Digestive Issues in Skinny Pigs!

Digestive Issues in Skinny Pigs!

Digestive Issues in Skinny Pigs!

Skinny pigs can suffer from various digestive issues that need careful attention because, just like their furry guinea pig cousins, they have sensitive digestive systems. This means they require a well-balanced diet and a stress-free environment to thrive. Digestive issues can range from mild discomfort to more serious conditions that require immediate veterinary care. 

So, what are these common troubles? Let's take a closer look.

Bloating and Gas

Bloating can be a discomforting issue for skinny pigs, often caused by a diet too rich in certain vegetables or fruits, for example, broccoli or cauliflower – these are notorious for causing gas and discomfort.


Diarrhea is a symptom that something is amiss in your skinny pig's diet or health. It can be caused by bacterial infections, parasites, or even stress. A sudden change in diet can also upset their delicate stomachs, leading to this unpleasant condition. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration really quickly, so it’s best to get your pet checked out by a vet as soon as possible.

Gastrointestinal Stasis (GI Stasis)

GI stasis is a serious condition where the digestive system slows down or stops moving food. It's a medical emergency that can be triggered by an inadequate diet, dehydration, or stress. GI stasis can quickly become life-threatening if not treated promptly.


Constipation in skinny pigs can occur due to a lack of fiber in their diet, inadequate water intake, or lack of exercise. Symptoms include reduced fecal output and difficulty in passing feces. Providing plenty of hay, fresh vegetables, and ensuring constant access to water can help prevent this issue.

Parasitic Infections

Internal parasites, such as worms, can cause various digestive symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, and a bloated abdomen. A veterinarian can diagnose these conditions and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Eating Something They Shouldn’t

Skinny pigs are curious by nature and may ingest inappropriate items if given the chance. Consuming non-food items or toxic plants can lead to gastrointestinal blockages or poisoning, manifesting as diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite.


Understanding the causes behind these digestive issues is crucial in preventing them. Here are some common culprits:

Poor Diet: A diet lacking in fiber or too high in carbohydrates and sugars (from too much fruit) can wreak havoc on a skinny pig's digestive system.

Lack of Exercise: Regular exercise is vital for keeping the digestive system moving.

Stress: Yes, skinny pigs can get stressed too! Changes in their environment, loud noises, or the introduction of new pets can lead to stress-induced digestive problems.

Hydration: Adequate water intake is crucial for digestion. Make sure your skinny pig has constant access to clean, fresh water.


Now that we know the what and why, let's talk about how to prevent these digestive issues.

Diet Dos and Don'ts

A fiber-rich diet is the cornerstone of digestive health for skinny pigs. Timothy hay should be the mainstay of their diet, supplemented with fresh vegetables high in Vitamin C, like bell peppers and leafy greens. A daily Vitamin C treat is necessary to keep their intake at the right level. Fruits should be offered sparingly as treats due to their high sugar content. It's also wise to introduce new foods gradually to avoid upsetting their stomach.

Exercise and Enrichment

Create a stimulating environment with plenty of space for your skinny pig to explore and exercise. Regular playtime outside their cage can help keep their digestive system running smoothly and reduce stress levels.

Monitor Stress Levels

Keep your skinny pig's environment calm and consistent. Sudden changes can lead to stress, so try to introduce any new pets or changes to their habitat gradually.

Stay Hydrated

Ensure your skinny pig has unlimited access to fresh, clean water. A hydrated skinny pig is a happy skinny pig with a smoothly functioning digestive system.

While this guide provides a great starting point, always consult with a veterinarian specializing in small animals if you notice any signs of digestive issues in your skinny pig. 

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H


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