Are you worried about not knowing if guinea pigs can catch Covid? Over the last few years since the first Covid case, there have been huge developments in how we identify the symptoms of Covid along with the treatment. The majority of this research has been focused on us as humans. Larger animals such as cats and dogs usually have guidance issued but the smaller animals are predominantly forgotten. Let’s explore if guinea pigs can catch Covid.
Find Out More:
- What Is Coronavirus?
- Can My Guinea Pig Catch Covid?
- Caring For Guinea Pigs When You Have Covid
- Feeding Guinea Pigs When You Are Self Isolating
- Taking Your Guinea Pig To The Vet When You Have Covid
- Can I Get Covid From My Guinea Pig
- Stay Safe And Well
What Is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is also known as Covid or Covid 19. For the purpose of this article, we will be referring to it as Covid. It is an infectious disease that spreads from small liquid particles from an infected person’s mouth or nose. The majority of people infected suffer from a mild to moderate respiratory infection plus they require any special treatment.
However, some people are affected very severely by Covid. They can become seriously ill and require medical attention.
The guidance around preventing and slowing down the spread of Covid are:
- Keep one metre apart from others
- Wear a properly fitted mask
- Washing your hand regularly
- Using alcohol-based gel
- Covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Be vaccinated against the disease.
The guidance around Covid safety measures is different in each country so ensure you are up to date with your country’s current guidance.
Commonly reported symptoms of Covid are:
- New continuous cough
- High temperature
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
If you think you have Covid symptoms please get in touch with your local health care system.
Can My Guinea Pig Catch Covid?
The guidance around whether Guinea Pigs can catch Covid has changed dramatically since Covid first emerged. We have held off publishing any information around it due to that very reason! The CDC has the most recent, update information around it and we will be referencing that.
Contrary to what has been previously reported, Covid can be spread from people to animals if the person has Covid and the animal comes into close contact with them. This has been confirmed through worldwide reports.
Currently, no data has been released specifically in relation to the guinea pigs. However in Singapore this year (Jan 22) a cluster of Covid cases were traced to a pet shop. The pet in question? Hamsters.
After the Delta strain of Covid cases was traced to the pet shop worker, it lead to tests on the pets themselves. The finding of these tests was that 11 hamsters tested positive.
Hong Kong then went on to cull all the hamsters in the city, that number being 2,000 hamsters. It is unclear if the worker passed Covid to the hamsters or the hamsters passed Covid to the worker.
This proves that although there is a low chance of guinea pigs contracting Covid, there is still a chance.
Caring For Guinea Pigs When You Have Covid
If you or someone in your guinea pig household has been diagnosed with Covid, it’s essential to protect your guinea pigs as well as the general public! It’s best to refrain from kissing, hugging and handling your guinea pigs whilst you are unwell.
If you are the sole carer of your piggies then we appreciate that it is virtually impossible to step away from your role. Ensure you wash your hand thoroughly before and after handling your piggies and always wear a mask. Continue to provide food, fresh water and hay as usual. Never put a mask on your guinea pig or use an antibacterial gel or wash on them!
Ensure you cover your mouth and nose when sneezing in the same room as your guinea pigs and don’t leave any used tissues in their room either.
Feeding Guinea Pigs When You Are Self Isolating
A big worry amongst our readers has been how to get fresh food and veg for your guinea pigs when you are self-isolating with Covid. Since most of us aren’t growing our own fruit or veg, we need to get more inventive in how we feed our guinea pigs!
- Provide grass from the garden,
- Collect dandelion leaves and flowers from your garden,
- Broccoli stems make a great addition to your guinea pigs’ diet and keep fresh longer than spinach and Kale,
Personally, When myself and my partner had Covid we used Amazon Prime. They delivered fresh food plus we ordered some hay. We left instructions to leave the package in a safe place and our piggies were fed in no time! Ensure whichever delivery service you use, they know you are self-isolating and won’t attempt to deliver to you directly.
Taking Your Guinea Pig To The Vet When You Have Covid
What do you do if you are self-isolating and need to take your guinea pig to the vet? If it’s just a routine appointment such as claw trimming, then simply reschedule. Once your vets know you are self-isolating they will be happy to rearrange your appointment.
If you think your guinea pig is seriously ill and requires urgent medical attention whilst you are self-isolating then speak to your vet. It could be possible for them to provide assistance over the phone or perhaps a well family member could facilitate your appointment on your behalf.
Can I Get Covid From My Guinea Pig?
Currently, the CDC states that companion animals around the world have been infected with Covid through contact with an infected human. The companion animals they use as examples are dogs, pet cats, ferrets and hamsters.
Their stance on animals spreading the disease back to humans is currently low.
An important point to note is that guinea pigs can actually carry Covid infected water particles on their fur. This means if someone with Covid comes into contact with your guinea pig, they may the infected particles onto your guinea pig. Then when you pick up your piggie, there is a chance that you could then become infected by these particles. Good hygiene practices are key!
Always ensure that no one with Covid is hugging, kissing or handling your guinea pig!
If you suspect your guinea pig may have Covid, contact your vet and ensure they know your concerns before taking them to the vet.
Stay Safe and Well
Whilst there is still a heap of research needed around the question of can guinea pigs catch Covid, the most important thing is that you and your piggies are staying safe.
Ensure you as a human are following good hygiene practices in your everyday life and your life with your piggies.
Never attempt to disinfect your guinea pig’s paws, face or body. If you are concerned about the risk of Covid to your guinea pigs, please get in touch with your vet.