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Thread: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

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    How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Hi there! :)

    How often have you taken your guinea pig to the vet in their lifetime? Just so I can get an idea on how often I need to go to the vet and the costs. Thanks :)

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    I've had guinea pigs for many years and only had to take two of them for a one time trip to the veterinarian. The first one had an eye poke from a hay strand and the second one had a sebacous cyst on her shoulder. Both times the charges were pretty minimal and the pigs healed without any other issues. I realize that I've been lucky though. I've seen other forum members who have had multiple health issues with their pigs and many hospitals visits. I think for the most part guinea pigs are relatively healthy and probably a large majority of them go through their lives without needing many veterinary visits. I wanted to add that all of my guinea pigs lived an average lifespan. Two of them passed away at almost nine years of age and the others lived to be almost eight years of age.

    You always want to be prepared though. I've always made sure that I had the necessary funds available if my pigs needed medical care.
    Last edited by Kelsie; 06-22-20 at 11:21 am.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Ok thanks! Do you do checkups? Are checkups necessary?

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsie View Post
    I've had guinea pigs for many years and only had to take two of them for a one time trip to the veterinarian. The first one had an eye poke from a hay strand and the second one had a sebacous cyst on her shoulder. Both times the charges were pretty minimal and the pigs healed without any other issues. I realize that I've been lucky though. I've seen other forum members who have had multiple health issues with their pigs and many hospitals visits. I think for the most part guinea pigs are relatively healthy and probably a large majority of them go through their lives without needing many veterinary visits. I wanted to add that all of my guinea pigs lived an average lifespan. Two of them passed away at almost nine years of age and the others lived to be almost eight years of age.

    You always want to be prepared though. I've always made sure that I had the necessary funds available if my pigs needed medical care.
    Thanks! Did you do checkups? Are checkups necessary?

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    Cavy Slave SSLee's Avatar
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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    My vet suggested semi-annual check ups but I take them in on an annual basis. I've read recommendations here to take them in on an as-needed basis and I've decided to do that going forward. My most recently adopted piggy, Felicia, had a burst abscess earlier this year, and it took a month of weekly visits before everything was cleared. Other than that over the past year, two different piggies had soft poops and I took them in to be checked over and their poops tested for bacteria. The burst abscess treatment was the most expensive vet costs for me so far and I definitely have a robust vet fund set aside.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    I have to say that I don't take my pigs in for annual exams. My reasoning is that being prey animals it doesn't take much to upset them and I don't want to frightened them unnecessarily. I'm home with them all day so I can quickly spot any changes in their behavior. If I suspect there is any problems I wouldn't hesitate to take them to my vet. I did take each one for a well piggy check when I first adopted them but other than that they only go in on an as-needed basis.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Ok thanks! I was worried about annual checkups since they stress piggies out, and plus they cost a lot since they r exotics. But I’ll stick with a needed basis. Thanks!

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    All I can say is, truthfully......... hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Out of the 6 pigs I have had so far in 10 years, all 6 have required vet visits. It's really not a question of IF your pig will need vet care, but when. This is why it is SO important to do your research and make sure you have a cavy capable vet on hand BEFORE an emergency arises.

    While I don't feel my situation has been a typical indicator of keeping cavies, I have had somewhat of I guess we can call it bad luck. Not quite worst case, but I had 3 pigs in a row with chronic and/or serious illnesses, and over those three pigs between December of 2016 and May of this year, I have spent somewhere in the neighbourhood between eight and ten thousand dollars on cavy care. I am Canadian so costs are somewhat more here, but you should know that situations like this are why we always say that you should have a good vet fund available. Things can get expensive quickly if it's needed.

