Guinea pigs anyone?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oscar arrived today. He's just an adorable all-black guinea pig. Diva's been alternating between begging for a hedgehog (thanks Fran, LOL) and a guinea pig for a couple of years now. So today, I gave in.

    We researched them online and got all the necessary items - big cage, toys, chewing items, vitamin C, Timothy Hay, etc. I did forget the pumice stone to put under water bottle, but I'm sure we'll be heading back up to the pet store soon to stock up on the bedding. We went over care, diet, and her responsibilties, daily floor time, etc. I think she's ready.

    Anyone have hints or tips?

    It's turning into a zoo around here - 4 kids, 1 husband, 3 cats, 1 dog, and now Oscar. :rofl:
  2. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Welcome Oscar!!!

    You sound like you are well prepared. I had one years ago, and now my daughter has had one for a few years. He's adorable. When you scratch him in the right place he sqeaks and loves it.

    If he's young, handling is big.

    As long as you hold them regularly, change their bedding frequently, they'll be fine. I know they love any fresh veggie.

    Oh, also, they have these outdoor cages you can put them's not really a cage, but a fence. They can run around, chew grass and have the outdoor life. Not very expensive.


  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Did you get the big plastic ball for Oscar to run around the house protected? *note* If you have dogs you might want to have them outside while Oscar is playing in the ball.

    Molly used to chase Nichole's gerbil Daisy around in her ball. :rofl:

    Welcome to the family Oscar. :D Ahhhh, guinea pigs are so sweet.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    -WELCOME OSCAR - oin oin oin oin oin oin oin oin oin.....(in pig talk)

    WE love piggies in our house!!!!! Congratulations on your new baby.

    Also - get some good nail clippers and some styptic just in case. Handling is MAJOR - AND a place to "hide" like a box or a straw hut.
  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    welcome Oscar!

    We have 2 piggies, one is 6 y/o and the other is 3 y/o.
    I have learned quite a bit about cavey care. We only go to the vet for emergencies, like when one had a jagged piece of peach pit go through his face. Otherwise I google and go from there.

    rule #1: no whole pitted fruits in the cage

    rule #2: no pellets, my guys get fresh kale, Romaine or Mustard greens (all have vitamin C) twice a day and one big handful of a timothy hay a day.

    rule #3: change water daily, my guys get well water here, but when we had public water they got bottled water (sterilize bottle and cap monthly in boiling water)

    rule #4: don't buy the ball, piggies will not run in a ball.

    rule #5: put layers of newspaper in the bottom of the cage b4 bedding goes in (clean cage weekly)

    rule #6: give fruits and carrots sparingly, they are the equivilant of candy to piggies

    rule # 7: the best toy for a piggy is a cardboard paper towel roll

    rule #8: four corners = one corner for hay, one for water, one for food and they will pee in the leftover corner. House goes in the middle. (never leave cage in a draft, in the winter my guys get covered with a blanket at night)

    rule #9: do not buy the treat bars if they have sunflower seeds on them, piggies can choke on the shells of sunflower seeds.

    rule #10: I taught my guys to go on a piece of newspaper that I put in the same place everytime they are let out on the floor, they also will chew on furniture or wires, so always watch them when they're out.

    enjoy your new little guy, mine both love to sit on my lap I use an old baby blanket for them to cuddle up in, they purrrr just like a cat!
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    My sister has two elderly piggies.

    They make great pets. I love playing with them when I visit, though can't for too long as I'm allergic.

    Add in a rule eleven: get used to them going "wheepwheepwheep" whenever you open the fridge door.

    It sounds like a fire alarm going off!
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Well, we are all just smitten. Oscar is a sweetie. We took turns holding him last night and he's a real cuddler. Doesn't seem interested too much in the pellet food, but is chowing down on the Timothy hay, carrots, and watermelon. I think he's pretty doggone young, based on YouTube videos. He's small. Diva's dying to start teaching him tricks - who knew you could teach a guinea pig??

