Q: Just noticed while changing my son’s guinea pig cage that it has what looks like feces stuck in her bottom. I thought it just needed to be wiped off, but it won’t come out. It’s not pebblelike as described on some websites I have seen. It almost appears to be an abscess or something. I thought it was an impaction and tried giving her lettuce with olive oil. She is pooping but this protrusion isn’t coming out and not going in either. Any suggestions or help would be great.
A: Guinea pigs are prone, especially non-neutered male guinea pigs, to impactions in the “cloaca” area. This is a large, pouchlike area near the location of the anus. In some guinea pigs, feces will accumulate in this area and eventually appear to be an “impaction” of feces. Laxatives or enemas do not seem to work to remove this impaction.
The best way to remove this impaction is to visit your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will gently, sometimes with the guinea pig lightly sedated, break up the impaction and clean out the cloaca. There can be severe inflammation and occasionally infection secondary to long-standing impactions, and these conditions should be treated.
Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent these impactions. The best way to limit the secondary disease conditions caused by these impactions from becoming serious is to visit your veterinarian at the first sign of an impaction.