Guinea Pig Territory
  • sharil_wellingsharil_welling December 2007
    [center9ecc2bf46f][img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/Pic1GP.gif[/img9ecc2bf46f] [b9ecc2bf46f]WHEEK~WHEEK~[/b9ecc2bf46f][/size9ecc2bf46f][/color9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/Pic2gp.gif[/img9ecc2bf46f][/center9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Guinea pigs are hardy and affectionate and make great companions. However, people often think of them as "low-maintenance" pets, when in reality, they require a lot of care and attention. Guinea pigs can be quite vocal and will often greet you with whistles and shrieks.[/b9ecc2bf46f]
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    [i9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]HISTORY[/b9ecc2bf46f][/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
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    The Guinea Pig has its origins in the high mountains of South America. Natives of modern day Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador domesticated the Guinea Pig for use as food. To this day, Guinea Pigs are still raised for food in certain areas of South America.
    In the 1600s Spanish sailors were the first to adopt Guinea Pigs as pets and brought them back to Europe from South America. Since that time, Guinea Pigs have been bred to produce a wide variety of types of Guinea Pigs.
    These small furry creatures came to be known as “pigs” because of the squeaking noises they make – Guinea Pigs are not related to pigs. The name “Guinea” is believed to have been derived from the route that was traveled to bring these furry animals to Europe – by way of Guinea. Many other cultures throughout the world have also adopted a derivation of the “pig” name for these animals. The scientific name for the Guinea Pig is Cavia porcellus – translated in Latin to mean “little pig.” [/i9ecc2bf46f]
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    [b9ecc2bf46f]CHARACTER[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
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    Guinea Pigs are nosey, friendly characters that are easily frightened and always rummaging around for something to nibble on. These furry companions generally weigh between 1 and 3 pounds and can grow up to as big as 15 inches long. The average life span is between 4 and 8 years. Unlike other rodents, Guinea Pigs find a mating partner and stick with that partner throughout their lives.
    Guinea Pigs are not as agile as other members of the rodent family – they shy away from jumping, climbing and heights. When they get excited, they will “popcorn” – do little jumps up and down. When necessary, Guinea Pigs will do limited climbing such as going up and down stairs.
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    [b9ecc2bf46f]HOME[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
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    When choosing a new home and location for your guinea pig, it is important to consider the comfort and safety of your pet. Choose a safe, quiet location that gets plenty of air circulation and where the climate can be controlled. Guinea pigs prefer to live in 60 to 75 F degree temperatures. In hotter climates where temperatures extend over 75 degrees, provide your pet with a frozen ice pack in the bottom of the cage so the pet can cool itself. In cold weather, you may want to cover the cage with a warm blanket. In addition to climate concerns, constant or sudden loud noises in the home can cause the guinea pig undue stress – find a location that allows for social interaction without all the chaos.
    Your guinea pigs enclosure should be between 100 and 180 square inches of floor space – any less space causes your pet to feel cramped. The sides should be at least 10 inches tall. The enclosure should be made of easy to clean material such as wire, stainless steel, glass or thick plastic. Cages made of wood are not recommended as they are hard to keep clean and are more apt to get chewed on, eventually creating an escape route for the pet.
    The best type of bedding is hay – it’s great for sleeping and for snacking. Bedding should be cleaned weekly and the enclosure should be washed with hot soapy water and a non-toxic disinfectant. While other types of bedding can be used, be sure to avoid cedar wood chips, and saw dust. Cedar, while it smells pleasant, is actually toxic to guinea pigs and should be avoided as a choice of bedding. Saw dust tends to bind itself to male genitalia and should also be avoided.
    Wire bottom cages can be convenient ways to keep urine and feces out of the cages, as the waste can easily drop through the mesh onto the ground. While this may be the easy way out for some pet owners, be aware that wire cage bottoms are hard on hamsters feet and can cause open sores as well as present the opportunity for broken legs if a leg happens to slip through and get caught.
    If your guinea pig scares easily, you should provide a box or enclosure inside the cage where your guinea pig can escape to and hide. Frightened guinea pigs can behave erratically and, if they have no where to hide, may harm themselves trying to escape whatever it is that scared them

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Exercising[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Guinea pigs do not require as much exercise as their other rodent family counterparts. They generally do not enjoy running wheels or plastic balls for roaming the house. Guinea pigs can find plenty of exercise by simply exploring in and out of homemade tunnels and obstacle courses made of blocks.
    Rather than exercise, a guinea pig prefers to lay around and soak up the sun. Be sure to not allow your pet in the sun for too long as overexposure can result in heat stroke.

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    [b9ecc2bf46f]DIET[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
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    A good guinea pig diet might include carrots, lettuce, apples, and sometimes some parsley or other fresh fruits and vegetables. Most fresh fruits and veggies from your kitchen are good to feed your guinea pig. Something NOT good to give your guinea pig is potato peelings or anything with potatoes in them. Potatoes poison guinea pigs and will kill them, so don’t feed your guinea pigs any potatoes! Raw beans and iceberg lettuce are also NOT good foods to give your guinea pig. Guinea pigs like to chomp down on hay and dried pellets. You can put some hay in one corner of your cage and some pellets in a food bowl in another corner of the cage. Make sure that your guinea pig gets enough water. At most pet stores you can get water bottles for guinea pigs and other rodents, too.
    Here's a rundown of guinea pig food...

    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Good foods [/b9ecc2bf46f]for guinea pigs to eat are apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwis, tangerines, yellow plums, oranges, watermelon, grapes, lemons, cauliflower leaves, broccoli, turnips, peppers, parsley, red beets, cucumbers, celery, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini.
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Bad foods[/b9ecc2bf46f] for guinea pigs to eat are Iceberg lettuce, all varieties of green cabbage, chinese cabbage, cauliflower, and red cabbage.
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Poisonous foods[/b9ecc2bf46f] for guinea pigs to eat are Potato peelings and raw beans. As for the actual potato, there has been some confusion about whether they are or aren't poisonous to guinea pigs. To be on the safe side, I would suggest not feeding your guinea pig potatoes.
    [quote9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Symptoms of poisoning include[/b9ecc2bf46f] vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, sleepiness, shaking or trembling, twitching, staggering, convulsions, difficulty in breathing, excessive thirst, and paralysis.
    If you even think that your guinea pig has eaten something poisonous, conact your veterinarian immediately. If you can, take the plant that your pet ate, with you to the vet, and try to identify what the source of the poison was. Don't induce vomiting unless directed to do so by the vet.
    The following list of poisonous items is very lengthy, but may not include everything that is poisonous to guinea pigs. If there is something that is not on this list that you have questions about, please contact your veterinarian.[/quote9ecc2bf46f]
    [quote9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]POISON PLANTS[/b9ecc2bf46f]

