Guinea Pigs/help!

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QUESTION: Hi, I got a guinea pig named (daffodil) the day be for Easter this year. and she used to love being held and being pet but now she will bight me when I try and holder her. or pet her sides and belly. I think she is pregnant but she dose not look like it a lot she has a round tummy but not huge I thing she is pregnant with 1 guinea pig!
she drinks a lot and eats a good amount well more than my other two that live in a different cage. her belly is hard and she poops a lot. like this morning I took her out of her cage PS: very hard! I put her on my bed and then my lap all she did was POOP! is she pregnant? could she be pregnant with 1 guinea pig? if she is pregnant with one guinea pig dose her belly get overly big?

Adams dip
Adams dip  
ANSWER: You left out a bit of important information Emily, and that is the question of when was she with a male pig? If you got her from a pet store and she was housed with other pigs it's not uncommon for the males and females to be inadvertently mixed together.

The gestation period is 70 days give or take a couple of days. If she is indeed pregnant you will be able to feel the babies move about two or three weeks before delivery. Put on hand on either side of her belly and very gently press and hold them there. If there are babies you will feel them kick.

The biting issue may not be related to pregnancy. There are other things that will make a pig cranky, one of which is mites. They are invisible to the naked eye but cause the pig to scratch. Most commonly we see a 'V' shaped area on top of the back where the pig has tried to chew at them. If you see that you will need to treat her for mites. It's an easy and inexpensive fix.

Guinea pigs get mites like dogs get fleas. You can go to your pet store or feed store if you have one close to you. Buy some Adams dip made for puppies and kittens. Mix it according to the directions using warm water. The bathroom sink is a perfect spot for this. Put her in the water which should be about three inches deep. Using a cup just pour the solution all over her but don't get it in her eyes or ears.

When she's dripping wet and saturated take her out and DO NOT USE A TOWEL OR HAIR DRYER to dry her off. Put her on a towel and let her drip dry. This is very important. It usually only takes one treatment to cure the problem, but you should repeat it every six to eight weeks just as a precaution.

Don't try to use a different brand of dip. I've tried several and Adams is the best.

These mites will not get on anything but a guinea pig. They are species specific and will not leave the pig and jump on humans, cats or dogs.

There's another reason pigs will begin to bite and that's if you have the smell of food on your hands. Try washing your hands with soap and water before you pick her up. Many times the pig isn't really trying to bite to draw blood, but just tasting what they think might be a treat.

You should know soon enough whether she is pregnant. Don't worry, she will take care of everything without any help. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I got her drone pet smart and she dose not have mights no fur is falling out. I tryed washing my Hands then trying but she still bights me. She sleeps eats and drinks. And dose her belly get that big if she only gives birth to 1 guinea pig?

Answer
Yes her belly can get very large even if she's going to have only one pup. Guinea pig babies are very precocious, or mature, at birth. They will weigh approximately 4 oz when they are born. Since the mother is typically about 30 oz. that would be like a human mom of 120 lbs giving birth to a 30 pound baby. You can imagine how large that mother would be.

Most litters are two to four pups. It's not uncommon to have a runt or stillborn baby. If there is a very small baby the mother will not attempt to do anything extra for that baby. She won't sacrifice the wellbeing of the healthy pups for a sickly one. This is just nature's way of making sure only the fittest survive.

As for mites, since you got her from Petco I would strongly advise that you treat her for mites and do it now before she delivers. Petco gets their pigs from wholesalers who usually have the babies they get all together in one large cage. They do try to separate the sexes but it's a common problem with mistakes. Not anyone's fault you understand, it's just a mistake. And those mistakes result in a customer buying a pregnant pig. Just look at is as a freebie.

Mites cannot be seen and very often there are no immediate signs. But if a large number of pigs are in close quarters there is all too often a few that had mites when they were picked up and within hours the entire herd is infested.

Do not treat for mites while she's nursing and you don't want to treat her if she's too far along. To assume that because you don't see any evidence she is mite free is a mistake.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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