Why do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Own Poop?

Watching a Guinea pig ingest its poop can be a nerve-wracking experience for a new pet owner. It is common to find some animal lovers rush their piggies to the vet after noticing the strange occurrence.

In reality, the pellet-like substance that Guinea pigs consume is beneficial and healthy to them.

Although it resembles fecal material, there is more than meets the eye. On that note, we will delve deeper into the importance of regular poop consumption to your guinea pigs.

Guinea Pig Eating Poop – Is This Normal?

Guinea pigs defecate in two types of darkish brown poop. During the first emission, food consumed comes out predigested. This is the softer version of fecal material known as the Caecals or Caecotrophs.

Note that this secretion is smellier and contains more moisture. Rarely do you find Caecotrophs in the cage since piggies gulp it down immediately they excrete.

Given that the excreted matter still contains vital nutrients, the second absorption is vital for your pet’s well-being. Afterward, they emit the usual hard pellets noticeable in the cage. The process is similar to cud-chewing observed in hoofed animals such as cows and goats.

In this case, the animals chew back their food for proper digestion. Initially, the food settles in the rumen as the stomach acids work on it. Later it shoots back to the esophagus for a repeat chew.

It is worth noting that guinea pigs do not have rumens. Therefore, partially chewed food has to come out through the anus for a second chew up.

Can Guinea Pigs Get Sick from Eating Poop?

Guinea pigs poop says a lot about their health. A normal poop color should be mild to dark brown. If your guinea pig excretes light brown poo, this is a likely indicator of malnutrition.

Since your little friends are grazers, pooping too much is a sign of a healthy piggy. This also increases the volume of healthy Caechals ingested back in the body.

However, if your pet gets placed on antibiotics the beneficial content in Caecals reduces to great lengths. Remember that, although antibiotics have a whole load of benefits, they eliminate the good bacteria in Caechals.

As a result, guinea pigs fail to absorb the right nutrients leading to malnutrition. To help restock the good bacteria, offer some poop from a healthy guinea pig. I know this sounds disgusting, but it is the fastest way to place the helpful bacteria back in the digestive tract.

For sickly and aged guinea pigs, mash the content with warm water and feed them through a syringe. Feeding your pets with this rich content in between meals is a successful approach to helping them back on their feet.

How to Get Your Guinea Pigs Stop Eating Poop?

It is very healthy for all guinea pigs to regularly devour their Caelcal poo. Failure to consume it depicts a major health problem for your pet. Apart from malnutrition, other life-threatening conditions may crop up.

There are rare situations where some guinea pigs find it hard to consume their poop. For instance, aged guinea pigs often lose their anal section muscle tone. This leads to a very painful condition known as impaction.

In such conditions, piggies find it extremely hard to pass stool. When this happens, rush your pet to a dependable vet for manual cleaning and removal of excreta.

Bearing in mind that your pet still requires the critical nutrients in the Caelcal poo, seek professional help on how to supplement them.

Mostly, veterinarian recommends for vitamins supplements or wheat germ. Not unless eating poop leads to other detrimental conditions, try not to deject your pet on indulging.

Is Guinea Pig Poop Toxic?

There is nothing lethal in the Caecotrophs content. Instead, it is rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin K. Moreover, it contains proteins and other vital elements suitable for your pet’s growth.

If you have pups, you may notice them munching on their mother’s poop. This enables their guts to develop healthy bacteria as they transition from milk to solid food.

Rich in healthy fiber, Caecal poop also helps to enhance the guinea pig’s digestive system. Regular consumption aids in bowel movement and the entire digestive process.

In short, reprocessing food helps the guinea pig to effectively absorb the much-needed nutrients. That way, your pets thrive and manage to meet milestones on time.

Wrap Up

Disgusting as it may sound, Caelcal poo has an abundance of benefits to your little friend.

Keep in mind that lack or poor absorption of this healthy content results in undernourishment or death. Therefore, act fast when you notice your fuzzy friend avoid consuming some.

Equally, book an appointment with a vet if you notice a budge around the anal area. Typically, this is a sign of impaction which is a leading cause of death in older guinea pigs.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

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