    Aconite
    Anemone (windflower, tumbleweed)
    Autumn crocus
    Black locust
    Buttercup
    Caladium
    Caster oil plants (castor bean, palma, christi.koli)
    Cherry trees (wild and cultivated)
    Christmas pepper
    Clematis (virgin's bower)
    Cycads
    Daffodil (narcissus, jonquil)
    Daphne
    Delphinum (larkspur, staggerweed)
    Dicerna (bleeding heart, dutchman's breeches, squirrel corn, turkey corn)
    Diffenbachia (dumb cane)
    Elderberry
    Elephant ear
    English ivy
    Euphorbia (annual poinsettia, mexican fire plant, fire-on-the-mountain, snow-on-the-mountain)
    Four-o'clock
    Foxglove
    Garland flower
    Glory lily (climbing lily, gloriosa)
    Golden chain
    Gyacinth
    Hydrangea
    Holly
    Iris
    Indian spurge tree (pencil tree, malabartree, pencil cactus, monkey fiddle)
    Jack-in-the-pulpit
    Jerusalem cherry
    Jasmine
    Lantana camera (red sage)
    Laurels
    Lilac
    Lily-of-the-valley
    Marsh marigold (cowslip)
    Matrimony vine
    Mayapple
    Meadow saffron
    Mistletoe
    Monkshood
    Mountain laurel
    Mushrooms (amanita muscaria&amanita phalloides)
    Nightshade
    Oaks
    Oleander
    Philodendron
    Phytolacca (poke weed, poke berry, ink berry)
    Pine needles
    Poinciana (bird-of-paradise)
    Poison hemlock
    Pothos
    Privet
    Pyracantha (firethorn)
    Raw beans
    Rhododendron (laurels, rose bay, azalea)
    Rhubarb
    Rosary pea
    Snowdrop
    Spring adonis (pheasant's eye)
    Star-of-bethlehem
    Strelitzia (bird-of-paradise)
    Sweet pea
    Trumpet flower (chalice vine)
    Water hemlock
    Wisteria
    Yellow oleander (lucky nut, tiger apple, be-still-tree)
    Yew
    [/quote9ecc2bf46f]
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Hay[/b9ecc2bf46f] is another good food for guinea pigs. It is the basic food for guinea pigs. If you feed them hay along with water, it is suitable for the winter! This is only if no fresh veggies or fruits are available.
    • You can gather [b9ecc2bf46f]plants from outside[/b9ecc2bf46f] to give to guinea pigs. They absolutely love outdoor greens! Just make sure that there are no flowers or dried tree leaves in the bundle you pick. If there are any leaves or flowers in it, cut them out and give only the plant leaves and stalks to your guinea pig. Grass is also considered a treat to guinea pigs! If you do decide to collect outdoor plants, do not get them if they grow near roads or sidewalks, or have been treated with pesticides!
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes [/b9ecc2bf46f]are completely fine for guinea pigs to eat. It gives them something to chew on to help their teeth, as well as something to play with. It is also like an in-between meal for them, when they aren’t eating anything else.
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Pellets [/b9ecc2bf46f]are a part of a regular guinea pig diet. They have some vitamins and minerals added, so they are really healthy. Guinea pigs don’t consider them a treat unless there are extra dried fruits or nuts added to them.
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Salt and mineral wheels[/b9ecc2bf46f] are optional. Salt wheels are exactly what they are called. It is salt formed into the shape of a wheel that can be attached to the cage. Then the guinea pig can chew on it anytime it feels like it! The mineral wheel is a mix of minerals and salt. It is usually a reddish color, unlike the salt wheel that is always white.
    • [b9ecc2bf46f]Vitamin C[/b9ecc2bf46f] is very important to guinea pigs! They can get this from fresh fruits. Oranges have a particular big amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps fight infections in guinea pigs, as well as to heal wounds. It also helps break down and metabolize proteins in the guinea pig's diet.
    • Clean and [b9ecc2bf46f]fresh water[/b9ecc2bf46f] is necessary for guinea pigs to live. It is pretty much necessary for any living thing on Earth! Change the water whenever needed, preferably once every two-three days.
    • The entire [b9ecc2bf46f]digestive tract[/b9ecc2bf46f] of a guinea pig is about 2.3 meters long.
    • These [b9ecc2bf46f]materials are needed[/b9ecc2bf46f] for a guinea pigs' survival Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, fats, proteins, and of course, water!
    • These [b9ecc2bf46f]vitamins[/b9ecc2bf46f] are needed for a guinea pig to survive Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
    • These [b9ecc2bf46f]minerals[/b9ecc2bf46f] are needed for a guinea pig to survive Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Sodium.
    • Guinea pigs are not able to store water for a long period of time, and that is why it is necessary to [b9ecc2bf46f]replenish their water[/b9ecc2bf46f] any time the water bottle gets low. Every cell needs the water, so guinea pigs have to drink almost constantly.
    • Guinea pigs are also able to eat [b9ecc2bf46f]dirt[/b9ecc2bf46f]. This may sound funny, but it is true. Dirt has vitamins and minerals and nutrients that guinea pigs need, and apparently, they seem to like it!
    • Guinea pigs will occasionally eat their own [b9ecc2bf46f]feces (poops)[/b9ecc2bf46f]. The feces still contain some leftover nutrients, and so the guinea pigs eat them. This is sort of a way of recycling. It will not hurt them, and it will actually help them live, because of the materials within them.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Vitamin C Content for Selected Fruits and Vegetables[/b9ecc2bf46f][/size9ecc2bf46f]
    The serving sizes given below are approximate values for obtaining roughly 10mg of vitamin C. Note that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal, so your actual mileage may vary. Protein, calcium and phosphorus totals are also approximate values for the given serving sizes.
    [img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/VitC.jpg[/img9ecc2bf46f]
    Baby guinea pigs can start eating guinea pig pellets 5 days of age and should be completely weaned at about 10 days. Be sure to position the water dispense low enough so the smallest of the litter can reach the sipper tube – supplement the pellet diet by providing fresh vegetables daily.
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    [b9ecc2bf46f]HEALTH MATTERS[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
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    A well-cared-for guinea pig may live four to seven years. Male guinea pigs can weigh between two to four pounds, females slightly less. Guinea pigs are sexually mature between five and eight weeks of age. Guinea pigs groom themselves with their front teeth, tongue and back claws, but they still require frequent brushing and combing to stay clean and tangle free, particularly the long-haired breeds. Use a soft baby brush or toothbrush. Because your guinea pig's teeth grow continuously, it's essential that you provide it with hard things to gnaw on to prevent its teeth from growing too long. Hard wood, untreated wicker and hard bread crusts are some suggested items. It's also possible for your guinea pig's nails to overgrow, causing discomfort and increasing your risk of being scratched. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to trim your guinea pig's nails.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Clipping nails[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Guinea pig nails should be trimmed as often as necessary and may not ever need to be trimmed depending on what type of surface your pet is accustomed to. Guinea pigs that spend a lot of time on hard, semi-rough surfaces will naturally wear down their claws to an acceptable length. If your guinea pig mostly lives on soft surfaces, the claws will grow longer into a sharp tip. Using commercially available cat clippers, clip the end of the claws – do not cut the claws too short to avoid injury.

