Do Guinea Pigs Get Colds? {Will They Catch My Cold?}

When my guinea pig sneezes or has a runny nose, I immediately assume the worst. When it is time to seek a vet’s diagnosis? Do guinea pigs get colds and do they recover on their own?

What should you do for a sick guinea pig? Can they make you sick?

All of this and more will be mentioned, explained and discussed in the article below. Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Colds?

No. Although guinea pigs do not experience the same cold symptoms as people, they can develop respiratory infections. These infections, which can be brought on by:

  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • fungus

They can produce symptoms similar to colds including:

  • runny nose
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • wheezing

Keep your guinea pig’s living place clean and dry, and keep them away from drafts and rapid temperature fluctuations to prevent respiratory illnesses. A healthy diet and regular exercise can strengthen your guinea pig’s immune system and lower the risk of infections.

Can Guinea Pigs Catch Cold From Humans?

No. Can I give my guinea pig a cold? No again. Humans cannot spread the common cold to guinea pigs. The viruses that give people colds are unique to people and cannot be passed on to guinea pigs.

To prevent the spread of other infections or viruses that might make your guinea pig sick, it is still crucial to exercise excellent hygiene while dealing with them.

  1. Never handle your guinea pig without washing your hands first,
  2. Stay away from them if you’ve recently been ill.
  3. Keep your guinea pig away from any sick animals, as some diseases can be passed from one animal to another.
  4. Take your guinea pig to a vet that specializes in small animals if you think they may be ill so they may receive the correct diagnosis and care.

Can a Guinea Pig Die From a Cold?

Yes, guinea pigs can suffer serious consequences from a cold, especially if it goes untreated. Because of their tiny stature and delicate respiratory systems, guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to cold viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses leading to:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • nasal discharge
  • wheezing
  • trouble breathing
  • loss of appetite 

Your guinea pig can heal and avoid the illness spreading or getting worse with the aid of antibiotics and other therapies that your veterinarian might provide.

How to Treat Guinea Pig Cold

Take your guinea pig to the doctor for a correct diagnosis and treatment if they are exhibiting cold-like symptoms like:

  • sneezing
  • runny noses
  • watery eyes

You may make your guinea pig more comfortable in the meantime by keeping them warm and giving them lots of water.

  1. Avoid drafts
  2. Keep the area dry and tidy.
  3. Give your guinea pig fresh vegetables that are strong in vitamin C

Any over-the-counter drugs intended for people should never be used on guinea pigs since they might be hazardous to them. In order to address the underlying cause of the cold, your veterinarian may advise using antibiotics or other drugs.

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Sick Guinea Pig Eyes

A sick guinea pig may have runny, flaming, or puffy eyes. These signs and symptoms may indicate a number of medical conditions, including:

  • allergies
  • respiratory infections
  • diseases

To address the underlying problem causing the eye symptoms, your veterinarian may recommend eye drops or other drugs. Additionally, avoiding eye irritation and other health problems can be achieved by maintaining a dust-free and clean environment for your guinea pig.

How Do You Save a Cold Guinea Pig?

It’s important to get medical help right away for cold guinea pigs since they can quickly deteriorate and get extremely unwell.

Maintaining a warm, humid atmosphere will make your guinea pig more at ease while you wait. To keep them warm, you can place a heat lamp or heating pad beneath one side of their cage. Keep an eye on their behavior to make sure they aren’t becoming too hot or cold.

A humidifier may also be used to maintain moisture in the air, which can aid with respiratory problems.

In order to keep your guinea pig hydrated and fed, encourage them to consume food and liquids. Give them their regular food and water. If they don’t eat or drink, you might need to syringe feed them or give them critical care meals.

What Are the Early Signs of Pneumonia in Guinea Pigs?

It might be challenging to recognize the early symptoms of pneumonia in guinea pigs because they may initially be mistaken for minor respiratory problems that get worse over time. However, a few typical warning signs to watch out for are as follows:

Sneezing and coughing

Frequent sneezing or coughing in your guinea pig might be an indication of pneumonia in its early stages.

Breathing problems

If your guinea pig is suffering breathing problems, such as rapid breathing or wheezing, this might indicate respiratory distress.

Loss of appetite

Guinea pigs not eating as much as normal or losing weight, may be an indication of a more serious condition, such pneumonia.

Lethargy and weakness

A guinea pig that appears lethargic or is acting weaker than normal, may be an indication of pneumonia. If neglected, pneumonia may be a dangerous and even fatal infection.

