Guinea pigs have a scent gland, or grease gland, which is located just above where you'd expect to find a tail. The oil secreted by this gland helps guinea pigs mark their territory, but the area around this gland can become greasy, sticky and smelly, especially in males. If the area around your pig's gland is stinky, you can clean it with mild soap and water. Removing the oily buildup is important to prevent infection and irritation.
Place a towel on the bottom of your sink to prevent slipping, and then set your guinea pig on the towel. Keep one hand on his back at all times to help him feel more secure.
Wet your pig's rear where the gland is located using lukewarm water. Unless your guinea pig requires a full-body bath, leave the rest of his coat dry.
Massage a shampoo or cleaning product safe for use on guinea pigs and other small animals into your pet's greasy or sticky coat. Follow the product's instructions about how long to leave the shampoo on before rinsing.
Rinse the area well with lukewarm water. If any greasiness remains, shampoo and rinse a second time.
Dry your pig well to avoid chills. Pat the area dry with an absorbent cloth, and then wrap him up until he's warm.
- If you're applying an antibiotic ointment to your guinea pig's gland area because of irritation or infection, allow it to remain in contact with the area for at least 15 minutes while you hold your pig to prevent him from ingesting the ointment. After 15 minutes, wash the ointment away.
- If your guinea pig's cage and toys smell, wipe them down with vinegar to get rid of the smell and the greasy residue.
Meerschweinchen image by Gregor Czernilofsky from Fotolia.com
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."