    Clipping nails video

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Inspecting Teeth[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Just like other members of the rodent family, the guinea pig’s front two teeth – the incisors – will grow throughout its entire life. Because these teeth are always growing, if they are not worn down naturally or clipped occasionally they will curve into the mouth preventing proper eating resulting in starvation.
    To care for your guinea pig’s teeth, make sure to provide your pet safe toys to gnaw on such as commercially available chew sticks, tree branches or wood blocks. The natural chewing action will wear down the front teeth to a healthy, acceptable length.
    If the teeth become too long and are in need of clipping, take your pet into the local veterinarian to have the clipping done. Additionally, if you notice that the teeth are chipped, consult with your veterinarian.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Brushing[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Guinea pigs are fastidious groomers and generally will keep their fur clean by themselves. If you choose to brush your pet’s fur, use a stiff pet brush by applying moderate pressure to remove loose hair and to remove any mats. As you brush, inspect the ears and skin for any signs of mites, fleas or any other kind of skin irritation or abrasion.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Bathing[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Most guinea pigs do not like the water – in fact, the panic induced by a bath can result in unhealthy stress and potential injury. Guinea pigs should not be bathed unless they absolutely need it – for medical reasons, such as fleas, or if they happen to get extremely dirty, mud or sewage.
    As an alternative to a bath, consider some of the following options
    * Powder baths – apply the powder to the fur and brush out with a stiff brush
    * Spot clean dirty bottoms with hydrogen peroxide – gently rub to remove feces and urine stains
    * Spot clean fur with a washcloth and warm soapy water

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    [b9ecc2bf46f]HANDLING WITH CARE[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
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    Guinea pigs are easily stressed and require careful handling. Always let your guinea pig know you're there by allowing it to sniff your hand. To pick up your guinea pig, slowly place one hand under its chest, just behind the front legs, and gently cup your other hand under its hindquarters. Once you have a firm but gentle grip, lift it up and immediately pull it close to your chest or lap so it doesn't thrash around. Guinea pigs feel most secure
    when they're held close to your body and when their feet are supported. Since guinea pigs aren't very agile, a fall could result in serious injury. Guinea pigs love to have their heads scratched and will frequently make a "chattering" sound similar to a cat's purr to show their appreciation. The more you handle your guinea pig, the friendlier and tamer it will be.
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    [b9ecc2bf46f]BEHAVIOR BITS[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
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    Guinea pigs are social creatures and enjoy the company of other animals, especially other guinea pigs. Males generally don't get along, however, unless they're neutered. Two females will usually do fine together, as will a male and female. Be sure to have the male neutered, otherwise you'll soon have unwanted litters. Guinea pigs have a keen sense of sight. They also have the ability to recognize all the colors of the spectrum. Their hearing is even better than their vision, and they can quickly learn to respond to a specific sound. Guinea pigs don't use their claws to carry food to their mouth, but put their front feet on the food to hold it still. Young guinea pigs love to jump, so you might want to build them a little obstacle course for exercise.
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    [b9ecc2bf46f]BREEDS OF GUINEA PIG[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
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    Though there many breeds of Guinea pig, only a few breeds are commonly found off the show table as pets. Most Guinea pigs found as pets were either found undesirable by breeders or were bred to be good companions regardless of how well they meet the breed standard of perfection. The short hair, Abyssinian, Peruvian and Sheltie (aka Silkie) breeds are those most frequently seen as pets, and the former three are the core breeds in the history of the competitive showing of Guinea pigs. In addition to their standard form, nearly all breeds come in a Satin variant. Satins, due to their hollow hair shafts, possess coats of a special gloss and shine. However, there is growing evidence that the genes responsible for the Satin coat also can cause severe bone problems, including Osteodystrophy and Paget's disease.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Short haired[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    The short coated cavy - often called the American or English - has consistently short, glossy hair without a part. This breed of cavy most resembles the Guinea pig's relatives and ancestors in the Cavia genus.
    In shows, short-haired guinea pigs are shown by their color variety - self, dalmatian, himalayan, etc. This designation does not have 'American' or 'English' appended to it, but applies only to short-haired animals.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Abyssinian[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    The Abyssinian breed of Guinea pig is known for its short, rough coat that has cowlicked rosettes of hair. The derivation of the breed's name is unknown, but does not connotate an origin in the geographical region of Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia). The ideal Abyssinian has 10 rosettes, one on each shoulder, four across the back, one on each of the animal's hips, and two on the rump. Some judging bodies, such as the ANCC, consider shoulder rosettes optional but desired in show cavies. A harsh-textured coat that stands on end to form ridges is desired.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Peruvian[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    The Peruvian is the progenitor of all modern long haired breeds, being a Guinea pig with hair that grows long continuously all over its body, sometimes to an excess of 20 inches (approx. 50 centimeters). Accordingly, this ornate feature can make caring for this breed more difficult for both owners and breeders; most show Peruvians have their hair folded up in wraps to protect it and keep it clean. Long haired Guinea pigs have both a top and an undercoat, the latter of which will generally only grow to 6-7 inches (15-17 cm.)Though most Peruvians kept as pets are regularly trimmed for ease of keeping, those in show coat should have hair that fans out to make the animal's front and rear completely indistinguishable. The coat should be of an even length all over, and have a central part on the spine. Peruvians of show standard are required to have two rosettes on either side of the rump, which creates the desired height and density.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Silkie or Sheltie[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A Silkie has long hair that flows back over its body and never forward over the face (as in the Peruvian). When viewed from above it forms a teardrop shape and should never have a central part. In contrast to the Peruvian, where the coat is desired to fall in an even curtain all around the body, the Sheltie is generally accepted to have a somewhat longer sweep of hair in the rear.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Rex[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A Rex guinea pig has short, fuzzy hair that stands on end all over the body. The hair should be uniform all over, without rosettes and no more than 1⁄2 inch (1 1⁄4 cm) in length, preferably shorter. The Rex breed sometimes looks similar to the Teddy, but the two breeds are genetically distinct--breeding a Rex to a Teddy will not result in Rex or Teddies, but rather American cavies.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Teddy[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A Teddy guinea pig has a very dense and fuzzy coat, with hairs that stand up. The fur typically grows to a moderate length and generally makes this breed resemble a soft toy more than any other. Another unique feature of the Teddies is the relatively long hair coating their bellies, in contrast to other breeds, whose bellies are nearly bare. Young Teddies sometimes look similar to the Rex, but the Rex's fur is shorter and usually much more bristled. There are two kinds of Teddy The US Teddy and the CH Teddy, otherwise known as the Swiss Teddy. The two variations appear to be both genetically and visually different.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Texel[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A Texel Guinea pig is like a Silkie, but with curls. Originating from England, it was officially recognized as a breed by the ACBA in 1998.The curls should ideally be tightly wound corkscrew curls and should cover the entire body, including the stomach. Unlike a Sheltie, a central part is allowed.

