Guinea Pigs and Kids, Cavies and Children
Kids and Guinea Pigs – Fact, Fiction & Fun.Kids and Guinea Pigs have been synonymous for years and years. Talk to any adult about guinea pigs and frequently you’ll hear the story about how they had guinea pigs as kids. This page has three objectives: 1) to enlighten those parents who are considering getting their child or children a guinea pig as a pet, and 2) to help those parents who already have guinea pigs with suggestions on teaching young children how to interact safely and respectfully with the animals, and 3) to educate people in general about the importance of making the right decision for the right reasons to adopt animals in the first place. The problems compound with the parent’s attitude of “It’s only a guinea pig” combined with the kid’s attitude of “I want a guinea pig.” This recipe creates one highly disposable animal exacerbated by the pet stores that use the guinea pig as a loss leader to encourage the purchase of the cute, little, fuzzy, moving toy so that the parents will become loyal customers of the profit-generating supplies. It starts with the LIFE-LONG lessons that you teach your children about animals BY EXAMPLE. When the kids are bored and no longer want to take care of the guinea pigs, the LAST thing you want to teach them is how one dumps their responsibility on the local shelter or rescue so that the taxpayers can pay for the care and rehoming expense or kill the unwanted animals behind closed doors. If, and ONLY IF, the guinea pigs are a PART OF FAMILY, do the guinea pigs have a chance at remaining in the home, happy and healthy for duration of their little lives. If we can talk a parent OUT of getting guinea pigs for their child or children, then we count that as one very successful phone call and a future surrender that was prevented. Here’s the kicker on successful adoptions to homes with children: IF the parents want the guinea pigs for the child, we WILL NOT ADOPT. Period. The gray area which are the tough calls are those parents who start out wanting the guinea pigs for their children, who seem to get all the messages, who are enthusiastically willing to do everything right, who you think will grow into loving the animals as much or more than their kids. Also with younger children, there is much less dexterity and physical ability to handle and manage various guinea pigs, unintentional accidents are far more prevalent. Read through the testimonials on the Guinea Pig Cages site about the radical changes in behavior when guinea pigs are granted a new lease on life in a properly-sized cage. Then they moved on to petting with supervision, learning more about the pigs, “What color is Einstein’s nose?” “PINK!” My niece has held pigs in her lap with me sitting right beside her and is at the point where she can hold some of the pigs in her lap on her own.
Some common guinea pig health problems
Like many small animals, the general health and common health conditions that can affect the guinea pig do not receive anywhere near as much publicity as those that affect larger pets such as cats and dogs, but veterinary care for Guinea pigs is constantly evolving, and today, most practices are well set up to treat most of the basic and common Guinea pig ailments. If you own a Guinea pig or are considering buying one, it is important to garner a basic understanding of some of the basic and most common health conditions that can affect your pet, and know how to identify them. In this article, we will look at some of the most common Guinea pig health problems in more detail. The teeth of the guinea pig grow constantly throughout their lives, and being fed the right diet and given plenty of things to chew on is important to ensure that the length of their teeth is kept in check. The natural diet of the Guinea pig is very high in fibre, and Guinea pigs need free access to fibrous materials to chew throughout the day. Guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to developing mite infestations, and often, will contract mites from other Guinea pigs that share their housing, or come to you with mites already in residence. The symptoms of a mite infestation include itchy skin that your Guinea pig will scratch constantly, which can lead to hair loss and sore patches on the skin. Mites can usually be treated with a product from your local vet, and it is important to treat not only the affected Guinea pig, but any others that they have come into contact with too. Feeding small amounts of foods such as kiwi, which are rich in Vitamin C is a good idea, although care should be taken not to feed so much fruit and veg that your Guinea pig develops diarrhoea. If your Guinea pig is not getting enough Vitamin C, they may suffer from some fairly severe problems including internal bleeding, swollen and painful joints, and problems with the digestive system and intestines. Vitamin C deficiency can be very uncomfortable and painful for your Guinea pig, but the condition is entirely preventable with conscientious feeding. Never leave your Guinea pig in a cage with an uncovered floor, and when you take your Guinea pig out of the cage to socialise with them, do not put them down on hard surfaces or encourage them to sit on anything other than grass or other soft, cushioned areas that will provide padding to the feet.
‘I cheated death and joined the Guinea Pig Club’
Des was lucky enough to find his way to Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, under the care of the pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe. “I had new chins – three times they operated because they didn’t go quite right. I had new eyelids, new ear tips, and my legs were grafted too,” he told the BBC at his home this week. Sir Archibald, realising how the badly burnt and disfigured men on his wards were struggling to adapt to everyday life, decided to give their morale a boost. “He said, ‘Right, you are all now members of the Guinea Pig Club,'” said Des, who is now 96. Primarily a drinking club, with social events and trips into the town, the group formed close bonds for life, while Sir Archibald developed plastic surgery techniques some of which are still in use today. Today, only 17 members of the Guinea Pig Club survive in the UK, their numbers dwindling as the men enter their mid-90s. A commemorative monument is being unveiled by the Duke of Edinburgh at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, recognising the work of Sir Archibald, who died in 1960, and the bravery of his Guinea Pigs. Sir Archibald was instrumental in developing the walking-stalk skin graft, a procedure in which a flap of skin was fashioned into a tube and attached at both ends to the patient, being slowly removed and reattached – “Walked” along the body until it reached the area needing the graft. Photographs of men being treated during World War Two feature these tubes, often connecting their noses with skin on their torso or arms. Modern developments including microsurgery, in which the blood vessels of a skin graft can be reattached at the new site, eliminated the need for this type of procedure. Sir Archibald’s legacy has endured, not least at the Queen Victoria Hospital, now the leading burns and reconstructive surgery centre in the south-east of England. “Mr Baljit Dheansa, consultant plastic surgeon at the hospital, told the BBC:”Some of the approaches we still take in surgery hark back to what McIndoe did for his Guinea Pigs way back then. “A philosophy of early burns surgery, and taking quite an aggressive approach, to get patients healed, but at the same time addressing the big deficiency that burn care and any surgical care had in the past, which was supporting them psychologically.”
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