Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Agent-in-Training

Introducing Raani... our newest cage mate. She joined us after we had to say goodbye to Roos.

A photo posted by @jstaaks on

Why Raani? You might wonder. Those of you who speak Hindi, or any of the other languages where Raani actually means something, know Raani means Queen.
Our slaves have quite a long history of being owned by Rex and US teddy cavies, and with the loss of Roos (a US Teddy) they no longer had a curly fuzzy guinea pig to own them. We think this was one of the first times in their guinea pigs owning time that they were without a US teddy or Rex. So of course they had to change that, which explains how Raani came to be with us. Raani is a Rex, and in Latin (and probably some other languages) this is the word for 'King', as this did not seem that fitting for a sow we went for a translation of 'Queen'.

Raani was 6 weeks old and weighed 290 grammes when she joined us, now she is almost 14 weeks old and about half a kilo (500 grammes) in weight! She just keep munching and eating and thus putting on weight. Even when most of us had a pneumonia, or the snuffles at the least, she was fine (as checked by the vet. So far she seems to be a healthy piggy!

A photo posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

The other Guinygirlz: Peaches and Tijger and boar BĂ©rke

Monday, May 23, 2016

Piggy A-Z C is for Charity: Vote for TEAS

What is TEAS?
The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary (TEAS) was established in 2011, to provide permanent care for guinea pigs with additional needs, chiefly dental. We are lucky to have two exceptional vets nearby, who are both knowledgeable and skilled in guinea pig dentistry, with many success stories to their names. It is for this reason that we exist, as the only dental sanctuary in the country.

We are currently HMRC registered, in the process of applying for registered charity status. It has always been important to us to be registered as we wanted everything we do to be official and transparent, rather than just be a ‘back yard’ operation.

Where are we located?
Contrary to popular belief, TEAS is not a large, multi-staffed centre.
The charity is run predominantly by Debbie from her modest, semi detached house in East Hunsbury, Northampton, which is where all the hard work happens. Additional permanent places and supportive care are provided from another modest, semi detached house in West Hunsbury, Northampton.

Who runs TEAS?
There are currently four individuals who form the board and are involved in the decision making at TEAS, two of whom work directly with the pigs. The day to day running of the charity and care is carried out primarily by Debbie Postles, who
accommodates the majority of the residents at her home. Emma and Andrew Hartley currently have nine permanent residents at their home. Steve Turner is the TEAS Sanctuary Treasurer.

What do we do?
As well as providing care for poorly piggies, the board members of TEAS also have to make time for full time, paid employment

No mention of TEAS would be complete without mentioning the Lethals.
A Lethal is usually the product of breeding where both parents have the Roan gene. The result in 25% of offspring is a Lethal which usually suffers blindness, deafness and often has dental issues. There can also be other physicsl issues.
TEAS was founded on looking after Lethals and currenly has 10 Lethals as permanent Residents.
With loving care they can enjoy as long as any normal Guinea Pig.

Stanley came to the Sanctuary from The Littlest Rescue in Bristol, who had rescued several
lethal pigs. Stanley was sent to TEAS because of the specialist veterinary treatment he is likely to need.
Stanley lives with Albert and Basil.

Permanent Residents
Archie - Archie came to the Sanctuary from Cavy Corner. The vet in Doncaster had said he had lost the swallow reflex and he was booked in to be pts. He was brought to see Simon as a last ditch attempt to get help for him, and he began to make progress. Archie lived a wonderful life, but needed ongoing dental care. He survived two abscesses, but his health began to fail over Easter and he was pts. This was almost two years to the day he had been booked in for euthanasia in Doncaster.

Kevin - Kevin was brought to the Sanctuary after being found with his brother Perry in a back garden and taken to BARC. He was in a dreadful state and weighed just 365g. After just three dental treatments from Simon he was fully recovered and is now a strong, healthy piggie, weighing 1.1 kg.

Temporary Residents
Skye - Skye travelled from Wrexham to the Sanctuary to enable her to receive treatment from Simon and the supportive care the Sanctuary offers. She made steady progress and returned home within three weeks.

Cornflake - Cornflake travelled from Exeter. He was a very poorly boy when he arrived but after the first dental treatment he began to eat for himself, and after two more treatments he was ready to return home.

Rose - Rose travelled from Cardiff. She had just started to develop a head tilt in addition to her dental issues and by the time she arrived at the Sanctuary her eye was also starting to bulge. She was immediately seen by Simon who diagnosed a retrobulbar abscess and he feared she may lose her eye. He added lubrication and stitched the affected eye closed and treated her dental issues. Rose needed three further dental treatments and the swift action to close the eye meant her eye was saved. She returned home after spending 6 weeks at the Sanctuary.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Henry Piggyfriend finds his namesake

I have not been desginated as an Agent but I thought that I would share this pigture.