    [b9ecc2bf46f][u9ecc2bf46f]Relatively rare or emerging breeds[/u9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/size9ecc2bf46f]

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Alpaca[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A curly coated Peruvian. Hair grows over face like a Peruvian. Most are first generation hybrids of Peruvians and other breeds.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Crested[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    The Crested is similar to the American, but has one rosette on the top of the head. According to ACBA standards, the Crest must be white, with no other white hair present on the animal.
    The ANCC (Australian National Cavy Club) recognizes 2 main groups of crested. The American Crested and the English Crested. The American Crested must have a crest colour that is in contrast to the body colour. Usually this is white, but it could be any other colour. These are only recognized in the self colour. English Cresteds have a crest the same colour as the body. These are recognized in every colour and variety, with the exclusion of the "coated" breeds (longhairs and coarse coats). The most popular being breeds such as the English Crested Pink Eyed White and the English Crested Black.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Coronet[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A Coronet cavy has longer hair, like the Silkie, along with a crest like a Crested.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]English Merino[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A curly-coated Coronet with a crest in between the ears on the centre of the head.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Lunkarya[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A long-haired breed originating in Scandinavia.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]
    Hairless breeds[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A very few varieties of hairless Guinea pig exist, the most prevalent breed being the so-called Skinny pig. Another well-known hairless guinea pig is the Baldwin. Skinny pigs were developed from Teddies and have curly Teddy hair on their noses. Hairless breeds require special accommodation, as they need to be kept warm and require extra food. They also suffer from dry skin, increased incidence of injuries from cagemates, decreased lifespan, and increased incidence of melanoma.
    Currently a few Scandinavian bodies admits hairless breeds on to the show table, and consequently a standard of perfection exist.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Ridgeback[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Like the Skinny pig and Baldwin, the Ridgeback is not recognized by any international show organization. Genetically, it is similar to an Abyssinian, however, it has few rosettes, and appears to be smooth coated other than a ridge of hair running up the back.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]"Abbyruvian"[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Abbyruvian is not a recognized breed, but a nickname for Abyssinian cavies that are partially long-haired. Genetically, these animals have one copy of the long-hair allele and one copy of the short-hair allele. Physically, they look like a cross between an Abyssinian and a Peruvian. They generally have short hair on the head, belly, limbs, and rear, and a patch of long hair on the back. The hair typically curls back in such a fashion as to be called a "rooster tail". The same mix of long and short hairs can occur on a smooth-coated cavy, but there is no nickname for it. The long hairs are, however, known as "skirts".

    See more details here
    Cavy breeds and coat type[/spoiler]

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Colours[/b9ecc2bf46f][/size9ecc2bf46f][/u9ecc2bf46f]

    Cavies come in many colours, but only three different colors can appear on each cavy, one from the black series, one from the red series, and/or white. The black series includes black, chocolate, lilac, and beige. The red series includes red, orange, buff, cream, and white.
    [spoiler]* [b9ecc2bf46f]Agouti[/b9ecc2bf46f] coloured cavies have a hair tip and root that are different colours, much like someone whose roots are showing from dyeing their hair. The root contains whatever color from the black series the pig has, and the tip has whichever color from the red series the pig has. Agouti guinea pigs have bellies the same color as the tips of their hair.
    o Golden Agouti has a red tip and black root.
    o Silver Agouti has a white tip and black (or grayish) root.
    o There are also many dilute agouti variations with different combinations of the black series and red series.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]"Solid"[/b9ecc2bf46f] coloured cavies are much like Agoutis, but the belly is ticked as well. Solid and Agouti cavies can have patches of solid red series, but all black series hairs wind up ticked.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]"Self"[/b9ecc2bf46f] cavies have just one color of hair--black, white, cream, etc.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Broken colour[/b9ecc2bf46f] cavies have two or three colours of hair in any combination not otherwise recognized.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Tortoiseshell [/b9ecc2bf46f]cavies have patches of red and black. For show breeders, the ideal is to have an evenly checkered animal with clear, straight dividing lines between the two colors.
    o Tortoiseshell and white cavies have even patches of red, black, and white.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Brindle[/b9ecc2bf46f] cavies have black series and red series hairs evenly mixed throughout their coats. However, these hairs are not ticked.
    o Magpie is a particular form of brindle with black for the black series and white for the red series. Magpie can be easily confused with roan, although in magpie the white hairs can appear anywhere, while roan cavies rarely have any white on their head or rear.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Dutch[/b9ecc2bf46f] cavies have bands of color, generally on the cheek area and the rear, with bands of white in-between. The pattern is essentially the same as the Dutch pattern in rabbits.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Roan and Dalmatian[/b9ecc2bf46f] cavies are genetically the same, but look somewhat different. Roans have white hairs evenly mixed throughout their other hairs on back and sides, while Dalmatians have spots of color on a white back and sides. Many are intermediate between the two patterns, with some spots and some mixed-in hairs. The white hairs caused by roan and dalmatian patterns are genetically different from normal white, or the white in the red series, or the white of the Himalayan pattern. Therefore, an animal could have white roan hairs mixed in with white hairs from ordinary white spotting, covering up the telltale roan markings. This is a problem because two guinea pigs who are both roan and/or dalmatian could produce deformed offspring. Hence, no guinea pig with an unknown genetic background and any white hair should be bred.

