Broken Leg – Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig on a table

As you can imagine a broken leg can be very painful for a guinea pig, it can even end up killing it, without the right treatment. There are ways to prevent this from happening in the first place, that I am going to go through in this article. Please do not be hard on yourself if it happens, accidents occur. Just make sure you follow steps in making sure that there is less chance of your guinea pigs breaking a leg.

A Bone Fracture

A fracture is the same as a broken bone, it just depends on how serious the situation is. Simple fractures have no wounds visible and are simply a broken bone. These can be treated, if it has been broken for a long time and at an awkward angle, then it would be difficult to treat.

Compound fractures are a different story though, this is where the bone is sticking out from the skin or there is a wound along with the broken bone. There is a stronger risk unfortunately of infection.

Why has my guinea pig got a broken leg?

The main culprit can be where children are not handling the guinea pig properly. There needs to be supervision at all times from a responsible adult, showing them how to handle or being shown by an experienced owner for example how to handle safely. Being dropped from a height, held too tightly, jumping from your arms and getting stepped on are reasons why the guinea pig can break it’s leg. That is why it’s always best to handle on the floor in case. Tell everyone in the house that the guinea pigs are out, if you have them free roaming around, so they are not going to step on them.

Of course it’s not just children, but they could get caught up in a metal sphere hay feeder, for that reason they are dangerous to use. Other items can be too small for them to fit into and falling down a hutch ramp for whatever reason can be causes. Remove anything where they could potentially break a leg or injure themselves.

It is really important and crucial that a guinea pig receives a good diet just like any of us, so the bones are strong. In old age there can be more risk of broken bones, where if they are struggling to get up the ramp in a hutch, it is best to move them into a one floor level cage.

What if my guinea pig has a broken a leg?

Take to the vets straight away if it isn’t walking properly or there is a leg injury visible. It may not be an emergency, but it is painful to them nonetheless.

X-rays will be performed at the vets or may not even be necessary for a broken leg. Pain relief will be subscribed and a splint fitted to the leg or if more serious, surgery. If surgery and a splint does not work or the leg has been broken for a few days, then the leg will be amputated. Guinea pigs can do just fine with three legs, they will adapt. If the cost for you is to dear for your guinea pig to have a leg amputation, then euthanasia may be discussed or to give your guinea pig to someone else or a rescue centre, who can afford the cost.


Thank you for reading my article, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will reply back as soon as possible. 



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8 comments found

  1. I have not had a guinea pig with a broken leg thankfully. I had not thought about making sure their diet supports healthy bones in particular but that is a great point. I would not want any animal to suffer so I hope owners will take your advice and make sure a guinea pig with a limp or injury is taken to the veterinarian for proper treatment.

    I would not let my guinea pig wander around without being sure everyone knew and I kept an eye on him. It is just too easy for them to get lost and hide in small places. It would help to have a dedicated room for them to crawl around in that has a closed door and minimal furniture to hide under.

    It is nice you have all this guinea pig information in one place for owners.

    1. I also haven’t had a guinea pig with a broken leg and hopefully will never have this happen to me. A dedicated room is great, if you want them to have some free roaming time, without being in a playpen. Thank you 🙂

  2. Have you ever dealt with a guinea pig yourself having a fractured/broken bone? Do they have to put a cone around the little guys head (like with dogs and cats)so that he will not mess with the splint? I’ll pass this article along to my aunt. She actually has two guinea pigs that she adores. She’ll love reading all the posts on your website as do I. You always have such helpful info!

    1. No thankfully my Guinea Pigs have never had a fracture/broken bone. No from my research I haven’t seen that a guinea pig wears a cone around the head, my thinking is it may be very challenging with a guinea pig to wear one. Thank you so much, means a lot 🙂

  3. Guine pigs are a very common pet among children. I could see how a broken leg guinea pig could happen very easily. Guinea Pigs are not a very big animal and need to be handled carefully. Thats a good tip you gave to let everybody know when the guinea pigs are out on the floor.

    I agree getting it to the vet as quickly as possible would definitly be the best thing to do if your pet had a possible broken leg. Also if it heals incorrectly it could cause your pet pain for the rest of its life. How much does it cost to have a guinea pig checked for a broken leg?

    1. That is a good point about if the leg heals incorrectly, the pain for the guinea pig through its life would not be pleasant. I couldn’t really say how much it would be for a check to be done on a Guinea Pigs leg at the vets. Its cost me per guinea pig in the UK for the nails to be trimmed and a free health check about £14, so maybe for a check on a leg, it might be 20 to £30, but really guessing a bit there. Put it this way, I would be surprised if it was over £50. Obviously if the guinea pig has a broken leg, then it is the added costs of X-rays, medications and a splint on the leg or surgery. 

  4. This is such good information. It’s not a topic I’m very familiar with, however I am glad we have people like you doing the research and making the information available to the rest of us.

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