Although guinea pigs are not thought of as being especially loud animals, there are some things that can make them go deaf. You might have noticed that your guinea pig is having trouble hearing and wondered, “Are guinea pigs deaf?”
No, guinea pigs are naturally not considered deaf animals. However, there are some cases when they are not responding to noise.
The main reason for this is that guinea pigs do not hear all frequencies of sound. In fact, they might hear better at high frequencies than humans.
If your guinea pig behaves oddly, it is more likely that there is some other health issue at play. We will go over a few different potential issues later in this article, but first, you should be able to tell if your guinea pig is deaf.
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How to Tell if a Guinea Pig Is Deaf
There are many reasons why a pig may be deaf, but there are several ways to tell if your pig might suffer from hearing loss.
The following are a few things to look out for:
Does Your Guinea Pig Respond to Noise Around Them?
This is usually the easiest way to tell if a pig is deaf. Guinea pigs are social animals, and they like to interact with their owners and other guinea pigs.
If you have made noise around your pig, but they don’t respond at all or very little, then the chances are that your pig can’t hear you.
Does Your Guinea Pig Crouch Down When It Hears the Noise of Something Colliding?
Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they have excellent hearing due to that. If your pig doesn’t crouch down when it hears something making noise around them, then chances are they can’t hear it.
Can Your Guinea Pig Hear You When You Talk to Them?
Pigs have great hearing although they cannot hear sounds between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz. If your guinea pig responds to its name being called, then the chances are that they can hear you.
However, if they don’t respond when you call their name or if they only respond after you’ve touched them, then chances are your pig is deaf.
Can Your Guinea Pig Hear a Shrill Sound?
While guinea pigs may not be able to hear sounds between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz, they can hear shrill sounds.
If your pig can’t hear a shrill sound and you notice their eyes flicking back and forth, then chances are your guinea pig is deaf.
Can Your Guinea Pig Hear a Squeaky Toy?
If your guinea pig can’t hear you and they don’t respond to the noise of a squeaky toy, then the chances are that they’re deaf.
Guinea pigs can hear things like whistles and some musical instruments, as well as toys that squeak.
Can Guinea Pigs Go Deaf From Loud Noises?
Yes, guinea pigs can go deaf from loud noises.
These pets are very sensitive to loud noises. They may become startled, agitated, or nauseous if exposed to loud noises for too long.
Loud sounds can damage their sensitive ears, so it is essential not to expose them to the following:
- Prolonged exposure to very high-pitched noises can damage a guinea pig’s eardrums and cause hearing loss.
- Constant or very loud noises can damage the guinea pig’s ears for an extended amount of time.
- Loud noises that are too sudden can cause hearing loss in guinea pigs—or even death!
To reduce the risk of your guinea pig going deaf from loud noises, try to keep them away from those noises as much as possible.
If your guinea pig is very close to a noise that may be dangerous for their ears, cover their ears with something soft until the noise has passed.
7 Reasons Your Guinea Pig May Be Deaf
While it is difficult to tell if a guinea pig is deaf without proper testing, there are many reasons why they may go deaf. The following are some of the common reasons:
1. Ear Infection
If your guinea pig has an ear infection, then chances are they can’t hear anything very well. Note that ear infections in pigs mostly come because they do not clean themselves regularly.
However, ear infections can also come from old age or an accident.
2. Old Age
As with humans, guinea pigs become hard of hearing as they get older.
If your pig is over three years old and you notice them not responding to noise anymore, then chances are their hearing has worsened.
3. An Accident
While you cannot tell if a guinea pig is deaf just by looking at them, if they’ve had an accident, then there’s a good chance that they lost their hearing in the accident.
If your pig has an injury on their head or around the ear area, it may be possible that they can’t hear as well as they used to.
4. Pregnancy Toxemia
Guinea pigs that suffer from pregnancy toxemia may have hearing problems since the toxins are affecting their brain cells.
If your guinea pig has suffered from pregnancy toxemia, they may be deaf unless you take them to a vet and get antibiotic treatment.
5. Trauma to the Head
If a guinea pig is hit in the head with something, then there’s a chance they can’t hear very easily.
If they have any type of wound on their head or around their ear, then it may be possible that they’re suffering from hearing loss because of this.
6. Injury to the Ears
If a guinea pig’s ears are injured, then there’s a chance that they’re suffering from hearing loss.
If any of your pigs have torn or missing ears, it may be possible that they can’t hear as well anymore.
However, if the ears look completely fine, but your pig is still deaf, then chances are that they’re suffering from old age or an accident.
There are other things that can cause deafness in guinea pigs, but these are the most common. If you think your guinea pig may be deaf, you should take it to a vet as soon as possible. If a pig is deaf and it is not because of a genetic problem, a vet may give you treatment options.
Are Albino Guinea Pigs Deaf?
No, albino guinea pigs are not deaf.
As you can probably guess, albino guinea pigs are not born with normal melanin pigmentation. Because of the lack of melanin in their bodies, they cannot hear certain sounds that their counterparts can hear.
That isn’t to say albino guinea pigs don’t have any hearing at all. They may hear low-frequency noises, but they are unlikely to hear high-frequency noises.
Also, because albino guinea pigs have impaired vision, it is even more important to interact with them regularly.
If you want your pig to get used to being handled, you should never skip out on petting or loving them.
Can Guinea Pigs Hear Better Than Humans?
Yes, guinea pigs can hear better than humans.
There are some frequencies that humans can’t even begin to detect, but guinea pigs can pick up on them quite easily.
Humans may be able to hear sounds between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz, but these sound frequency levels are not the only ones that the furry rodents can detect.
In fact, guinea pigs have been known to hear sounds as high as 60 kilohertz and as low as 2 hertz.
That being said, there are some very low frequencies that humans cannot detect, but the rodents may be able to pick up on it with their strong sense of hearing.
The guinea pig’s outer ear structure also gives it an edge over human beings.
Human ears only have three bones that enable them to hear, but guinea pigs have six to seven bones in their middle ear.
This means that the small animal has a strong ability to detect sounds and distinguish between different frequencies.
When you consider all of these things, it is no surprise why they can easily hear noises such as the crinkling of a plastic bag or the clanking of metal.
Can Guinea Pigs Hear Better Than Dogs?
Yes, guinea pigs can hear better than dogs.
The hearing ranges of dogs and guinea pigs are quite similar. The hearing range of a typical dog is between 67Hz and 45,000Hz. However, the sensitivity of hearing varies across different dog breeds.
Dogs can hear low-frequency sound waves, but guinea pigs can hear high-frequency sound waves.
As a result, you’ll have a guinea pig that can have worse or better hearing than dogs depending on the end of the sound spectrum.
Guinea pigs can also hear sounds that are quite far away, as opposed to dogs. A typical dog can hear sounds from a quarter of a mile away, which is less than the range of a typical guinea pig.
Guinea pigs can suffer from many forms of deafness, but it is not common. If your guinea pig is not responding to noises even though the noises should be within its range, take it to a vet just to be safe.
The last thing you want is for your beloved pet to be in pain or discomfort when there are options that can help.
If your guinea pig is suffering from an ear infection, it will likely show signs of the disease. The most common sign of an ear infection in a guinea pig is head shaking.
Your vet can give you some antibiotic remedies to kill any bacteria or fungus causing the infection.
This information may be helpful to you, but please remember that every guinea pig is different. If you suspect your pig has hearing problems, take it to a vet as soon as possible for professional diagnosis and treatment.
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