Guinea pigs are miniature, furry animals petted in many homes. They are pretty good at training and can learn new tricks. However, they do not always make the best pet or meal choice.\n\n\n\nSometimes, you may notice your guinea pig acting weirdly, switching between coughing, lying still, and seizures in severe cases? And this begs the query, can guinea pigs choke?\n\n\n\nGuinea pigs can choke easily if you feed them many fiber-rich foods like hay. In fact, your guinea pig is \u201cgagging,\u201d most likely due to food chewing issues. Luckily, you can tell that your guinea pig is choking by looking at signs like limpness, coughing, and breathing challenges.\n\n\n\nDo Guinea Pigs Choke Easily?\n\n\n\nThe first thing you want to know when dealing with any choking problem is whether or not your guinea pig choked at all.\n\n\n\nA guinea pig\u2019s throat is very narrow. Moreover, guinea pigs swallow air with their food when eating. The air travels down into the stomach, mixing with digestive juices before passing back up again.\n\n\n\nAs soon as the air passes through the esophagus, it gets compressed by the walls of the tube. Because of this compression, the air cannot pass easily out of the esophagus.\n\n\n\nInstead, it builds pressure inside the esophagus until it bursts open. This causes the contents of the esophagus to come rushing out. It looks similar to vomit but does not contain bile.\n\n\n\nIn fact, it contains nothing except air. Once the air leaves the esophagus, there is little chance of it coming back.\n\n\n\nTherefore, if your guinea pig \u201cvomits\u201d after eating, he most likely just swallowed his food without swallowing enough air. He probably didn\u2019t even realize he had done anything wrong.\n\n\n\nWhy Is My Guinea Pig \u201cGagging?\u201d\n\n\n\nIf your guinea pig \u201cgags\u201d while trying to chew something, then chances are good that they ate their food too quickly. They might have been chewing faster than usual because he was anxious or excited.\n\n\n\nIn such cases, your pet\u2019s mouth could get stuck halfway between the teeth and the roof of her mouth. To prevent this from happening, give your guinea pig time to chew each bite slowly.\n\n\n\nAdditionally, don\u2019t force her to eat more than she wants. Let her decide how much she needs to eat.\n\n\n\nHow Can You Tell If a Guinea Pig Is Choking?\n\n\n\nYou should watch carefully when looking for signs that your guinea pig might be suffering from choking:\n\n\n\nYou can tell if a pig is choking by looking closely at her. Look around her face and neck area.\n\n\n\nAre her eyes wide open? Does she seem confused?\n\n\n\nDoes her tongue hang over the side of her mouth?\n\n\n\nThese symptoms indicate that your little buddy is having trouble breathing.\n\n\n\nChoking Tale-Tel Signs\n\n\n\nCoughing: If your guinea pig is having trouble breathing, they may start coughing. This happens because extra air compresses her trachea.\n\n\n\nPale Skin Color: If your guinea pig\u2019s skin turns white, it may indicate that she is struggling to breathe.\n\n\n\nDifficulty Breathing: If your guinea pig can no longer breathe normally, they may become weak and lethargic.\n\n\n\n\u201cThrowing up\u201d: Guinea pigs can\u2019t vomit because their bodies don\u2019t have the mechanism to do so. But if you see food pieces coming out of your pet\u2019s mouth, it means they swallowed too much air or ingested some foreign object.\n\n\n\nLimpness: If your guinea puppy becomes limp, they are in distress.\n\n\n\nWeak pulse rate: If your guinea pig\u2019s pulse rate drops too low, they may be experiencing respiratory failure.\n\n\n\nLack of movement: If your guinea pig stops moving altogether, she is dying.\n\n\n\nUnresponsive eyes: If your guinea pig loses consciousness, her eyes will roll back in his head.\n\n\n\nSeizures: If your guinea rabbit experiences seizures, she may die within minutes.\n\n\n\nWhat to Do If Guinea Pig Is Choking?\n\n\n\nThe best thing to do if your guinea pig is choking is to keep an eye on her until help arrives. While at it, call your vet immediately so that they can administer CPR and examine your guinea pig thoroughly.\n\n\n\nBelow are CPR steps when helping guinea pigs:\n\n\n\nCheck for Obvious Causes\n\n\n\nYour first step is to check for obvious causes. Make sure there are not any objects stuck down your guinea pig\u2019s throat.\n\n\n\nAlso, make sure that there aren\u2019t any pieces of food lodged between his teeth. If you find anything like this, remove them immediately.\n\n\n\nOpen Airway\n\n\n\nNext, you must open your guinea pig\u2019s airway. To accomplish this, gently lift one ear off its base while holding onto the other.\n\n\n\nYou want to pull both ears away from their bases. Then place your fingers into each nostril and push outwards towards the sides of the nose. Pull hard enough to dislodge any obstructions inside the nasal passages.