Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Goodbye Agent F1

Hello everypig,

Agent Dave here with some sad news, a couple of weeks ago Mummy and Daddy had to help Agent F1 aka Jim over the rainbow bridge.

At the start of the year Agent F1 developed anal impaction and he lost a bit of weight, Mummy wasn't too worried to start with as she knew how to handle impaction and other than some weight loss F1 was doing fine.

F1 continued to loose weight and Mummy took him to the vet to get his teeth checked, his teeth were fine, however as he was still eating well and losing weight the vet decided to run some blood tests, these test showed that F1 had kidney problems. As F1 appeared to be happy and eating the vet and Mummy decided that the best thing to do would be to keep him at home and happy for as long as possible.

Up until the last few days Agent F1 was up and about, always the first and the loudest to shout for food, he would still get on his back legs and beg for extra food which always worked on Daddy, however he had gotten really thin and bony. For the last few days Agent F1 was not really moving his poops had turned slushy and Mummy was having to clean his bottom and feet as he was just sitting in slushy poop he also appeared to be in pain, which he hadn't seemed to be before. Mummy and Daddy took him back to the vet and the vet agreed that it was time to help him over the rainbow bridge.

F1 was only weeks away from his 5th adoption day which we think means he was actually nearly 6.

We all miss our special little friend.

Goodbye Jim until we meet again.

Here are a few facts about and photos of Jim

1) Jim was named after James T Kirk
2) Jim was up for adoption as apparently he wouldn't live with other pigs. This was not true as Jim lived happily with at least 2 other piggies almost his whole life.
3) Jim was a ridgeback
4) Jim was ginger with a white racing chevron hence the Agent name F1

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Piggyfriends' grass is frozen!

Slave cuts fresh grass for us every day but this morning she came back in and said that it had frozen!

"She offered us these cauliflower leaves instead. Much as we love a cauli leaf it is not the same as a pile of fresh grass but I suppose it will have to do" says Saoirse Piggyfriend in between mouthfuls.

Carter grabs a piece of leaf and rushes to eat it in the privacy of a box before his friends can steal it. "I love cauli," says Carter, " and I am so glad that our friend, Roly, grows lots of it on his farm."

"Well, I suppose there is nothing for it but to join my friends, " says Aoife, " before they have cleared up the lot."

"Don't worry piggies, " says Slave. " I have a whole bagful of leaves for you and maybe the grass will have thawed tomorrow."

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy Birthday Louis Piggyfriend!

Hello Readers! Louis Piggyfriend here. It is my 6th. birthday today and Slave has given me my very favourite veggie. Sow thistle.

Do you like sow thistle? Slave grows it for us in her veggie garden but it finishes when the warm weather comes to an end. She kept this one growing under a cloche just for my birthday. Wasn't that kind of her?

It is so lovely and juicy that it deserves another photo.

After all that good food, I needed a nap.

"Happy Birthday Louis!" say the Piggyfriend herd.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Friday video: how to train your guinea pig

To do a spin! Hope you are not getting fed up with all our spinning piggies videos. We are now trying to teach our boar Binky to spin as well. In this video we show you how to do it.

At first we thought Binky would not follow the vegetable at all. Raani and Cookie both spin clockwise. Binky would not do that. Then Piggy dad tried to make him follow the vegetable anti clockwise, as you can see in the video Binky can do that pretty well. Now I wonder does he not see the veg well when we try to make him spin clockwise, or does he just like to turn anti clockwise?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Piggy A - Z. F for Fernando

A few of the Piggyfriends are not keen on having their photos taken. I am one of them. Slave tried to creep up on me and catch me unawares but I saw her coming and ran to hide in our wooden house. So she took our house and tunnel away.
Having nowhere to hide, I ran into the corner of our pen and sat with my brother, Martin, so you can see me, Fernando, on the right of this photo.

Here we are again so that you can see my other side. You saw me in the photos when we did the Taste Tests but I was more interested in investigating the new foods that day than watching sneaky photographers.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

F is for don't FORGET to FEED us

Just in case the humans forget to feed us we have grouped together and are wheeking full volume at them.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday video: more spinning...

Pig dad is trying to teach us the spin synchronized, he hasn't had much luck with us, though he does claim we can do it synchronized of camera...

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Have a great wheekend!
Spinners Raani and Cookie
And boar Binky

Monday, November 13, 2017

I had to go to the vet.

Niamh Piggyfriend here. A while ago I was not eating very well and Slave could see that my incisors were growing diagonally. A sure sign that there was a problem with my molars. She took me to see our Rodentologist, Lynn from Palace Piggies, and she trimmed my teeth but said that she thought that I might have a tooth root abscess. Eeek!!! Our retired Rodentologist was an expert with abscesses and could have dealt with this himself but Lynn said that I should go and see our vet.

