Middle Road Veterinary Hospital

Bumblefoot - Guinea Pigs










Bumblefoot (pododermatitis) is an infection of the foot pad of a guinea pig which is extremely painful. ... Unsanitary conditions such as unchanged bedding or no bedding at all cause the foot pad to become infected.

Bumblefoot starts as red inflammation, swelling or sores on the pad of the feet.

It is most commonly encountered in guinea pigs housed on abrasive surfaces, especially wire floored cages, soiled and wet bedding and abrasive carpets.

Predisposing factors including;

  1. Poorly designed bedding as mentioned above.
  2. Obesity or lameness in one foot leading to excess weight bearing on the other foot.
  3. Lack of exercise due to inadequate cage size.
  4. Pain due to scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) leading to immobility.
  5. Overgrown nails leading to further pain and immobility.
  6. Urinary or gastrointestinal disease with urine scald or faecal contamination.

Diagnosis is by physical examination and investigation of environmental factors and predisposing factors mentioned above.

Treatment.  Please follow your Veterinarian’s advice.

  1. In all cases investigate and treat underlying causes, supplement with vitamin C (50mg orally daily) and clip overgrown nails.
  2. Mild cases. Change bedding to soft, dry material such as clean hay, or padded surfaces with shredded paper. Bedding should be changed daily. Trim overgrown nails.
  3. More severe cases. May require gentle debridement, bandaging with up to daily changes in some cases, antibacterial treatment long term and pain control.
  4. Severe cases. As above but daily debridement and wound flushing is required involving daily general anaesthesia if necessary.


Mild cases treated early with attention to husbandry problems have a fair to good prognosis.