Pet Q&A: Guinea Pigs | Lungworm

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VET Stuart McMorrow answers your questions

I have two guinea pigs and one has a white lump near the end of her back. It seems painful as she squeals if I touch it. Can you help?

Lumps in guinea pigs can be due to various things and it is important that you get your guinea pig checked out by your vet. Abscesses can arise anywhere in the body and the signs are of a soft swelling that may be hot and painful to touch. Scratches from sharp flooring or wire doors and sharp foodstuffs, such as straw, or a fight with another guinea pig can cause an abscess. I’d suggest you make an appointment to see your vet as soon as you can.

I’ve heard a lot about lungworm recently, and that it can be caused by slugs and snails. What are the symptoms of lungworm?

The lungworm parasite is carried by slugs and snails, and dogs can pick this up if they eat an infected mollusc. The signs include coughing, wheezing, blood clotting defects – which can cause the dog to look bruised – and nerve signs, such as poor coordination and walking abnormalities. Affected dogs can also lack an appetite and collapse. The best thing to do if you are concerned is to have a chat with your vet.