This big, noisy machine comes along every morning to clear up the hay that our Slave drops on the carpet when she cleans out our pens and look it has the same name as me! It seems very happy with its job so maybe we should throw more hay about to keep it busy. It eats hay just like we do.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Piggy A - Z. D is for Dandelion.

We expect that you are all familiar with dandelions. Our Slave grows them for us in her garden. Here is a photo of some growing in her herb garden.
Most gardeners would consider them weeds but our Slave scatters the seed heads around to ensure that there are always plenty for us to eat. She also brings them home from clients' gardens.

Here is a bunch that she has picked.

They wilt very quickly but when there are guinea pigs around, this is not a problem.

Here is Roisin Piggyfriend enjoying a flower.
And then a leaf.
Gandalf ( Agent Wizard ) loves dandelions.
And so does his best friend, Tyrion.
Our dandelions are very safe to eat as our Slave never uses any chemicals in her garden but if your Slave picks them make sure that they have not been sprayed with anything nasty.

We wish that we could have them all year round but, in England, they are only available from Spring to Autumn so we make the most of them whilst we can.

Do you like Dandelions? Do you have a piggy whose name begins with D for our A - Z? If so, we'd love to see a pigture and a story. Click on Contribute at the top of our page and follow the very easy instructions.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is May 8th in the US. Here is a photoshoot from Dmitri, Agent Popcorn, and Dante Wigglebottom!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Roos in pigtures (with some (friday) videos)

This message has been long overdue. Maybe a week before Easter, our gorgeous Roos was squeaking in pain. We gave her some pain meds, and she seemed to approve a bit, same thing the next day, as it was almost weekend (and vets would be closed) we took her to the vet. She had diarrhea so we got some Cisaral to keep the gut moving and some painkiller (Carprofen) - Both fall in the Piggy a-z for C? but I am not too sure how dutch these names are.. 

She seemed to be okay and the diarrhea cleared up, but something seemed not right to me. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention she kept getting very bloated, but it did not sound like gas, and felt more spongy. I got a message from my boyfriend who was home earlier then I was, that she was bloated again. This was just before the long Easter weekend. I called the vet hoping to get an appointment that evening. They had a spot, so Erwin (boyfriend) took her to the vet and I traveled to the vet as well... News was not good, she had a bladder stone and it was lodged in her urethra.

A photo posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

Diagnosis was not so good, and the vet was hesitant to operate, as this would very likely damage the nerves there and make her unable to hold up her pee... So we were left with the choice to either find a vet willing to operate (it was almost eight in the evening then) or have her put to sleep. It was a hard decision to make as up until recently she did not seem ill at all... But mostly because of the small chance of her healing up well (if surviving surgery at all, piggies are just so fragile), we decided to have her put to sleep. She went to sleep very fast, and we were sad, but also hoping we made the right choice in stopping her suffering.

Roos was a gift from me to Erwin for his birthday 4 years ago. We had her for exactly 4 years, she was 4,5 years old, as she was put down the evening before Erwin's birthday. She was one of the sweetest piggies we have ever had. I remember the lady we got her from telling us, she was very tame. I wondered why she said that, because she seemed very afraid of us at first, not tame at all. However when she got used to us she was really a sweet thing. We could pet her in the cage, and she did the cutest thing. If you stopped petting her, usually she had lain down already enjoying the massage, she would lift up her head as if to say 'Don't stop!'. Towards the other piggies she could be quite strict, after Woopy left us, she was the new ruler, with a bit of an iron paw. But she could also be really sweet snuggling with Peaches (a lot!). This surprised me as well, because when we just got Peaches, Roos would chase her around endlessly...

A photo posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

Here's some more pigtures and video's of Roos... we miss ya!

A photo posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

A photo posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

A video posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

An old line up: Lily, Roos (a few months old there), Daisy and Woopy

Monday, May 2, 2016

Piggy A-Z: C is for Cranberry

Regular readers may have noticed that whenever our water bottle appears in a pigture our water is red in colour, this is because Mummy adds cranberry to the water for us.

Mummy uses Ocean Spray Light cranberry juice as this has less sugar. So why does Mummy add cranberry to our water? Well first of it is a good source of vitamin C and secondly it can help prevent urinary infections which piggies can be prone to. Sadly it does nothing for stones. Mummy fills about a 1/4 of the bottle with Cranberry juice and the rest with water.

So do we like our water? Mummy noticed we actually drink more cranberry flavoured water than normal plain water.

Here is what our water looks like

Here is what we were doing while Mummy took the pigture