\n\n\n\nRepeat these steps for the opposite nostril.\n\n\n\nClear Throat Passage\n\n\n\nOnce you clear your guinea pig's airways, you must clear his throat passage. Use your fingertips to press against the roof of his mouth.\n\n\n\nPush upwards toward the top of your pet\u2019s skull. Continue pushing upward until you feel resistance. When you reach the point where you cannot go further without hitting bone, stop pressing.\n\n\n\nThe goal here is to force all debris out of the opening.\n\n\n\nMonitor Respiratory Function\n\n\n\nNext, monitor your guinea pig\u2019s respiration. Watch carefully for signs of life. A normal breath sounds like someone blowing through a straw.\n\n\n\nYour guinea pig\u2019s breaths should sound similar to those described above.\n\n\n\nHowever, if you hear wheezing or gurgling noises, then call your veterinarian right away. These could indicate pneumonia or another serious condition.\n\n\n\nHow Do You Stop a Guinea Pig from Choking?\n\n\n\nIf your guinea pig stops breathing, it means that something went wrong with her lungs. This usually happens when your pet chews food wrongly or inhales some foreign object such as a piece of hay or a toy.\n\n\n\nIn order to prevent future incidents, you must teach your guinea pig how to properly chew his toys.\n\n\n\nMoreover, it would be wise to put up safety gates around your cage. As long as they remain closed, your guinea pig won\u2019t get outside.\n\n\n\nHere are some guinea pig care tips to prevent your pet from choking:\n\n\n\nTeach Your Guinea Pig Pet Proper Chewing Habits\n\n\n\nTeach your guinea pig proper chewing habits by providing her with safe toys. Avoid giving her rawhide chews since they may cause intestinal blockages in small pets. \n\n\n\nInstead, give her soft rubber bones or wooden blocks. They\u2019re easy to digest and don\u2019t pose any health risks.\n\n\n\nPut Up Safety Gates\n\n\n\nSafety gates are essential for preventing your pet from getting injured or killed. Place them at least two feet high and wide apart.\n\n\n\nAlso, don\u2019t forget about the ceiling. If there isn\u2019t anything on the floor, make sure that nothing can fall down on your pet.\n\n\n\nWhile setting up boundaries, make sure your pet has enough space.\n\n\n\nGuinea pigs need plenty of space to move around freely. Give them an area large enough so that they can stretch their legs comfortably.\n\n\n\nAdditionally, ensure that they have access to fresh food and water daily.\n\n\n\nBe Patient With Training\n\n\n\nTraining takes time, so bear with your guinea pig as they make slight progress. Once you\u2019ve taught your guinea pig how best to play with her toys, they slowly develop more interest in playing. \n\n\n\nSoon, you may need to increase their toys.\n\n\n\nMoreover, reward good behavior to motivate your pet. For example, let your guinea pig eat first after training sessions. When they do things correctly, reward them with treats.\n\n\n\nMonitor Their Health Regularly\n\n\n\nMake sure that you keep track of your guinea pig\u2019s overall health status. \n\n\n\nCheck their weight weekly and look out for changes in their appetite. If necessary, consult your vet immediately.\n\n\n\nTake Them to the Vet Whenever Necessary\n\n\n\nTake your guinea pig to the veterinarian if they show signs of illness. A visit to the doctor could save your pet\u2019s life.\n\n\n\nWatch Out for Signs of Illness\n\n\n\nWatch out for symptoms of ill-health to protect both you and your pet against potential problems. Pay attention to your guinea pig\u2019s physical condition.\n\n\n\nAre they coughing excessively? Do they seem lethargic?\n\n\n\nDo you hear wheezing sounds coming from their chest? These are signs that something isn't right.\n\n\n\nFrequently Asked Questions\n\n\n\nWhy Is My Guinea Pig Making Coughing Noises?\n\n\n\nYour guinea pig is making coughing noises when breathing because something is in their trachea. This usually happens because of foreign bodies such as hairballs, grass seeds, or even bits of hay.\n\n\n\nIt is vital to get rid of these things before they cause more damage. Try using a soft brush with short bristles to sweep around your guinea pig\u2019s cage.\n\n\n\nMoreover, be careful not to touch their face or snout. Instead, use only the tip of the brush.\n\n\n\nDo Guinea Pigs Have a Gag Reflex?\n\n\n\nGuinea pigs do not have a gag reflex. While they experience nausea, their bodies are slightly different from humans and animals that throw up. \n\n\n\nAnd since their bodies can\u2019t elicit an upchuck response, they can\u2019t vomit.\n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\n\nOne of the prevalent causes of death among guinea pigs is suffocation. Therefore, keep an eye on your guinea pig at all times so that if they do choke, you know what to do immediately.