Cancer affects both humans and animals alike, though not all species are as susceptible to it as others. For instance, while many types of dogs have higher incidences of certain types of tumors than other animals, guinea pigs rarely develop them at all, making them a common pet in households with children and other vulnerable groups of people. If you’ve recently discovered that your beloved Guinea Pig has developed a tumor or been diagnosed with cancer, the good news is that there are plenty of treatment options available to help him get well again.
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What are tumors and cancers?
Tumors are masses of cells which grow rapidly, either inside or outside the body. It can be benign or malignant. If a tumor is benign, then it will not spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous and they can spread to other parts of the body. In any case, if you have a tumor in your guinea pig, it needs immediate attention.
How common are they in guinea pigs?
Tumors are common in guinea pigs, but cancers can be rare. A tumor is an abnormal growth of cells that form a lump or mass. They are usually benign (not cancer) but they can become cancerous if the cells reproduce uncontrollably.
What are the symptoms?
Tumors are usually benign masses of tissue, while cancers are malignant. Both can be dangerous to your guinea pig’s health. Symptoms may include lumps or bumps on the skin, a noticeable change in weight, an increased appetite, or difficulty breathing.
Tumors are usually benign masses of tissue, while cancers are malignant. Both can be dangerous to your guinea pig’s health.
What causes them?
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of tumors and cancers in a guinea pig. These include genetics, diet, environment, behavioral factors, hormonal changes, viral infections and bacterial infections.
How are they diagnosed?
Guinea pigs are diagnosed with tumors or cancers by their veterinarian. The vet will perform a physical exam of the animal, along with a complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, and urinalysis before coming to a diagnosis.
Can they be prevented?
While it is difficult to say for sure, tumors and cancers in guinea pigs are usually not preventable. It is possible that if a tumor or cancer does form, treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery may be able to reduce the size of the tumor or remove the cancer completely.
The bottom line
Guinea pigs are prone to developing tumors, which is more common than cancers. If you notice your guinea pig has a lump or is not acting like themselves, it is important that you seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
There are many cancers and tumors that Guinea pigs can contract, but there are also ways to help prevent them from appearing at all. Most people think of cancer as a human disease, but dogs and cats get it too, as do guinea pigs. But in guinea pigs, cancer is more common than people realize, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and how you can best treat your pet’s condition if he or she develops cancer in the future.