Showing posts with label Guinea Pig Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guinea Pig Health. Show all posts

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Keeping Guinea Pigs cool in the summer – your top 12 guide

Our friends at Exotic Direct emailed us this article about looking after piggies in the summer heat and as we agree with the information they are providing (and as the UK is expecting a rare heatwave next week) we are happy to share it with you and your humans. 
Enjoy the nice weather and keep safe. 

Keeping Guinea Pigs cool in the summer – your top 12 guide
The recent warm weather has been perfect for us, but some Guinea Pig’s have suffered.
Guinea Pigs can quickly overheat during the summer leading to heatstroke, which in severe cases can be fatal.
Unlike humans, Guinea Pigs cannot sweat – so this handy way of cooling down in humans, isn’t available for them.
And if the temperature is very warm with a high humidity level (over 70%) the chances of heatstroke are even higher.
To keep your Guinea Pig cool this summer ExoticDirect have compiled this handy guide:
1.    Guinea Pigs like temperatures of around 18 – 23 degrees Celsius. If the temperature goes above 26 degrees Celsius your Guinea Pig could be at risk of heatstroke.     Anything below 15 degrees can lead to chills.     
2.            If your Guinea Pig is outside the hutch and run should not be in direct sunlight, a shady part of the garden is best.     
3.            North or east facing gardens are best for Guinea Pigs as these don’t get the sun all day. We’re not suggesting you move house because of your Guinea Pig, just if you have the option to move your piggy’s house, then do.
4.            Ensure plenty of cold water is available. You can place a couple of ice cubes in it to cool it down further. Don’t overdo it though, as the shock of the ice also isn’t good for your Guinea Pig.
5.            Wrap ice packs or frozen bottles of water in a cloth or a towel for your Guinea Pig to sit next to in his hutch.
6.            Place a pan filled with ice cubes near your Guinea Pig – he or she will lie next to it to cool down. Make sure the pan is covered, to avoid your nosey Guinea Pig from taking a look and falling in!
7.            Provide an old tile for your Guinea Pig to lie on. You can put this in the freezer beforehand to cool it down.
8.            Give your Guinea Pig vegetables that are high in water content such as cucumber or berries. You should still make sure that your piggy’s diet is varied, with plenty of grass and hay and other vegetables. You should also still make sure that you provide your piggy with a source of Vitamin C.
9.            Brush your Guinea Pig’s fur regularly to remove excess fur. If you’ve got a long haired guinea pig you could trim his coat so that it’s not so heavy, trapping heat. Imagine how you would feel wearing a heavy winter coat in the hot weather.
10.          If your Guinea Pig is indoors, close the curtains – this keeps the bright sunlight out, and helps to reduce the room temperature. You’ll find this helpful for yourself too!
11.          Use a fan or air conditioning making sure the draught is pointed away from your Guinea Pig. If     your piggy is in a draught it could make him ill.     
12.          Don’t keep your Guinea Pig in sheds, garages or “Pigloo’s”. These don’t allow for air     circulation or adequate ventilation, so warm air gets trapped. They can get really hot and humid.     
Signs of heatstroke in a Guinea Pig
If your Guinea Pig is suffering from heatstroke, then he may well be:
·         Panting
·         Slobbering
·         Weak
·         Reluctant to move
·         Begin to have convulsions
If your Guinea Pig is showing signs of heatstroke you should cool him down by wetting his fur, ears and feet. Don’t go overboard with trying to cool him down, as if his body temperature drops too quickly, or too low, this can cause other health problems.
You should take him to the vet immediately who’ll monitor his condition and check for other complications that heat stroke can cause. It’s important you get him checked over, as heat stroke can be fatal.
ExoticDirect pet insurance can insure your Guinea Pig against unexpected vet fees, meaning that you can focus on your Guinea Pig when he’s poorly, not the cost of treatment. This can offer you real peace of mind, when you’re trying to decide the best course of action for your Guinea Pig.
And finally..
As long as you keep an eye on your Guinea Pig in the hot weather, and follow these measures, the threat of heatstroke should be minimal.
Just like any other family member, your Guinea Pig just needs you to look out for him when the weather gets a bit too hot. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Agent Barbie has Bladder Sludge

Hello everyone,

Well it is a little while since we have had to post a medical update but we have recently discovered that Agent Barbie is suffering from bladder sludge, here is what happened.

A couple of weeks ago Mummy noticed that Barbie was limping when he ran thinking he may have just hurt his leg she gave him some anti-inflammatories for a few days and the limp went away.

Last Thursday when Mummy cleaned us out she noticed that the bedding was covered with patches of blood, straight away she thought it was a problem with Barbie's wee and she was right, she held him on a clean towel until he peed and the pee was slightly red. Mummy phoned our good vet but she only works Monday - Wednesday so instead she made an appointment at the local vet the next day to get an x-ray. When she checked Barbie on Friday his back legs and his tummy were covered in bloody urine so she cleaned him up to make him more comfortable(this is the first time he had been like that)when she checked him again before the vet visit he had cleaned himself up and looked much better.