    I am most certainly not trying to scare you. But I'm a firm believer in being as prepared as you can be.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    I take mine in on an "as needed" basis. We have 3 guinea pigs and they have all been to the vet at one time or another. Seven only goes in to have her nails trimmed (I can't do it anymore after a bad incident where I clipped too far). Sparkle just went in over the weekend with an injury for xrays (thank goodness nothing was broken). Sausage goes in once a month for hormone injections. It's all so very random - but I agree with above poster who said "be as prepared as you can be".

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    I take my pigs on an as needed basis as well. However, I am quite diligent with their health at home. I weigh my pigs biweekly and give them a good feel over for lumps, bumps or abnormalities. If I notice anything they go in to my vet right away.

    I think one of the most important things is to make sure you have some savings for vet bills, as chances are they will need to visit the vet at some point in their lives. In my experience I either have pigs that are quite healthy with no real issues, or ones that seem to be riddled with health problem after health problem.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by sallyvh View Post
    I take my pigs on an as needed basis as well. However, I am quite diligent with their health at home. I weigh my pigs biweekly and give them a good feel over for lumps, bumps or abnormalities. If I notice anything they go in to my vet right away.

    I think one of the most important things is to make sure you have some savings for vet bills, as chances are they will need to visit the vet at some point in their lives. In my experience I either have pigs that are quite healthy with no real issues, or ones that seem to be riddled with health problem after health problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by chickpea616 View Post
    I take mine in on an "as needed" basis. We have 3 guinea pigs and they have all been to the vet at one time or another. Seven only goes in to have her nails trimmed (I can't do it anymore after a bad incident where I clipped too far). Sparkle just went in over the weekend with an injury for xrays (thank goodness nothing was broken). Sausage goes in once a month for hormone injections. It's all so very random - but I agree with above poster who said "be as prepared as you can be".
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsie View Post
    I have to say that I don't take my pigs in for annual exams. My reasoning is that being prey animals it doesn't take much to upset them and I don't want to frightened them unnecessarily. I'm home with them all day so I can quickly spot any changes in their behavior. If I suspect there is any problems I wouldn't hesitate to take them to my vet. I did take each one for a well piggy check when I first adopted them but other than that they only go in on an as-needed basis.
    Quote Originally Posted by SSLee View Post
    My vet suggested semi-annual check ups but I take them in on an annual basis. I've read recommendations here to take them in on an as-needed basis and I've decided to do that going forward. My most recently adopted piggy, Felicia, had a burst abscess earlier this year, and it took a month of weekly visits before everything was cleared. Other than that over the past year, two different piggies had soft poops and I took them in to be checked over and their poops tested for bacteria. The burst abscess treatment was the most expensive vet costs for me so far and I definitely have a robust vet fund set aside.
    Ok thanks everyone! I’ll keep that in mind, about how much does an average vet visit cost?

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Much of the cost of a vet visit is dependent on the area in which you live. I live in the PNW. When I took my pig in for an eye poke it was late at night and I took her to a 24- hour emergency clinic. I actually felt that my bill was reasonable considering the situation. They did an exam and an eye stain and sent me home with eye drops for her. The total bill for that visit was $175.00. When I took my pig with the sebacous cyst into the vet it was during regular office hours and with the exam and draining the cyst my bill at that time was $145.00.

    I was actually prepared for a much larger bill during both exams. I have to say both of these visits were probably over 7 years ago so I'm sure they would be much higher today. Since guinea pigs are considered exotics you have to be prepared to pay more than you would for a dog or cat.

    As I said in an earlier post I've been very lucky with my pigs and they've been pretty healthy. However I know that could change at any time so I always keep adding to my pet's health fund. I worked for 12 years in an veterinary emergency hospital and saw first hand how devastating it can be financially for some people when their pet is ill or injured. I never wanted to be in that situation.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    I want to throw this out there as well, exotic pet insurance is always a good option. I'm paying $75 per guinea pig. I recently had to take one of mine to the vet for an abcess. I received more than half of the vet bill back. :) it's so nice as a fall back.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    I take mine as-needed and try to maintain a generous vet fund. Overtime, holiday pay, birthday money, tax refund -- it all goes to the pigs! :D

