Can Guinea Pigs Die From A Dirty Cage?

If you keep cute guinea pigs in your house then you want to make sure that they feel absolutely comfortable.

There are certain things you need to keep in mind while taking care of those bundles of joy like keeping their cage clean to help prevent health issues.

An unclean environment can be really bad for them but can guinea pigs die from being in a dirty cage?

Guinea pigs won’t die directly from a dirty cage but they can die from the unclean conditions that it creates. If left dirty for too long, those unclean cage conditions can create mental and physical health problems for guinea pigs that can lead to them dying.

As pet guinea pig owners, we need to ensure that our guinea pigs have a healthy environment and a clean cage that they can call their home. But what problems can a dirty cage create for guinea pigs?

Can Guinea Pigs Die From Being Kept In A Dirty Cage For Too Long?

So guinea pigs do not die directly from a cage that’s too dirty but those unclean living conditions can give rise to a lot of health problems.

These health problems, if go unnoticed and untreated, can have a damaging impact on your guinea pigs.

In most cases, prolonged neglect of guinea pigs together with dirty living conditions can result in their death.

If you don’t clean the cage of their poop and pee regularly it’ll be harder to notice any subtle changes in their mental and physical health that can deteriorate in a dirty cage.

That being said, some health issues can be corrected if good care is taken and timely treatment is done.

Recommended: How often should you clean guinea pig poop

Why Having A Dirty Cage Is Dangerous For Guinea Pigs

You might be wondering what happens to guinea pigs if they remain in dirty cages for long.

Why is a clean cage so important for taking care of guinea pigs? A clean cage can help prevent:

  • Accumulation of dust and dirt.
  • The growth of bacteria and fungal formation.
  • Respiratory problems.

Accumulation of dust and dirt can sometimes create respiratory problems in guinea pigs. They might have trouble breathing and can also result in fluid discharge from the nose or eyes.

A dirty cage can result in bacterial growth and fungal formation. The most common bacterial species found in an unhealthy environment include Streptococcus and Bordetella.

Bacterial and fungal growth can sometimes give rise to respiratory issues like pneumonia and chronic rhinitis.

Pneumonia can be treated but once the guinea pigs become very sick, their immune system will start to crumble and it can become life-threatening.

Sometimes even after successful treatment, the cute little things can still exhibit some wheezy breathing.

Clean Up Your Guinea Pigs Waste To Help Prevent Even More Problems

One mistake is not cleaning up the areas where they go to the bathroom the most.

Guinea pigs will pee a lot and poop in their cage and that will build up over time if it’s not cleaned.

You should never allow your guinea pigs to live in their own urine and feces for a long time.

Over time, urine can be broken down into ammonia. If you don’t clean regularly, there’s a chance that your guinea pigs cage can start producing that ammonia smell.

Also, if their cage has a lot of moisture and is unclean for a long time, that can result in mold forming.

The cage can even be susceptible to the growth of termites. This can cause a lot of itching and inflammation of the ears, nose, and other body parts.

Health Issues That Can Happen If Guinea Pigs Live In A Dirty Cage

Keeping your guinea pigs in a dirty cage for a long time can cause both mental and physical problems.

The accumulation of urine and feces on their bedding can make the cage smell horrible and give rise to fungal infections.

The guinea pigs are likely to catch a urinary tract infection and they will not feel like eating or drinking anything. Urinary tract infection impacts the functioning of the stomach, bladder, and kidneys.

Dirty cages can give rise to mold and termites. Many guinea pigs are victims of inflamed ears and nose because of termite attacks.

If the cage is not cleaned of termites and mold for a long time then the guinea pigs can suffer from respiratory diseases.

Bronchial diseases can cause allergy and mucous discharge from the nose, eyes, and ears.

If a guinea pig suffers from respiratory attacks, they will exhibit a raspy and irregular breathing pattern.

Another thing that can happen if guinea pigs live in a dirty cage is bumblefoot.

It’s an infection that generally occurs in the toes or footpads a guinea pig. They tend to swell and become very painful. This can happen if you don’t clean their urine and feces up regularly.

Can Guinea Pigs Recover From Living In A Dirty Cage For Too Long?

In most cases, a little bit of monitoring and a decent amount of cage cleaning can help the guinea pigs recover.

You should be careful and remain alert so you can tell if your guinea pigs start to show any unusual signs.

Generally, if they are sick, they tend to:

  • Shed their furs.
  • Stop eating.
  • Sit in one corner of their cage without moving very much.

If your guinea pigs did at some point suffer from any infection make sure that you take them to the vet and follow up carefully on the medicines.

Most importantly, you should clean their cage at a regular interval of time to ensure proper living conditions for your guinea pigs.

Spot Cleaning Your Guinea Pigs Cage To Help Keep It Clean

Guinea pigs poop a lot and pee in their cage all day long but doing some spot cleaning is one of the best ways to keep their cage clean.

You can do this by wiping down their cage with some pet-friendly disinfectants.

You’ll want to make sure the disinfectants that you use are safe for your guinea pigs but also powerful enough to really deep clean the cage.

If your guinea pigs are pooping a lot and it’s becoming harder to clean up after them because it takes so much time, then you might want to try using a small vacuum to clean it up.

Handheld vacuums are a great way to quickly clean up their piles of poop, especially if you have more than a few guinea pigs.

Changing out the bedding that they’ve peed and pooped on regularly will also help your guinea pigs stay healthier and live a longer life.

Spot cleaning will not only keep your guinea pigs healthier but can also help keep their environment free from bacteria and fungi. That way your guinea pigs can be both happy and healthy.


Hey, I'm Guliana. I really love animals, especially small ones. I grew up having gerbils and guinea pigs as pets and know a lot about them. That's why I'm passionate about writing everything I've learned about them over the years.

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