Guinea Pigs and Hyperthyroidism
Guinea Pigs can occasionally develop hyperthyroidism which, similar to cats, can be treated with i-131.
Hyperthyroidism symptoms in guinea pigs include hyperactivity and an increased sensitivity to touch combined with increased eating while the pets appear thin or are losing weight. Other common but inconsistent symptoms include diarrhea or soft stool, increased thirst and urination, and a palpable mass in the neck.
Guinea pigs can be medically treated for hyperthyroidism with methimazole, a daily medication, although no studies have been done to evaluate its effectiveness. At this point, I-131 treatment seems to provide the best outcome for guinea pigs. Diagnosis in guinea pigs can be difficult. If your pet, or your client’s pet, is exhibiting potential hyperthyroid symptoms, please contact us to discuss.
For the latest summary on this disease in guinea pigs, please see the attached PDF article from the Veterinary Clinics of North America.