Barbie was very good at the vet and just sat there while she poked and prodded him and then agreed to an x-ray. The x-ray showed what the vet thought was a small stone and a line of white which she wasn't sure about, as the local vet is not a guinea pig specialist mummy got some more Metacam from them for Barbie and made an appointment with out specialist vet for Wednesday.

On Wednesday our good vet explained the x-ray to Mummy she said there was no sign of stones in the bladder or anywhere else in the urinary system, however he did have a large amount of sludge which looked to be lying on the bladder base, if Barbie had been a girl she would have suggested flushing it out with a catheter however he is a boy and so that wasn't an option as we have more complicated plumbing. She also tested his urine and it showed the highest level of blood as well as elevated protein levels so she suggested the following treatment program to see if Barbie can pass the sludge himself:

0.5ml Septrin antibiotic twice a day for 4 weeks
1ml Fibreplex probiotic 3 x a day for 4 weeks
0.3ml Metacam anti-inflammatory once a day for 4 weeks
Syringe additional fluids to encourage peeing

She also gave Mummy some urine testing dipsticks and a guide to what the colours mean so that mummy can test how treatment is progressing.

When he got home Barbie passed 2 gritty blood clots which was a good thing as it meant at least some of the sludge had been removed from his bladder, we are not sure what helped these clots to pass if it was the vet massaging his bladder of the vibration of the car on the journey.

Mummy decided to keep a chart of what is happening with Barbie so she can monitor his progress and so far he is doing well as you can see below:

7th Dec Weight 952g blood at highest level, protein high
8th Dec Weight 960g no blood, protein normal
9th Dec Weight 989g

Mummy is weighing everyday but only testing the urine every other day, so far there has been no more visible blood on the bedding and Barbie is his happy little self.

Barbie was especially pleased as the vet said he was "very pretty"

The vet also confirmed that there was no sign of joint problems on the x-ray and that the limping was probably due to discomfort with the bladder.

For those of you who are interested here are Barbie's x-rays, the line of white just to the left of the back leg bones is the bladder sludge.

If any of you have experiences with this problem or any treatment suggestions that have worked for you let us know.

We will of course keep you updated with his progress.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fattening food (mixes) for guinea pigs?

Hi all,
Our Tijger had been slowly losing weight due to teeth problems...   We are trying to find a solution but so far she had 2 dental corrections of her molars in the time frame of a month. Vet and slave are trying to find the cause and it seems to be a problem in a her jaw muscles... guinea pig jaws can make quite a lot of movements. Tijger can do back to front grinding and from right to left. But left to right is something she cannot do (well). Tijger and slave visited a vet an hours drive away who also does chiropractic treatments. He is one of three vets in The Netherlands who does this. He loosened her muscles, so she should be able to do left to right grinding again, but unfortunately we haven't seen (much) improvement.
She really wants to eat, and tries it all the time, getting extra pieces of veggies all the time (not fair!). Slave made a mix of bran and oatmeal mixed with hot water, which we seem to enjoy more than Tijger does... she also gets pellet mush. But our question, because we really like to keep Tijger in our herd and we are a bit worried, is do you know of any other fattening foods or mixes to feed her? Also tips on how to get her to eat that, she can eat by herself just really slowly, are welcome!
Slave is planning another trip to the vets: one to probably get her teeth filled down again and one for another treatment to loosen the muscles (we think it was called a locked jaw). In the meantime we really want her to fatten up!

Here'so a picture of Tijger looking happy, this was after dad shoving pieces of chicory down her throat!

A photo posted by Mieke (@pandameisje) on

The worried Guinygirlz: Peaches, Raani and boar BĂ©rke

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Piggy A to Z: A is for Arthritis

As long time blog followers will know Agent Ghost suffered from Arthritis from about 3 years of age luckily he was one of the piggies for whom Potter's tabritis tablets work.

So what are the symptoms of arthritis? 

The first we knew that Ghost had a problem was when he began hopping and not using his back legs properly when the humans gently moved them he did not complain which confused them. Ghost went to the vet and had some X rays which showed arthritis in both his back knees. The arthritis showed up as white bony deposits around the joints. The vet gave the humans metacam to help with the pain and sent him home.

Thanks to the digest mummy was able to ask for advice and the lovely slave of the Piggyfriends suggested Potters Tabritis tablets a human herbal remedy.

The dose for the Potters Tabritis is half a tablet dissolved in 3 ml of water syringed once a day, it took a few days for an improvement but soon Ghost was running around as if he had no problems at all. The Potters Tabritis is carried on for life. The good news is it tastes really nice and Ghost would grab his syringe and happily drink his medicine.

