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Guinea pig biting.

Species: Other
Breed: Guinea Pig American/
Age: 3-6 months
How I can gently dissuade my guinea pig from nibbling and nipping me?

Recently my guinea pig has been trying to nibble my fingers, and she gave me a nip on my lower arm today. It broke the very, very top layer of my skin.

This behavior usually happens when we are watching television on my computer together.

She has a salt lick and I give her apple branches, hay, kibble, apples, and carrots all the time.

Usually, we have amiable relations, and she is excited whenever I come from work.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Guinea pigs are wonderful little creatures but they can have some annoying habits at times!

Female guinea pigs (sows) can have a very strong tendency towards territorial aggressiveness and this may be what you are seeing.

Here are some things that you can try. The idea is to gradually desensitize her to your presence and change her attitude so that she feels very comfortable with you.

For a couple of days, don't pick Squeaky up at all. Several times a day, go to her cage and drop in some kind of treat/veggie that she likes. You can talk to her but don't try to touch her.

Then, after a few days, do the same thing but instead of dropping the treat in, put it next to her with your hand. Do that for a couple of days.

Then, do the same thing, but after you put the treat in the cage, then pet her a little bit. At any point in this process, if she gets aggressive then go back to the previous step for a few days.

The next step would be to actually pick her up while you have a treat in your hand.

You can gradually take her to different places in the house and give her a small treat every now and then so she is comfortable with you.

If this isn't working then another option would be to find a vet who is able to do a guinea pig spay. Spaying her will greatly reduce the hormones that are likely causing her to be aggressive.

Dr. Marie.




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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.