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Guinea Pigs/Our guinea pig really does nothing

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Question
We acquired a guinea pig from someone.  She is about 7/8 months old.  We have been trying to get her to show some interest in something, anything but we are not doing so good.  We take her out of the cage, hold her, and talk to her but she only sits still.  We brought her playpen and put some toys in there for her but she shows no interest.  We have had her for about 2 weeks now.  Can you recommend something we can do for her to help get happy?

Answer
Every pig has a personality of their own and some are very docile while others are active. Most pigs need a couple of weeks to get used to their surroundings, the sites, sounds and smells. It may be she is just a bit shy and unsure of her surroundings and has not yet become comfortable.

Don't expect to much just yet. She may just be a laid back pig that doesn't show excitement, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as she enjoys being in your arms and being held You are lucky.

Each breed, and there are 13 different breeds of pigs, have their own personality that is unique to the breed. I would recommend giving her a little more time, but also remember that being still does not mean we s not happy.

I hope this gives you a little bit o help. If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask.

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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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