Are there any other arthritic pigs out there if so we would love to hear from you tell us your symptoms and treatments. The more info the humans have the better they can look after us.

Here are some pigtures of Ghost enjoying life.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Daisy had a bladder stone part 2

I wrote this part last Sunday, when I did not know yet how she would be doing on Monday... 

So after we took Daisy home on friday we force fed her some science recovery and she seemed to be doing pretty well. Our vet was saying we had a really strong piggie, as she thought earlier that day that she would not make it.
I forgot to mention they also removed a polyp from her bladder.

On saturday, we kept a hawk's eye on her most of the day and she ate some chicory (see the video), drank a little and nibbled some hay. Of course we kept up with the force feeding and medicine, and she started to object quite violently. Which of course did not make it easier for us, but I was glad she was this feisty as it meant she was feeling better.

Look Daisy is eating chicory! #guineapig #eating

Today, sunday, she is still hanging in there, but she seems a bit less than the day before... It does get faster to hand feed her though but she does not want to eat by herself. Though I do think she ate a little parsley on her own. As we put in quite some food the day before, but did not see her dump any of it on the back side, I tried to separate her from the rest. I put up some C&C grids, gave her hay, a drinking bottle and pellets, put her in to see if she did poop. Within 5 minutes however she escaped, and to my surprise she left at least one poop. I felt like she was saying. "Hey mom, I did a poop, i'll let myself out now, okay?'
A bit later that day she seemed a bit more perky and that was when I think she ate the parsley. Also hand feeding her went a lot smoother. I did notice her tummy seems really swollen, also when she walks she sound like something inside is really sloshing... Anyone have a clue what is happening there?

We are keeping up the force feeding, she had less at this time of day, then she had yesterday. She has antibiotics (novadox: which is doxycycline), Carprofen as painkiller (this is rymadil I think) and cysaral for getting her gut to keep moving (it is cisapride). Today I also syringed her some water inbetween the force feeding, and some oil in case she was so swollen because of gas.

Right now she seems okay-ish, and I really hope she gets through another night, so we can talk and maybe take her to the vet again tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted and hope you will keep your fingers and paws crossed for her. She fought so hard to stay around, so she really deserves to get better soon!

On a happier note: Berke turned 3 yesterday, and he plus the others were happy to see Daisy back. They are sweet to her, and keep her company some times.

Hugs to all your Piggies,
Mieke of the Guinygirlz: Woopy, Daisy, Roos and Berke

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Daisy had a bladderstone :(

Hi all,

Unfortunately we found out our Daisy was ill, this is her story.

We noticed her weight dropped 200 grammes in only a month, and she was wet underneath. So I
suspected cystitis. We tried her on one of Peter gurney's remedies of barley water. But after a few days it was clear to me that wasn't helping enough...
So of to the vet it was. She confirmed my theory of Daisy having cystitis, but she was also doubting a bit if maybe she had a bladder stone, as she thought she could feel something in the bladder area..
We tried antibiotics and a painkiller for almost a week, but Daisy was not really improving.

So back to the vet to see if she did indeed have a bladderstone. This vet gave the same diagnosis: cystitis and she could feel something in her bladder. So I came back in the next day (this was last friday) to have her x-rayed (I had the last appointment the day before) and see if she really
had a dreaded stone.
So I got a call later that day saying she could see 2 things on the x-ray.
2 things? I did not like that...
The first thing was she indeed had a bladder stone, and it was to big to flush it out. The second thing was that she had a huge amount of something in her tummy... it looked like have her belly cavity, and the vet suspected a huge ovarian cyst... She had to puncture these first before she would do an operation to get the stone out. As it took up so much space, it would very likely be in the way for the removal of the stone. We agreed to get the liquid out of the ovarian cyst and then have the vet remove the stone.

Daisy's x-ray, the stone is clearly visible on the top photo.
In the bottom photo you see almost have of her tummy looks dark..

After some time I got a call again, the operation went well, the stone was removed (and about 1 cm in diameter). And she did not find an ovarian cyst.
When puncturing all that came out was air... apparently the huge bubble that showed up on the x-ray was air. The theory was that it was in her appendix that contained all the air, and as she was in pain, she inhaled a lot of air... (Anyone ever heard of this?)
However, she was having a lot of problems recovering and waking up, she started bleeding from her bladder, and it was not getting less so far....
She could put Daisy under again and see if she could fix it, but she was very hesitant to do that, as giving her that extra anesthetic the vet was afraid would give Daisy that last push to cross the bridge...
So she suggested we wait for her body to fix this...
I asked if I could come and see her... and a little bit later I was there.

