Quarantine Can Prevent The Spread Of Illness And Parasites
The safest way to introduce a new guinea pig to a pet you already have is to quarantine any new pig for 2 to 3 weeks behind closed doors. Wash hands and arms well in between handling the new and the resident pig and consider changing your shirt or wearing a removable cover-up when handling the newcomer (or in case of illness, the sick pig). This will help insure the new guinea pig does not introduce any illness or parasites to the one you already have. Consider a visit to the vet for your new guinea pig (read over the advice on "What To Expect At Your Veterinarian's Office").
While the above advice is certainly the wisest, sometimes one chooses to risk breaking quarantine:
- Guinea pig appears healthy, is adopted from reputable rescue that has already treated the guinea pig for mites and has had him/her quarantined for several weeks.
- Guinea pig appears healthy, is adopted from another pet owner that has treated the guinea pig for mites and the guinea pig has not been in contact with other guinea pigs in previous weeks.
- The resident pig is showing signs of depression, loneliness. and is not eating well (rule out medical problems before assuming it is depression). The new guinea pig appears healthy, the pet owner is familiar with the signs of illness and is willing to get veterinary care if necessary. Sometimes housing the new guinea pig in the same room can perk up a sad pet.
NOTE: If you purchase a guinea pig from a pet store (not recommended), don't cut any corners: be sure to follow strict quarantine procedures.