Pet Care Information from GreenCross Vets Australia
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs have teeth that continually grow throughout their life, poor diet can often result in their front teeth and check teeth becoming overgrown. Biting, chewing, gnawing and grinding of food especially hays, grasses and abrasive foods will assist in keeping your Rabbit or Guinea Pigs teeth at a healthy length. It is vital that Rabbits and Guinea Pigs receive a nutritious diet to aid in keeping those upper and lower incisors strong, healthy and trimmed. You can help to keep their teeth healthy by providing them with an adequate amount of vitamin C, lots of fresh grass, hay, abrasive foods including celery, broccoli, carrots, stringed beans, corn and husks. Both Rabbits are Guinea Pigs are favourable to the following: Carrot tops. It is suggested that you should offer your Rabbit or Guinea Pigs a variety of only 2 or 3 different greens each day as this will help to keep their teeth healthy and also reduce any chance of an upset tummy. If your Rabbit or Guinea Pig does not have enough to gnaw on this is when dental problems can occur and their teeth can become overgrown to the extent where the teeth can cut into the gums and cause abscesses and even prevent them from eating altogether. We recommend that you regularly check your Rabbit and Guinea Pigs teeth and if you notice anything broken, swollen or irritated or your pet is eating less then contact your local Greencross Vet immediately.
Caring For A Long Haired, Peruvian Guinea Pig
Peruvian guinea pigs are the best known and most spectacular of the long haired guinea pig breeds and their long, silky hair can grow to floor length or even longer in show specimens. Caring for a Peruvian guinea pig can be a lot of responsibility, so they are not suitable as a first guinea pig or as a first pet. The long hair of a Peruvian guinea pig is caused by a gene and they are unable to groom themselves because of the length. Groom your Peruvian guinea pig daily, brushing the hair in the direction it grows. Having a grooming routine from a young age will allow your Peruvian guinea pig to get used to gentle daily grooming. A Peruvian guinea pig can die within days of getting fly strike. If you are trying to keep your Peruvian guinea pig’s hair long, try using dust free shavings instead of hay. Peruvian guinea pigs may love to have their long fur gently pulled under their chin. Long hairs touching a Peruvian guinea pig’s eyes can cause irritation and damage the surface of the eyeball, so rolling up hair or having a haircut can also help with this. Many people will tell you that guinea pigs should not be bathed, but for Peruvian guinea pigs, it is an essential part of life, to keep their hair and skin clean. Wrap your Peruvian guinea pig in a towel and wait for the fur to dry off a bit. Owning a Peruvian guinea pig is a lot of work, but can also be lots of fun too.
Easy checks for a healthy guinea pig
Thankfully, guinea pigs are very hardy creatures, and if kept clean and fed well they rarely become sick. There are some daily checks you should make, to ensure that your guinea pig stays well, it also helps you to notice any change very quickly, and visit your vet at the first sign of illness. EyesThe eyes should be clear and bright, with no sign of cloudiness or discharge. An eye that suddenly goes cloudy may mean that the guinea pig has got an ulcer as a result of a piece of hay in its eye. Any eye problems require urgent veterinary attention. Guinea pigs do normally secrete a milky discharge from their eyes, which precedes grooming, as they use it on their paws to groom themselves, if you see this you do not need to worry about it. NoseThe nose should be clean, and as with the eyes, shouldn’t be runny. Any discharge or sneezing may suggest that your guinea pig has a cold. Any patches of hair loss or areas where the skin is red and sore may suggest that your guinea pig has mites. Sometimes you may see little tiny nits walking on your guinea pigs fur, these are hay mites, which are harmless and a simple shampoo will get rid of them for you. Guinea pigs have no fur on the bottom of their feet, so check the bottom of their feet regularly for any sign of soreness. If the guinea pig is wet and smelly between its legs it may have a urine infection.
Canterbury Vet Clinic, your local vet in Surrey Hills, Balwyn, Camberwell, Burwood and Hawthorn East
If a guinea pig is dropped from any height it may suffer serious injuries such as broken legs or internal damage. Guinea pigs eat a huge amount of food for their size and produce lots of stools. In recent years it has been a trend for guinea pig dry foods to contain molasses. Guinea pigs on molasses containing diets are most vulnerable to clostridial toxicity during periods of stress. Therefore rations containing molasses are not a suitable diet for guinea pigs and should not be fed. Guinea pigs should also be fed grass and/or leafy vegetables. Greens are especially important for guinea pigs as they supply them with Vitamin C. Guinea pigs must have a dietary source of Vitamin C or they will become sick and die of Vitamin C deficiency. Guinea pigs obtain most of their water through leafy greens so you may notice that your guinea pig does not drink very much. Guinea pigs are social animals that seek close contact with their cage mates and will stand side by side when resting and feeding. Female guinea pigs are not generally desexed and if fighting between girls occurs they will need to be separated. Guinea pigs are vocal creatures and have a range of calls such as the chutter, whine, tweet, whistle, purr, drr, scream, squeal and chirp. The broken skin can become infected with bacteria and make the guinea pig very sick.