Rectal temperature is a prognostic indicator in client-owned guinea pigs

I. H. Levy, N. Di Girolamo, K. A. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To determine whether rectal temperature was associated with patient mortality in client-owned guinea pigs upon presentation to a veterinary hospital. Materials and Methods: The medical record database at a veterinary teaching hospital was searched for records of guinea pigs from January 2016 through June 2019. Guinea pigs were included in the study if a rectal temperature was measured at presentation and there was data on survival status 7 days post-presentation. If survivor status was not documented in the medical record, follow-up information was obtained from the client via telephone or email. The data was ultimately collected from 201 client-owned guinea pigs who presented for 388 independent examinations. Univariable, multivariable and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results: Guinea pigs with hypothermia (<37.9°C) at presentation had a relative risk of mortality within 7 days of presentation almost 3 times greater than guinea pigs without hypothermia (relative risk: 2.88; 95% confidence interval: 1.86 to 4.48). For each 0.55°C decrease in rectal temperature, the odds of death increased 1.6 times (odds ratio: 1.64; 95% confidence interval: 1.42 to 2.89). Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the finding. Clinical Significance: Rectal temperature was a predictor of death for guinea pigs presenting for care at a veterinary hospital. Obtaining a rectal temperature recording should be considered for patient guinea pigs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-865
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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