Differential Diagnosis in Guinea Pigs

Guide: Although some diseases are merely arranged alphabetically, other lists are based on the mnemonic acronym DAMNIT. This commonly used veterinary medical record scheme divides disease mechanisms into the following categories: degenerative, anomalous, metabolic, neoplastic or nutritional; infectious, inflammatory, idiopathic, immune-mediated, or infarct/vascular; and traumatic or toxic. Only known or reported conditions are listed, although reason may dictate that other disease mechanisms should be considered in an individual patient. For example, mass lesions in the guinea pig are often caused by neoplastic or infectious disease, however rare cases may be attributed to degenerative or nutritional disease mechanisms.
Caution:

Exercise professional judgment when evaluating this information. The differential diagnosis list is designed as an aide or reminder system for use by qualified veterinarians and should never be used for diagnostic decision-making.

Abdominal pain

Bloat
Dystocia
Gastric dilation
Gastric stasis
Gastric trichobezoar
Pyometra
Urolithiasis

Abdominal distension

Bloat
Cavian leukemia Hepato/splenomegaly
(Gastric torsion)1
(Intraabdominal abscess)
Ovarian cyst
Seminal vesicles, altered

Abortion

Bordetella bronchiseptica
Listeria monocytogenes
Salmonellosis
Toxoplasmosis2

Alopecia

D
A
M etabolic Cushing’s syndrome3
Endocrine alopecia May be transient in late gestation
(Hyperthyroidism)
Ovarian cyst
Post-partum During lactation
Weaning Transient alopecia develops around the time of weaning in
juvenile guinea pigs
N eoplasia
I diopathic
I nfectious Dermatophytosis Head, neck, back
Fur mite Chirodiscoides caviae can cause lesions on the perineal
and hip areas
Lice Gliricola porcelli, Gyropus ovalis
Salmonellosis4
Sarcoptic mange Trixacarus caviae, ( Acarus farris )
T rauma Barbering
T oxin

Anorexia

D
A nomaly Malocclusion
M etabolic Ovarian cyst
Pregnancy toxemia
Renal failure5
N utritional Gastric stasis
Gastric trichobezoar
Urolithiasis
Vitamin C deficiency
N eoplasia
I diopathic
I nfectious Bacterial enteritis Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Clostridium perfringens,
Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Diarrhea may or may not be present
Respiratory disease Bordatella bronchiseptica
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Tooth root abscesses
T rauma Bloat
Smegma (see stranguria)
T oxin Dysbiosis Antibiotic-associated enterotoxemia Clostridium difficile

Ataxia

Pregnancy toxemia

Collapse

Heat stress

Conjunctivitis

Bordetella bronchiseptica
Chlamydophila caviae6
Salmonellosis

Crust, Scale

Commissural dermatitis (bacterial and fungal)
Dermatophytosis
Lice Gliricola porcelli, Gyropus ovalis
Sarcoptic mange Trixacarus caviae

Death, Peracute

Adenoviral pneumonia
Cavian leukemia
Cryptosporidium wrairi
Dysbiosis ( Antibiotic-associated enterotoxemia)
Heat stress
Klebsiella pneumoniae
Pneumonia Bordatella bronchiseptica, Streptococcus pneumoniae
Pregnancy toxemia

Dermal mass lesions (Lumps & Bumps)

D egenerative Dental malocclusion
A
M (Hyperthyroidism)
N eoplasia Cavian leukemia/lymphosarcoma
Epidermoid cyst
Mammary tumors
Trichoepithelioma, trichofolliculoma
N utritional (Hypovitaminosis C plays a role in abscess formation)
I diopathic
I nfectious Abscess Pasteurella multocida, S. aureus, Pseudomonas, Proteus,
Bacteroides
Cervical lymphadenitis (lumps) Streptococcus zooepidemicus
Steptobacillus moniliformis
Cytomegalovirus swelling of the salivary glands
Tooth root abscesses
T

Dermatitis

D egenerative Malocclusion Moist dermatitis on chin or dewlap
A
M
N eoplasia Trichofolliculoma
I diopathic
I nfectious Bite wounds
Dermatophytosis
Mange
I nflammatory Allergy
Sebaceous gland secretion, excessive accumulation
Mucocutaneous dermatitis Usually mixed bacterial and fungal
Sebaceous gland secretion Excessive accumulation, rump dermatitis
Wood shavings Pine and cedar shavings, volatile oils
T rauma

Diarrhea

D egenerative Fecal impaction Older males
A
M (Hyperthyroidism)
N utritional Diet change
“Dietary indiscretion” Seeds
Insufficient dietary fiber
Vitamin C deficiency
I nfectious Cecal pinworm Paraspidodera
Clostridia
Coccidia Eimeria caviae
Cryptosporidium wrairi Young animals are most often infected
(Listeria monocytogenes)
(Paraspidodera uncinata) Cecal nematode
(Pseudomonas aeruginosa )
Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis
(Yersinia pseudotuberculosis)
T

