Guinea Pig Health Care Advice
Guinea pigs are unable to generate their own Vitamin C, therefore they need to get it from their diet. Good quality guinea pig nuggets will contain Vitamin C, however nutrients can disappear if the food is stored for too long so be careful to follow manufacturers shelf life and storage suggestions. Do not suddenly change your guinea pig’s food as it may upset their digestive system, so always introduce new foods gradually over a period of at least a week. Guinea pigs produce two types of droppings – hard, dry ones and dark, shiny smelly ones. As guinea pigs are sensitive to temperature extremes, the hutch should be positioned out of direct sunlight and strong winds. If housed indoors, make sure your guinea pig does not have access to any electric cables, as they are likely to chew them. Guinea pigs need lots of exercise and with a large enough hutch and run they can get this. Encourage your guinea pig to stay stimulated by rotating toys. Longhaired guinea pigs will need to be groomed every day – this can be done gently with a soft brush. As they are very social animals, guinea pigs do need the company of other guinea pigs. The best combination of guinea pigs to keep would be littermates of the same sex, as this minimises the chance of them fighting. Rabbits are not suitable companions for guinea pigs. Rabbits can also potentially carry a bacteria, which if passed to a guinea pig can cause respiratory disease. Be sure to check your guinea pig closely every day for any signs of illness. If you are concerned about the health of your guinea pig, do not hesitate to contact the surgery.
Description and Physical Characteristics of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs, like other cavies, are stout and short-legged. They range from approximately 8 to 19 inches in length for a full grown adult. Their normal body temperature is 102 to 104°F. The life span of a guinea pig varies, but on average, they live 5 to 6 years. 102 to 104°F. Environmental requirements. There are currently at least 13 recognized breeds of guinea pigs. Some of the more common breeds include the American, which has short, smooth hair; the Abyssinian, with short hair that grows in whorls; and the Peruvian, which has longer, silky hair. Guinea pigs come in several colors and color combinations, including black, tan, cream, brown, and white. Guinea pig eyes are located on the sides of the head, allowing them to see both forward and backward, though they may have trouble seeing directly ahead. Their heads are blunt and have small ears. Guinea pigs have 4 digits on their front feet and 3 on each hind foot. Guinea pigs have 20 teeth including upper and lower long incisors, premolars, and molars. A guinea pig’s teeth are “Open rooted” and grow continuously throughout its life. They wear down their teeth by eating, chewing, and grinding food. Thus, it is important that your guinea pig’s diet contain a sufficient amount of hays, grasses, and abrasive foods to maintain healthy teeth at the proper length. Fat pads, which are normal, on either side of the mouth can make examination of guinea pig teeth difficult.
Pet Guinea Pig Care, Information, Facts & Pictures
Guinea pigs are tail-less rodents that are native to the west coast of South America and since the mid-1800’s, laboratories have used them for research. The correct name for guinea pigs is Cavy, pronounced “Kay-vee”. Guinea pigs usually weigh around 3 ounces at birth, around 1-2 pounds full grown, and live for 5-6 years. Cavies have a very good sense of smell and sensitive hearing. They love to vocalize with squeals, chirps, squeaks, and whistles. Guinea Pigs as PetsGuinea pigs are cuddly, comical, and clever. They make wonderful pets for children and can be very social animals. The animals do better in pairs as they prefer company, so unless you have a lot of time to devote to your pet getting at least two is often a good idea. Guinea pigs are hardy pets so veterinarian expenses are minimal. GuideCare SheetA list of supplies needed to have a happy and healthy cavy. Food & DietThe foods and supplements necessary for your pet’s diet. Cage & HabitatAll about creating the perfect home for your guinea pig. Health & IllnessKeeping your pet healthy and common illnesses and injuries. Breeding & BabiesBreeding, mating, sexing of cavies and the care of babies. Types of Guinea PigsThe most common types of guinea pigs available as pets.
Routine Health Care of Guinea Pigs
This allows you a regular special time with your pet. It also provides you with the opportunity to check your pet for possible skin problems, injuries, sudden weight gain or loss, dental problems, and other health problems. Some signs to look for when a guinea pig is sick include loss of appetite, weight loss, hunched posture, an abnormal walk or a limp, a belly that is unusually skinny or abnormally large, a change in the consistency of the hair coat, or difficulty breathing. Sick guinea pigs may have decreased energy or not respond to noises or touch. The most common health problems for these animals are problems with the lungs or the digestive system, so a sick guinea pig may also have discharge or oozing from the eyes or nose, or diarrhea. Dental problems are also common, so check your pet’s mouth for drooling, overgrown teeth, or swelling. You should also check your pet’s ears for oozing or irritation, and examine its feet for sores or broken nails. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to take the guinea pig to the veterinarian promptly. These small pets can become sick quickly, and identifying and treating the problem right away can be critical.