Guinea pig injuries are uncommon, but if you have more than one cavy, they can fight and cause wounds to each other.
A guinea pig may also need surgeries such as neutering or dental procedures.
The biggest worry among guinea pig owners is how to keep their pet from licking or biting any open wounds or stitches.
Guinea pigs will groom themselves often, and licking or biting open wounds or stitches may lead to infections.
Dogs and cats are usually made to wear a cone, also known as an e-collar, to prevent them from getting to their injuries.
But is it possible for guinea pigs to wear cones?
A guinea pig can wear a cone, but it is not always easy to get it to do so. Guinea pigs are very sensitive, and wearing a cone may bother some more than others. Choosing a cone with a proper fit and monitoring your pet to avoid further injuries is important.
When purchasing a cone for your guinea pig, choose one made specifically for small rodents.
A cone for cats or dogs will be too large for guinea pigs, and cones made for birds are usually too small.
You may also create a cone for your guinea pig by using everyday household items.
There are also a couple of alternatives to cones if your guinea pig has difficulty wearing them.
Keep reading to learn how to choose the right cone for your guinea pig and ensure your pet’s safety.
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Choosing a Cone for a Guinea Pig
The size is one of the most important factors in choosing a cone or e-collar for your guinea pig.
Cavies are excellent escape artists, and if the cone is too large for them, they will likely find a way to wriggle out of it.
Cones and e-collars for guinea pigs are usually adjustable, so it is easy to ensure a proper fit.
The material the cone or e-collar is made of is another consideration when purchasing one for a guinea pig.
An inflatable cone is not recommended for a cavy because they will easily puncture it by chewing on it.
Cloth E-Collars for Guinea Pigs
There are e-collars made of fabric, such as this one, which allows you to wash them when they get dirty.
A cloth e-collar is more flexible than one made from rigid plastic, so it is easier for a cavy to eat while wearing it.
Cloth e-collars are also comfortable for guinea pigs and have an adjustable strap for a proper fit.
The only downside to a cloth e-collar is it may become dirty more easily and require frequent washing to keep it clean.
If the cloth e-collar is not fitted correctly, a cavy may still be able to lick or bite its wounds.
Plastic Cones for Guinea Pigs
There are also traditional cones like this one on Amazon, which are made from more rigid plastic.
Clear plastic cones may work better for a guinea pig because they do not obstruct the animal’s vision.
Guinea pigs are prey animals, so they are always on high alert and may become fearful if they cannot get a clear view of their surroundings.
A plastic collar may make it more difficult for your cavy to eat while wearing it, so it is best to remove it during mealtime.
Make Your Own Guinea Pig Cone
If you are unable to find a cone or e-collar to purchase for your guinea pig, it is possible to make one with common household items such as paper towel rolls or sturdy pieces of paper, such as cardstock.
After cutting a semi-circle with the proper diameter for your cavy’s neck, attach velcro fasteners with glue.
You will also need to attach cloth or medical tape around the neck opening to prevent it from chafing your pet’s delicate skin.
Several tutorials are available online with details on how to make a cone for your cavy.
How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Safe in a Cone
If your guinea pig needs to wear a cone or e-collar for an injury, it is crucial to monitor your pet as much as possible.
You need to ensure the cone fits properly to prevent your cavy from licking or biting at stitches or an open wound, which could lead to infection.
If your guinea pig has difficulty eating while wearing a cone or e-collar, remove it for a bit of time during feeding.
You may also offer your cavy small pieces of fresh fruit or leafy greens for treats between meals while it is wearing the cone.
The neck must be lined with a soft material, whichever cone or e-collar you choose for your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs have very sensitive skin, and if the cone is rubbing on their delicate necks, there will be noticeable skin irritation and possible injury.
Remove the collar immediately if the skin around your cavy’s neck is red or irritated.
Irritation around the neck is not only uncomfortable for a guinea pig, but it may lead to a skin infection.
When other guinea pigs are housed in the same cage as one with a cone, monitor them for any signs of bullying.
If your injured guinea pig is being bullied while wearing a cone, you may need to remove the animal to a separate enclosure to prevent stress and further injury until it is fully healed.
Keeping your cavy’s wound area as clean as possible is vital to lessen the risk of infection.
Use a soft towel or fleece bedding instead of traditional guinea pig bedding to help keep your pet clean.
Change the bedding frequently to create a more sanitary environment while your cavy heals.
Alternatives to a Cone for a Guinea Pig
If wearing a cone or e-collar is causing your guinea pig a lot of stress, or the animal is constantly wiggling out of it, you may need to consider an alternative solution.
It is possible to wrap your cavy in medical gauze to protect the wound or stitches.
Be careful if you use this method, as wrapping the gauze too tightly around your guinea pig will interfere with digestion and cause discomfort.
Change the gauze regularly to keep the wounded area clean.
Another alternative is a recovery suit, which is made of breathable fabric and has openings to allow your cavy to poop and pee.
You may need to search for a specialty pet supply store in your area or online to find a recovery suit small enough for your guinea pig.
A recovery suit specifically for rabbits is available, but it may still be too large for a cavy.
If you are unable to find a recovery suit small enough for your guinea pig, it is possible to make one from a sock or other breathable material by cutting strategic holes in the fabric.
Your cavy needs to be able to urinate and defecate while wearing the suit, and the fabric needs to be breathable for proper wound healing.
Since guinea pigs tend to be messy little animals, it is best to have more than one recovery suit so they always have a clean one to wear every day while the soiled ones are being washed.