Choosing the right veterinarian for your guinea pig is a very important decision. While going to the nearest vet is convenient, it’s usually not the best choice. Guinea pigs are considered exotic pets and require care from an exotic animal vet. They know the special requirements of these animals that a dog and cat vet will not. Sadly, I have heard a few times from guinea pig owners that a regular vet has declared a guinea pig’s condition hopeless and recommended euthanasia. A second opinion from an exotic pet vet yielded a much different prognosis!
The best place to look for a guinea pig vet is the vet directory on Guinea Pig Zone: www.guineapigzone.com/vets. Once you narrow your choice down, check out further reviews on Yelp and compare. Call the vet's office and make sure they do indeed still treat guinea pigs. Once you have some experience with a vet, don’t forget to help out others and leave your own review.
Ideally, you should have a vet picked out before getting your guinea pig, and most shelters will require a vet’s name on the adoption application. In an emergency, call the nearest animal hospital and ask them if they have an exotics’ vet on staff. They will usually help you find one if they don’t, but just be prepared to pay more for these types of visits.
You’ve decided a guinea pig is right for you, found your ideal vet, so what’s next? Setting up your cage and starting your adoption search! Stay tuned for more on these topics.