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Guinea Pigs/my guinea pig is biting my sister

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Question
my guinea pig moody keeps biting my sister what do i do to keep her from biting?

Answer
You're not really giving me a lot of information but I'll do the best I can with what I've got.  

I had a young lady that I had given a pig to and she started having the same problem after she'd had the pig for three or four months. I tried handling the pig, poking at it, tried to aggravate it and nothing happened.  I asked her if she washed her hands before picking him up and she said no, she did not. Once she got in the habit of doing that the problem stopped.

It was the smell of food on her hands that the pig reacted to. He was not biting in anger, he was "tasting" her fingers and of course since he used his teeth to do so, she of course got bitten.

Have your sister try that to see if that helps. The other issue is to watch the way to pet the pig. You always stroke the pig in the direction that her hair grows. For short, smooth haired pigs like Americans the hair grows from the head to the rear.  In pigs like Teddies the hair grows from the rear to the head. Petting a Teddy from head to toe is irritating to them and they will sometimes nip.

I hope these suggestions give you something to work with and maybe solve the problem.  

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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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