In the comments section of an earlier post, Elise asked about a pet guinea pig that seems to be sneezing a lot.
Without any other information to go by, it's difficult to know if her pig's sneezing is worrisome or not. At its worst, sneezing could be indicative of an upper respiratory infection (URI) if it's accompanied by any of the symptoms listed on this GuineaLynx reference page.
At its simplest, a pig's sneezing could be due to dusty bedding, which happens frequently with pine bedding and sometimes with aspen or wood pulp products (like Kaytee Total Comfort).
Slightly more complex, but still solvable with some diligent observation and detective work, is the possibility that a pig's sneezing is due to an allergy or sensitivity to any of the following:
- pine or aspen bedding
- laundry detergent and/or fabric softener being used for washing cozy cups, cozy sacks, fabric tunnels/tents/hideaways, towels or blankets used in the play area, towels or blankets used to cover the cage at night
- air freshener products used in the home (including the low-intensity plug-in fresheners)
- carpet cleaning or deodorizing products (which leave strong odors)
- household cleaners (which leave strong odors)
- perfumes, colognes, after-shave products, and other scented body care products
If your pig isn't showing any other signs of a URI (and continues not to), and the bedding you use isn't dusty, you will want to start working through the above list of allergens. It will be an ongoing process of elimination for a few weeks, but if allergies/sensitivities are the culprit, your hard work will pay off.