Daisy was not looking good, cramping a lot because of the pain (she did have painkiller of course, but she was obviously still in a lot of pain) and her lower half was all bloody...
After about an hour the cramping became less, and the bloodflow seemed to almost halt. After a while her temperature was getting back to normal, so the heating in her intensive care unit was turned off.
About an hour later, she seemed to have improved even more, and she seemed more alert, and at some point I think she even tried to nibble the fleece she was on. This is a typical thing Daisy would so in a healthy state. She also moved around a bit more.
At that point I had already spend some hours watching her and they said I could go home, eat something and then get back in 2 hours to pick her up, if she seemed good enough.
And luckily we were allowed to take her home! At that time it was 7 in the evening. So it was a pretty tiring day for me.

Daisy back home, and picture of her stone,
the bottle is one of those small 10 ml medicine bottles

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Video: the Boy Bits

After our informative series of video's about hair styling, we've selected a few video's about keeping your bottoms clean.

short video

Long video

We cannot get Swarfega in the Netherlands. There probably is something similar on the market, but for us the dishwashing soap works well enough. We also really like the idea of distracting us with veggies (short video). Other than that, our procedure is more similar to the long video. So there you have it ;-)

If you like the Gorgeous Guinea Products, you can visit their site here:

We also found a video on anal sack cleaning for boars

So there you have it.

Have a nice Wheekend!

*evil grin* Sorry, boys. We do apologize ;-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Iron Hamster Health Update

Well as if having a bladder stone wasn't enough excitement for Iron Hamster he decided to get an eye infection as well, and like his friends on this blog he to hates eye drops.

Luckily for mummy she has Fusithalmic drops which are a really viscous liquid drop so when she drops it even if Iron Hamster closes his eye the next time he opens it the drop is still there waiting.

Iron Hamster seems to be progressing well he is back in with us boys again and seems much happier than being on his own, his scar is looking nice and clean and he is eating and drinking for himself (Mummy says not eating enough and she is still syringing him a little extra)

Unlike me who loves anything in a syringe Iron Hamster is now feeling well enough to fight the syringe away, he bites it, he yanks it, he uses his paws to push it away but he doesn't beat mummy who just keeps going until she gets in it him.

He especially hates the Hydrangea Root Extract which is bad news as he has to have this everyday forever now to help stop more stones forming.

You will be glad to know that me and Agent F1 continue to be healthy touchwood.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hector Health Update Good News and Bad

OK so lets get the bad news out the way first, it turns out that Hector had a bladder stone which was causing his problems.

The good news is he had an operation today to have it removed and he is now home recovering in the hospital cage next door to us.

For those of you who are interested here are his X-rays showing the stone;

In this top view the stone is the round white area right near the base of the spine

In this side image the stone can be seen quite clearly

Here is the stone itself safely removed from Hector's bladder

Hector has been sent home with following meds;

Septrin 0.6ml twice daily (antibiotic)
Emeprid Oral Suspension 0.5ml 3 times a day (gut motility drug)
Metacam 0.2ml twice a day (painkiller)

He will now also receive 0.2ml Hydrangea root extract as a preventative measure so hopefully he wont get anymore stones.

Get back to normal soon Iron Hamster xxx

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Iron Hamster is Not Well

Typically if one of us is going to get ill we choose to do it at the most inconvenient time and true to form Iron Hamster choose a Saturday night to show Mummy he was really ill.

So whats the history...

A few weeks ago Mummy noticed that Iron Hamster was suffering from an impacted anus, due to her experience with Bubbles she knew how to empty him(although she does keep complaining about needing a gas mask) she also gave him some Brewers Yeast for the first few weeks to help with Vitamin B levels.

Anyway at our weekly weigh ins Mummy noticed Iron Hamster was loosing weight as he seemed fine in all other ways she put it down to the impacted anus.

Yesterday Iron Hamster was wheeking in pain several times during the day, Mummy gave his butt a good clean out and found hay stuck there thinking that removing this would solve the problem
she put him back to bed, midnight came and Mummy noticed Iron Hamster was still in pain and moving funnily when she picked him up his had blood in his urine.

Remembering everything that had happened with Agent F and the kidney stones she immediately started giving him a painkiller and some Hydrangea Root extract, in case its an infection she is making home made barley water to give him, we are now waiting for Monday when we can call a vet and get an X-ray so we know what is going on with our blonde friend.

We are hoping its just an infection and that some antibiotics will clear it up, however we are worried that Iron Hamster may be another stone piggy.

Please keep paws crossed that all goes well tomorrow and we will update you as soon as we can.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

After waiting for eternity (slight exaggeration) for the weather to be nice enough for us to mow the lawn we are now hit with a heatwave and it is too hot.