While she waited for the abscess to appear, Slave had to syringe feed me. I was very good and did not mind this but eventually the day came when the trip to the vet was necessary.

I had to have an Xray. Our vet put sandbags all around me so that I would not move and spoil the image.You can see it above. It is not a very clear picture but it is the best of several that Slave took. Our vet said that it shows that I have Osteomyelitis, which causes my teeth to grow wrongly into my jaw and this could have caused the abscess, which is visible in the full size Xray but not in this little photo. This does not look much like me does it? Where is my coat?

This is what I really look like. Here I am being weighed. I only just fit on the vet's little scale but the only other one that he has is for dogs and cats and does not register very well with a little guinea on it. I do not think that any of our big boars would fit on this little one.

The vet lanced my abscess and drained a lot of horrible pus out of it. Then he flushed out the cavity with antiseptic and saline. There is no photo of this event as Slave was holding me still whilst the vet performed the procedure. You would not want to see it anyway as it was nasty and smelly. I made a lot of noise about it but then I started making a noise before he put the scalpel in. The people in the waiting room could hear me.

We came home with Marbocyl antibiotics, a bag of saline and a lot of syringes. Slave had to flush out the abscess with the saline every day using the little hole that the vet had made and every week we went back to the vet for him to do it better. I started eating once the abscess had been lanced and Slave was very relieved about that. So was I.

After the abscess had gone flat, I thought that I was OK but then another one came up and we had to go back to the vet and start over. Here you can see our lovely vet examining me. His name is Etienne and he comes from Belgium. He has been the Piggyfriends' vet for nearly 20 years.

Finally the day came when Etienne said that I was all mended! Hooray! There is a possibility that I might get another one so paws crossed that this does not happen. I like going to see the vet but do not want another abscess.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Update from the Piggypals

Well you may have noticed we have been missing for a little while that is because events good and bad have been occurring here at Piggypal HQ.

First the good news after 19 years together Mummy and Daddy finally made it official and got married in September, this meant we had to spend a lot of time wedding planning to ensure Mummy got the perfect day, you will be pleased to hear she did, she has told us she loved every minute of it.

Now the bad news Mummy has just been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis which means her immune system is attacking her joints (at the moment her right hand and foot are very sore) she has seen a specialist and is waiting to start on medicine which will stop her body attacking itself. Unfortunately it will do this by suppressing her immune system and she will have to take tablets and have regular blood tests for life. Mummy is glad she has now had it confirmed what is wrong and that she will be getting treatment for it. Needless to say when she is having a bad time with it we will be there to look after her.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Look what our Slave was given for her Birthday

It was our Slave's birthday on October 29th. and look what she received. "A Guinea Pig Romeo and Juliet".

This is the fourth in a series of real stories rewritten with guinea pigs as the characters. Slave already has the Guinea Pig Nativity, Pride and Prejudice, Oliver Twist and now she has this one, Romeo and Juliet.

The books are full of wonderful photos of guinea pigs dressed up as the "people" in the stories with guinea pig sized props too.

She was also given this little plush piggy for her ever growing collection. This one is made by a company called Living Nature and best of all, when she squeezes him, he actually squeaks just like we do.
Isn't he sweet?

Here he is reading the lovely book. You can see one of the gorgeous piggy pigtures inside.

We hope that the publishers of the book do not mind us taking photos. We did the same when Slave had their other books and no one complained!

A word of warning. This well known tale does not have a happy ending but it is only a story after all and the piggy actors were all safe.

If any piggy person you know has a birthday coming up, they would love this book. Or it would make a perfect little Christmas gift.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Hallowe'en Everyone!

Slave could not decide which of us would pose for our Hallowe'en pigture and Magnus, Agent Fluffypig, drew the short carrot.

" Slave picked me because I am orange, " says Magnus, " and she thinks that I look like a pumpkin! She could be right. "

Happy Hallowe'en to all of our readers. Stay safe.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Happy Seventh Birthday dear Otto.

Today is a very special day at Piggyfriends because our dear Otto is celebrating his seventh birthday and we have made his name out of veggies.

Our Slave was very lucky to be able to give him a home all those years ago. GPDD readers may have read his story before but it bears repeating as it enabled him to come to Piggyfriends. A colleague of her son's at the animal rescue where they worked sent her prize winning white Peruvian sow, at great expense, to a stud boar expecting for her to have a litter of white Peruvians. What she got were three little boars, of whom Otto was the whitest by far but he was born with a head tilt. None of them were suitable for showing so she had them all neutered and sent them to a piggy rescue.

Had she heard this story earlier our Slave would have taken all three home straight away and none of them would have had to be neutered. She found out where they had been sent and, very fortunately, our Rodentologists knew the lady who runs this piggy rescue and called her to say that a home was waiting for them. By this time, only Otto was left as his brothers had already been rehomed.

