Health Risks of Owning Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are easy-care pets, requiring little beyond basic food, water, cage cleaning and handling. Sometimes guinea pigs come with diseases contracted from unclean conditions at a breeder or other specimens at the pet store. Disease also may also enter your guinea’s world via food, water, other pets or handling. Only a few diseases can be passed from your guinea pig to you, but they can leave you quite ill and be devastating for infants. Avoid catching a disease from your guinea pig by instructing the entire family in safe handling guidelines. Bacteria found on the guinea’s fur will easily transfer to your hands and cross-contaminate anything you touch. Teach children not to kiss guinea pigs or put them up to their faces, not to rub their nose or eyes when handling a guinea pig and to thoroughly wash their hands as soon as the guinea pig goes back in his cage. Guinea pigs carry toxoplasmosis, a protozoan known to infect unborn children. Do not clean a guinea pig cage while pregnant if you can have someone else do it, and wear rubber gloves if you must do it yourself. House mice are the most common carriers of the disease, but guinea pigs can contract the disease when they come in contact with the droppings of infected mice or rats. The disease causes mental retardation, hydrocephalus and chorioretinitis in unborn children. A guinea pig’s sharp nails can scratch your skin, making it vulnerable to infection by guinea pig-borne staphylococcus aureus. While most staph infections cause redness and swelling at the infection site, immune-deficient people may contract pneumonia, sepsis or other serious bacterial infections. Guinea pigs also contract salmonella from contaminated food. Keep guinea’s cage clean and remove uneaten food daily to prevent salmonella from developing.
Pig-A-Sus 970-858-9628 506 S Road Mack Colorado 81525
Potbelly pigs were the fad pet of the early 1990s, and being a lover/collector of pigs, I decided to pay big bucks and purchase my first pet pig, who was named Hamlet. After four years and learning of so many pigs starting to fill sanctuaries like PIGASUS, I decided that I could afford to “Foster” a second pig. Heidi came to live with me when she was 2 years old and only 45 pounds. Heidi went to Hog Heaven and became a guardian angel pig after living with me for 20 years. Heidi took over 50 trips with me I had at the time). After Hamlet passed away I originally was not going to get another pig. At first Heidi wanted nothing to do with this fresh, up-start piglet, Within 3 months there were inseparable, and Heidi became the “Big sister” to this shy little pig from the South. Heidi stayed with her in the barn at Colorado State University the night before the surgery. On the drive home, even though I tried to keep them separated to protect Queenie’s stiches, Queenie wouldn’t have it, and jumped into the back seat to be with Heidi. Through the years Heidi has been the instigator of the pigs getting into trouble a few times. The pigs became uninvited guests at a wedding and then they continued the adventure into the wild, undeveloped area of the park. While I’ve helped Sioux with a few pig rescues in the past, now that Heidi has her pig wings on, she is watching over all of us. Ms. Heidi legacy will be to help more unloved and abused potbelly pigs find good homes and forever love. Ms. Heidi was such an awesome little girl, who over took so much in her life, but when she found Sue, she also was in love and for 20+ years had a life that most potbelly pigs only get to “Dream About”. Keep the wind on our cheeks and laughter in our hearts, Ms. Heidi.
Vetwest Animal Hospitals
Guinea Pigs make fantastic pets for those people limited by space, and those that love an affectionate and social companion. Regular health check-ups are the cornerstone of a preventative health program for your Guinea Pig. A regular visit to the vet will help detect illness early and you can find out about the latest options in Guinea Pig medicine. Parasite control Parasites can be a problem in many pets but generally Guinea Pigs are lucky when it comes to creepy crawlies. Guinea pigs have teeth that continually grow hence overgrown incisors and molars can occur. Guinea Pigs can start breeding at 6-8 weeks of age and may be desexed at 5-6mths of age. A female guinea pig should have her first litter before 6 months of age. Guinea Pigs have continuously growing nails that need to be trimmed regularly. There are a variety of hutches and cages available to house Guinea Pigs. Generally Guinea Pigs should be kept indoors as warmer weather can cause heat stroke. Indoor cages should allow at least 0.5 square metres of floor space per guinea pig. Guinea pigs originated in South America but were probably introduced into Europe soon after the first Spanish explorers returned from that continent in the 1500s. A Guinea Pig named “Sooty” had a night to remember after escaping from his pen and tunnelling into a cage of 24 females. Staff at Littlefriend’s Farm in Pontypridd, South Wales, have now secured Sooty’s pen – and begun looking for new homes for his guinea pigs. “We looked for him everywhere but never thought of checking the pen where we keep 24 females. We did a head count and found 25 Guinea Pigs, Sooty fast asleep in the corner.” “He was absolutely shattered. We put him back in his cage and he slept for two days.”