Cavy First Aid Medicine Cabinet
The following are items that we try to keep on-hand in our own cavy medicine cabinet "just in case." Please keep in mind that these supplies are not a substitute for prompt veterinary care, but can be helpful for minor problems and for supportive care while waiting to see your vet.
For more information on guinea pig emergencies, see "Emergency Medical Guide" on Guinea Lynx.
Useful first aid kit / medical cabinet items include, but are not limited to:
Antiseptic - to cleanse wounds in order to help prevent infection. Recommended are Hibiclens/Chlorhexidine or Betadine, used diluted. Note: serious wounds should always be evaluated by your veterinarian.
Ear Cleaning Solution - for routine cleaning in and around ear area. We use, and recommend, Epi-Otic.
Electrolyte Powder or Pedialyte - to help treat or prevent mild dehydration (consult with your veterinarian immediately if you suspect dehydration).
Handfeeding Product - for handfeeding pets who are recovering from surgery or illness. (Note that lack of appetite is a very serious situation -- seek veterinary assistance immediately if your guinea pig has stopped eating).
Ivermectin - for treatment of mites or other external parasites. (Use under the supervision of your veterinarian).
Mineral Oil – For the treatment of anal impaction. A vegan, fragrance-free personal lubricant will also work.
Nail Clippers - for trimming toenails or foot spurs. Be sure to have styptic powder (plain flour or cornstarch also work) on hand during trims.
Opthalmic Ointment - to gently lubricate the eye area; used for mild irritation (note: eye injuries or other eye conditions can be serious and should be examined by your veterinarian).
Pill Cutter/Pill Crusher - for cutting pills or vitamin tablets.
Probiotic – Administer to guineas during antibiotic treatment, or during times of stress or gastric upset. Helps to restore "good" bacteria. BeneBac powder or plain Acidophilus are good choices.
Saline Eye Wash – for gently cleansing or flushing around the eye area in case of irritation or debris (note: eye injuries or other eye conditions can be serious and should be examined by your veterinarian).
Scale - for monitoring weight. Daily weighing is critical during times of illness or stress.
Snuggle Safe or Microwaveable Heating Pad (always use a cover) - useful for cavies recovering from surgery or illness.
Stethoscope - particularly helpful for monitoring gut sounds. Lack of stomach noise can indicate serious conditions such as bloat, blockage or stasis.
Styptic Powder - to stop bleeding in over-cut nails.
Syringes, 1ml - for administering medications, hand-feeding formula or liquids. (For guinea pigs, we recommend using nothing larger than a 1ml/cc syringe for oral use.)
Syringe, curved-tip - for flushing wounds or abscesses.
Thermometer (digital) – for rectal use. Normal range for healthy guinea pigs is 99.0 - 103.1 F°
Vitamin C - for use during times of illness or stress. Also for treatment of vitamin C deficiency (scurvy).