Guinea Pigs Diet and Vitamin C Requirements
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is of utmost importance to guinea pigs, as they are unable to manufacture their own. Without enough vitamin C in their diets, guinea pigs can become very ill with scurvy. The amount of vitamin C required varies somewhat depending on the reference source used, but most guinea pigs probably need about 10-30 mg/day. If you feed a good selection of vegetables high in vitamin C along with a good, fresh guinea pig pellet, you can probably meet the vitamin C needs of the average guinea pig.
Many guinea pig pellets have vitamin C added but vitamin C is quite unstable and will degrade over time. Keeping the pellets in a cool dark place helps preserve the vitamin C. You can also get pellets with a stabilized form of vitamin C.The best way to supplement with additional vitamin C is to use vitamin C tablets. You can buy vitamin C tablets specifically for guinea pigs, or buy human chewable 100 mg tablets. The guinea pig tablets are 50 mg, but since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, small excesses over that daily requirement are easily excreted.
Guinea pigs may refuse or reduce their consumption of water with added vitamin C due to the taste, and this may lead to other health problems. Feeding a variety of fresh veggies high in vitamin C and/or supplementing directly with tablet forms of vitamin C are better options. Most guinea pigs will not overeat but the amount of pellets may need to be restricted if a guinea pig becomes obese. Alfalfa is richer and higher in calcium and is a good supplement for growing guinea pigs as well as pregnant or nursing guinea pigs, but is not a good staple for most adult guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Wet tail? Diareah? Vit C?
If this is the case then why do they sell wet tail medication for guinea pigs. Most companies that make pet products, and absolutely a lot of the people that sell them in the stores, don’t know much about animals. They say that wet tail IS diarreah, and that guinea pigs CAN get it Wet-tail is not only diarrhea, although that is one of the symptoms. Bacterial infections differ from one species to the next, so while a guinea pig can get diarrhea, it would not be wet tail. Vitamin C degrades quickly in water and light, so your guinea pig probably wouldn’t get any benefits from them anyway.
Smartorl was absolutely correct on the vitamin C in veggies. If you give vegetables that are high in C like bell peppers, cilantro, chard, and balance that out with lettuces and rotate other veggies and fruits in and out of the diet, there should be no reason for a vitamin C supplement. Good quality pellets will also be fortified with vitamin C. If you have a pig that is ill or will not occasionally eat his veggies, you can supplement with 25mg of a sugar free vitamin C only tablet or liquid that can be found at a health or natural foods store. Oxbow also produces an excellent quality pellet and hay.
Another excellent source for pellets and hay is Kleenmama’s Hayloft :: Home. While some of the employees might have good hearts, they typically do not have correct information, and are primarily there just to make money for the store. If you feed your guinea pigs a healthy diet of unlimited grass hay, a cup+ of veggies daily, and a good quality pellet, assuming there is nothing else wrong with the animal, you shouldn’t have any diarrhea issues.
Guinea pig behaviour
Although guinea pigs are usually very placid and docile animals they can sometimes become aggressive towards other guinea pigs. Often when a fight breaks out is usually between two males either to decide who is dominant or who gets to have a sow Female guinea pigs also may fight if they don’t get along with each other, they may make aggressive calls and try and bite or scratch each other. When your guinea pigs are playing they may run around very fast and jump and hop and twist their body and shaking their heads. When guinea pigs are frightened they will sometimes freeze with a slightly bug-eyed expression, or they might just bolt back to their sleeping compartment or hide away. When a guinea pig is curious it will slowly approach and sniff the air to make sure it’s safe, sometimes it will lift a front paw and other times it may remain on all fours, ready to quickly bolt if something scares it.
If your guinea pigs are showing courting behavior they may chase the female and sniff her behind and make a purring sound. They always seek out other guinea pigs company and contact. Guinea pigs may find a sense of security by being close together. By being together guinea pigs can establish good relationships and keep each other company. Guinea pigs rely a lot on their sight, hearing, smell and touch to interact and socialize with each other or to recognize their owner or to avoid predators.
Baby guinea pigs are born with fur and their eyes open but it isn’t actually until they are Twenty five days old that they can fully recognize objects. This is probably why guinea pig babies follow their parents around a lot.