In honour of the sun we thought it was time to reiterate how to keep cool in the summer and give you slave plenty of exercise at the same time **hehehe**

First of for piggies in the garden make sure your slave chooses an area that is completely in the shade (note to humans remember the sun moves so shady in the moring may not be shady later on, get your exercise by moving the run around) and feels cool, we started at the bottom of the garden and then moved next to the garage.

For piggies indoors make sure your slave invests in ice packs or water bottles that can be frozen and then wrapped in material and placed in cage to provide you with something cool to lean against they could use Chinchilla tiles instead.

If your human has a fan get them to stand bottles of frozen ice in front of it so the melting ice cools the air the fan is blowing.(Human exercise change the bottles once ice has melted)

If you are in a room which gets lots of sunlight exercise your humans by making them close or partly close curtains to keep the temperature down.

For garden and indoor piggies;

Make sure all water bottles are full and cool (you dont like warm water guess what we dont either, get your exercise by getting us fresh water every couple of hours) make sure the metal spouts dont get too hot for our delicate little mouths.

Our favourite top tip give us cool juicy salad or vegetables (cucumber is good) to help cool us down inside and to help with water intake (its medicinal honest) also rinse veg under the tap and leave them wet this also helps cooling and water intake. (human exercise running backwards and forwards to fridge when we wheek)

Hope you like our top tips and feel free to share your own

Ghost, Iron Hamster and F1

PS F1 really needs to learn that running and popcorning are not conducive to keeping cool he should be like his elders and lounge around!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Agent Ghost has Arthritis

Iron Hamster here I am posting as Ghost is shy about sharing medical problems but he knows the more info we piggies have about what can go wrong the better we can train our humans to look after us.

So how did it all begin? Bank holiday weekend Friday night (Mummy says this is typical of us) Ghost suddenly stopped using his back right leg and was hopping about like a bunny.

Mummy and Daddy both felt his leg and compared it with the left Ghost showed no sign of pain and didnt even wheek when they moved his leg, it felt the same as the other so in case he had pulled it Mummy started him on childrens liquid nurofen 0.4ml twice a day.

By Sunday he was still not showing any improvement and still no pain (vets still closed) Mummy wondered if it could have been a stroke and following advise from Peter Gurney Health Pages for treating sudden paralysis she gave him Osteocare. This had no effect and Tuesday he was of to see the vet.

The vet could also not find a problem with his leg but gave Mummy metacam to give him 1ml a day (this was local vet as our piggy vet was on holiday)

The metacam didnt appear to help either so Saturday Ghost saw another vet who again could not find problem but who halved the dose of metacam to 0.5ml.

Monday no improvement but piggy vet back from holiday she took x-rays and found that Ghost has arthritis in both his back knees.

X-ray showing both legs

X-ray showing right knee the bits of white in and around the joint are the arthritic bone growths which are causing his problems walking.

X-ray showing left knee this is not so bad but still has arthritis present

The vet recommended keeping with the metacam as it can take a couple of weeks to work.

In addition to this and again recommended on the Peter Gurney Health Pages Mummy is giving 1/2 a Potters Tabritis tablet dissolved in about 2ml of water and syringed daily.

Ghost has been having his Potters Tabritis for 5 days now and already he is beginning to use his leg more naturally, Mummy will be stopping the pain killers as long term use can cause kidney and liver damage and Ghost doesnt appear to be in pain.

In addition to medication Mummy has made our cage all one level so that Ghost cant hurt his legs by jumping onto the shelf, when we have play time Mummy or Daddy have to lift Ghost in and out (I am still allowed to use ramp)

Thank you to the Piggyfriends for pointing us in the right direction with regards to medication.

Thank you to the Winkyteam who have advised getting a snuggle safe heat pad, Mummy will do this when the weather gets cooler as at the moment it is unusually warm here, and for the advise about not over using pain killers as you will just have to keep upping dose as resistance increases.

Thank you to the Misfits for the suggestion about swimming in warm water (Ghost absolutely refuses to do this, Mummy says you would think he was being murdered the fuss he makes)

Thank you to everyone who has given us advise and for anyone who would like to share their own experiences and advise please feel free to do do.

We will keep you updated with Ghosts progress.

PS thank you to the vet for the Oxbow Daily C vitamin tablets these are yummy!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bathing time!

Hi fellow slaves,
I am writing this post as my girlz and boar refuse to write it, as most of them (and I guess most piggies out there) are not fond of baths...

Some time ago my boar Chico was having diarrhea :( With some extra hay and fibre in the form of fibreplex (protexin in a paste form, carrot flavoured), little veggies and I believe the bath helped as well, he got better. After that the poor guy somehow managed to break his front teeth, so eating was a bit harder and we had to feed him strips of veggies... Then now his teeth have grown back, he's got diarrhea again... So it's back to the fibreplex and additional hay, and not so much veggies for him.

