There are some vital things you need to know when you’re a guinea pig owner and one of the biggest ones is this:
Guinea pigs do not naturally make their own vitamin C in the body, and they also can not store Vitamin C for a long time. So when guinea pigs eat vitamin C rich foods, the vitamins only have benefit for a short time.
What does this mean for you as the food and welfare provider for your guinea pig?
You must make sure your guinea pigs are getting a regular, high quality supply of vitamin C containing foods.
By regular, it is a daily requirement.
Your guinea pigs need foods containing vitamin C every day.
Vitamin C Deficiency Signs in Guinea Pigs
When guinea pigs aren’t getting enough vitamin C, they suffer with telltale signs and it will have a very negative impact on your health. So always make sure your precious guinea pigs are being fed properly. If have acquired or rescued guinea pigs with any of the following symptoms, they could be suffering from a serious vitamin C deficiency. Always take your guinea pigs to a veterinarian who has expertise with guinea pigs. Some signs of guinea pig vitamin C deficiency include:
- Lethargy and inactivity
- Lameness (difficulty or inability to walk or move properly)
- Pain when you are handling them
- Reduced appetite or not eating at all
Younger guinea pigs who have not received adequate vitamin C will usually show more severe signs.
Regardless of your guinea pig’s age, these are serious symptoms and require immediate vet attention, so make sure your make an appointment with your preferred guinea pig expert vet to have these concerning symptoms evaluated, diagnosed and treated.
Making sure your guinea pigs don’t become vitamin C deficient
Thankfully, it’s easy to maintain your guinea pig’s required vitamin C levels through their diet. As long as there are no other underlying health problems (see your vet for a full evaluation), providing a variety vitamin C rich foods like kale, and guinea pig nuggets will keep your piggies in excellent health.