Guinea Pigs/BABIES!


Hi there
We have two female guinea pigs that we got at Christmas. Unbeknownst to us one of them was pregnant. The vet advised me to separate the two before the birth which I now think was the wrong thing to do. The babies were born the day before yesterday, 3 of them. Unfortunately one didn't survive but the other two are looking good. My problem is now trying to re introduce the other sow. Can I and if so how? I put her in the cage a minute ago and she quickly looked as though she was going to attack (pounced on) one of the little ones. Please help as I don't know what to do,

Your vet was wrong to advise you to remove the other pig if it was a sow.  A boar, yes.  The mother comes into heat within hours of delivery and the dad will breed her back.

Guinea pigs are awesome parents. The other sow will not hurt those babies. She may push them around a bit at first, but she will become a good 'nanny' to the litter.  I've even had sows produce milk who were not pregnant and they shared the nursing duties for the mom.

It's common for at least one baby to be stillborn. It's actually more the norm than to have a full litter survive. Just watch the other sow and make sure she isn't trying to hurt the babies. My experience is that they will not. The pushing around is not hurting them. Give her a short time and you'll see her cleaning and cuddling with the new pups.

You might also watch for signs of pregnancy in the other pig. If they were housed together before you got them there's a good chance another litter is on the way. But there will be two moms to take over 'diaper duty' and they will be fine.

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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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