Guinea Pig Health News for September 23 2017 Two is better than one Guinea pigs are social animals and crave the company of other pigs. Adding a second guinea pig Now that you’ve learned adding a guinea pig will enrich your current pig’s life, there are a few things to consider: Adequate cage space: The minimum cage requirements for a pair of pigs is 10.5 square feet or 30 x 50 “. Additional cost: In general a non-breeding pair of guinea pigs will not cost much more in time or money than a single pig, but the benefits of their companionship are priceless. You may end up spending about 25% more on food and bedding, not much for twice the piggy love! Bonding with you vs. the other Pig: A common concern over adding a pig is that the guinea pigs won’t “bond with me”. Guinea pigs all have their own personalities, some are shyer than others and need time learning to trust you and recognize your scents and sounds. While most groups of guinea pigs can figure out their social hierarchy, it can lead to fighting and result in permanent separation. It’s best to quarantine a new pig, or keep pigs from different sources separate for the first two weeks to avoid any disease transmission. Docx Rev. 4-10 1 Cavy Courtship Guinea pigs are individuals; they may take quickly to new pigs or may need time to adjust. Place the pigs on opposite sides of your set up; it’s best to have one person per pig for easy handling. High pitched squealing or screaming Guinea Pig Pairs. Docx Rev. 4-10 2 Combination of raised hackles, loud and angry teeth chattering, rocking in place with the head staying in one position while facing the other guinea pig. If blood is drawn, it’s definitely time to end the session! Fighting amongst guinea pigs is very rare and typically only seen during mating struggles between males.

The ‘myth’ of the clinical trial guinea pig

In this week’s Scrubbing Up, Dr Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network says we need to rethink our ideas about clinical trials. In a national poll in 2012, 82% of the public thought it was important for the NHS to offer opportunities to take part in clinical research, and fewer than 7% said they would never take part. The first thing to remember is that clinical research is part of what the NHS is all about. Doctors use clinical research studies to compare current treatments with potentially better ones, so that we can keep improving the care we offer NHS patients. The point is, there are many different types of clinical study, covering all aspects of medicine, so the scope of research in the NHS goes way beyond most people’s perception. So how risky is it to take part in a clinical trial? All clinical research studies have to go through very strict ethical and regulatory checks before they get anywhere near a patient, and the UK has one of the best records world-wide for patient safety. In the NHS, patients volunteer to take part in clinical research, and they do so for a whole number of reasons. Sometimes it is because a clinical trial can offer a new treatment option. The key point is that there are strict rules about gaining the consent of patients and carers before they take part in a clinical research study – and these rules are taken very seriously indeed. Last year, more than half a million NHS patients chose to take part in nearly 3,000 clinical research studies. Through clinical research, we can keep making patients, and the NHS, better.


We now have many years of experience dealing with all aspects of guinea-pig health and disease. Dental disease in guinea-pigs can be particularly frustrating to manage with severely affected guinea-pigs requiring long term or even life-long therapy. Where conscious filing of the cheek teeth is carried out, our techniques are designed to cause as little stress to the guinea-pigs as possible. Dental disease is a frequent cause of reduced or complete loss or appetite in guinea-pigs. The front teeth can be readily examined in a conscious guinea-pig during a consultation with the vet. Experience of normal guinea-pig teeth is essential as their incisors, especially the lower incisors, are much longer than those of rabbits and incisors are often burred short when in fact they were the normal length. A guinea-pig’s cheek teeth are very different from a rabbit’s cheek teeth and so experience is essential to correctly diagnose and then treat dental disease. Regular follow-up dentals can then be carried out in the conscious guinea-pig as part of the long term management of the teeth. Guinea-pigs commonly suffer from diseases of the skin. Ringworm is a fungal disease of the skin and be found anywhere on the body or head. Affected guinea-pigs are usually less itchy than with mites and the fur loss is often more localised with excessive scaling of the exposed skin. We therefore recommend any guinea-pig with skin disease be taken to the vets to rule out ringworm. Guinea-pigs suffer from both upper respiratory disease involving the nose and upper airways and lower respiratory disease involving the lungs.

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