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HELP I'm lost!! I nedd Guinea Pig advice!!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by willkatdawson, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    OK, not exactly an impulse buy, but not the best laid out plan I've ever had either. My DD (10) has wanted a mouse for quite some time now. I went to Petco today just to get some info on mice and the clerk told me DD for the most part wouldn't be able to hold and pet the mouse without it trying to get away. She suggested a guinea pig. She had fallen in love with one that has cow licks all over its body so she had been holding it and petting it a lot recently. As she's holding it and talking to me it seems pretty happy so
    I say I'll take it. The children are not home form school yet and they have no idea! They are going to flip out. What are the odds that she is going to bite and if so does it really hurt.? I'm asking because I want us all to be prepared. Any info you can give my would be great. I think I've got the whole food and shelter thing taken care of but the handling I'm still a little lost on. I've never had any type of animal like this with sharp little teeth. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010

  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    OOh.. i LOVE guinea pigs..
    I miss mine.. (they dont live that long.. [​IMG]..)
    They need hay like a rabbit.. and guinea pig food with vitamin C in it....because their bodies dont make vitamin C...
    Just wait till she starts talking to you... [​IMG]
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Redhen is right on the money. Guinea pigs are extremely non aggressive and need vitamin C enriched diets or they develop scurvy. Dark leafy green vegetables in addition to the proper feed supply the vit C. Guinea pig dander can be very allergenic; therefore, they should be kept in a well ventilated place and their cages should be cleaned frequently. Sadly enough, they do have a relatively short life span. Once they get to know you, they can become quite "talkative."
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Best of luck with your new piggie!

    I've not known one to bite, but haven't known many or kept one for myself.

    As a side note... piggies can be potty trained unlike a mouse. Mice can have quite the odor if you don't clean the cage out every few days. I had mice as a kid and they were pretty easy to hold... just most pet stores have bins of mice more often used as feeders than pets so are undersocalized.
  5. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    How does one go about potty training? Sound good to me. She has left a few little brown tic tac's in cage, but they are all in one corner.
  6. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I miss having piggies....they will only nip if you let your fingers linger near the teeth too long. Make sure that your kids sit while they hold it so if it falls it won't fall so far as when they are standing. They love to run around the house too!
  7. dntd

    dntd Songster

    Dec 4, 2009
    If you have rabbits you could use there food as it's cheaper, adding vitamin c tablets and oranges and carrots, vitamin c treat drops as a treat helps with any issues. I have had many gp's and non bit or even tried to,breed them and never had any deaths.

  8. CarrieW

    CarrieW Songster

    Apr 12, 2010
    Durango, CO
    I had piggies for quite some time, they are awesome! Make sure about the Vit C thing, they really need it. Add to water, and feed it foods high in it. Mine loved mangos. She also loved cabbage, oranges, apples, small amounts of carrots, etc... Also, make sure it has lots of chew toys, they help keep the teeth trimmed down.
  9. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Guinea pigs are great pets for children, however, they can bite! My son was holding a semingly calm one at a pet store years ago, and it suddenly bit him on his finger----and it was bad enough to bleed quite a good bit. I don't think the pig was agressive or anything, his fingers probably smelled like food! Just be cautious at first, and make sure the kids don't put their finger-tips up to the piggy's face. We had several throughout the years, and even bred them once----it is quite an amazing thing to get up one morning and have not 2, but 6 piggies running around the cage! Good luck!![​IMG]
  10. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Guinea pigs only bite when in pain. If mishandled or if they have mites (very easily treated with a couple drops of ivermectin or a measured amount of ivermectin horse dewormer paste) they may bite but otherwise it is very rare. Guinea pigs should have a constant supply of timothy or other grass hay. Young ones can have alfalfa but it can lead to bladder sludge and stones in adult animals. They should receive about 1 cup of veggies each per day with a small amount of fruit and only around 1/8th-1/4th cup pellets to avoid obesity. Fed properly they can live to be 8-10years old. Fed improperly and we get the typical opinion that they are an animal with a short lifespan and will die by 4. I've never had a guinea pig die before 6years old and even then it was usually do to other complications like pregnancy or getting a hold of something they should have. Pellets should be mostly timothy or alfalfa hay based. Do not buy anything that has grain byproducts. Oxbow makes the best common brand of pellets. Mazuri is also good. If you can't find bales of hay locally you can buy pellets and hay in bulk from http://www.kmshayloft.com/ . It seems expensive with shipping but it only comes out to around $1/lb which is a heck of a lot better than what you spend on those little bags of hay or pellets. A 50lb box lasts forever with only a few pigs. When I was doing rescue we'd have 8-15 guinea pigs at a time and estimated they ate about a lb of hay each a day.

    Guinea pigs are social. You should have 2 same gender animals. They are much more active, much more fun to watch, and will live longer lives that way. One guinea pig encourages the other to eat a wider variety of foods and exercise more. The cage should be a minimum of 7sq ft preferably 10sq ft for 2.

    http://guineapigcages.com/ has instructions for building your own very cost effective cage and has a database for finding materials locally. http://www.guinealynx.info/ covers diet and veterinary care. They have veggie and fruit charts that are organized by amount of vit c, calcium and phosphorous ratio, calcium content, and oxalic acid. There is also a listing of illness and correct medications to use with guinea pigs in case you lack a good exotics vet in your area. You will not find more correct info about guinea pigs anywhere but the members are a bit insane. I've described it as a cult to my husband. [​IMG] I highly suggest you read through the websites but I do not suggest posting to the forums unless you have a thick skin.

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