The piggy rescue lady brought Otto with her when she visited the Rodentologists herself and our Slave went to fetch him home
So after a roundabout journey, Otto came home.

He found a home with Portia, who had sadly lost her companion and over the years, he has been a kind and gentle friend to many sows who have come our way. When Undercover Piggies was started he became Agent Mystery as, when his coat needs a trim, it is hard to tell which way round he is and Slave has been known to put his veggies at the wrong end even now. He had a haircut before she took these photos so that you can see him properly.

"Happy Birthday dear Otto," says Slave. " You are my little star!"

" Thank you." says Otto," I know that it is your birthday too tomorrow so would you like to share my grass?"

Please join us in saying "Happy Birthday" to our dear friend Otto. We all love you very much.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Video F is for Fun

We are not sure if our link has worked as it has been a while since we lasted posted a video however you should be able to see Hugo and Rodney playing.

Playing with the edible ball.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday(?) Video: guinygirlz and Binky, with Raani washing herself

Mom was busy filming us again. Here you can see us, with Raani grooming and washing herself. Turn on the sound to hear Cookie making noises....
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Hope you have a good weekend,
Guinygirlz Raani, Cookie and boar Binky

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Piggy A-Z. F is for Friends and Family

Everyone reading our blog will know that guinea pigs love company and we should always be kept in pairs or more.We have several pairs of brothers and sisters here at Piggyfriends but today we received some photos from our Pigpenpals in Connecticut so we thought that we would share one with you.

Above you can see Mama Rin with her daughters, Nico and Maki. There are more photos of this family that we will show you in future A-Z posts and we are promised a video too.

We are sorry that we have been remiss in posting since we did the Taste Tests but Slave has been sick and Niamh has needed a lot of attention with an abscess ( clearing up now - all paws crossed ) and we could not reach the drawer in Slave's desk where her camera lives.

If you have any photos of your piggies with their friends or family, we would love to see them. Use the Contribute tab at the top of our page and use the title A Piggy A-Z etc. the same as we have typed at the top of this post.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday video: Syringe feeding and Cookie update

Yesterday we heard from our vet about the culture that was made from Cookie's lumps. She had a staphylococcus, we have her the right anti biotic to battle that, which means it should no longer be present after a full week of antibiotics! Cookie has joined her cage mates Binky and Raani again, there was a lot of rumbling...
We still syringe feed Cookie because she seems to not eat enough on her own. The vet thinks the painkiller and antibiotic have upset her tummy. We were allowed to stop that now, so hopefully her appetite will improve! She still gets a probiotic and loads of TLC (doctor's order). P.s. sorry for us not being that active on the blog lately. One of us just got married, and the other two are busy syringe feeding piggies with (former) abcesses.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The last of the taste tests.

We have come to the last of the taste test " treats". This one is called "Fruit Garden" and it contains Apple, Banana and Rosehip. Now we did not expect this to go down too well as none of us like banana. Slave can only remember five Piggyfriends ever liking banana in the very many years that she has been taking in piggies.

Tyrion filled the dish ready for us to try. Here is a photo of it. The dark bits that you can see must be dried rosehips. We are not sure why they are there but fresh rosehips do contain vitamin C, which we get from the many fresh veggies that we eat.

Unsurprisingly Carter dived into the bowl. He chucked out all the banana and tried a few apple pieces.
Saoirse joined him, sniffed at the dish and left.

The Dangermice were undecided about this. Cosmo nibbled a little bit of the apple.....

......but Casper retreated into his pig cave and would have nothing to do with it.

This is as close as Fernando would get to the dish and Martin ran away.

" No thank you." says Otto as Slave tried to tempt him with some of the dried apple.
As no pig was enjoying this box of treats, Slave took pity on us and went and picked some apples from the garden. Here is Louis munching a piece of real fresh apple. "Yum yum".

We all want to thank Nature's Feast for sending us all this food to try out and we are sorry that we did not like the Treats but the bag of food was good. We think that the treat boxes may be more suited to hamsters. We are going to email Nature's Feast and tell them about our test in case they are not reading our blog.

Tyrion, Ivan and Magnus all say " This is the food that we love the best. GRASS!"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Trying out the treats continued.......

Next we tried the "Vegetable Patch" box. This contained dried carrot, parsnip and flaked peas. We all love flaked peas, which our Slave buys loose from the pet shop and sprinkles on our dishes of nibble.

As we were filling the dish, Slave noticed a sunflower seed in the mix and quickly whisked it out. It is said that seeds present a choking hazard for piggies. We never have them but better safe than sorry.

Louis tried it first as carrots are his absolute favourite veggie. You can see in this pigture how it looked from the start.
He ate some of the carrot flakes and started on the flaked peas. As we all wanted to try this treat, we moved the dish on to the next pen where Fernando had a few pieces but his brother, Martin, was not interested.
Next we gave the dish to Carter, Aoife and Saoirse.

