What sex is my guinea pig
Guinea pigs can be sexed by examining their genital region both visually and physically. To begin, carefully grab your guinea pig from its hutch and position it calmly on its back.
Male guinea pigs
In male guinea pigs, the testicles and scrotal pouches are often readily identified. But Dr Dharshinee Rajkumar from Greencross Vets Box Hill
has the following tip in case your eyesight isn't very good.
“Applying slight pressure just above the genital area will extrude the penis. Visually, the genital area in a male guinea pig resembles an 'i' shape,” Dr Rajkumar says.
Female guinea pigs
Female guinea pig genitalia tend to resemble a 'Y' shaped depression. However Dr Rajkumar warns that females sometimes look like a male because of swelling in the area where the penis should be found.
“Gently parting the genital opening will reveal a 'Y' shaped opening in a female guinea pig,” advises Dr Rajkumar.
Why is it so important to figure it out early?
Guinea pigs mate and reproduce from as young as eight weeks old, and they'll do so with their siblings. Hence why it's so important to separate the males from the females from about four weeks.
Typically, guinea pigs produce between three to four pups, but it's not uncommon to have up to eight pups in a litter.
In addition to having to re-home more guinea pigs, sows can experience life threatening difficulties giving birth, as well as vitamin C deficiency and mastitis.
“Not identifying genders early will result in unwanted litters and could lead to losing your pet,” says Dr Rajkumar.