guinea pig experts?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SherrieC, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    I just bought my boy a g pig yesterday for his birthday today(he loves them), and in the mad before x-mas scramble didn't look it over as good as I should have, it seems to have a little bit of caking around its eyes, and a little bit of the sniffles. I'm sure the cramped quarters it was in was the cause. He was the smallest in the aquarium, and the others were more than twice his size he must be about 4-5 weeks cause he fills my hand. I haven't had a gp in so long I can't remember what they are NOT to have. I wondered if he could have some vit C? I know he is too little for raw treats. I haven't even surprized my boy with it yet, and it is not going back to the cramped store, I've got too big a heart for that, a trip to the vet is out we are Snowed in! Thanks SherrieC
     
  2. second_noah

    second_noah Local Yokel

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    It may be something like the snuffles that rabbits can get. I wish I knew what to tell you. Medicine may be in order, but until you get some better info I would keep her in a warm, draft free place and away from anything that would really stress her out and make her feel worse. Perhaps handling her a lot right now wouldn't be a good idea.

    Hopefully some rabbit folks or gp folks will be around soon to help you out more.

    At any rate, MERRY CHRISTMAS! (You've even got me excited for your son! haha) :)
     

  3. Chuck123

    Chuck123 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Sherrie, he can have something with Vitamin C.....ours LOVES tomatoes!!

    Some caution against too many greens as it can cause diarreah (sp?), but ours likely gets too much but has not had this problem.

    Like humans, they do not manufacture their own, so they need to get it from their food.

    I think if you search the web there are some good GP sites around.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  4. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    guina pigs need a little fresh veggies and or fruit at least four times a week. They can eat most veggies and fruits.
     
  5. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Are just weaned babies old enough for raw treats? If so we have carrots, orange peels, many fresh herbs, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme. I introduced him to his birthday present he loves her! He thinks he has to teach her to whistle :) He's 7 now :cool:
     
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Got any milk/formula.. like the kitten/puppy kind? Or maybe some goat's milk? If he's still a baby, that might be good. He probably won't eat anything that would be bad for him.. but RABBITS.... you have to be REALLY careful on the greens til they reach a certain age! (Causes diahrreha.)

    Keep the baby warm!!!
     
  7. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah do we have goats milk! :D
     
  8. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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  9. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I'm not sure he needs any supplemental milk. How old is he? They wean really fast. All "cavies" (Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Capybaras, Patagonian Cavies) all have a relatively long gestation with just a few babies that come out fully furred, eyes open and ready to start trying solid food. They only nurse for a few weeks.

    It sounds like Vitamen C defeciency to me. Scurvy. It leads to respiratory problems: oozy eyes that cake up, snotty noses. It also causes joint pain. They don't move around very much and their muscles seem to quickly atrophy.

    As was said before, they have a tremendous need for supplemental vitamin C in their diet. They can get scurvy just like people do. Anything fruits or vegetables you give them must be nutrient dense. Try carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, collard greens, etc. No iceburg lettuce, celery, apples or grapes. They won't necessarily hurt, but they provide little true nourisment. Think Citrus. Anything to get more Vit. C into them. We have to be frugal at our house. We wash the orange, peel them, we eat the pulp and give the skins to the gpigs. Works great for us.

    Buy a good brand of pellets from a store that does good business so you're more assured that the bag hasn't been sitting on the shelf for months. Once you open the bag, keep the pellets sealed in an air-tight container. The guinea pig pellets have lots of Vit. C in them but it is easily oxidized when exposed to air. Use a 16 ounce water bottle. Buy a large container of water soluble Vit. C tablets from a health food store or pharmacy. Get 250-500 mg strength. Dissolve one in the 16 ounce water bottle every time you change it out.

    Please don't keep a guinea pig in an aquarium, even a large one. There's simply not enough ventilation in a glass tank. They need a solid bottom floor covered with first a layer of newspaper and then either plain, white pine shavings, aspen shavings or my favorite Carefresh (a recycled newspaper product.) Wire cages really are the best. If you're handy, you can build one like a rabbit hutch. First find a suitable pan for the bottom. Try to go with something at least 18 inches by 24 inches then build the cage around that. Pets International manufactures the SuperPets brand. They have a "My First Home" that works really well. It's about 18 X 24 and at my store retails for about $30. It has a really deep pan that is easy to clean out.

    Once this little guy is well, you should think of getting it a companion. They really are such social animals that I think it borders on cruelty to keep them by themselves. Who's to entertain them while you're away from home? Do it soon, they become territorial over their cage as adults.
     
  10. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    For us the best cages have been wire modular cubicles like these http://cavycages.com/types.htm. We had to look for a while but found them at K-Mart. The nicest part is when ever someone needs to be segregated (ill, pregger, bad attitude) you just pop in a wall and you're done. They can still see each other but can't get to each other.

    The coroplast bottom we bought from a sign shop. We gave him the dimensions and he cut, folded and stapled the corners to a perfect fit. No shavings have yet escaped. And clean up is a quick vacuum job with the shop vac then a refill with shavings (after a spraying with Lysol).
     
  11. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Oh I think as soon as we got this one feeling better I'm going to get another one cause there are 6 people in the house who love them. I'll build them a cage this spring when they are bigger two compartment with wire in the middle so they can talk, but keep their own bedroom, and then they can play when we get them out :) We have built lots of rabbit cages so no problem. And the little thing really stinks, so her cage was just too full and no ventalation :no:
     
  12. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Our pigger loves carrots, apple slices and orange peels. I don't feed Eddy any lettuce or grapes, he just makes a mess with them and then whistles for more. But he likes other stuff like tangerines, doesn't like grapefruit, adores turnips if cut into chunks, and likes bananas. I don't give him too much banana though. He gets Vit. C drops in his water every time I change it out.

    We feed an enhanced premium pigger food that has added vit. in it and keep it sealed in a tupper ware type container so it doesn't get to the air. One bag of 8 lbs. lasts him quite a while.

    Sidepasser
     
  13. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Just a little addition here. These little guys cannot manufacter Vit C in their bodies like we can. Thus the need for it added to the diet. Many people who raise these charming little creatures have taken a page from our Astronauts' diets and add TANG to their water.

    Give it some room..a wading pool will work well for now. And have fun...LQ
     
  14. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

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    Another reason for the nasal and eye discharge might have been ammonia irritation. They need good ventilation and if there was a group of them in an aquarium, they weren't getting any. I'd make sure they have good ventilation and introduce the fresh foods slowly. I also buy the vitamin c tablets at Walmart. They love them.
     
  15. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    That is a terrific idea. When we raised gpigs for the petstore, we used the wire closet shelving. We had them on the floor of the bird building under the parrot cages. We kept each trio, one boar and two sows, in a 3 feet by 6 feet area on deep bedding. It worked perfectly for us. Water bottles and food bowls of course. I built wooden houses for them. They loved it. They would get all the citrus peels. Ours loved turnips also. They shared these with button quail. It was great fun watching them interact.
     
  16. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Guinea pigs will start munching regular food at a couple of days old. Too much can give them diareah, but try carrots, apples and such. Also be very careful of drafts, damp and changes in temperature. THey can take the cold as long as it is consistent and not damp or drafty.

    Hope he is feeling better soon!