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Study reveals most common guinea pig disorders
Overgrown nails were the most commonly seen condition.
Researchers examined clinical records of over 3,500 guinea pigs.

Overgrown nails, ringworm, and eye ulcers are the most common conditions seen in pet guinea pigs in the UK, a new study has found.

Researchers from the VetCompass research programme at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) analysed anonymised clinical records from a random sample of 3,785 guinea pigs which were under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2019.

The records showed that overgrown nails were by far the most recorded disorder, seen in 26.55 per cent of guinea pigs. The second most common issue, ringworm, affected 6.02 per cent of the animals in the study, and 4.99 per cent had an eye ulcer. Other common health issues included anorexia and abscesses

Males were found to be more likely to have bite injuries, anorexia and dental problems such as overgrown incisors, whereas females were more likely to have eye disorders, such as coreal ulcerations, and abdominal masses

The research also revealed that females lived longer than males, with female guinea pigs having a life expectancy of 4.56 years compared to the males’ 3.74 years.

As several of the most common disorders are linked to sedentary lifestyles, the authors believe that the findings can help veterinary professionals advise guinea pig owners about providing the right conditions and care to keep their pets healthy.

Dan O’Neill, lead author of the study, said: “This study highlights that many of the most common health issues of pet guinea pigs are related to how we keep them as pets in captivity.

“With this new awareness, owners can better understand the world from the guinea pigs' perspective and provide exercise, bedding and nail care to ensure these wonderful creatures enjoy healthier lives.”

The study has been published in the journal PLOS One.

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.