    My first Age of Pigs involved 4 pigs that I had over the course of about 6 years. I can't recall the exact number or cost of vet visits for all of them, but I know that it costs enough to take a pig to the vet that taking them for a regular checkup just doesn't seem like a wise use of the vet fund; not to me, anyway. I had one that developed bladder stones and had to be put to sleep after his first surgery because a stone was lodged in his urethra and the vet just COULD NOT get it out. I had another one that developed an abdominal mass around 4-4.5 years of age and had to be put to sleep at the ER after she took a very sudden and drastic turn for the worse. And my longest-lived pig -- the legendary Tribble pig -- was put to sleep a week before his sixth birthday after having GI issues over the previous 3 weeks, probably caused by some underlying condition like cancer.

    The Second Age of Pigs began when I adopted two young boars from the shelter last November. So far, we've had 2 medical issues that have required the vet. The first problem was when Casper came up with this weird lesion on his testicle in January. The vets found it scary enough that they advised me to have him neutered, which I did. That whole adventure probably cost around $650 or so including the first vet visit, a recheck, surgery, meds, and biopsy. The second vet visit was when the boys got into a fight and Poptart got bit under his chin and it formed an abscess. Even though it was a very small abscess, they still had to put him to sleep in order to lance and drain it, and anesthesia is EXPENSIVE. I think all of that was around $200ish? He healed up nicely and we didn't end up needing to go back.

    I very much agree with the philosophy of "hope for the best and prepare for the worst." The one most important thing that I can say that I've learned from dealing with guinea pig medical care is that you should ALWAYS overestimate the cost of anything and everything that might need to be done. When I say that I have a generous vet fund set up, I mean that I try to keep around $1000-1500 set aside PER PIG, ready to be dispensed at a moment's notice. This may sound like overkill to some people -- and in a lot of ways it probably is -- but I would much rather have more on hand than what I end up actually using.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSqueakers View Post
    When I say that I have a generous vet fund set up, I mean that I try to keep around $1000-1500 set aside PER PIG, ready to be dispensed at a moment's notice. This may sound like overkill to some people -- and in a lot of ways it probably is -- but I would much rather have more on hand than what I end up actually using.
    It only sounds like overkill, until you've actually had to use it. Punkin and Scooter's care from September 1st last year until Scooter's passing May 26th ran me just over $6000. And I would spend it all over again.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    We have 2 boars. One of them goes for check-ups every 2 months. He is very prone to cysts and currently has 3 on his body. Every few months a new cyst pops out somewhere. So we are watching him closely and take him checked out regularly. Other boar had bladder stones, but since then he goes for check-up every 6 months. Currently he has some new health problems which are taking him to vet again. They are 4 yrs old now.

    So honestly I've spent LOTS of money on our piggies. Much more than on a dog we used to have. Before getting them I didn't know how big of responsibility they are. But they put smiles on our faces. No matter how hard day we have, they make it better. We don't drink, we don't go to restaurants and bars but we spend our money on those 2 guys. And much better spent money.

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    Re: How often did you have to take your guinea pig to the vet in his/her lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike221 View Post
    We have 2 boars. One of them goes for check-ups every 2 months. He is very prone to cysts and currently has 3 on his body. Every few months a new cyst pops out somewhere. So we are watching him closely and take him checked out regularly. Other boar had bladder stones, but since then he goes for check-up every 6 months. Currently he has some new health problems which are taking him to vet again. They are 4 yrs old now.

    So honestly I've spent LOTS of money on our piggies. Much more than on a dog we used to have. Before getting them I didn't know how big of responsibility they are. But they put smiles on our faces. No matter how hard day we have, they make it better. We don't drink, we don't go to restaurants and bars but we spend our money on those 2 guys. And much better spent money.
    Boy, do you ever sound like me... :)

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