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Guinea Pigs/my guinea pig

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Question
hi i'm cassidy,

my guinea pigs name is rex he is 11 months old and is loosing patches of fur behind his ears i'm a new guinea pig owner i've had him since he was 3 months old

sincerly,
   cassidy

Answer
This is a common concern with owners and is easily answered.

All guinea pigs have a bald spot just behind their ears. In most cases the owners haven't noticed it and when they do they are alarmed. However, this is normal.

In short haired pigs it is more noticeable. When placing a pig with a new owner I show them this spot. I explain that I think that spot is there because when you're holding your pig up on your shoulder it is the perfect warm place to plant a kiss.

This is only theory as to why the bald spot is there, but it's a better explanation that just saying it's supposed to be there.

It's very warm to touch because a guinea pig's normal temperature is much higher than humans. If you are able, please take a picture of these spots and send them to me. It's very unlikely that it's anything but the normal hair pattern on all pigs.

You can rest easy and know that there is nothing wrong with your pig. In case you're still unsure, there are pictures on google that can show you what they look like.

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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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