Three guinea pigs sitting together

Metacam® is a painkiller for guinea pigs

To help keep them as comfortable as possible, your vet has prescribed Metacam® oral suspension, an easy-to-administer liquid which is licensed* to help control pain during recovery from surgery.

If your guinea pig has had a general anaesthetic it may take them a little while to settle back into their normal routine, although the after-effects of the anaesthetic will normally have worn off by the time they come home. It is important to follow your vet’s discharge instructions and if you have any concerns about your guinea pig while they are recovering from surgery you should contact your vet for advice.


*Metacam® 0.5 mg/ml oral suspension is the only licensed oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) available for guinea pigs. (Last Updated February 2023).

Guinea pig with white, ginger and black fur sitting on the floor
Guinea pig with an illustrated image of teeth grinding

Grinding teeth

a guinea pig lying down

Reluctance to move

A guinea pig shivering

Shivers or quivers

Guinea pig with it's hair spiked up

Sits hunched, with hair spiky

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Squealing or excessive noise

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Not eating or drinking

Guinea pig breathing

Shallow, rapid breathing

guinea pigs happily snacking on food

Dosing dish and syringe

Metacam®oral suspension can be given directly into your guinea pig’s mouth, making it very easy-to-give.

It is important that you only use the dish and syringe provided by your vet for dosing guinea pigs.

Please do not use the cat syringe from the Metacam® box if it hasn’t already been removed by your vet. The cat syringe is calibrated to provide a dose specific to cats only.

packshot of the guinea pig and cat metacam products

Metacam dosing for Guinea Pigs

  1. Before administering Metacam® you should shake the bottle. Then remove the cap and turn upside-down over the dish.
  2. Applying gentle pressure to the bottle, let enough drops fall into the dish to allow you to draw up the correct volume of Metacam® required.
  3. Place the tip of the guinea pig dosing syringe into the dish and draw up the volume of Metacam®prescribed by your vet.
  4. To avoid drawing up air, tilt the syringe slightly and ensure that the tip stays submerged in the Metacam® suspension.
  5. Gently pull the plunger out of the syringe until the black line is aligned with the dose that your vet has prescribed.
  6. It is important not to allow air to enter the syringe as this will give you an inaccurate reading. If air does accidentally enter the syringe simply return the contents back into the dosing dish by gently pressing the plunger and try again.
  7. Once you have drawn up the correct dose, gently and slowly empty the solution directly into the side of your guinea pig’s mouth.
    Rinse the dosing dish and syringe with water and dry prior to the next use.
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Comforting your guinea pig

After surgery, rest is very important, so make sure you follow your vet’s advice to help your guinea pig make a full recovery. Ensure bedding is clean, comfortable, warm and dry.

guinea pig with fluffy hair lying on the floor

Careful feeding

It’s important your guinea pig starts eating again as soon as possible following surgery. Unless instructed otherwise, offer them food such as fresh grass or hay when you get home, with plenty of water. If your guinea pig doesn’t eat or pass droppings after returning home, please contact your vet for advice.

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Gentle stroking

Your guinea pig may find it soothing if you gently stroke or groom them, this may help them stay calm and reassured. Remember to avoid touching any affected areas as these may be sore or painful.

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Give them company

Guinea pigs are herd animals and don’t like to be alone. Unless otherwise instructed by your vet, keep your guinea pigs together to ensure they have company and to help them feel safe and secure.

three different looking guinea pigs sitting together

Don’t forget

Remember, your guinea pig may take a little while to get back to their usual self. Your vet is best placed to advise on how to help your guinea pig and what to expect during their recovery.

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Other advice

Remember that if you are concerned about your guinea pig you should seek the advice of your veterinary practice.

long ginger and white fur guinea pig lying down

FAQ - Metacam® for guinea pigs

What is Metacam®?

Metacam® is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a painkiller used to treat surgical pain in guinea pigs.

Where can I buy Metacam®?

Metacam® is only available with a prescription from your veterinary surgeon.

How does Metacam® work?

Metacam® relieves pain associated with surgery, helping your guinea pig stay comfortable during their recovery.

How is Metacam® given?

Metacam® oral suspension is administered directly into your guinea pig’s mouth. Use the dosing dish and syringe your vet has supplied, these are specifically designed for use in guinea pigs.

Always give the dose that your vet prescribes.

What is the dose of Metacam®?

Your vet will prescribe the correct dose that your guinea pig will need. Follow your vet’s advice on how to give Metacam® and how much to give.

What is the flavouring in Metacam®?

Metacam® oral suspension has a tasty honey flavour.

How long will my guinea pig require treatment with Metacam®?

Your vet will advise how long the treatment course needs to be following surgery.

What if I forget a dose of Metacam®?

If you forget a dose, do not give an extra or larger dose, simply give your guinea pig the usual dose at the next scheduled time. This may mean missing a daily dose.

Does Metacam® have any side effects?

Normally, guinea pigs tolerate Metacam® very well. If your guinea pig becomes unwell or you are worried at all, you should contact your veterinary practice immediately. You should stop giving Metacam® until your vet advises that you can continue using it. This is because in some cases, Metacam® and other medicines like it can cause side effects, so your vet needs to ensure any changes that develop in your guinea pig are not related to the medicine they are taking.

What sizes of Metacam® are available?

Metacam® oral suspension for guinea pigs is available in 3 ml, 15 ml and 30 ml bottles.

What if I accidentally give too much Metacam® or another pet eats the Metacam®?

If you think your guinea pig has had too much Metacam® (an overdose), or another pet has taken it when it wasn’t prescribed for them, you should immediately contact your veterinary practice for advice. Tell the veterinary surgeon the full details of how much was ingested and when.

I have lost my Metacam® guinea pig dosing syringe/dish, how can I get a replacement one?

Your vet will be able to supply you with a new Metacam® guinea pig dosing syringe and dish; ask them to phone Boehringer Ingelheim to request additional dosing syringes or dishes.

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