How Long Will Guinea Pigs Live With Paralysis? (Explained)

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It’s quite sad when you find out your guinea pigs have paralysis. They’re calm and not jumping around like they used to. 

In fact, you’re worried about them and it makes you wonder — “how long will my guinea pigs live with paralysis?”

It depends! The cause of paralysis and how bad the effect is will determine how long guinea pigs will live with paralysis.

Some paralysis is temporary and can be treated. This means, your guinea pigs can live normally like before.

However, if it’s a more serious case, they may suffer permanent paralysis in months or throughout their lifetime.

But as long as you take care of them, they will live longer.

Maybe you’re wondering can my guinea pig still recover from paralysis?

Let’s discuss this below…

Can a Guinea Pig Recover From Paralysis?

Yes! Guinea pigs can recover from paralysis. However, this depends on the kind of paralysis. 

Paralysis caused by nutritional deficiencies can be temporary. They can be given supplements to recover from paralysis.

However, some paralysis can be very hard or nearly impossible to recover from. This kind of paralysis is normally associated with serious injuries, especially to a guinea pig’s spine. 

If the spinal cord is seriously damaged, your guinea pig may not recover.

Why is My Guinea Pigs Dragging Her Back Legs?

Guinea pigs drag their back legs when they’re not able to move them. This is normally a case of paralysis. 

It’s a common one known as hind leg paralysis. In this condition, their movements will mainly depend on their front legs.

This hind leg paralysis is a result of calcium deficiency in guinea pigs and this is a little-known cause. 

Also, injuries on the spine, around the lower back of guinea pigs can cause this type of paralysis.

What Can You Do:

If your cavy ever suffers paralysis of their back legs, you should visit the vet to know what to do.

Your guinea pigs may need acupuncture or laser therapies for the treatment of temporary hind leg paralysis. They’ve been proven to be quite effective in recovery.

If a nutritional deficiency is the cause of back leg paralysis, a supply of those nutrients can gradually help them recover.

Moreover, you will need a massage and stretch the affected legs from time to time. It helps keep the muscles healthy as your guinea recovers.

How to Tell If a Guinea Pig is Paralyzed

Paralysis comes with different symptoms just like most health conditions. So, here are the things you should look out for to know if your cavy is paralyzed.

Loss of Mobility

One way to know if your cavy is paralyzed is when a part of their body stops moving. 

Sometimes they might not be able to move their whole body but this is a rare case. 

Guinea pigs’ loss of mobility can happen in many ways. It could be that the guinea pigs can’t move their hind legs. 

You’ll notice them dragging their hind legs as they move with their front legs only. 

A guinea pig can also be paralyzed on one side of its body. The major cause of this kind of paralysis is injuries. 

The cavy will only be able to move one side of their body. You’ll see the guinea pig lying on the side and can’t get up on their own or even walk. 

No Pain Response

This is one of the major things associated with paralysis. The area or affected spot will normally seem lifeless. 

If you could pinch your guinea pig on a paralyzed part of their body, they wouldn’t feel anything at all. It’s just as if that area can no longer respond to pain. 

So if you want to be sure if your guinea pig is paralyzed, you can check if that part that’s affected responds to pain at all.

What are the Causes of Paralysis for Guinea Pigs?


Many of the paralysis cases for guinea pigs result from injuries. They’re very common causes!

  • You mistakenly drop them from a height while handling them.
  • Your dogs or cats around your home accidentally step on guinea pigs.
  • A rabbit living in the same cage with a guinea pig can kick a guinea pig with its powerful hind legs mistakenly when hopping and leaping around. 

Rabbits & guinea pigs both have different needs, especially spaces due to their difference in sizes.

Read this article to know which one between both pets suits you the most.

Nutritional Deficiency

A lack of calcium in guinea pigs can also cause paralysis, especially hind leg paralysis. 

Nevertheless, you can treat this kind of paralysis with calcium and your cavy will fully recover.

Additionally, a lack of both vitamin E and C in a guinea pig’s body is also a known cause of paralysis in guinea pigs. It damages the nervous system and causes cell death in guinea pigs’ skeletal systems. 

This affects their movement causing guinea pigs to experience loss of mobility, and then, paralysis.

Imagine, after keeping them safe from injuries, they still suffer paralysis.

You might wake up one morning confused to see your cavy dragging its hind legs around. Their legs will seem lifeless. That’s paralysis!

Final Thoughts

In summary, your guinea pigs can still live long as long as you take care of them.

Some paralysis are temporarily and some are permanent.

Paralysis caused by spinal injuries takes time to heal. Serious spinal injuries might be impossible to recover from.

A major sign of paralysis for guinea pigs is that they’ll have problems moving the affected part of the body. Also, they won’t feel pain in the affected area.

Moreover, if you notice your guinea pigs are not moving their back legs, they’re probably having paralysis of the hind legs.

If your guinea pigs ever suffer from paralysis, you should visit the nearest vet to check them up and guide you on what to do about it. 

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