Most guinea pig parents notice quite fast, how much their new guinea pigs poop. In a matter of minutes they’ve already decorated their cage with a bunch of oval-shaped brown droppings, but don’t worry: It’s normal!
Guinea pigs poop… a lot. They can sometimes lay down and create a nice little pile of poop at the same time, caused by their digestion system constantly working on processing the food they’ve been eating (and have to eat constantly to keep it up).
It’s important to understand that guinea pigs are prey animals, and as such they may not show any signs of illnesses and/or weaknesses until it’s almost too late.
One way you can monitor their overall health, is to look at their poop and keep an eye on any irregularities.
For this purpose, we’ve made a poop chart for you. With this chart you can learn more about the different types of poop, and what they mean.
Please know: ALWAYS call a vet if you’re unsure about anything. Guinea pigs need immediate diagnosis and treatment, if anything is wrong. Never try to seek alternative solutions to any illnesses or conditions, and never take medical advice from anyone besides experienced veterinarians.
1. Healthy Poop
A healthy poop is oval in shape, and has a semi-hard, uniform consistency. They shouldn’t mush or break into pieces when stepped on by your guinea pigs, but they shouldn’t come out completely dry either.
2. Green Poop (Cecal Pellets)
Here’s a little surprise for you: Guinea pigs practice coprophagia, and it’s totally normal. They eat their own poop, but not just any poop. Only the green ones, also known as cecal pellets.
Cecal pellets hold valuable nutrients, that are only absorbed when passing through their digestive systems twice. Any healthy guinea pig do this, and they should never be restricted from this.
3. Small, Dry, Tear-Shaped Poop
If your guinea pig has an issue with its guts or is dehydrated, the poop can turn dry and tear-shaped. This type of poop is usually smaller than healthy poop.
Make sure your guinea pigs have access to fresh water all the time, and if it’s from a bottle make sure it works and your guinea pigs are able to extract the water.
Always call a vet if you encounter this, and have your guinea pig checked for any underlying causes or problems.
4. Clumped Poop
This could have multiple causes: Either your guinea pig is suffering from a gut problem, or it’s getting older, which in some cases cause their rectal muscles to weaken.
No matter the reason, it is always advised to see a vet if you encounter this problem.
5. Soft, Smelly Poop
Guinea pigs can have diarrhea just like humans, and their poop usually turns soft and smelly. You can very quickly see if your guinea pigs are suffering from diarrhea if they’re getting smeared in poop on their feet and fur.
If your guinea pigs suffer from diarrhea, it should be considered an emergency situation and you need to see a vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Diarrhea is usually caused by an unhealthy diet, or they may have eaten something bad. Make sure you carefully check what food is safe for guinea pigs, and always offer them a balanced diet with unlimited hay.
6. Bloody Poop
This is another reason to see a vet immediately. If their poop turns red and bloody, it’s usually caused by some kind of obstruction, inflammation or a tear in their intestines.
It’s a dangerous condition, and should be treated as such.
Poop can also turn red if they’ve eaten beetroot, although their poop will quickly turn back to normal again afterwards.