness include drooling, slobbering, or a wet chin.

In the case of overgrown teeth, a rotating burr must be used to trim the teeth under anesthesia by a veterinarian. Never use nail clippers or wire cutters because they can cause tooth damage and infection. To prevent such dental issues, provide your pet with sufficient chewing material, such as wood blocks or extremely dry bread.

Tumours and Cancers

Tumors and cancers are prevalent among rodents, particularly females (mammary tumours). Noting that the mammary glands of female rats and mice extend to the entire back and sides explains why breast cancer can manifest as a lump anywhere on the body.

Skin problems

Despite the fact that skin problems are not fatal in and of themselves, they can have severe consequences for your pet’s health if left untreated. For instance, they can cause significant itching, which can cause your rodents to begin fighting.

Parasites such as mites, fleas, and lice, as well as fungal infections, can cause skin disorders. Keeping your rodents in the cleanest environment possible is essential in order to avoid complications of this nature. However, if a skin condition develops, you can rest assured that treatments, such as sprays and baths, are simple and effective.

If the tumor is small enough, it can be surgically removed under anesthesia. Occasionally, a tumor falls off by itself, exposing a portion of the flesh. If this occurs, you and your pet are extremely fortunate. You will then only need to disinfect the exposed flesh daily until the wound has completely healed.

Always keep in mind that your rodents will be less susceptible to illnesses, diseases, and sicknesses if you manage to prevent them through good hygiene, a healthy diet, and a stress-free environment.