What Can You Do for a Sick Guinea Pig?

  1. Take your guinea pig to a veterinarian who is familiar with guinea pigs.
  2. Dry off and keep your guinea pig comfy and warm.
  3. Make sure your guinea pig gets regular meals and fluids.
  4. Give your guinea pig any medication that your veterinarian has advised.
  5. Keep a close eye on your guinea pig’s symptoms and behavior.
  6. To stop the transmission of disease, periodically clean your guinea pig’s cage.
  7. To speed up healing, give your guinea pig a calm, stress-free environment.

Remember that your guinea pig can worsen quickly, so it’s critical to take action as soon as you see any symptoms of disease.

Is It Easy for Guinea Pigs to Get Sick?

Not easy. It’s essential for guinea pig owners to understand the care and medical requirements of their animals because they might be vulnerable to a range of ailments.

Since their respiratory systems are delicate, they are susceptible to respiratory infections if their living conditions are not kept dry and clean.

Guinea pigs are also prone to dental disorders and may experience problems with their teeth and gums if they are not provided with a healthy diet or dental treatment.

Overall, while guinea pigs can be susceptible to illness, many health issues can be avoided with proper care and attention to their needs.

Your guinea pig may be kept healthy and content with:

  • regular veterinarian checkups
  • appropriate feeding
  • clean housing circumstances
  • paying attention to any changes in behavior or health

How Do Guinea Pigs Act When Sick?

A sick guinea pig may exhibit a number of signs that point to its disease. Typical symptoms of a sick guinea pig include:

  • lack of energy or lethargy
  • appetite loss or weight loss
  • breathing issues, wheezing, or coughing
  • discharge coming from the nose or eyes
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • hiding or aiming for seclusion
  • inadequate grooming or excessive grooming
  • changes in personality or conduct

Early medical intervention can assist to stop the sickness from getting worse and can improve the likelihood of a full recovery.

Can I Get Sick From My Guinea Pig?

Yes. You can get sick from your pet guinea pig. It’s possible for people to get viruses and germs from guinea pigs. The term “zoonotic bacterial infection” refers to a common disease that may be transmitted from guinea pigs to people and is brought on by the bacterium Salmonella.

Humans who have contracted Salmonella may have:

  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • stomach pains

Rarely, hospitalization is necessary due to a more serious illness caused by Salmonella. When handling guinea pigs and their cages, maintain good hygiene.

This includes thoroughly washing your hands after handling the animals and routinely cleaning their living area.

Do Guinea Pigs Vibrate When They Are Cold?

Yes, when they are cold, guinea pigs can vibrate or shiver. Their body reacts in this way as a natural way to control body temperature.

A guinea pig will begin to shiver or tremble when it is too cold to create body heat and stay warm. To protect your guinea pig from being too chilly, provide a warm and cozy environment.

Your guinea pig may be kept warm and pleasant by:

  • giving them a soft bed
  • covering their cage with a blanket
  • avoiding drafts in their living area

Your guinea pig may be too chilly and need to be relocated to a warmer environment if you observe them shivering a lot.

Home Remedies for Sick Guinea Pig

You might try the natural remedies listed below for your sick guinea pig:

  1. Give your guinea pig a warm, comfortable living space that is approximately 68-75°F (20-24°C) in temperature.
  2. Your guinea pig can eat more if you give it fresh, high-vitamin C foods like parsley, bell peppers, and strawberries.
  3. Give your guinea pig plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated.
  4. Keep your guinea pig’s cage clean and well-ventilated to prevent the spread of germs.
  5. Use a humidifier in the area to ease respiratory problems.
  6. A soft fleece blanket or additional bedding should be provided for your guinea pig.
  7. Consult a specialist as soon as you can to determine what’s wrong with your guinea pig’s condition and how to treat it.

Please be advised that while these at-home remedies may provide some relief for your sick guinea pig, they shouldn’t be used in place of consulting a veterinarian.


Guinea pigs may contract viruses that look like the common cold. Even though it might not be a serious condition, it is crucial to keep an eye on your guinea pig’s symptoms and take the necessary action to care for and treat it when necessary.

You can maintain your guinea pig healthy by keeping their living space clean and cozy, feeding them a balanced diet, and keeping them warm when the weather becomes chilly.

Additionally, it’s crucial to get your guinea pig medical attention if you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviors. Most guinea pigs can get over a cold and get back to feeling happy and healthy with the right care and attention.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.