I had recieved my Panacur (for worming) and Vet Sect repel shampoo only a few days before Chico got his first bout of diarrhea. As he did not seem to get rid of his diarrhea soon and that his skin was very flaky I thought is was a good idea to give him and the girlz a bath. I also started them all on their first round of panacur to eliminate any bugs or worms that might affect Chico's gut function.

I thought I'd give you some basic steps on what to take care of and what to do when you feel your pigs need a bath. Firstly, guinea pigs do not need baths as regularly as humans do! I guess (but have no proof) that very occasional baths are not good for piggies.
So the steps for bathing your piggies:
1. Fill 2 tubs/buckets/sinks (whatever is convenient for you and your pig with some luke warm to warmish water. Do not make the water too deep, your pigs should be able to stand in the tub without feeling they are drowning. This will help them to not panic, though some of mine panic eitherway...
I fill up my sink and a tub that fits in the sink (which we used for doing the dishes, before we had a dishwasher), and put them next to each other. I also have a rubber mat (kind of like a bath mat) which I put at the bottom of the sink, this prevents the piggies from slipping away, and gives the a more secure feeling to the ground.

2. Get your supplies ready (maybe you should even do this before step 1, as you don't want to water to become cold). I usually have 1 towel per pig, one (or two) towels to put them on when taking them out of the bath, and maybe an additional towel per pig to dry them off. I also have my shampoo ready and a plastic cup to pour water over the piggies.

3. Get your pigs ready, as the water will cool down pretty quickly I will put up a run in the kitchen with the pigs in it, so they are close by once I got the water and everything ready...

4. Put one towel next to the tub/sink filled with water, I usually fold a towel once. I put my pig on it, check if I got everything, and then slowly put the pig in one of the tubs. I make sure the pig gets wet, using the cup to pour some water over them. Be sure not to trow the water over their heads as most piggies won't like that and will start to panic. I take my panicking pigs out of the water if they get really stressed out, and put them back in once they seem to have calmed down.

Lily likes the water but not the shampoo,
she lifted up her tummy once shampoo
was put in her fur...
5.  Once the pig is all wet, take him or her out, and put on the now still dry towel.
Put some of the shampoo on your hands, divide over your two hands (usually your hands are wet by now from handling your piggie) maybe let it foam a bit and soap your piggy thoroughly.
<-- Our Lily looked like this after being soaped in with the Vet Sect Repel. Ann (from says to leave in the shampoo for a couple of minutes, and to make sure you work the lather into the ears.

6. Depending on the shampoo your using either leave it on for some minutes or start rinsing it out (step 7). When it needs to stay on the piggy for a few minutes it's a good idea to wrap your piggy into a towel to keep him or her warm. As you probably all know piggies are not very good with drafts, and being all wet will not help...

7. Gently put the piggie back into one of the tubs and rinse out as much of the shampoo. As I said before if the pig starts to panic take him or her out, and put them on the towel, try to calm them down before putting them back.
My pigs usually feel more secure when I hold them, usually I let their front paws rest on my hand, using the other hand to pour water over them with the cup. For really panicky pigs, you'd better hold them firmly in place, or ask another person to help you, so one can hold and calm them down, and the other can do the washing and rinsing.

8. Once most of the shampoo has been washed out, your water will be full of shampoo so not very effective in getting the last bits of shampoo out. So I transfer them to the other tub/sink with shampoo-free warm water and use my cup or hands to get the last bits out of their furs.

9. Then you take them out again, put them on the towel and get a dry towel. I rub them sort of dry with the towel. You could also do this then use a blow dryer of maybe only use the blowdryer. I tend not to use the blowdryer as the noise would freak my pigs out.

10. Now comes the good part for the pigs and my boyfriend: I will wrap the pig up in the 'dry' towel, and give them to my boyfriend. He will take them upstairs (where their cage is) and lie on the couch with pig (or pigs) wrapped in towels and a nice warm fleece blanket. I guess this is not really necessary, but both boyfriend and pigs enjoy this! Also they need to be kept warm after having a bath as we don't want them to catch a cold or anything, and this a good way to keep them warmer while they dry.
In the pictures on the right you can see Lily and Chico wrapped in towels and a fleece blanket sharing a piece of chicory. On the picture on the left you might be able to spot 2 piggies, you can see my Boyfriends' head, and the cage in the background...

Woopy hiding in the hay
11. After that I put them back in the cage, and usually give them some extra hay to eat and snuggle in (hay provides more warmth).

12. Repeat for other piggies, and hand piggies to boyfriend for warming up and drying....

I really liked the vet sect repel, it smells okay, applies and foams pretty well (though it foamed a lot more on Daisy). In short it works well, and it made my two partly white girls more white, then the sort of yellowy white they were before the bath.
Also when the grease gland of your piggies is dirty and seems a bit hard, put on some dish wash liquid, leave it on a bit, then wash it out. That will usually clear it up, and many of my pigs will start pooing a lot after this gland is cleaned (coincidence?)

