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Subro
10-19-15, 12:58 am
Hello. I am Subro, from India.

We decided to get two guinea pigs as my daughters very much wanted to have pets at home.

We have had a very interesting ride since then.

We got the pets from a local pet store. We got two males from the store. Our children named them Skipper and Kermit. After about a month, Kermit's tummy started showing signs of bulge and I took them to a vet who confirmed it was a she and she was pregnant !! Even though we were shocked, we were also very excited. We had babies coming....

We were a bit worried because we had read some scary stories of guinea pig pregnancy. Also we did not want too many babies....

Yesterday I got up in the morning and went to check on Skipper and Kermit, and imagine my surprise when I saw two little toy guinea pigs sitting on one of the trays in the cage looking at me !!! I still can not get over my surprise.

We still have not named the babies, and we spend most of our waking hours observing them and their parents.

I separated Skipper (the male) immediately yesterday morning from the rest after I saw it repeatedly trying to mount Kermit !! BTW, I had Skipper neutered about 4 days back - so just in time !! The babies are doing very well, and have started scampering around. And whenever they get a chance, they go under their mom for some milk. Kermit is fine too. It is awesome to see her taking care of her babies, cleaning them, and feeding them. Initially,
when my daughters tried touching the babies, mom seemed to become protective. So nice !!

We have a bigger cage and soon plan to transfer them to it. The bigger cage has a partition where Skipper can be separated if so required.

Any suggestions, experiences, questions very welcome.

76872 The babies.
76873 Kermit (mom, left) and Skipper (dad).
76874 Feeding time
76875 The new cage.

pinky
10-19-15, 03:00 am
Welcome! First thing should be to take out or completely cover the wire bottom of the existing cage with something solid. Wire bottom cages can tear up their foot pads and pose a risk to their feet and legs. You can see one of the babies with its leg sticking out which can result in a broken leg. Wire bottom cages are meant for rabbits and not guinea pigs.

Subro
10-19-15, 03:12 am
You are very right, about the bottom of the cages. We have covered the bottom with fleece since yesterday. This pic was taken pre-covering.
Thanks for the suggestion.

By when do you think it is ok to pick up the babies - for cuddling etc ?

bpatters
10-19-15, 06:53 am
Having the male neutered 4 days back was NOT just in time -- it takes 3-4 weeks for the live sperm to die off. And if he was in with the sow when she gave birth, she is very probably already pregnant, as sows can get pregnant within minutes of giving birth.

poop_patrol
10-19-15, 07:29 am
Welcome to the group! I know it is hard to get good information on guinea pigs in India but you'll find lots of good friendly folks here willing to help!

3 quick suggestions in order of importance...

1. Please separate the male and female immediately and don't reintroduce them until at least 3 weeks have passed. The male can still impregnate until this time!
2. I know you said you covered the wire floor with fleece, but you need a hard cover over the wire. Just fleece is not enough to protect their very delicate feet from the wires.
3. Try to sex the babies as soon as possible because the genders should be separated at 21 days.

Good luck!

Subro
10-19-15, 08:23 am
Wow. That has me extremely worried. I separated them only the morning after the birth. Not sure what to do. I guess consult the vet
and then wait and see.

None of the threads that I had read so ever mentioned it though !! Nor did my doctor warn me about it.
Thanks for pointing it out.

Subro
10-19-15, 08:25 am
Hi Poop Patrol. Thanks much for your very helpful response.

1. Did separate them morning after birth. And you are asking not to put it back until after 3 weeks have passed because of same reason bpatters has given ?

2. ok.

3. ok.

Thanks a lot again.

bpatters
10-19-15, 08:30 am
If he was neutered four days before the birth and was left in the cage with her after she gave birth, she's almost certainly pregnant. That's VERY hard on both the sow and the second litter of pups. Be sure to supplement her with plain vitamin C, and feed her the best quality pellets and hay you can get.

Subro
10-19-15, 08:36 am
Hi bpatters,

Sure. We had been giving her vitamin C, timothy hay pellets (our pet shop carries some high quality ones imported from the US), fresh grass,
and a mix of cucumber / carrots.

I re-read the guinea pig pregnancy columns I had read before. They do mention about separating the male during late pregnancy. Did not mention about
the sperm being active till 21 days after neutering though. Anyways, big mistake on my part. I feel extremely bad.

Thanks again.

poop_patrol
10-19-15, 09:02 am
No need to dwell on the past. Many of us made well-intentioned mistakes with our pigs when we were starting out as well. Much (or most!) of the published literature on guinea pigs is flat wrong. Even veterinarians who are not trained specifically in exotic pets like guinea pigs will often give worthless or even harmful advice. The important thing is that you are doing the best for the pigs starting now. If your pig is pregnant again that can't be changed... but they sound like they are in good hands as you seem to be a caring owner open to advice from very experienced folks on this board! Keep learning and everything will be ok.

bpatters
10-19-15, 09:23 am
I'm sure there are several good sites for guinea pig information on the internet. The ones that are the most consistently correct and dependable, that I know of, are this one and Guinea Lynx. I wouldn't take medical information from any place other than these two.

jaycriae
10-19-15, 01:27 pm
Sounds like you're doing everything as well as you can, as long as you're diligent you can continue to take good care of your piggies even if you have to deal with another pregnancy.

