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Guinea Pigs/Is my guinea pig pregnant!?

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Question
I have two guinea pigs. The boar 1 years old (rescued 11th of May), and the sow 6 years old. My boar is outside and the sow is inside,she is ill with a lump in her throat/neck. Anyway, because my previous guinea pig died my remaining sow is on her own, i think both the guinea pigs are lonely, so from time to time i let them see each other (they are always supervised and always in the safety of someones lap so if they try to mount each other we can stop and separate them). The boar has tried to mount her back ( I don't know if they have properly 'done it', i don't know how long it takes to 'be complete') but the female arched her back ( i think from a previous post that i saw, this means that she was going to spray urine at him). However it is quite save to say that my female doesn't like the male guinea pig, she tries to nip at him if he is rumble-strutting and she squeals when he gets close to her.
I've noticed over the last week or so that she appears rounder, i don't know if it is because she is on her own and getting to eat more food or if she is pregnant. I hope she isn't pregnant because of the risk, I've heard she would most likely die. Am i just being an over concerned guinea pig mum, or could there be a possibility that she is pregnant?

Answer
First Louise, I apologize for not catching this question earlier.  What you are describing is the typical behavior of any male pig. I think you are right, she was about to give him a squirt in the face.  If she objected to his passes, chances are she was not ready or willing to give in, and despite his advances the sow will always win. So hopefully he never caught her at her vulnerable time.

The complete conception takes only a few seconds. So you may not have seen them in the process. The boar is a young virile fellow and they will often miss their target and you will find a glob of what appears to be dried glue on the sow. That being said, it is unlikely that she would get pregnant at 6 yrs of age. That's an old sow, comparable to a 70 yr old woman. Most pigs have a lifespan of around 5 yrs of age, although my oldest sow lived to be 7 1/2.  

The gestation period is 10 weeks. You wouldn't typically feel movement until the last 2 to 2 1/2 weeks of pregnancy. If you hold her on your lap and put both hands over each side of her belly you should feel movement. It is tiny little kicks, almost like a hiccup.

You are correct, the risks are very high for her at her age. So hopefully she did not conceive. I would suggest that if you want them to have company just put a barrier between the cages and that will be enough social contact for them.

It's difficult if not impossible to tell when she is in heat by the actions of the boar.  They are like teenage boys, always strutting and hoping.  So his rumblestruts are just showing off his intent. It doesn't mean she's in heat.  

I hope his helps. Please let me know what happens.  And if you have any more questions please don't hesitate.  

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Pat VanAllen

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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.

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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