    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Himalayan[/b9ecc2bf46f] cavies are acromelanic, just like the Siamese cat. Their noses, ears, and feet are a black series color. If a cavy with Himalayan genes has a genotype that would give them red series, or white, on their nose, ears, or feet, those hairs will be white. This could result in an entirely white animal, or one that is white with black ears, or a half-black nose. Himalayan guinea pigs are always born pure white from the heat of the mother's body, and any colored hairs develop slowly.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]SOUNDS[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [i9ecc2bf46f]Wheeking[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Wheeking is aimed at us humans, 'feed me now please'. If its veggie time, if you only have to pass their cage and they tell you 'where are you going?, its feeding time mum'. If they hear anything that sounds suspiciously like food might be coming, they will also start a chorus of wheeks. Even closing the back door signals some lovely fresh grass might be on its way or opening the fridge door.

    [i9ecc2bf46f]Rumble[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    A rumble, which sounds like a purring sound, happens usually when a male piggy is romancing another guinea pig. A female can also make this sound if she is in season. A rumble sounds deeper than a purr with a vibrating effect. While making this sound a guinea pig will sway their hips and walk around another guinea pig. This is known as the mating dance, other terms used are motorboating or rumble strutting.
    [i9ecc2bf46f]
    Purring[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    A purring guinea pig is experiencing enjoyment/pleasure. You may hear this sound if you are petting your guinea pig. Purring does sound like a rumble (mating noise). A purr can actually have more than one meaning. If it happens very suddenly, and you aren't petting your piggy, then this purr will sound much shorter and they will suddenly stand still like a statue (freeze). This shorter purr is often described as a 'durr' sound. Its because they have heard a sound like the telephone ringing or a knock on the door and they are afraid of this sudden strange noise. They may just make this noise once or repeat the noise, depending on if the 'threat' has gone away. Some guinea pigs will also make this short sound when they are given a veggie treat.

    [i9ecc2bf46f]Shrieking[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Shrieking sounds like a very sharp, high pitched wheek and it means your guinea pig has suffered pain or they may be very afraid. You may hear this sound if a guinea pig has nipped a cage mate or you may hear several shrieks if your vet has given an injection. .

    Guinea pigs can also shriek as a warning to another guinea pig, telling them to 'keep away' if they are showing aggression. A defensive shriek is not made out of aggression, its because the shrieking guinea pig is afraid, panicking and just wants to be left alone and certainly doesn't want to have a confrontation with the other guinea pig.

    Shrieking can also mean an alarm call. Young guinea pigs calling to their mother or a piggy calling to a cage mate. This can happen if a guinea pigs cage mate is out of the cage or they have been seperated for whatever reason.

    [i9ecc2bf46f]Chutt/Chubble/Mutter[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    This is a hard noise to describe, when your guinea pigs are out and about, you'll notice they will be happily walking around on the floor, going about their business and this is when they may make a repeated chut sound. It really sounds as though they are muttering to themselves. It means they are relaxed and contented.

    [i9ecc2bf46f]Whinning
    Whinning1[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Its usually heard when a guinea pig is resting and if disturbed by another piggy in the cage, they let their feelings known by moaning at them. It starts off fairly quiet, but will increase in volume if the intruding guinea pig doesn't get the message. Guinea pigs will also have a moan at us humans if they don't like what we are doing.

    [i9ecc2bf46f]Chirping[/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Rare sound made by some guinea pigs. You may hear a few people say they've heard their guinea pigs "chirp". Not all guinea pigs will make this noise and some cavy owners have never heard it. Others have a special pig who chirps frequently. It is said to be a very bird-like chirp and can vary in frequency (faster or slower). Chirping guinea pigs may look like they are in a trance.

    [b9ecc2bf46f][i9ecc2bf46f]Teeth Chattering[/i9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    A guinea pig that starts teeth chattering is an upset/angry guinea pig. If a piggy is heard doing this to another piggy, it means they are agitated and are warning the other guinea pig to keep away. Often guinea pigs that are first introduced to each other will start teeth chattering. When two boars meet for the first time, they may chatter at each other, trying to sort out their position in the hierarchy. It can also happen with sows when they first meet. If teeth chattering increases, the fur around their necks may become raised to make them seem larger. They may also stamp their feet from side to side making themselves rock, looking very stiff with their movements. This isn't the same as a guinea pig rumble strutting, this type of behaviour is aggressive behaviour. If you see your guinea pigs doing this to each other, its best to separate them before they fly at each other, just remember to watch your hands. Place a towel over them to confuse them, then you can separate them.If a guinea pig chatters at you, they are also telling you to keep your distance.

    [img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/Noises.jpg[/img9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]PARASITES[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [i9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Mange[/b9ecc2bf46f][/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Mange is a common parasitic disease that affects the skin of guinea pigs. This parasite can cause skin irritations and hair loss in large clumps on the back of the guinea pigs. If you suspect your pet is afflicted with mange, it is best to pay a visit to your veterinarian for further examination. While mange is treatable, an illness involving hair loss could indicate further problems, either internal or external.

    [i9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Ringworm[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/i9ecc2bf46f]Ringworm is a skin parasite that can cause skin irritation and hair loss around the head, neck and nose of the guinea pig. This parasite generally infects young guinea pigs and is transferable from one guinea pig to another and can be transferred from the pet to its owner. Always use caution when handling guinea pigs that you suspect may have contracted ringworm and always wash your hands before and after handling your pet.

    To treat ringworm, take your guinea pig to your veterinarian – ringworm is typically treated by either topical or oral medication
    [i9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Lice[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/i9ecc2bf46f]Lice is a skin parasite that lives by biting and sucking blood from the guinea pig – they are generally found attached to the hair follicles. Lice can cause sores, hair loss and severe skin irritation and itching. If you suspect your pet has lice, use caution when handling your pet as lice can be transferred from pet to human. Always wash your hands before and after handling your pet.

    Lice is generally treated by a medicated shampoo. Before beginning treatments, always consult with your veterinarian.