Our Lily was born on a sort of farm, where they had a big enclosure with run outside that could be moved around the grass. The run would allow them to be safe outside, and eat as much grass as they wanted. It seems Lily is pretty used to water, and it doesn't freak her out at all. First time we gave her a bath she was standing with her paws in the water and was like, 'hey, water...' and she started to drink it! We think living in the run, and being used to morning dew, helped her not to be afraid of the water.
My others, especially Woopy, are not that fond of the water. Woopy will scream as if we are mishandling her... Toby (Chico's old boar friend) was even worse and would panic so much, he would start turning himself over and almost drowning himself in the process...

So how do you bathe your pigs (do you bathe them)?
Do you have any tips to share?

Slave Mikey of the Guinygirlz and Agent Valentino

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ghost and Iron Hamsters First Aid Kit

Firstly we must apologise for lack of pigtures but Mummy had other humans over for New Years Eve and tidied the living room, the camera has not been seen since. Mummy reassures up it will turn up somewhere silly when no-one is looking for it.

So here is our first aid kit;

1ml Syringes for syringe feeding
Xeno 450 (spot on Ivermectin) for mites
Panacur for worming
Metacam Painkiller
Childrens Liquid Nurofen Painkiller
Gripe Water for gas
Infacol for gas
Liquid Parafin in case of eating plastic (as per PG)
Chanca Plus Powder supportive herbal treatment for stone piggies
GG Quench Lotion for skin problems especially fungal
GG Perfect Paws for sore feet
Cotton Buds for cleaning
Vet Sect Repel shampoo for bath time
Baby Bottle Steriliser Tablets for cleaning our drinking bottles
Nail Clippers for cutting nails
Metatone tonic

Then we have things Mummy always has in kitchen cupboards;

Pearl Barley to make barley water as per PG recipe
Weetabix to mix with water to make syringe food
Honey as a supportive supplement in times of illness

There may be more but that is all we can remember at the moment

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winkyteam First Aid Kit

After visiting the piggyfriends, I was kinda worried about our first aid kit. So I asked J to let me take a peek at it (this is not for the faint of heart, I sat next to nail clippers and shampoo..)


I was not disappointed, and actually feel much safer now (did put in an order for products that weren't past their shelf date). This is what I found:

- Painkiller
- Antibiotics leftover. Usually used for Yaya's bladder infections. But always good for emergencies
- Primperan for bloat/gas emergencies

- an assortment of syringes for force feeding recovery food
- nail clippers
- an animal shaving machine. Once used for grandma's poodle, later for Igor
- the snuggle safe heat pad. A plastic disc that can be heated in the micro wave and stays warm for about 8 hours. Used a lot by Yaya (for the OD) 

- recovery food, both critical care and science recovery to suit our taste (yes we are spoilt)
- probiotics (protexin powder) to help the healthy bacteria in our bowels . Usually administered a few ours after antibiotics
- shampoo for both mites and fungal infections. We use the Knoevel products (manuka neem shampoo with cocos neem) but they actually come from Gorgeous Guineas
- Paxcutol, for cleaning the accidental overactive butt gland (you can also use dish washing stuff, but we are spoilt pigs)
- betadine shampoo. Good for disinfecting pigs. Used for rinsing Jan the Boar's abscess after it burst
- granny Glynis' blanky. For wrapping unruly pigs when they need to be force fed (also good for snuggling)

Okay readers, this was dr. Sjeuff, reporting from the trenches. It there are any other pigs out there are willing to share their first aid kit, drop me a line below ;-)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Piggyfriends' First Aid Kit

After my last blogpost, I jumped into the cavycopter to interview the Piggyfriends about their first aid kit. After a generous meal (I now have a secret crush on miss Penny, their slave) the Piggyfriends nominated Pandora aka Agent Avatar, to answer my questions as she is spokespig for the herd when they send messages to the GPDD.
Pandora aka Agent Avatar
(Sjeuf) Before we jump into the Piggyfriends' first aid kit, Pandora, can you tell me a bit more about the Piggyfriends?

(Pandora) Well, I need Slave's help with this one. She says that she had the very first Piggyfriends when she was a little girl ( a VERY long time ago ). The first one came from a litter born to the pet shop lady's Peruvian sow, Lima and the second was passed on to her from her spoilt brat cousin's dad, when the girl would not look after him. There were no piggy rescues in those far off days so I guess that he was the first rescued one. When Slave and her family moved here in 1987, she had six of her own plus the Little Visitors that came to live here during the times when her friend was overseas and also her sons' school piggies that boarded every weekend and holidays. There was plenty of room here to rescue more so she did.

