I recently got 2 boys, both from the same person. They are 10 weeks old, and both seem in good health.
They are indoor pets, and have a fairly large-ish enclosure for them, in an area of the house.
My question is, are Guineas notoriously known for housing salmonella? I did not know anything like this before I got them (and I genuinely thought I had done a bit to prepare for them) but a few sites I've seen are saying small rodent pets are notorious for spreading salmonella. And now I am paranoid! We have had them for nearly 2 weeks, and I had come down with a bug in the past few days, as you could imagine the paranoia is in overdrive right now.
Do all piggies carry it? Is it only a case of if they DO have it then they spread it easily?
I do consider myself someone with good hand hygiene! Being the cage cleaner and all
Thanks in advance for any advice for this rookie!
- And got the T-shirt
If your pig were to have it, it would most likely come from an infected wild mouse or rat, so if your pigs are appropriately housed in a cage that a wild rodent can't get into, I'd say your chances of getting it are slim indeed.
- Cavy Comic
By the way, the most common carriers of salmonella are reptiles. Wash your hands thoroughly after petting a turtle or cuddling with a snake :).
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/exotic-and-laboratory-animals/rodents/guinea-pigsSalmonella infections were historically common in guinea pigs in research colonies. With present standards of husbandry, rodent control, and good quality feed, the disease rarely occurs. It is most likely seen when guinea pigs are kept outside and wild rodents have access to their feed. Disease is more often seen in young or stressed animals. Infection may be subclinical, and diarrhea is rarely present. Clinical signs include conjunctivitis, fever, lethargy, anorexia, rough fur, palpable hepatosplenomegaly, cervical lymphadenitis, and abortion in pregnant sows. Mortality is often high in epizootic outbreaks. If animals recover, organisms may be shed intermittently. Diagnosis is accomplished by isolating the organism from blood, ocular secretions, lymph nodes, or spleen. Because of zoonotic considerations and the potential for a carrier state, treatment is not recommended.
Also, again, salmonella isn't the only worry. Even though it is very rare and probably nothing to worry about, guinea pigs can carry other diseases, and it's much easier just to wash your hands after handling them. However, as long as you have basic hygiene (washing hands, not touching eyes/nose/mouth after handling, etc), it's very unlikely that you'll catch anything.