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Guinea Pigs/very pregnant female housed with another female


I have two female guinea pigs. They have been housed together since I adopted one and purchased the other from what I believed to be a reputable pet store. Well turns out that she was pregnant when I got her. I have had her for 7 weeks now and it is apparent she is very pregnant.
My question for you is that is it safe for all involved (mom, other female and babies) if I leave the non pregnant female in the cage now and after birth? Should I separate them soon? They are just so bonded I don't want to stress either of them out, but I know I need to do whatever is safest for everyone.
I appreciate all you do for everyone who has questions and look forward to your advice.
Thanks so much for your time!

There's no need to separate the two girls. Guinea pigs have a strong maternal instinct and will take care of any babies in the cage, regardless of who gave birth. Since the two girls are bonded it's best not to change anything. It's more stressful to have them apart and it's not necessary.

You will see a miracle of nature when you watch the two 'moms' care for the litter. Each will take turns bathing and caring for the babies. I have had sows that were not pregnant, but when babies were born in the same cage, would begin producing milk and nursing the pups.

I've always felt it was a help to a new mom to have an 'auntie' with her to help tend the children. So rest easy, everything will be fine and the babies will be happier and healthier because of it.  

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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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