Slave never counts us as she says that it reminds her of lost Piggyfriends. I can't count very high but there are between 20 and 30 of us. Slave says that once she had 35. There is always room for one more.

(Sjeuf) what are the most common piggy ailments?

(Pandora) The worst piggy ailments must be skin problems, particularly mites but we are all protected by regular doses of Ivermectin and Panacur to kill mites and other parasites (tip: worming protocol). Sometimes piggies come in with mite infestations and they are very poorly. Fungal issues are also problem in cold, damp climates like ours in England as piggies originally came from the dry climate of South America.

(Sjeuf) What kind of medicine really really ought to be in the case?

(Pandora) Our Slave has a huge amount of piggy medicine in two overflowing boxes. I think that Ivermectin and Panacur are the most important drugs plus an antifungal and antiparasite shampoo. Slave has Vet Sect Repel. She has painkillers and human cold remedies, which suit piggies too. There are decongestants for bunged up noses plus a bottle of Septrin antibiotic - the best one for piggies. There is a bottle of tonic for when we need a pick me up and a human ladies' remedy for cystitis. There are meds for upset tummies and diarrhoea and Daktarin oral gel for sore mouths after dental work. She has eye drops and a cream to help wounds heal faster. She has Osteocare and a cream for mouth sores ( just in case ).

(Sjeuf) Lets talk tools! What do you really need, next to the drugs?

(Pandora) Tools? A good, sharp pair of nail clippers. Slave has a pair for human nails and she also uses these for overgrown incisors. Not for the faint hearted. Also a lot of 1ml. syringes with no needles for giving meds. With the ends cut off, these are for syringe feeding sick piggies too. Plus good sharp scissors for haircuts for our long haired friends. I don't need these. If she did not have the services of our wonderful Rodentologists, she would have a set of dental equipment too. Also there is a box of cotton buds for swabbing the Daktarin around little mouths.

(Sjeuf) Are there other essential items we've not mentioned yet and ought to be in the first aid kit?

(Pandora) Slave considers all of the contents to be essential but she says that you need to know what you are doing before giving meds.

(Sjeuf) So let's say I'm making a deluxe first aid kit, what else would you put into my kit?

(Pandora) Slave wouldn't be without a diuretic for heart conditions. She also recommends that every first aid kit should contain a copy of Peter Gurney's Piggy Potions. She is very keen on herbal remedies.

(Sjeuf) Wow, Pandora, that was really helpfull, thank you so much for having me here!

Dear readers, I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I did and got some ideas out of this. If you have any questions, post them below, I'm sure the Piggyfriends will be reading this and are willing to answer them.

Lots of wheeks!

p.s. I added all the hyperlinks to the websites for extra information. Do correct me if I got it wrong or pasted a dead link into this post.
p.p.s. as stated in the sidebar, we are not vets and no rights can be claimed from this blogpost. If your guinea pig seems to be unwell, please seek out medical advise from a cavy-savy vet. Pigs can go downhill very fast.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Tell your slaves not to worry about their weight (big butts are the best anyway) and replace their New Years resolutions with these resolutions for my health:

1. Weigh me frequently and keep track of my weight. We are very good at hiding our illnesses and a drop in weight usually is the first sign something is wrong

2. Check my fur every now and then. Are there bald patches? Creepy crawlies? Wet chin?

3. Trim my nails! I know I don't like it, but if you wait too long I'll get corkscrew nails, which can be very painfull.

So, this is our top 3. Which resolutions would you like to add?

Dr. Sjeuff

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bouncing Back

Well it has been well over a year since I had the dreaded bloat and on Saturday I had finally regained all the weight I lost, even gained an extra 6g.

I am now 1306g just another 54g to go and I will be a LAPS pig.

Iron Hamster is now 1183g

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Footsies are Better

The Gorgeous Guineas lotion had nearly cleared the problem and then my Perfect Paws ointment arrived my feet are almost back to normal just small red patch on the skin Mummy says I have to have the ointment for another week though just to be sure.

We are all wondering now what caused the problem it started on one back foot the next day I had small split skin on the other back foot and then the next day peeling skin on one of my front paws.

Mummy is treating all my feet just to be safe.

I wonder about Mopsy's suggestion that as I am a teddy I am more prone to dry skin, the other factor is the weather it has been very humid here lately.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iron Hamster has Sore Feet

When he had a bath yesterday Mummy noticed that Iron Hamster had a sore area on his back foot right on the raised paddy bit by his toes.

It does not appear to hurt him and he is walking fine, Mummy treated it with Gorgeous Guineas lotion (she has now ordered some more perfect paws as she had run out) and it seems better today.

However he has another slight sore that has appeared on his other back foot, Mummy says it looks like cracked skin more than anything.

Does anyone have any ideas what could cause this we are on fleece bedding not woodchip but could he still have dry skin problems??

We will keep you updated with his progress