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carson
05-11-06, 08:51 pm
We don't have our pig yet, but thanks to this site, we have a nice 8.6 square foot CC playpen.

As I read and learn about caring for cavies, I read a couple times that rodent wheels are bad for pigs. I figured it must be that pigs would injure their feet running on wire mesh. One person felt it would hurt their back. So, any opinions on a 16.5 inch diameter wheel with a solid surface to run on? The idea being that it would let them run if they felt like it without injuring their back or feet.

Joe

VoodooJoint
05-11-06, 08:54 pm
No wheel is safe for a GP. Their backs do not arch backwards and running on a wheel, if they showed any interest at all in it, would force their spines into an unnatural position and could cause serious injury.

Percy's Mom
05-11-06, 08:54 pm
Don't get your pig a wheel at all. They will get plenty of exercise during floor time or running around the cage. A guinea pig's back doesn't bend the way it needs to if he wanted to run in a wheel, so it could potentially cause serious damage to his spine. It really doesn't matter how big the wheel is.

carson
05-11-06, 10:04 pm
Thanks. The size of the wheel makes a huge difference as to how far the back would arch. Maybe a 16.5 inch diameter wheel would damage a pigs back, I do not know. Without a doubt, in a big enough wheel, a full grown grizzly bear could run with no appreciable arching of the back. Anyway, there is a certain diameter wheel that a pig could run in with no back arching to speak of. The questions are; What is that diameter? Would a guinae pig be interested in running in a wheel? Would it be good for the pig?

Just curios, what is the biggest rodent wheel commercially available?

Percy's Mom
05-11-06, 11:10 pm
I have to ask why are you so intent on having a wheel for your guinea pig? With an animal that would be running on a curved surface on all four feet, there is going to be some sort of arch to the back. It's not going to matter what size the wheel is. Even if by some strange chance, his spine stays perfectly straight, there is too much of a chance that he might get scared and jump off the wheel or trip off the wheel. In that case, the pig could very well hurt his legs in addition to his back.

fairysari
05-11-06, 11:20 pm
Have any of you guys heard of the Flying Saucer wheel? It is a solid surface, and doesn't seem to have the arch problem. It was designed for chincillas. I've never used one, so I have no idea if they're okay or not, and they're pretty pricey. Most of the sites with good pictures of them that I've found are chinchilla breeders, so I don't want to post them here, but here's a link to a non-breeder site with a pic: http://www.erodent.co.uk/Wheels.htm#Flying

(photo removed by mod)

So, would these be sage for cavies? I'll probably never get one since the boys seem happy with floor time, but I'm still curious.

daftscotslass
05-11-06, 11:46 pm
Thanks. The size of the wheel makes a huge difference as to how far the back would arch. Maybe a 16.5 inch diameter wheel would damage a pigs back, I do not know. Without a doubt, in a big enough wheel, a full grown grizzly bear could run with no appreciable arching of the back. Anyway, there is a certain diameter wheel that a pig could run in with no back arching to speak of. The questions are; What is that diameter? Would a guinae pig be interested in running in a wheel? Would it be good for the pig?

Just curios, what is the biggest rodent wheel commercially available?

The point is not the size of the wheel - it is the shape of it. No matter what the size, it will still be curved. You say "no appreciable arching of the back" - there will still be arching of the back, even if it is a negligible amount. As others have said - guinea pig spines just do not bend that way - not one degree.

Farysari - nothing of the wheel type is suitable for a guinea pig. Regardless of their ability to bend, they are one of the most fragile and least agile rodents - chances are they would show no interest in it.

fairysari
05-11-06, 11:52 pm
That's what I guessed. The piggies never seem to be just running in a straight line anyway - they're always popcorning when they run. If they tried the wheel, they'd probably send themselves flying from popcorning off. But unless it was filled with hay, I bet they wouldn't be too interested anyway.