    We did not get him one of those big balls because I had read on one of the cavy sites that they're bad for pigs' backs and feet. He's got 2 houses (safe to chew on), one in the cage and one out. Got him a small twine ball to play with and a chew toy, plus a big twine ball he can crawl into (a nest). He's also got a cardboard tube to crawl into. He has his towel in the cage.

    He didn't make a sound all day yesterday until we put him back into his cage last night - then he wheepwheepwheeped. Too cute.

    I'm a little worried about Elsie and Soda (our 2 younger cats). Elsie is a hunter and when Oscar was out on the floor last night, she was in full prowl mode. I was watching her closely and actually caught her in midair during a pounce attempt. They both just circled the cage last night, sticking paws in. I finally shooed them out of the bedroom and closed the door. I figure eventually they'll figure out that they cannot "play" with Oscar. Figaro, on the other hand, started purring immediately when he saw him (though I have to wonder if his eyesight is gone and he thought it was another cat, LOL).

    We haven't introduced Angelina the wonder beagle to Oscar yet. She's not the brightest canine in the world and is a little bit like Odie. Oscar might get loved to death.

    I'm definitely going to have to subscribe to the paper again - who knew such a little thing could "produce" so often!! :rofl:
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    oh yeah and they eat their poop, kinda gross but it's like there equilevant of a multi vitamin
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Actually, GPs and rabbits both "eat their poop". In actuality, they have a specially designed digestive tract that produces TWO types of poops, one hard, dark pellet and the other a larger lighter and softer pellet.

    The lighter ones are processessed in a special "compartment" of the digestive tract, mixed with beneficial bacteria, and loaded with vitamins. They then reingest these special pellets to extract the nutrients added to them by the specialized lower tract.

    It's a similar adaptation to that which takes place in ruminants, except that in rabbits and GPs the specialized chamber is part of the lower GI tract as opposed to be a specialized stomach chamber.

    It is super important that any vet you use be familiar with GPs or at least rabbits. These little guys are incredibly sensitive to any antibiotics that effect gut bacteria and to any trauma that impacts gut motility (doesn't have to be trauma to the gut)

    Like I said, enjoy the little guy. They are, in my humble opinion, the best of the "pocket pets" provided you are willing to invest in the care they need and it sounds like you are.

    You can't really blame the cats stalking them, they were originally raised for food in their native lands<g>
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh how cute!!!! My great Aunt had a HUGE cage for her gp right in the dining room when I was little. her youngest kid was in high school and it was "his" but really hers. I have such awesome memories of him - I was teh only person other than my great aunt and my dad that he didn't bite!! (Don't worry about the gp being in her dining room - she didn't feed anyone else there!(ROFL!)

    I hope he has a long and happy life with you!
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    They are cute, but I can't get within 20 feet of one or I start to swell up like a balloon!
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Susie, there's nothing wrong with a guinea pig in the dining room...I have a rat in the living room!
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Y'all, the cage for my great aunt's gp WAS the dining room! It was built in supposedly to a corner, but over the years they had given the gp some "additions" so that it totally overtook the room. I always loved it, but my gma used to complain that it was a problem when the whole family got together.

    My gma lived next door to her sis and across from her brother for all but 3 years of her adult life! So they ALL commented on everything in everyone's life, LOL!
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Welcome!!! Oscar. I love, love , love Piggies.
    I want to get one for N. Maybe next year after we have settled in and K has mellowed.
    Another thing, don't leave them out in the sun! :( When I was really little I had my piggy, Rhino, out with me in the sun... no-one had ever taught me how to take care of him.
    Well he had a stroke. I was so devastated. I had no clue what happened until my Adopted Dad yelled at me.
  15. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Too darn funny!!! I'm wondering how you get them dressed in costume. Hmmm. I think I would have lost a few fingers at that point.

  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Oscar!:)