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Signs of Head Trauma in Guinea Pigs

| Updated September 26, 2017

A head injury can be very serious for a guinea pig. The trauma from the injury causes brain tissue to swell, which can halt normal processes like breathing and digestion. If you suspect that your guinea pig has suffered a head injury, it is important to get emergency medical attention from a vet that is familiar with small animals. Keep your guinea pig in a cool, dark and quiet place until you can get help.

Tilted Head

When a guinea pig suffers head trauma, the brain can swell which puts pressure on the inner ear. This change in pressure can make the guinea pig tilt his head to one side.

Head Shaking

If a guinea pig has received a head injury, she make shake her head from side to side due to the change in pressure from the swelling.

Changes in Eye Movement

A guinea pig with a concussion may exhibit a change in eye movements, such as quick, darting eye movements.

Nausea and Vomiting

While you may not be able to tell if a guinea pig is experiencing nausea, you can monitor the animal for vomiting or decreased appetite. If your guinea pig is not eating or drinking, or if the pig is vomiting, you should seek immediate medical attention from a vet.


It may be difficult to ascertain if your guinea pig is feeling dizzy. If your pet is not moving as frequently as he normally does, and if he is lying still for extended periods, then he may be feeling dizzy. Another clue is if your guinea pig loses his balance while walking or moving.

Pupil Changes

An animal's pupils may appear larger (dilated) or smaller (constricted) when the animal has experienced head trauma.


Your guinea pig may experience seizures after a head injury, where the animal does not have control over his body.

Loss of Consciousness

A loss of consciousness can follow after a guinea pig experiences a head injury. The loss of consciousness may be temporary or it may be an extended coma. Keep the animal cool and quiet until you get to a vet for help.