Drooling (ptyalism)

Heat stress
Malocclusion

Dyspnea, tachypnea

D egenerative Dental disease Stridor
A
M etabolic Cardiomyopathy
Cardiovascular disease Pulmonary edema
Pericardial effusion
Pregnancy toxemia
N eoplasia Bronchogenic pulmonary adenoma
Lymphosarcoma
N utritional Vitamin C deficiency Plays a role in pneumonia
I nfectious Pneumonia Bordetella bronchiseptica, Streptococcus pneumoniae,
Streptobacillus moniliformis, Haemophilus
Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptobacillus moniliformis,
Pasteurella multocida, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Adenovirus is more of a problem in colonies
I nflammatory Allergy
T rauma Aspiration pneumonia
Heat stress

Dystocia

Bred after 6 mos of age
Obesity

Head tilt

Baylisascaris
Otitis media/interna Staphylococcus spp.
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Bordatella bronchiseptica
Anaerobic bacteria
Toxicoses
Trauma

Hematuria

Cystitis
Urolithiasis

Hyperactivity

Hyperthyroidism

Hypersalivation (seeDrooling)

Lameness

(Fibrous osteodystrophy)
Metastatic mineralization
Mycoplasma arthriditis Usually radiocarpal and tibiotarsal joints
Osteoarthritis
Pododermatitis
Trauma Tibial fracture commonly occurs when guinea pig is dropped or
limbs may become caught in wire flooring
Vitamin C deficiency Swollen, painful joints

Lethargy

D egenerative
A nomaly Malocclusion
M etabolic Adrenal gland tumor7
Dystocia
Ovarian cyst
Pregnancy toxemia
Renal failure5
N utritional Gastric stasis
I diopathic Acute bloat
(Gastric torsion)1
I nfectious Arthritis Mycoplasma
Bacterial enteritis Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Clostridium perfringens,
Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Diarrhea may or may not be present
Cervical lymphadenitis Secondary septicemia
Cryptosporidium wrairi Young animals are most often infected
Enteritis
(Paraspidodera uncinata) Cecal nematode
Pneumonia (see Dyspnea above)
Pododermatitis
Septicemia Streptococcus zooepidemicus
Tooth root abscess
T rauma Dystocia
Heat stress

Lymphadenopathy

Cavian leukemia

Nasal discharge, sneezing

Allergy
Dental disease
Respiratory disease Bordetella bronchiseptica
Klebsiella pneumoniae
Pasteurella multocida
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Streptobacillus moniliformis
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Streptococcus zooepidemicus

Pallor

Heat stress

Paralysis

D
A
M
N utritional Vitamin C deficiency8
Vitamin E deficiency8
I diopathic Paralysis syndrome
I nfectious Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)
Rabies virus
T rauma Spine, pelvis, limbs

Pododermatitis

Bacterial infection Staphylococcus aureus
Husbandry-related Poor sanitation, wire or abrasive flooring
Obesity
Trauma Rough bedding, wire floor

Polyphagia

Hyperthyroidism

Polyuria/polydypsia

(Diabetes mellitus)
(Hyperthyroidism)
Renal failure

Pruritus

Allergy
Dermatophytosis
Fleas
Lice Gliricola porcelli, Gyropus ovalis
Mange Trixacarus caviae
intense pruritus can cause self-mutilation
(Ovarian cyst)

Rough Hair Coat

Lice Gliricola porcelli, Gyropus ovalis
Salmonellosis
Vitamin C deficiency

Seizures

Hypoxia Pneumonia, empyema, metastasis
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)
Mange, severe infestation Trixacarus caviae
Pregnancy toxemia
Toxic exposure

Straining

Dystocia
Occlusion of the penile urethra w/ “smegma”
(coagulated seminal secretions)
Urolithiasis

Tachypnea (see Dyspnea)
Torticollis

Bacterial meningoencephalitis
Otitis media/interna Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Streptococcus pneumoniae

Vaginal discharge

Dystocia
Ovarian cyst
Pregnancy
Pyometra
Uterine neoplasia
Urolithiasis
Vaginitis

Weakness

Bacterial enteritis Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis, Yersinia
pseudotuberculosis, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria
monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Diarrhea may or may not be present
Cryptosporidium wrairi Young animals are most often infected
Heat stress
Pregnancy toxemia

Weight loss

Bacterial enteritis Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis, Yersinia
pseudotuberculosis, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria
monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Diarrhea may or may not be present
Cecal pinworm Paraspidodera
Cryptosporidium wrairi Young animals are most often infected
(Hyperthyroidism)
Malocclusion
Renal failure5
Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis
Urolithiasis

References