Guinea pigs make all kinds of strange noises. They can also produce numerous odors, and they are notorious for being really goofy pets. One question that Dr. Jess has received numerous times is, do guinea pigs fart? Read on to find out if any of those silly noises or odd smells may be a guinea pig toot.
Guinea pigs do indeed fart. Passing gas is completely normal throughout the day.
Just like humans, guinea pigs need a way to release gases trapped inside their digestive tract.
Since the digestive tract has just two openings or ways for air to get in and for air to leave, air must come out….. you guessed it, as a fart.
As previously mentioned, farting is a completely normal thing for a guinea pig to do. However, too much gas can mean big trouble for your guinea pig.
Why Do Farts Happen?
Your guinea pig farts because the air inside the digestive system needs to eventually come out. This trapped air is expelled from their anus in the form of a fart, also known as flatulence.
What Does a Guinea Pig Fart Sound Like?
Guinea pig farts can sound like little miniature flatulence, just like those that can come from other animals and even humans.
They can have little squeaks of air come out, small quiet “poofs” or “pfffts”, all the way to louder rumbles.
I have even heard a guinea pig pass gas that sounded like a balloon when the air is released and flying across the room!
Does My Guinea Pig Have Too Much Gas?
Too much gas in the digestive tract can mean that there is an underlying health issue.
Guinea pigs can come down with a condition called bloat which can become quite serious and even life threatening if not treated properly.
Bloat occurs when the digestive tract fills with too much gas.
This trapped gas expands in the tract and starts to cut off the blood supply to other organs and slows down the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract).
You can imagine, if your guinea pig’s blood supply is threatened, and their gut is not moving nutrients through, their body is not going to function properly and can become a life or death issue.
Causes of Increased Gas:
There are multiple reasons why your guinea pig may be having troubles with excess gas. Here are a few common reasons:
- A sudden change in diet
- A diet that is not balanced (high-quality hay should be a large portion of your guinea pig’s diet!)
- A diet high in certain fresh fruits and veggies (such as cabbages, Brussel sprouts, etc.)
- Old food (vegetables should be tossed out of your guinea pig’s cage if they have not eaten it to prevent your pet from eating vegetables that have started to ferment, as this is what leads to excess gas build-up)
- Water issues – dirty water or not having access to enough water can cause the gut to slow down and cause a build up of gasses inside the slower moving GI tract.
- not enough exercise – exercise can stimulate the movement of the GI tract. Make sure that your guinea pig is allowed playtime every day and that their cage is large enough for them to get exercise in as well.
- Medications – certain medications like antibiotics can cause an increase of gas in your guinea pig.
Signs of Bloat / Too Much Gas:
Every guinea pig is different, but here are some more commonly seen signs of bloat in guinea pigs.
- extended abdomen/belly
- sore or painful abdomen
- decreased appetite
- lethargy / decreased activity level
- decrease in water consumption
- increased hiding
- increased respiratory (breathing) rate
- increased heart rate
- saliva from mouth (from pain)
If you notice these signs, please reach out to your veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner your bloated guinea pig is examined by your vet, the more likely that they can be saved.
Guinea pigs do fart, and farting is completely normal for them on a daily basis.
However, too much gas can be a sign of a medical emergency… also known as bloat. Bloat can become life threatening if not address immediately with your veterinarian.
There are many reasons why your guinea pig may be producing gas, from their diets, to exercise activity, to stress levels… all can be a part of the reason behind your pet being gassy.
If you notice that your guinea pig is more gassy than normal, or you notice any of the signs of bloat listed in this article, contact your local veterinarian to find out next steps – we are happy to help you navigate the health and well-being of your pet!