Guinea pigs are active cheerful rodents, delighting the owner with funny jumps, rumbling sounds and excellent mood. Sometimes the animal does not stand up and does not walk on its limbs. If a guinea pig’s hind legs fail, you need to immediately take the pet to a specialist. Paresis or paralysis of the limbs of a small animal is a symptom of various pathologies. Their prognosis directly depends on the timeliness of contacting the veterinary clinic, the correct diagnosis and the appointment of effective treatment.
How to understand that a guinea pig has failed hind limbs
An attentive owner should sound the alarm and show his beloved animal to an experienced rodentologist if the guinea pig:
- drags hind limbs;
- lame, unable to stand up;
- hard to move around the cage;
- more lying or sitting;
- squeaks loudly when moving;
- arches back;
- randomly moves limbs;
- breathing heavily;
- refuses food.
The animal has impaired coordination, cramps in the neck and back. The pet’s limbs and joints swell, and there is white liquid discharge in the eyes. A similar condition of the pet requires a complete examination in a veterinary clinic. In addition to the examination, radiography, ultrasound, MRI and laboratory tests of urine and blood tests are necessary. These diagnostic measures are necessary for a specialist to determine the cause of the immobilization of the animal and prescribe therapeutic measures.
Why did the hind limbs fail in the guinea pig
The most common causes of immobilization of a pet are pathologies of the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. Diseases of the nervous system, injuries and tumors provoke damage to both the spinal cord and the brain, compression of the radicular nerves, their death, weakening or complete paralysis of the limbs. Degenerative processes in the spine cause damage to the fibrous rings of the spine with the growth of pathological bone tissue and compression of the spinal cord and nerves, causing paresis and paralysis.
Most often, the hind limbs are taken away from the guinea pig due to injuries to the limbs, head and spine. Sometimes a fall from even a small height can be the cause of a spinal fracture. Injuries in guinea pigs occur during fights, careless handling, keeping animals in multi-storey cages, walking outdoors and indoors. Other reasons are related to:
- diseases of the joints and bones of the limbs, incl. bruises, fractures, cracks, dislocations, arthritis and arthrosis;
- neoplasms of the limbs, brain and spinal cord, internal organs;
- degenerative diseases of the spine, incl. spondylosis, spondylarthrosis, osteochondrosis;
- infectious inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, developing in utero;
- inflammatory diseases of internal organs;
- old age of a pet;
- heart attack, heart attack or stroke;
- congenital developmental anomalies.
Self-diagnosis of pathology and prescribing treatment is highly discouraged, the loss of time and incorrect therapeutic measures are fraught with aggravation of the animal’s condition up to death. The reason for the immobilization of a pet may be trauma, cystitis, arthritis or a brain tumor, requiring completely different methods of treatment, sometimes it is necessary to perform an emergency operation to save a small patient. In case of fractures of the hind limbs, amputation of the paw is performed; spinal injuries with preservation of the integrity of the spinal cord are successfully treated using conservative methods.
In case of injuries incompatible with life, or the formation of cancerous tumors in the brain and spinal cord, it is more advisable to carry out the euthanasia procedure to alleviate the suffering of a beloved animal.
If the guinea pig cannot walk on its own, drags its hind legs and collapses when moving, you should not put off a visit to a specialist. The earlier the cause is identified and treatment is prescribed, the more likely it is to prolong the carefree life of your little friend.
Video: paralysis in guinea pigs
What to do if a guinea pig’s hind legs fail
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