    [i9ecc2bf46f]C[b9ecc2bf46f]iccodioses[/b9ecc2bf46f][/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Ciccodioses is a liver and intestinal disease caused by a single celled parasite. Guinea Pigs typically contract this disease by consuming food or water that has been contaminated with feces. Physical response to this type of disease depends on a number of factors and can be manifest in a number of ways. Guinea pigs infected with ciccodia can experience blood in the feces and diarrhea, and become dehydrated and experience weight loss. Pet owners should seek the help of a veterinarian to treat this illness.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]DISEASES[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [i9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Scurvy (Vitamin C Deficiency)[/b9ecc2bf46f][/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Guinea pigs bodies do not produce vitamin C and therefore must consume an adequate supply of it from fresh fruits and vegetables and meal supplements. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, causing lethargy, weak and disfigured bone and teeth development, swollen joints, reluctance to move, and spontaneous bleeding from the gums. Guinea pigs that are experiencing these symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian. Scurvy can be reverse through diet changes or vitamin C injections.
    Pet owners choosing to supplement the diet with pellets loaded with vitamin C should be sure to keep the pellets in a cool, dry, dark place as vitamin C will deteriorate if left in direct sunlight or prolonged heat.
    [i9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Hair Loss[/b9ecc2bf46f][/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Hair loss in guinea pigs occurs at various times in the guinea pig’s life cycle. Breeding females and weaning infants may experience hairloss – over time the hair will return on its own. Additionally, as young guinea pigs mature and establish their place in the breed’s pecking order, more dominant guinea pigs may chew off the hair of the less aggressive guinea pigs in the litter. Hair can also be lost because of fungal disease and external parasite infestations.
    [i9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Cancer[/b9ecc2bf46f][/i9ecc2bf46f]
    Cancer is rare among guinea pigs – typically only older guinea pigs are affected. Most tumors are benign and involve the skin and respiratory tract lining. Cancer may also affect the reproductive tract, mammary glands (breasts) and blood (leukemia).
    [i9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Pneumonia[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/i9ecc2bf46f]The most common bacterial diseases in pet guinea pigs is Pneumonia. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria that inhabit the respiratory tracts of guinea pigs. This disease is generally caused by stress, inadequate diet, and improper care. When a guinea pig contracts pneumonia they may experience labored or rapid breathing, fluid from eyes and nostrils, laying down, rolling, a lack of desire to eat and lethargy.
    If you suspect your guinea pig has pneumonia, contact a veterinarian immediately as death can occur suddenly. Treatments include antibiotic injection and rest.
    It is important to note that the most common pneumonia causing bacteria in guinea pigs is natural flora for rabbits and rats – if rabbits and rats are kept as pets in the same home, they must be kept away from each other.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]HEALTH[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Taking your guinea pig to the vet is not something that is really necessary. It is a good precaution to ensure that your guinea pig will be in the best shape, but it is not required. If you do decide to take your guinea pig to the vet, pick a time each year when it would be convenient for you to go and when the guinea pig/small animal vet is available. So then you would be getting your piggie checked yearly

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Illnesses from Improper Nutrition[/b9ecc2bf46f][/u9ecc2bf46f]
    [img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/Health.jpg[/img9ecc2bf46f]

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Fur / Hair Loss[/b9ecc2bf46f][/u9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]FUR LOSS[/b9ecc2bf46f] A guinea pig that is losing fur probably has an inadequate diet. Guinea pigs need a variety of vitamins and minerals in their diet and if they don’t get those things, they tend to get sick. Depending on the material, deprivation could cause minor to severe illnesses. In the case of fur loss, it is only minor, for the time being. Most likely, the problem is that you are feeding your guinea pig improperly (not enough of a certain food, possibly too much of another), and the solution is quite simple… All you need to do is make a list of the veggies and fruits that you feed your guinea pig. Then, see what else you need to feed him/her; find the foods that are needed in their diet that they don't have at the moment.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]BARE ANKLES[/b9ecc2bf46f] A guinea pig with bare “ankles” is quite normal. The fur, apparently, does not grow around the ankle. This is nothing to be concerned about as this is very common among guinea pigs.

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Internal Illnesses[/b9ecc2bf46f][/u9ecc2bf46f]
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Symptoms[/b9ecc2bf46f] shortness of breath, diarrhea, fever, guinea pig is unable to move
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]What you SHOULD do [/b9ecc2bf46f]take pet to vet as soon as possible
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]What you SHOULD NOT do[/b9ecc2bf46f] try to cure the guinea pig on your own. This could just damage the guinea pig even more and put it in a worse situation than it is already in.
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Mostly likely treatments[/b9ecc2bf46f] of course, the veterinarian will administer some sort of medication if he/she thinks that the guinea pig has a chance of recovering. In this case, antibiotics administered through the mouth will probably be given a couple times throughout the day. Make sure you explicitly follow the instructions from the vet!

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Diarrhea[/b9ecc2bf46f][/u9ecc2bf46f]
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Why?[/b9ecc2bf46f] The most likely cause of diarrhea in a guinea pig is because it has eaten spoiled or rotten food.
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]What will help?[/b9ecc2bf46f] thin black tea, grated apples, hay
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Is there anything else I should do?[/b9ecc2bf46f] If the diarrhea continues, take the guinea pig and sample of the guinea pigs feces to the vet to be examined. This is because there could be parasites in the guinea pigs intestines that need to be taken care of.

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Colds[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/u9ecc2bf46f] * [b9ecc2bf46f]Symptoms[/b9ecc2bf46f] lethargic, ruffled coat, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, diarrhea
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Why?[/b9ecc2bf46f] Your guinea pig probably has a cold because it was left in a draft from the air conditioning in your house or from a fan. Colds can also result from cool/cold temperatures or damp conditions (i.e. if guinea pig lived outside on wet grass, or if cage hadn't been thoroughly cleaned of urine). The infections can either be viral or bacterial.
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]What you should do[/b9ecc2bf46f] take the guinea pig to a vet immediately.
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Most likely treatments [/b9ecc2bf46f]antibiotics given in the form of injections or through the mouth with small tube-like syringes.

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Intestinal Parasites[/b9ecc2bf46f][/u9ecc2bf46f]
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Types of Parasites[/b9ecc2bf46f] tapeworms, roundworms, pinworms
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Symptoms[/b9ecc2bf46f] diarrhea, anemia, weight loss, worms or worm-like parasites in your guinea pig's feces
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]What to do[/b9ecc2bf46f] take your guinea pig to a veterinarian.
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Note[/b9ecc2bf46f] parasites like these are found more in guinea pigs that are kept outdoors than those that are kept indoors.

