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Guinea Pigs/Pregnant guineapig?

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Question
Hi

I have four guinea pigs, two males andtwo females. The males are about 1 year old and the females about 8 months old. They have been kept in the same cage ever since i bought them and even when they are in the garden they are all out together. One of the females are very fat but even many months passed but did not have babies. The other female had a litter in June where the two babies were born dead. They did not have fur and their limbs were not properly formed!! Now for the last three weeks i have noticed the same female who had the litter before getting a bit big. Could she pregnant again? One of the things i notice is that she lies down a lot and after a heavy meal she tends to wobble alot whan she walks. Shes quite big from the sides as well. Is she pregnant? If so how do i know? Is there a way i can be sure? And what should i do?

Answer
Anytime you keep males and females together you will have babies.

Your litter of babies without fur were premature. Dead litters are a constant threat anytime you breed pigs. A female comes into heat within hours of delivery and will become pregnant again if the male is with her. There is no doubt that the female is again pregnant.

You need to separate the males from the females and keep them apart. You don't say how large your cage is but if their living quarters are not large enough you will not be able to have a healthy herd.

Having two males and two females all in the same cage is a recipe for trouble. The males will begin to fight for the territory and they will get hurt. My suggestion is that you provide separate living quarters for the girls and the boys and keep them that way.

Keeping them all together is not good . You will continue to have the same problems you've already experienced and in the next litter you could lose the mother as well.  

Please for the sake of your pigs remove the boars and keep them apart. Each of them needs a cage of their own to prevent the inevitable injuries they will suffer.

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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