This is very important for pet owners (not just guinea pig people). If you didn’t already know this, you should set aside some cash regularly for a vet fund. It can be monthly, bimonthly, weekly. Just as long as you make a habit of it. Obviously, you can avoid having to take a sick pet in by making sure they get enough exercise, have a good diet, etc. But some problems are unavoidable, like age-related issues.

Here at Guinea Glorious Days, we’ve been involved in guinea pig rescue for about 8+ years now, and one of the most common reasons for owner surrenders is the pig got sick or needs surgery. And the owner wasn’t able to afford the vet bill, so they end up relinquishing their pet instead. So! Here’s how to avoid that.

Preventive Care

Making sure your pet has a good diet, plenty of exercise and appropriate housing can help you avoid more common issues (upper respiratory infection, bumblefoot/pododermatitis, scurvy, etc). Which means you’re visiting the vet less, giving time for your vet fund to grow.

But some problems are unavoidable, like age-related issues.

Case in Point?

Peanut, who was the founding member of Clan Peanut wasn’t eating his pellets and had jerky, rough breathing. He was 4 years old at the time (which is middle-age for us). He went to the doctor, who diagnosed him with a heart murmur, along with fluid in his lungs. He was given a shot of furosemide to help drain the fluid, and was given more furosemide to take home, along with Vetmedin (another heart med).

The entire invoice ended up $325.23 USD, which was:

x-rays (needed to identify the heart murmur)$152.50
furosemide injection (administered at the vet’s office)$43.75
furosemide (take home med)$19.50
Vetmedin (more take-home meds)$56.98
office visit$52.50
Breakdown of vet visit costs. Prices tend to vary depending on the vet and location. Check with your vet if you want to know what they charge.

(So I’m told that when there are more than 2 numbers in between the , and ., humans start freaking out?? I don’t know. 🤷‍♀️ I’m just a guinea pig.)

Set some cash aside periodically

It can be monthly, bimonthly, weekly. Make a habit of it.

You Don’t Need to Put Aside a Ton of Money.

We put aside about $10/month for each of us. There are 5 of us, so we put aside $50/month. You can adjust it to your needs/situation. Eventually, it builds up (especially if you don’t need to bring your critters in too much), so we had about $600. The vet visit only ate a little more than half of our vet fund.

Once again, if you’re ensuring your pig is healthy, with good food, exercise and housing, you might only have to bring them in to the vet maybe every other year if even that.

Monitor Their Behavior and Look Out For Anything Unusual

If you notice anything wrong (not eating, lethargic, etc), bring them over to a vet as soon as you possibly can. Less serious problems are cheaper and easier to treat. If things get really bad, the costs for the vet visit can eat away at your funds a lot more.

Guinea Lynx has a good list on emergency situations that need vet attention right away.

Need a Vet?

It’s very important that you have a vet you can trust before you actually need one. If you don’t have a vet right now, check out the Find a Vet section on our Resources page:

Ok, that’s it, y’all. Cookie out!