Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Guinea Pig
I try to tell my girls I don’t really need to have first-hand experience on every guinea pig illness, but they have their own ideas. By the time you can feel a different in guinea pig weight, they have likely lost way more 100g. I have hauled pigs to the vet with no other symptom than a significant weight loss to discover they had some sort of infection. If your guinea pig, who usually runs laps all morning, suddenly stops their daily run, it may be worth looking into. I’ve seen a lot of guinea pig forum posts where someone describe that something isn’t right. Don’t wait if you think there is something wrong with your guinea pig. I read too many stories of people who wait until a guinea pig really looks sick before bringing them in, and this account often ends badly. By the time you start to see serious symptoms, the guinea pig has probably already been sick for days. It’s much less of a strain on your guinea pig to address an illness early. Hand feeding is so important if your guinea pig isn’t eating on their own. The ability to discuss your guinea pig’s health with your vet is invaluable. Some places wouldn’t see a guinea pig, flat out. Even if the regular vet will see your guinea pig, you need to be careful. Guinea pig forums can be a great source of answers, but don’t forget you have a professional that has directly observed your guinea pig just a phone call away! Questions them if your guinea pig seems to be getting worse, rather than better. The pain will lessen and you can focus, eventually, on the joy you had with little lovable guinea pig. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story.
THE BASICS OF POTBELLIED PIG CARE By Maria K. Verderaime, RVT, RN INTRODUCTION Potbellied pigs can be wonderful pets, but can also be a disaster if you aren’t prepared for or don’t know enough about them. This booklet is just an overview of the general care of potbellied pigs to help you decide if a pig is the right pet for you. Attitude problems usually come from intact pigs and pigs that were not trained or socialized properly. Also the more fat the pigs are, the more prone to anesthesia problems they are. Anesthesia drugs accumulate in the fat so more drug may be needed to induce the pig, but then it takes longer for the drug to metabolize from the body because it sits in the fat for a long time. There is also a chance of an unneutered pig to “Forget” housetraining while they are in heat. VIRTUES Potbellied pigs are very intelligent, easy to train and are very sociable. You must have a caretaker for the pig when you go on vacation. Feeding a pig can be slightly more expensive than feeding a dog or cat, and the feed may be difficult to obtain. TRAINING It is not the purpose of this booklet to teach you how to train your pig. I strongly recommend you buy a book to properly train your pig. Just like dogs, they learn from the present not the past so don’t scold them for making a mess two hours ago! NUTRITION Pigs are omnivores which means they will eat plant and animal. Remember, and underfed pig can be just as unhealthy as on overfed pig. Do not listen to some peoples belief that if you only feed it a little the pig will stay “Small”. Yes, it may be small, but only because it is malnourished! Feed a pigchow that is specifically for “Exotic” pigs.
With half of these animals being males, we understand that over 50 million male pigs are sent to market. Some people say the pig and the human share some related offensive steroid odors. Depending on age, breed and environment, as many as 50% or more of all intact male pigs produce pork that has a strong to moderate off odor when cooked. Economic forces drive the slaughter weights higher – it takes about the same labor to process a 300 lb pig as a 220 lb pig – so labor costs per pig decrease with higher slaughter weights. Castration of the male pig refers to removal of the testes. The routine castration of pigs is not performed with pain relief, nor is it performed in a sterile field using sterile instruments. The pig experiences pain and distress associated with: handling, cutting the scrotum and spermatic cords, and post-surgical pain associated with healing. The immuno castration approach uses the pig’s own immune system to control the substances that cause off odors. Activists are critical of castration of pigs because it involves a painful procedure and pain relief is not given. The industry states, correctly, that male pigs are castrated primarily to prevent boar taint. The hottest Animal Welfare topic at this time in the USA pig industry is Gestation Sow Housing. Pig physical castration is a real animal welfare issue – to the pig. Few people argue that the pig is not suffering when castrated in the present USA situation. Physiology and behavior of pigs before and after castration: effects of two topical anesthetics. The development of pain in young pigs associated with castration and attempts to prevent castration-induced behavioral changes.