9.04.2013

Cleaning Your Guinea Pig's Grease Gland

How to Clean Your Guinea Pig's Grease Gland

Quick grease gland checks are a regular part of our piggy grooming routine and a necessary part of cavy care. Out of our six pigs (all girls), Peaches tends to need the most attention here. Since she has a more active grease gland her piggy rump certainly benefits from the occasional extra wash!

Here's what you need to know about your wheeker's grease gland and how to keep it clean.


WHAT IS A GREASE GLAND

All guinea pigs have a grease gland that produces an oily secretion for scenting and marking purposes. This dime-sized area is covered with fur and located at the base of their spine. Look for it about half an inch away from their genitals, about where you'd imagine a tail to be.

WHY IT NEEDS CLEANING

Although male guinea pigs are more prone to greasy buildup in this area, females can also have an active grease gland. When ignored the area can become irritated. Accumulated buildup can also lead to infection. All the more reason to include a grease gland inspection as part of your guinea pig's grooming routine!

HOW TO FIND IT

Place your pig on a flat surface facing away from you and trace your fingers down his or her spine. Starting at the point where your finger meets the table, feel around for an area where the fur is slightly tacky.  

Guinea pig Peaches' Grease Gland

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR GUINEA PIG'S GREASE GLAND

  • Trim the fur surrounding the grease gland if needed. This makes it easier to see the area especially if your pig is of the long-haired variety.
  • If there is accumulated buildup, apply coconut oil to the gland and gently rub it in. Coconut oil acts as a natural degreasing agent to loosen the buildup. 
  • Lather shampoo or a degreasing dishwashing detergent onto the gland and let sit for a few minutes. Make sure to keep your cavy warm while he or she is waiting.
  • Thoroughly rinse the area and repeat as necessary.
  • Offer your piggy a veggie treat as compensation for the indignity of having their bottom washed!


Do any of your pigs have an active grease gland? How often do you clean the area?


Sources
Guinea Lynx - Cleaning the Grease Gland
Guinea Pig Cages - Grease Gland
The Guinea Pig Forum - How to Bathe Guinea Pigs, Including Ears and Grease Glands
Guinea Pig Today - Tips for Your Male Guinea Pig's Routine Boar Cleanings

4 comments:

  1. 1 of my boars always has a dirty grease gland, a few days after cleaning he's dirty again. Thankfully he's my short haired guy!

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  2. Maybe this is why Fergs is such a stink bomb! I check her bum and lady parts regularly and don't really notice a build up but she is definitely a candidate for bi-weekly butt baths like Wendy used to get. She stinks up our cage within an hour of a clean, ugh!

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  3. None of my pigs (so far) have ever had an active grease gland. I had thought it only pertained to boars until fairly recently.

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  4. I didn't know females had them either! I've had mostly girls and never had a problem with any of my pigs grease glands.

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