Guinea Pig Vet Exam
Safari Veterinary Care Centers in League City, TX
The guinea pig or cavy, Cavia porcellus, is the domesticated form of a rodent found in the wild in South America. Diet: Guinea pigs have an absolute dietary requirement for vitamin C, without it they may become very ill. A pelleted diet formulated specifically for guinea pigs should comprise the primary diet. New foods should be introduced gradually, one at a time, to make sure your guinea pig does not develop diarrhea. Do everything you can to avoid such an accident in the first place i.e.
keep her away from male GPs. The gestation period for guinea pigs is approximately 60-70 days. Guinea pigs do not normally require assistance in giving birth. Guinea pigs become sexually mature as early as four weeks of age so it is important to separate the different sexes by then. Use of medications without veterinary supervision may result in the death of your pig as many medications used in other animals can be deadly to GPs.
Blood in urine: Bloody urine may appear red or brown. Diarrhea: Diarrhea can result from feeding your guinea pig a new type of vegetable, or an unusually large quantity of fresh vegetables. Your guinea pig may have skin mites, fleas, a bacterial infection or a fungus, such as ringworm. Lameness due to Vitamin C deficiency may be seen after only 2 weeks on a deficient diet with fast growing young and pregnant pigs being affected first. Loss of appetite: Being small animals, guinea pigs usually eat constantly and metabolize food very fast, so if an illness or other condition is preventing them from eating they rapidly loose weight and become seriously debilitated in a short time.
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Most miniature pigs seen in the United States are descendants of the feral pigs from Southeast Asia, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Africa. The pigs most frequently seen as pets are descendants of the Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs, introduced into the United States in 1985. These pigs have a sway back, short wrinkled faces, pot bellies, small ears, straight tails and black coloring with occasional white markings or they may have white skin and range in color from red to white to black and white. Behavior: Pigs have a difficult time handling excess heat and cold. Pigs often choose to urinate and defecate in one place they are easily housebroken.
Play time activities are important to keep your pig from becoming bored and diverting the rooting to items easily damaged such as carpet, flooring and furniture. Remember pigs can root under fences and destroy well-manicured lawns and flower gardens. Adult pigs are most comfortable at temperatures between 60-70°F while those without hair are more comfortable at 65-75°F. Extreme cold is not tolerated and outdoor pigs must be provided with shelter and supplemental heat in the winter. The smaller the pig, the more sensitive to cold it is.
Diet: Pig feeds are targeted to certain life stages i.e. starter, grower, maintenance and breeder. Pigs 4-8 weeks of age should be fed 0.6-1.4 lbs. Once weaned, pigs can be started on second stage nursery diets.
Guinea Pig Breeds, Behavior and Breeders
Choosing a guinea pig is a hard process because there is a huge variety of guinea pig breeds. Guinea pigs of different breeds can have completely opposite personalities. A particular guinea pig breed requires a special care. The basic classification can be made according to the hair type: short haired guinea pig or long haired guinea pig. If you saw a guinea pig with a crest on the forehead of the same color as a fur, you just identified a second type of Crested guinea pig – English Crested.
Just like any other breed, Himalayan guinea pig was domesticated in South America. Out of all guinea pig breeds Silkie is the most gentle. In contrast to Silkie, Coronet has a large rosette in a middle of its forehead. This striking feature is a result of crossbreeding of Silkie with Crested guinea pig in the 18th century in England. The hair can cover piggy’s head.
Angora Guinea Pig. It is very common in European countries, especially Germany, so many guinea pig owners around the world are not familiar with this breed. Merino guinea pig is a relatively recent addition to guinea pig’s world. It is a curly and long-haired version of Coronet guinea pig.
It’s almost impossible to gauge the age of an adult guinea pig after they are full grown. Just like us, guinea pigs age differently and at different rates. Signs of aging appear earlier in some guinea pigs, and later in others. A senior guinea pig may lose muscle tone and weight. Senior guinea pigs spend more time sleeping and less time exploring, so it’s important to make their environment a cozy one.
Senior guinea pigs tend to stay in one spot longer, so be sure to spot clean daily and change the bedding more frequently, if needed. One of the easiest ways to pick up on a health issue early is to weigh weekly, and more frequently in aging or ill guinea pigs. Older guinea pigs can suffer from heart failure, kidney trouble, and overgrown molars, among other ailments – all that begin with vague symptoms. Female guinea pigs are prone to ovarian cysts as they age. Male guinea pigs come with their own problems later in life.
Senior guinea pigs can be allowed some extra treat foods like raw oats and corn on the cob. Senior guinea pigs can still enjoy satisfying lives and even stronger bonds with you.