Needless to say, Carter rushed over and had some of this treat and Aoife joined him. Carter says to please forgive the state of their pen but the housekeeper has not been round yet.

Some of us are not fond of carrot so not all the Piggyfriends joined in this taste test but Casper Dangermouse ( below ) had some.
Magnus was not sure about this although he likes carrots and his brother Ivan would not try it so he  is not in this pigture. ( below ).

By the time the dish had gone the rounds, not surprisingly all the flaked peas had gone. No pig wanted to eat the dried parsnip, which was very hard and we never eat parsnip anyway. We could not see the point in having dried carrot and much prefer having a nice fresh carrot pulled from Slave's vegetable garden.

All in all, this "treat" was better than the "Flower Garden" one but we would rather just have our usual flaked peas and fresh carrot.

We might give this 3 stars as some piggies, who are not so fortunate as to have a never ending supply of fresh carrots might like it.

The last treat box is called  "Fruit Garden" and we will be testing this soon so look out for our post.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Testing the new food......continued.

We have heard from a Slave on the GPDD called Chris, who has been trying out the new food and her four girls love it.

Today we have been trying out the "Nature's Feast Snack Selection", which has three different contents. First of all we opened the box called "Flower Garden". The next photo shows you what it looks like.

This is a mix of dried flowers, namely Marigold, Rose, Cornflower and Sunflower. Now, we eat flowers in our daily forage but Slave picks Vetch in season and that is our favourite. We also like Dandelion and Sow Thistle flowers but we always have them fresh. The instructions on the packet are to give out one teaspoon of snack per day but, as there are a lot of us, we decided to pass the dish around from pen to pen.

Now Carter will have a go at any new food and he rushed over to see what was in the dish. He sniffed at it and retreated. His girls did not get any nearer than you can see in this photo.

Fernando also came over to have a look. He did pick up a couple of flowers but dropped them back into the dish and went back to his cucumber.

The instructions on the packet suggest " Hand feeding snacks helps you bond with your pet." Now we could not be more bonded with our Slave but even this could not tempt us to eat these flowers.

"Sorry, Slave." says Niamh. " Even hand feeding will not tempt me to eat this. I am going to hide in this house."

" No thanks," says Otto, " but if you have any Vetch, that would go down a treat."

No pig was interested in this box but the label does say that it is for Rabbits and Hamsters too so maybe they would enjoy it. Sorry but we can't give this any stars. Tomorrow we are going to try another box and that may be more to our liking.

Slave tipped the dried flowers onto her basket of pot pourri.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Raani's eye, a follow up post on eye injuries...

As you know, I posted about eyes a little while ago. It feels like I jinxed it, because just as I posted that, I picked up Raani and her eye was white blueish... Looked like she had something in her eye that damaged it, but as far as I know the blue white color meant it was healing. Of course that meant we had to see our vet and I had to make this follow up post... Since (unfortunately) Raani had so obligingly agreed to demonstrate eye injuries for us ...

Raani eye damage at the vet 
 So, we went to the vet with Raani. I found out about it Wednesday, but it did not look like anything was left in her eye and the vet was really busy. So we had an early morning appointment on Thursday, because we had a wedding in the afternoon where Erwin was best man and I was the person who makes everything go well that day (sort of like a wedding planner). Turned out there was still a bit of hay in her eye (poor girl!)! Our vet tried to get it out, but (of course) it was painful so she tried to sedate the eye with an eye drop. That didn't work and Raani would try to jump up (even though Erwin was pinning her to the table), so the vet obviously did not want to put a pincer near her eye to get the culprit out. So the vet suggested she would give her a bit of gas narcosis to get the thing out safely. So Raani had to stay there. We also took Binky along so he could get used to a trip to the vet, so Binky stayed with her as well. Poor Cookie hates being alone but 3 piggies in a cat carrier seemed a bit much, even if it was for only half an hour. We were optimistic when we went to the vet... 
The vet was also really busy and had a cat that was not doing well at all who needed her attention, so we were getting a bit anxious, because we could not say to the bride and groom that we would be there later... our roles were pretty essential.
Luckily all went well and we could pick up Raani and Binky in time for the wedding. 
This was stuck on top of Raani's eye. It was about 7,5 millimeter or 3/4 of a centimetre long.

This is how her eye looked after just a few days of applying the eye salve pictured below. Looks good, huh? I am always amazed at how well piggy eyes heal!

On the package it says it is an antibiotic eye salve with added vitamin A. We had to put a drop of it on her eye 2 to 3 times a day for at least 5 days.

I am glad Raani's eye is looking good again, and hope she or any of my other piggies will not be so willing to demonstrate an injury or ailment again when we write about another in our piggy A-Z.
Mikey, slave to the guinygirlz Raani and Cookie and boar Binky.