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Lethals guinea-pig babies! are they lethal???

STORM94

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
6
Hi, I am a new member,
could anyone tell me why my 2 day old baby guinea-pigs have held their heads up and occasionally to the side too? since birth.
I was looking at some lethal problem sites where they hold their heads to the side, but the say that they are always white guinea-pigs and these ones are both mainly black with a little tan.
 
My understanding is that lethals are always albino (complete absense of hair color) as you said, so I'm sure they aren't lethals. Whether they have health problems or not, that's something a vet could tell you.
 
here are some pics of them.

guinea-pig babies! are they lethal???guinea-pig babies! are they lethal???
 
How often do they do it? The second picture especially does not look normal to me.
 
they have their heads up most of the time, they put heads down for a few seconds if at all.
 
Do you have a vet that you could take them to? My opinion - better safe than sorry.
 
They look like they have head tilt. It can be caused by an ear infection or trauma. I'd have a vet check them as soon as possible.
 
They are not lethals -- lethals are always white, and almost always have small or missing eyes and are deaf.

But these may well have other neurological problems that result in their heads being held that way. If they've done it since birth, it's not likely to be an ear infection, but it could be caused by trauma, or it could be genetic.

Are they nursing and eating food ok? And can they move around the cage normally? If the answer to either of those is no, then they need a vet visit ASAP, particularly if they're not eating. If yes, I'd watch them for a day or so and see what happens so you've got a better idea if the behavior is going to persist.

But don't bother to take them to a regular vet -- you need a good exotic vet for this one.
 
Yes, they are eating, well as far as I know, and yes they definitely are nursing that's one of the only times they do put their heads down! Yes, they move around like normal babies.
Thank-you for all the replies, much appreciated :)
 
Since they were born that way, I doubt that anything can be done. It could have a genetic cause, or some developmental disorder. Club feet in guinea pigs is often caused by the mother being overheated at a specific time during pregnancy, for instance. But I don't know of anything causing that sort of head position.

What I'd do is keep a close eye on their food intake. Make sure they have a hay rack higher than their heads, for example, rather than just piling it on the floor. You can also clip lettuce leaves and other greens to a string across the cage, so that they can look up for them rather than down.
 
ok, thanks for all this info, I have bred guinea-pigs with my sisters for about 5 years and have never come across this before! I would have never even thought of some of this! it is so helpful!
Thank-you
 
I hope you'll reconsider breeding guinea pigs. The most likely cause of your pigs' problems is a genetic defect, and you may only perpetuate that in future litters.

I realize that your area doesn't have the huge overpopulation of unwanted pigs that we do in the US, but there are no doubt enough unplanned, accidental pregnancies in Queensland to keep the guinea pig population going there without your adding to it.
 
@bpatters if they live through whatever this is and manage to live a year or more, will they have spine problems/pain due to them constantly holding their heads up? perhaps they already have some spine issue(s) that prohibits them from resting their heads normally without pain or discomfort?

do you think they are in any pain right now? i've never seen anything like that. :( poor babies.
 
They mainly put their heads down now! I noticed this morning they have started acting like normal healthy babies! they are so cute! thanks again.
 
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