jdomans
05-12-06, 07:50 am
GPs and chinchillas are not built the same at all. I have a chin spin wheel for Buddy and would never think to offer it to my pigs. Buddy literally flies all over his cage leaping from one level to another. I have yet to see a guinea pig come remotely close to the actions of a chinchilla.
This goes for balls also. No matter how big you get them. I got a huge ball for Buddy and then found out their danger. He can overheat in it and all animals can get injured in them if they run into a wall, chair leg, or heaven forbid, down a staircase. I took both end caps off of Buddy's ball and it is hung from the top of his cage and he plays in it as a hidey home.
Take a look at this and see if you still think wheels are for guinea pigs. This is my chin in his.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG4gf2V3JaY

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a356/jdomans/Buddy%20and%20his%20cage/DSCF0416.jpg
The above is an old photo. He now has a chin spin wheel. Oh and can you see a guinea pig leaping from one level to another? Don't think so!
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a356/jdomans/Buddy%20and%20his%20cage/DSCF0676sm.jpg

carson
05-12-06, 07:58 am
[quote=daftscotslass] As others have said - guinea pig spines just do not bend that way - not one degree.

Do you have a source for that statement? I do not neccessarily doubt it, but I would like some solid backup.

I am not absolutely determed to give my pig a wheel. I am absolutely determined to thoroughly explore the possibility.

Thanks all,

Joe

PiggieMamaKelly
05-12-06, 10:18 am
Even if you aren't convinced with the back injury issue, guinea pigs will mostly not use a wheel. They like to walk around and run and jump AT TIMES but they are not crazed with energy like a hamster might be. They are generally a more sedentary animal. I think you would be taking up space in your cage and the guinea pigs would not be interested.

carson
05-12-06, 10:39 am
[quote=aqh88]In the wild guinea pigs would cover many miles of ground everyday across some varying terrains including rock while they were foraging for food and running from predators.

This was posted in the cavy chat thread "nails and wild behavior". I often get conflicting information, which is why I like to ask for references.

Thanks for posting.

Joe

PiggieMamaKelly
05-12-06, 10:48 am
I know it must be confusing to be researching when you don't have pigs yet to observe for yourself. But I think you'll find guinea pigs to be fairly low energy. They do move around and explore and do things, but I sorta think you are comparing guinea pigs more to hamsters, and they are pretty different (from my experience). You will probably find that when you get your pig, he will like to sit around alot, and sit around eating ALOT more. If you happen to get a very energetic pig, you can take him out for floor time alot.

It's very nice to hear someone putting so much thought into their cage and care of future pigs!

Slave to the Wheek
05-13-06, 12:18 am
I took both end caps off of Buddy's ball and it is hung from the top of his cage and he plays in it as a hidey home.
:heart: Wow!

Finally have a use now for ours!

We never even put him it and still have the box. What a waste of $20

Ly&Pigs
05-13-06, 05:37 pm
Do you have a source for that statement? I do not neccessarily doubt it, but I would like some solid backup.
http://www.guinealynx.info/exercise.html, bottom of page
http://www.cavycages.com/toys.htm, bottom of page
http://cavyspirit.com/care.htm, scroll down to #6

Slave to the Wheek
05-15-06, 11:37 am
Ooo-ooo...here's a few more...
http://www.animed.org/guinea_pigs_playtime_toys.htm
(link removed by mod, site condones breeding)
http://www.catalystmagazine.net/issues/story.cfm?story=702 (very last paragraph at bottom)
http://www.petplace.com/small-mammals/having-fun-with-your-guinea-pig/page1.aspx
There are even more if you google it....

citronsoul
05-15-06, 02:06 pm
Unlike hamsters, they're not the type of animal that will run in a wheel just for the sake of running. If you really want a guinea pig to run, it is best to appeal to their curiousity & give them a safe area to explore.

Mine only run in short bursts in the morning before they're fed breakfast, when they're playing each other (ie.poke each other in the bum, causing a dash) or during floortime. For some reason they get very excited about being able to run around the cage when they're out on the floor. During all this running they popcorn a lot, which cannot be done on a wheel. After five minutes, their stomach beckons & they're off to find something to eat. Otherwise they just form a "piggy train" & waddle around the floor.

If I gave mine a wheel, I'm pretty sure the only thing they would do is pee on it.

carson
05-17-06, 08:52 am
Thanks, I appreciete the replies and the links.