If whenever you try to pick up your pet he screams and backs away, something might be wrong. Now, if you’re wondering why my guinea pig screams when picked up, it could be that you are handling your guinea pig wrongly.
It could also be due to being held for too long as guinea pigs don’t really enjoy being held for long.
Another reason why your guinea pig might scream when held is due to fear, guinea pigs lack a sense of depth in their vision, so they are picked up, they are unable to see the ground.
This might make them feel like a predator from above is attacking them. There are several other reasons why your guinea pig might be screaming when picked up.
Read Also: How Do Guinea Pigs Play With One Another?
Why My Guinea Pig Screams When Picked Up?
Below are a few things that could make your guinea pig scream when you try to pick it up:
Excruciating pain and severe injury can make your guinea pigs scream out loud. Just like us humans, your guinea pig can out a loud screech as a natural reaction whenever they feel pain anywhere on their body.
If your guinea pig is screaming out of pain or injury, there will other symptoms that will accompany the scream.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Teeth grinding
- Hiding and unwilling to come out
- Rough coat
- Lethargy and not moving much
- Hunched posture
- Loss of appetite
Causes of pain in guinea pigs
The signs and symptoms of pain in a guinea pig varies depending upon the problem your guinea pig is experiencing.
If you suspect that your guinea pig has a physical injury, you should check it out by gently touching your guinea pigs and monitoring their response.
If your guinea pig has a negative reaction or recoils back whenever you touch a particular area, there’s probably an injury in that area.
Another cause of pain in guinea pigs is severe gas and bloating, they can both cause unbearable pain in guinea pigs. There are other health issues that may cause your guinea pig pain like bladder stones and urinary tract infection.
Guinea pigs are prey animals, who can hide their symptoms of illness or disease for a long period, they do this as a form of survival tactic.
So whenever you notice your guinea pig acting unusual or exhibiting any symptom, you should check it out as that could be an indicator of a greater problem.
It could be that your pet is already experiencing severe illness. You should take them for a vet visit immediately.
You should never try to self-treat your guinea pigs for any diseases, especially if you are new to owning a guinea pig. You can make matters worse.
Guinea pigs don’t have the best immune system and common health issues like diarrhea and bloating can be fatal for them if they don’t receive immediate medical care.
It only takes less than 48 hours for a situation you considered mild to become life-threatening.
When guinea pigs get angry they also make a high-pitched noise, which might be similar to a boisterous child losing their temper.
A guinea pig will scream out of anger when they are placed in an upsetting situation. Doing something that your guinea pig does not enjoy will also cause them to yell.
If you have more than one guinea pig, a fight between them can also cause your guinea pigs to scream out loud. However, screaming out of anger isn’t a regular occurrence among guinea pigs.
If your guinea pigs are screaming out of anger, they may also show other signs of irritation like teeth chattering, rumbling, hissing, etc.
Read Also: Do Guinea Pigs Squeak When Hungry?
Fear is another factor that can cause your guinea pigs to scream out. Guinea pigs are prey animals and may feel threatened in the presence of other animals like dogs, cats, birds, etc.
If your guinea pigs are housed outside, there’s even a higher risk of them being surrounded by potential predators.
There are lots of predators that might come around your backyard looking for food including coyotes, foxes, eagles, and they might just have your guinea pig for lunch.
So you need to ensure that your guinea pigs are kept in a secure enclosure and check on them whenever they make loud noises as that could be an indicator of some unforeseen threat.
Aside from other animals, the loud sounds of a music player, lightning, can also make your guinea pig feel threatened. Try to avoid playing loud music around your guinea pig or keep the volume down.
When frightened, guinea pigs get extremely stressed out and that can lead to life-threatening situations for them as well. So you need to ensure the environment your guinea pig is placed is comfortable for them and free from situations that might make them stressed.
Hunger can also make your guinea pigs scream out loud. It could be that they are extremely hungry or thirsty.
If they have a water bottle placed in their cage, a malfunctioning bottle nozzle can make your guinea pig scream, even though the water bottle might be full, their inability to drink from it can make your guinea pig panic.
So if your guinea pig just starts to suddenly make loud noises and you suspect that it’s due to thirst. You can lightly pinch their belly skin, and if it takes some time to get back to normal, that’s an indicator that they are severely dehydrated.
This also applies to hunger for food as well. If your guinea pigs are experiencing dental issues that may prohibit the proper intake of food in them. If not noticed early, your guinea pigs might starve to death, so you need to be on the lookout for such situations.
Ensure that your guinea pigs are eating their daily diet properly as this is very crucial to their well-being.
If you have bonded with your guinea pigs, they may ‘wheeks’ whenever you are around. They may do this especially when they know it’s feeding time.
However, your guinea pig is less likely to scream out loudly for food unless there is an emergency or they have been hungry for long.
Yes! The life of all living things will come to an end one day and your guinea pig is no exception. Guinea pigs might scream right before they die, this usually occurs as they cross the rainbow bridge due to extreme circumstances like heart disease, seizure, etc.
Because they are prey animals, guinea pigs get easily frightened and stressed out. Depending on the gravity of this, your guinea pigs may even lose their life.
Guinea pigs have been known to pass away due to no reason. This might seem like no reason to us humans but guinea pigs can get very frightened and stressed out due to certain events or situations.
It could be due to a sudden loud noise, a storm passing by, or the presence of predators in your guinea pig’s living space. Such events can lead to extreme fear and heart attack in some cases and this could eventually kill your pet.
Such death causes can make the guinea pigs scream out loud before passing away. It is similar to a human being screaming out of fear of something.
How To Stop Your Guinea Pig From Screaming
If you hear your guinea pigs screaming, it’s definitely a sign of psychological distress. You should offer them some comfort and try to calm them down.
Once they are calm and relaxed, check for signs of any injury or trauma, and schedule a vet visit if you can’t tell the reason why.
Putting your guinea pig in a stressful situation can lead to a life-threatening situation for them. Thus, getting rid of anything that is rising their anxiety level is essential.
Try reaching out to the pet, and gently pet them, you can try whispering to help bring their stress level down.
If you can determine the source of your guinea pig’s stress, you should get rid of the situation immediately in order for your guinea pig to feel safe.
If you suspect that your guinea pig is suffering from extreme pain or is about to die, try laying them down gently. You can also take them to a nearby vet for treatment, if possible.
Still wondering why my guinea pig screams when picked up? Well, it could be that your guinea pig doesn’t enjoy being held or is probably frightened or mishandled.
There are other reasons why your guinea might start screaming and you should attend to them immediately.