Also, it'll probably be easier to clean if you put an absorbent layer under the fleece instead of putting the fleece right on the wire, pro tip ;)

bpatters
10-19-15, 02:06 pm
Fleece doesn't work unless you've got an absorbent layer underneath it. Otherwise, it will just stay wet, and the pigs' feet will suffer. If you put an absorbent layer under, the fleece will wick the liquid through, but will stay dry itself, and thereby keep the pigs' feet dry.

Subro
10-19-15, 10:48 pm
What kind of material would work as an absorbent layer ? Thanks.

Subro
10-19-15, 10:55 pm
Thanks to everyone for the useful suggestions, critical feedback and support.
The only hope I and Kermit have is that she was trying to sit on the floor when I saw Skipper trying to mount.
Will keep you all posted.

I also plan to try and send feedback to some of the guinea pig sites I have visited in the past and have them include the critical piece of information I missed.

peachyteen
10-20-15, 02:17 am
What kind of material would work as an absorbent layer ? Thanks.
for an absorbance layer you can just use towels, you may have to change and wash every 3-4 days.

Also, make sure you have something hard over the wires (even a piece of plywood could work), even with fleece and towel over the wire, the pigs feet can get hurt.

Subro
10-20-15, 12:19 pm
Thanks peachyteen. :)

chetanshah
11-13-15, 03:25 am
hello subro, even I am from India
I am currently in SA but I have done my research as I would def be taking my babies to India one day..
its really hard
Its an awesome cage you made.. just make sure to use
layer 1: Shower Curtain
layer 2: Absorbant Towel
layer 3: Fleece
Where are you taking you hay and pellets from?
I think we should keep an INDIA thread so that everyone can find info about their stuff in one thread..
What say ?

Subro
11-21-15, 11:22 pm
Hi Chetan.

Great to hear from you and my apologies for the very late response. I was just lazy.
Which city in India would you be living in ? I live in Bangalore and have found an exotic pet doctor who is decent I feel.
Thank god we have survived some of the initial scares of not being fully knowledgeable about the guinea pigs. Everything seems to
be going reasonably well now.

I will write more details about the ongoing experience later. A few quick things.

We get good quality pellets made by Zupreem, a US company, from a pet store in shivajinagar. Oxbow is supposedly better,
but I have not found them either Online or in pet stores. We give them cucumber and carrots. Also fresh grass or bamboo leaves
every day. We have started growing wheat grass at home, and today will be our first harvest :) Getting fresh grass every day is
a challenge. The pet store does have hay, but I am against buying hay on a regular basis, hence trying to stay with grass.

You already have some guinea pigs ? I guess bringing them back with you will be difficult. There are not too many guinea pig owners
as far as I know in Bangalore. Would be great to stay in touch ([email protected]).

Starting a India thread is a great idea. Not sure if it is allowed by group rules. If you could check and start, I would be happy to contribute.
I will have more breathing time mid Dec onwards.

chetanshah
11-23-15, 01:34 am
HI Subro,
I am from Pune yea I have a pair of piggies,sisters :)
Good thing is you found the pellets

About the food and hay I think wheat grass is an great idea, I also do it here.
But you would still need to give them hay which is basically dried and it helps them in 2 ways
1. Digestion & Fibre
2. Teeth Wearing
If they do not have hay they will most probably start getting irritated with he constant growing teeth and will affect their diet.

And apart from cucumber and carrots their diet should consist of:
Lettuce(any except Iceberg), Capsicum is a MUST for Vitamin C, Green everyday. yellow every other day and red every 3rd day.
Coriander(Dhania), Mint, Basil,

Brocolli should be fed very rarely

Please make sure whenever you give them a new fruit or veggie, introduce slowly, as it WILL cause indestion and its not good at all.

if they do not have choices in their food they will get bored.

This is what I feed them everyday

1. Unlimited HAY + grass
2. Pellets
3. One pet bowl full of veggies Twice everyday: Coriander, LEttuce, BellPeppers, Cucubmer, Carrots, Mint, Basil Then i mix and match it with occasional treats

BTW, Wheat Grass, They LOVE IT!

Subro
11-23-15, 01:52 am
Hi Chetan. Thanks for all the info.

I thought hay is a substitute for grass. Why would they need hay if they get grass ? Ofcourse assuming they get enough grass
which I agree I am not sure if I am giving them enough.

chetanshah
12-10-15, 05:28 am
hey subro.
Grass is fresh grass.. hay is dries grass which is needed by them for digestion..please try to fetch the dried hay somewhere.. because they need unlimited.. they need to have access to hay/grass 24hours a day.. I am sure on olx you should be able to find it.... theres a lot of general stores who can know where you can get Dried Grass..also try to ask the milkman as cows need grass too

lissie
12-10-15, 10:10 am
If they get enough grass, they don't need hay.