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]Lice and Fleas[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/u9ecc2bf46f] * [b9ecc2bf46f]AboutLICE[/b9ecc2bf46f]Guinea pigs can get lice just like humans. It's not rare. In fact, I have had that unfortunate incident. Lice look like tiny, thin, long bugs. They don't hop or jump. They crawl around throughout the guinea pig's fur and close to the skin. They irritate the guinea pig and make it very uncomfortable. Please groom your guinea pig with a small brush or an old toothbrush every week, and check through thier fur to make sure that it doesn't have anything that's not supposed to be there.
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Symptoms[/b9ecc2bf46f] Guinea pig scratching furiously, bare spots or patches through fur, small thin yellow-white bugs crawling through fur, tiny insects that hop around on guinea pig
    * [b9ecc2bf46f]Possible Treatments[/b9ecc2bf46f] flea/tick/lice spray available at pet stores, give guinea pig a bath, brush with a clean toothbrush, take to a vet.
    * NOTE[/color9ecc2bf46f] Guinea pigs cannot give their lice to humans, as they each get different types. However, guinea pigs CAN give their lice to other guinea pigs, so if one of your piggies has lice, it would be best to separate him/her from the others until all of the lice is gone, to reduce the risk of transferring the lice from one guinea pig to another.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]How to Determine the Sex of a Guinea Pig[/size9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Guinea pigs can multiply rapidly, even at a young age. It is essential to determine a guinea pig's gender to eliminate the chance of an unwanted litter. Even very young sows may be carrying babies when purchased from a pet store. By learning to tell the sex of guinea pigs, you make an informed choice when bringing one into your home.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Step1[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Calm the guinea pig. Hold it close to your body, speaking in a soothing tone while stroking its fur.[b9ecc2bf46f]
    Step2[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Hold the piggy gently but firmly. Place one hand under its rump. Put your other hand on its chest, under the front legs.[b9ecc2bf46f]
    Step3[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Stand close to a mirror. Pull the guinea pig upward, its back against your chest, exposing its full underside.[b9ecc2bf46f]
    Step4[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Use your rump-holding hand to spread the guinea pig's back legs and closely examine the genital area.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Step5[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Look for a Y-shaped opening. Females have a smooth area of skin in the crook of the "Y." Males have a penis head that looks like a small, round "button" of skin. In older males, testicles are often evident just under the "Y."
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Step6[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Tap the genital area gently if you are still uncertain. In females, the "Y" will open more fully. In males, the penile shaft will slowly expose itself.

    To determine sex of a guinea pig
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]BABIES AND PREGNANCY[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
    [b9ecc2bf46f]_________________________________________________________________________________________________________[/color9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]
    Well, obviously, if you put any two animals, a male and a female, together, they will most likely end up having babies. Yes, it is the same for guinea pigs. Every, about 14 to 18 days, the female goes through her cycle. This is when the mating can take place. The female will lie down on her stomach, with her rear slightly up. After the mating has taken place, you can expect the pregnancy to last about 3 months. Then the babies will be born. On average, there will be 2 or 3 baby guinea pigs in a litter.
    It does not really matter whether the father is present or not at the birth. Usually, he won't really care about it, and will stay away. But in some cases the father may choose to be helpful and clean the newborns. Don't be alarmed when blood comes out of the mother after all of the babies have been born. That's a natural part of the pregnancy.
    [spoiler][b9ecc2bf46f]When will I be able to tell that the female guinea pig is pregnant?[/b9ecc2bf46f] After about four to five weeks after the mating, the female will become more plump and round around the belly area. She will definitely be heavier. If you put the pregnant female on your lap, you can usually feel the babies moving around inside her.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]When can I handle the babies?[/b9ecc2bf46f] You are allowed to handle the babies as soon as they are born.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]When can the babies be separated from the mother?[/b9ecc2bf46f] Baby guinea pigs cannot be separated from their mothers until 3-6 weeks after they are born. This is because the mother needs to wean them and continue feeding them with her milk. Interesting enough, baby guinea pigs can start to eat hay and dry food soon after they are born.

    Also, baby guinea pigs are born with their eyes open, and already have their coat of fur. They can run around and play with the other young as well, although they do stay close the mother a majority of the time.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]When will the babies be able to mate?[/b9ecc2bf46f] The females will be able to have babies when they are about 6 weeks old. Males will be able to mate when they are about 10 weeks old. So make sure that they are separated a good time before those times because a brother guinea pig can mate with his sister! Inbreeding in a family like that is not a good idea, as it can cause genetic defects in later generations.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Should I separate the other guinea pigs from the pregnant one while she is giving birth (and after it)?[/b9ecc2bf46f] It varies for different guinea pigs. Some guinea pig mothers would prefer to have her space while giving birth, while others want to have a mate around. This is the same case for having the father present during the birth of the babies.

    [b9ecc2bf46f]How do I tell what sex the babies are?[/b9ecc2bf46f] It is not always easy to tell what sex a guinea pig is. Sometimes the people at pet stores will accidentally misinform you about what the sex of your animal is.
    But what you need to do is set them on your lap facing you. Then turn them vertical so that you can easily see their stomach. To figure out what sex a guinea pig is, all you have to do is gently push on the stomach down near the guinea pig's private parts. You can do this with just two fingers, usually with your index (pointer) and the middle finger, and do this very gently. If the guinea pig is a male, a penis will emerge in the private area. If it is a female, nothing will happen. Also, in a male, there is a greater distance between the penis and the anus. In the female, the private part and the anus are closer together.[/spoiler]
    [img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/GPfacts.gif[/img9ecc2bf46f]

    [u9ecc2bf46f][b9ecc2bf46f]DID U KNOW[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/u9ecc2bf46f]
    # Guinea pigs are diurnal; they are awake during the day and sleep at night!
    # A guinea pig can get up to 2 pounds in weight and 11-14 inches in length.
    # Baby guinea pigs (pups) are born with their fur and eyes open!
    # A guinea pig is most comfortable at 64 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
    # Abyssinians are NOT larger than short haired guinea pigs. They just appear bigger because of their fur.
    # Guinea pigs LOVE to be groomed with toothbrushes.
    # It says in The Guiness Book of World Records that the oldest guinea pig known was 14 years old, 10.5 months and was named Snowball
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Below are the useful site for you to get info about Guinea Pigs
    Guinea Lynx
    Jackies Guinea Piggies
    Kornage
    Peter Gurney
    WinkingCavy
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    IMPORTANT!!![/size9ecc2bf46f][/color9ecc2bf46f]

