As far as I know, no person or veterinary authority has ever got the the bottom of this very common problem in guinea pigs. When it was first noticed in laboratory animals the commonly held theory was that it was because the they were housed in cages with wire mesh flooring. In mine and most people’s experience there is no correlation between it’s prevalencein guinea pigs and the type of housing they live in.
It could be related to fungal infestation. Though we have no scientific or research data to base this claim upon, our experience in treating many guinea pigs with generalised fungal problems certainly points this way. If the patients happen to also have Bumblefoot, in a very high percentage of them the swelling is greatly reduced and in quite a few the feet return to normal after they have been put on a course of Griseofulvin.
WE ARE WELL AWARE THAT THIS DRUG IS A DERIVATIVE OF PENICILLIN, THE NUMBER ONE ‘NO NO’ DRUG FOR GUINEA PIGS, BUT IT IS SAFE, AND VERY EFFECTIVE FOR USE UPON THESE ANIMALS.
However, we are also aware that this drug has anti-inflammatory properties so this could be the reason it is sometimes effective. But it must be stated that all other anti-inflammatory drugs have failed to treat this condition.
Occasionally a swollen foot could be the result of minor injury which has become infected and a small abscess may have formed. However, Bumble foot in one foot is relatively rare.