Guinea Pig Hyperadrenocorticism (HAC – Cushing’s Disease)

Hyperadrenocorticism has been reported in Guinea Pigs. Affected animals display non-puritic hair loss, thin skin, polydipsia, weight loss and decreased activity. The investigation of suspected cases is now much easier because of the availability of salivary cortisol measurement at NationWide Specialist Laboratories. Saliva samples can be collected on several large plain cotton buds before and after intramuscular injection of ACTH. The saliva cortisol approach eliminates the difficulties of multiple blood sampling in this small species and avoids unnecessary stress for the animal. Please call for details on taking the saliva samples.

Guinea Pig ACTH Stimulation Test

  1. Collect basal saliva sample.
  2. Inject 20 IU* of synthetic ACTH (Synacthen depot*) i/v.
  3. Collect a further saliva sample four hours later.
  4. Place the saliva swabs in separate tubes and label clearly.
  5. Request saliva cortisol analysis.

* If Synacthen is unavailable Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd have an alternative drug to Synacthen available on special prescription, contact for details.


Normal guinea pigs will increase up to about 725** nmol/L.
** Provisional range taken from Vet Record, June 23, 2007 p878-880