North East Guinea Pig Rescue
HealthGuinea pigs are prey animals and therefore it can sometimes be difficult to spot the early signs of illness. If your guinea pig is unwell, he or she may still continue to eat as usual. This can often mislead owners and vets to think that the guinea pig is not seriously ill. When guinea pigs become unwell they will to begin with show very subtle changes in their behaviour that an attentive owner should spot. This is why it is important that a responsible adult cares for the guinea pig, as children can often miss these early warnings signs. As an owner it is important that you monitor your guinea pig closely on a daily basis to check for any subtle changes in their behaviour and in their eating and breathing. Always watch your guinea pig after you have fed him or her, so you get used to their normal eating habits, and can tell if there is a small change in these. Also be watchful for any discomfort when they urinate or defecate, as well as any discomfort in moving about or being handled. As mentioned, guinea pigs will often continue to eat even when very ill. Therefore any change in a guinea pig’s eating is a cause for concern. It can also be good practice to monitor your guinea pigs weight weekly, any weight loss can indicate an underlying medical problem that should be investigated. The following are checks you can do on a daily basis whilst handling your guinea pig. These again will help you get to know your guinea pig and notice any changes:Guinea pigs nails should be checked frequently to ensure they are not over growing. VetsAlthough all vets see guinea pigs, most vets have little experience of guinea pigs, and therefore often fail to treat them appropriately. If you do come across as vet with extra training with guinea pigs or with exotic pets please let me know, so I can share their details with other guinea pigs owners.
Hartley Guinea Pigs and Research Animals to Help Humanity
COMPANY PROFILE. Elm Hill Labs has been specializing in the production of guinea pigs exclusively for the research community for over 50 years. We take pride in being recognized throughout the industry for the excellent quality of our guinea pigs, for outstanding service, and for our genuine concern for each customer’s particular needs. Our guinea pig production facility is “State of the art”. How long are your guinea pigs actually in their shipping cartons? Are they put in the boxes just prior to shipment… or must they sit in the containers while an entire truck of various species are weighed and packaged? Elm Hill makes up the orders, puts them in marked cages, and places them in the cartons just prior to departure. Do you have flexibility in ordering? Can orders be placed on the day of delivery? Are you able to make changes on short notice? Elm Hill can make last minute changes or additions on a moment’s notice. Are all delivery vehicles owned and operated by your supplier? Are these vehicles used only for the species that you request? Is there any chance of cross-contamination during shipment? Elm Hill is a single species vendor. Are your guinea pigs delivered by employees of the supplier, or simply by a trucking company? All of our drivers are Elm Hill employees who know the proper care and handling of the animals during transit. If air transportation is required, does your supplier work with you to arrange a convenient and efficient shipment plan? Due to careful planning, Elm Hill air shipments are often in transit less time than “Direct” delivery by other suppliers. Do you receive Health Status Reports with every shipment? Does your present supplier encourage site visits and customer feedback? When you spend your research dollars, make sure that you are getting the service you deserve.
AN OVERVIEW OF CAVY NUTRITION Providing your cavy with a diet tailored to suit its nutritional needs can be a challenging task. If you know what your cavies needs are it can be easily done. To understand what a cavies body requires we first must understand how its digestive system works. Biological Structure A cavies digestive system is designed to obtain cellulose from various vegetation, primarily in the form of hay. Without a diet high in fibre a cavy will suffer from severe digestive upset which can vastly lead to other illnesses and lower the immune system. If you have a diet high in protein and low in fibre it can compromise the health of your cavy. If feeding a HAFF diet this will meet the nutritional needs of your cavy effectively. You do not need to overcompensate with a diet high in fats and sugars, a cavy should have a diet tailored to suit its digestive and nutritional needs. In certain cases such as where a cavy needs to gain weight oats can be given as a supplement in their diet. Pellets should have a fat percentage of preferably 1- 2%. Calcium to Phosphorus The calcium: phosphorus ratio is also an important part of a cavies diet. In a cavies diet you need to have a higher calcium to phosphorus ratio. If you observe any white substances being excreted out of your cavies system through its urine you know that there is an excess of calcium in the system and you must analyze your diet to ensure that you decrease that amount. One red capsicum contains enough vitamin C to meet the RDI of up to ten cavies. Cavies require 20-30 mg of vitamin C daily, pregnant of lactating sows require 30 – 50 mg. Providing your cavy with the correct percentage or fats, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus enables owners to ensure that their cavies digestive system is not compromised and enables correct digestion.