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Guinea Pigs/pregnant guinea pig Sheila


QUESTION: Hi, I have a pregnant guinea pig and I definitely know that she is pregnant. I have been doing a lot of research and she is already separated and away from all the others. thing is, is that everywhere I look mostly everything is the same but people say when you can see kicking in her stomach and not just feel it but really see it then she's either 2-3 weeks or 2-3 days and I'm not sure which on it is. I know she has to be getting close. I would like help because I would like to know when I should be expecting them so I can help her if she needs help. Thanks so much!!

ANSWER: It's not often easy to predict the date of delivery. The general rule of thumb is that you can feel the babies kicking about two weeks before delivery. You shouldn't have to do a thing for her. Cavies are excellent parents and she will know just what to do.

Just keep her in a quiet place and don't handle her anymore than absolutely necessary. Before you know it you'll wake up to a few extra little faces peeking up at you. Just keep the camera ready and let her do what she is supposed to do.

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QUESTION: Okay Thank you so much I was also wondering if you could tell me the different dilations so I can keep track and the spot in which to find that? Thanks so much for all the help! she is really big and is bigger than the other piggie we have that was showing signs before Sheila does this mean a bigger delivery? Do you have any other information that would help and things that I should watch out for or be aware of? Thanks again and thanks in advance!

ANSWER: The size of the mom's belly has really nothing to do with the size of the litter. Human moms are the same way, sometimes you see a pregnant woman that looks like she can hardly stand up yet she has a normal size baby. And we see women who are hardly big at all and have an 8 lb baby.  It's just got to do with how you're built.

About 48 hours before delivery the pelvic bones start to loosen up and spread. If you just gently put one finger right at the vent (the genital opening) you can feel the bones. Normally they're about 1/8 in apart. As delivery gets close they loosen up and are slightly moveable to the touch and will spread to about 1/2 in. That's to allow the babies to pass through the birth canal.

As big as she is now I think it's best for you to leave her alone and not do too much handling. It's uncomfortable for her because her belly is so full.  She will handle everything just fine by herself. Sometimes our good intentions are not the best for the animal.  

This is the hard part for you now, waiting patiently. The babies will come when they're ready.

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QUESTION: Hello again, and sorry to ask another question; but my other guinea pig pumpkin is dilated at about an inch if i'm feeling right and shell is under half an inch.  but for pumpkin is an inch okay? again sorry for the questions, i know not much when it comes to guinea pig pregnancy.

Yes, they can dilate up to one inch. I think the safest thing you can do for both the pregnant girls is to stop trying to examine them. It's stressful and not necessary. Pumpkin is probably getting ready to give birth at any moment, it could be now or it could be tonight. So give her the privacy and quiet she needs so she can feel safe enough to have her babies.  

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Pat VanAllen


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.


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.

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.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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