    [b9ecc2bf46f]Before Getting Your Guinea Pig.[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    [/size9ecc2bf46f][/color9ecc2bf46f][/font9ecc2bf46f]
    [quote9ecc2bf46f]Necessities include
    1. [b9ecc2bf46f]Cage[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM 100) - Please get a rather large one. At least 2ft x 1ft if you can't afford any bigger. GPs grow pretty big, about 27 cm in length (for males) if given the right nutrition so they need ample space. Buy those cage with bars on top but without bard at the feet area. Can cause bumblefeet if they keep stepping on the rails. GPs need proper ventilation or they might get heat stroke.
    2. [b9ecc2bf46f]Food bowl[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM10) - Please get a ceramic bowl that can't be toupled over by your GP. Consider his head size so he can comfrtably fit his head into the bowl as he grows larger.
    3. [b9ecc2bf46f]Water bottle[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM10) - Get those like Living World bottle lar. Don't ever put water in a bowl as ulternative because stuff may get in the water and foul it, and if ur GP drink it it will become unhealthy. Make sure you get a bottle that fits the size of how much your GP drinks daily.
    4. [b9ecc2bf46f]Food[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM 20) - Please buy brands with enhanced Vitamin C. Don't buy those with seeds in it because it will poke and hurt your GP's mouth and throat.
    5. [b9ecc2bf46f]Hay[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM 25) - Hay is VERY important. It helps with your GP's digestion and keep their ever-growing teeth in their proper size. Babies should be given alfafa hay for the extra calcium content. Seem adults should start eating timothy hay, which suits their requirements more than alfafa, although alfafa hay can still be given as a treat.
    6. [b9ecc2bf46f]Bedding[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM 25) - You can use common wood shavings you can find in the store but please stay away from pine or anything scented as it is very bad for your GP.
    7. [b9ecc2bf46f]Nail Clipper[/b9ecc2bf46f] (budget RM20) - You can get the clipper for small animals or small dogs. You can use the human nail clipper but using the animal clipper is so much easier. Please read up on how to clip their nails. Clipping into the quick can cause bleeding and discomfort for your GP.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Additional[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    1. Chew toy Not sure if GPs chew. My GPs just "hot hot chicken shit" chew a while then don wan dy.
    2. Hide house For them to feel safe. It helps them to feel that they are protected.
    3. Comb GPs shed. So a comb is the proper thing to buy. For long hairs like Sheltie and Peruvian, you must comb daily or it will matt up. For short hairs like American Satin(or the Normal) and Abbysinian, You don't have to comb daily but doing so reduces shedding.
    4. Vitamin C - You can get those vitamin C pills like chewies for your GP. GPs are like us in the sense that they do not make their own vitamin C, so they have to get it through their food intake everyday.
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Addtional infor[/b9ecc2bf46f]
    1. Please offer vegetables everyday. You can google for Veges high in Vitamin C.
    2. GPs are herbivorous. Please don't offer meat.
    3. Having contact daily wth your GP creates trust. Then they will want your company.
    4. GPs like living in groups. But there are some exceptions that don't mix well with others
    5. If you've decided to buy a friend for your GP, please be sure that they are the same sex. Or your GPs will breed non stop, which is bad for the mummy GP. To prevent inbreeding, please don't buy 2 from the same store (if you insist to breed them, please read up).
    6. Please buy from a home breeder if possible. Some petshop GPs are frequently underaged and underaged Gps might develop problems when growing into adults.
    7. Please supervise when your GP has flooring time with other pets. Dogs may be vicious to it, etc etc.
    8. GPs can be toilet trained! Then all you have to do is empty the toilet daily while most of the bedding remains clean! GPs are quite intelligent so toilet training is quite easy![/quote9ecc2bf46f]
    All those things can get from [b9ecc2bf46f]PET SHACK STARTER KITS[/b9ecc2bf46f][/color9ecc2bf46f]

    Pet Shack (001608384-D)
    102, Block A, Mentari Business Park, Jalan PJS 8/5
    Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
    T +603- 5637 4536 F +603-5635 2088 E sales@petshack.com.my
    [b9ecc2bf46f]Sitewww.petshack.com.my[/size9ecc2bf46f][/b9ecc2bf46f]

    Retail opening hours
    Tuesday to Saturday - 11am to 8pm
    Sunday - 11am to 6pm
    Monday and National Public Holidays - Closed

    [img9ecc2bf46f]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/Petshack.jpg[/img9ecc2bf46f]
  • December 2007 Edit
    i oso a guinea pigs lover!!my two kids just died few weeks ago...so sad..
    i rear few times before,but their life span not over 6 months...can u pls reach me how to take k of them?i think i dono wat they want...
  • December 2007 Edit
    I'm not professional in rear GP but can share information to make them happy, If u ask me how I keep them, everyday I gave them fresh veggies like salad, spinach etc and fruits(apple, banana,etc) before I gave the veggies I wash it first for sure clean, put in food bowl. If the have wasted veggies everywhere in cage that GP not eat better throw it away because its dirt.
    Once a week I give them a vitamin C liquid and I always put fresh water (boil first) not pipe water. Also I fill in GP pellet in bowl and hay in other bowl, so they will have something to chew or eat. Must put stick, whatever stick becoz its for their teeth treatment. Put a litter box, u must train them how to pee or poo in litter box so ur cage not look very dirty, every week must change their bedding. I use fleece when I change it, I have spare one and the dirty fleece I will wash it or u can use bedding that sell in petshop with newspaper lined under it, actually theres many way to make their bedding u can google it to look how GP owner do it. Important thing to alert of them, like when they sneeze, activity etc. Look at them any mucus, or anything different at them. Dont always bath them becoz its not good for them, if u want bath them just once a month or when they got dirty.
    Its the way keeping my GP, )

    Can also share how you keep ur GP? and show the pictures? hee..
  • September 2008 Edit
    Hai there, here is guinea pig corner where we can share about our guinea pig. Also can change information and advise to make our piggies will live happily all the time.

    Here are my piggies,

    [img0b383aa763]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/100_2909.gif[/img0b383aa763]
    Chiko the Eater

    [img0b383aa763]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/100_3013.jpg[/img0b383aa763]
    Luna the Charmer

    [img0b383aa763]http//i9.photobucket.com/albums/a88/sharil_welling/Picture001-1.jpg[/img0b383aa763]
    Jazz the Greater

    Just drop by in this thread. TQ P
  • May 2009 Edit
    Hey, just wanted to share a bit of info with you guys.
    Guinea pig breeding is dangerous! (
    It shortens the lifespan of a female guinea pig and both the litter and the mother may die.
    Also, it's a really bad idea to breed a guinea pig that is over 8 months old as her pelvic bones have fused together, making pregnancy fatal unless C-section is performed.
    Just wanted to share this
    Please do not breed your guinea pigs. Besides the threat to the lives of the sow and litter, it is very hard to find a good home for the guinea pigs if you cannot keep them.
    http//www.guinealynx.info/breeding.html