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Guinea Pigs/Baby Guinea pig

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Question
I got my first guinea pig today. I didn't notice at the time, but one eye is larger than the other. (I am not willing to take him back) I'm already very fond of him. but I am concerned that this will lead to eye problems in the future. Thank you for your time

Answer
There is no reason to return your pig or to worry that it has a birth defect that might affect his health.  

When we breed as exhibitors the goal is to produce a winner on the show table. Whether it's dogs, cats, horses, etc. that's our goal. Good breeders don't just breed for profit, such a puppy mills do.  Not every animal in the litter is a show quality prospect. The babies that don't make the criteria are sold.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the animal, it just means it wasn't selected as a 'keeper'.  Having one eye smaller than the other is not a health defect, it's simply a disqualification on a show table and there is a potential that this trait could be passed on to it's young.

We often keep babies who may not have the markings or coloring we're striving for, but knowing the genetic background we may keep those for breeding purposes because we feel it has the potential to produce a winning animal.

There's no reason this kind of thing should have anything to do with further health issues.  He will still make a wonderful pet.  

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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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