View Full Version : Rescued Guinea Pig Had Six Babies

03-11-09, 10:35 pm
Hi, I'm not new to rescue but I am new to guinea pig rescue. I rescued an aging sow who indeed turned out to be pregnant again in a back-to-back pregnancy. I got her after her owner went into a nursing home. We found homes for the boar and the younger sow (not pregnant).

Gigi is an orange American with dark eyes. The boar was an Abysinnian roan. Gigi very quietly had six babies in the space of 10 minutes on February 4th right after I looked in on her that morning. Fortunately, she seemed to be a pro at it and the pups were mostly all running around. Except one of the tiniest guinea pigs I'd ever seen, a little runt that seemed to have developmental delays in motor skills and strength in her hindquarters. I monitored the situation, gave Ru-Runt lots of one-on-one time with Mom, and I confess that I supplemented her diet with fresh goat's milk. I couldn't get on the forum to ask about it, and goats milk is something I always have on hand for kitten rescue. Now Ru-Runt is a happy, spunky, energetic youngster who is still less than half the size of the bigger pups.

I took the one boar out of the group at age three weeks--he was ready to mate, seriously! But we nipped that in the bud. Of the five girls, one is white with red eyes. I am confused about the lethal white syndrome, because some sites say there is no such thing as an albino guinea pig, and that's what she looks like--an albino. Her teeth seem fine, she is the biggest pup of all, and she is very strong and active. She seems to be able to see and hear fine.

Well, I hope to find the information I need to help these guys out. Gigi and Ru-Runt are in their forever home NOW. I am looking for homes for the other five babies, and I hope I worded the ad so people who are AR friendly respond to it. I'm in a very rural area of Missouri now, and these folks just don't seem to feel the need to have compassion for the animals. I'm not sure what I can do to educate folks here, but I'll try. Any suggestions are welcome.


03-11-09, 10:50 pm
Oh what cuties! The white gal looks to be a Himalayan. Thank you for rescuing! Best of luck in your endeavors.

03-11-09, 10:55 pm
They are adorable! Now I wish I still lived in Missouri!

03-11-09, 11:06 pm
I'd be happy to drive them to you...:)

I just got some good pictures of Ru-Runt. She isn't much bigger than my computer mouse, at 5 weeks old:

03-11-09, 11:30 pm
She is so pretty!! They are all adorable thou!

03-11-09, 11:36 pm
Its wonderful that you rescued some piggies!! They are very cute, I don't think you will have much of a problem finding a good home for those adorable cuties!

03-12-09, 12:01 am
Cute piggies.

There are no albino guinea pigs. Albinism does not exist in guinea pigs. The ones you are referring to are simply pink eyed whites (PEWS) but the one you have is a himi.

03-12-09, 07:50 am
Six babies... wow, that seems like a lot (though I know it's possible for them to have more). It's good to hear they are all doing well, even the little Ru-Runt! Hopefully this site will help you to connect to people in the area who can adopt some of your piggies.

03-12-09, 08:44 am
I wish you could drive one to me, but I am over the pond! Ru-Runt is sooooooo cute

03-12-09, 09:57 am
Alas, I may be the only one in my area. I moved to Missouri from the East Coast, where I was very active in spay/neuter and rescue groups. Then I moved into a trailer park in Missouri, and this is the area of the US that contributes to the problems of pet shops and lack of thinking and backyard breeding. There were 14 fertile female cats hanging around this park. Now there is only one feisty girl I'm still trying to catch. I have two of her kittens now. Oy vey!

Enough of the crazy cat lady stuff, I was amazed at six babies from Gigi. I thought they only had one or two. And the range of coats and colors was amazing, too. There are two soft Abyssinian coated ones, two silky soft American coated, the Abyssinian white Himalayan (thanks), and one who seems to have a rough, kinky, short Abyssinian patterned coat, a bit like a Teddy. It's hard to tell from pictures alone. She looks like a little Buffalo Woman. There was some serious backyard breeding going on.

Thanks for the support. Does anybody know what causes the extreme runtedness? We were afraid we'd lose Ru-Runt, but she seems fine now. Of course, we won't allow her to breed. I wonder if she will always be this tiny?

And was goat's milk a good or bad choice to help her? For the first two weeks I had to lay Gigi on her back to allow Ru-Runt to nurse, but she wasn't getting enough. There was hardly any sucking going on, just a good latch. Each feeding I'd separate the two for an hour in a nest so Mom would generate milk. The other five were nursing constantly. I was a nursing mom myself and that would have driven me nuts.

Then I'd lay Mom down for Ru-Runt for a half hour three times a day. Mom would purr and seemed to enjoy her head and neck massage during the process, poor dear. The things we do to raise our babies. Then I'd give Ru-Runt drops of goats milk, about 1 cc each feeding. The first week there seemed to be no growth at all. Ru-Runt had no fat on her at all, and her rump area was tiny and bony. After the first week she started putting on some fat, but still no growth. She started to grow after the end of the second week, and we stopped with turning mom over.

Ru-Runt then seemed strong enough to push under Mom and nurse normally. Ru-Runt is still nursing normally, though at five weeks now Mom is getting skittish, and Ru-Runt is fine eating and drinking. I almost think Ru-Runt was not a full-term guinea pig, even though the others were. Cats can have kittens that are conceived within several days of each other, but I wasn't aware of that possibility with guinea pigs.

Anyway, maybe nature would have taken its course, but now we have Ru-Runt and Gigi and can't you tell I have fallen in love with them? Even the Loki, a rescued kitten who was also getting goats milk at the same time, fell in love. He would lick Ru-Runt clean after every messy goats milk feeding. They will both cuddle on my lap, though Ru-Runt prefers hiding on my shoulder, under my hair.

I've posted this experience with hand-rearing and managing the nursing routine of a runt guinea pig in hopes that it will inspire and help others who find the same situation. I think we would have lost Ru-Runt within days if we hadn't intervened as much as we did.

03-12-09, 10:41 am
You probably have a little one because mom had such a large litter, that can happen with any animal, and with humans having multiples. Every now and then one doesn't get as much nutrients and what-not from the mother and comes out a little small and underdeveloped, but it's not much to worry about because many will continue to develop outside the womb. If she's growing fine I wouldn't worry a whole lot. Weigh them all weekly with a kitchen scale to make sure their weight is increasing regularly. http://www.guinealynx.info/index.html this is a great website for medical reference, and this is the page specifically on weight http://www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html . I had a little one and I only had a litter of 3 and she is still small compared to her 2 brothers, but she's completely heathly.

03-12-09, 10:48 am
I think I am only 2-3 hours from you. Now you don't have to feel all alone. LOL.. I hope all goes well for you.

03-12-09, 09:08 pm
Don't worry, I'm a Missourian too. If I was a little closer to you, I would totally help you out! Heading towards KC anytime soon? LOL It sounds like you are doing a pretty good job with them. :)

03-12-09, 10:07 pm
Road trip! We haven't been as far as Kansas City, yet. Just to Hannibal, Springfield, Branson, and Lake of the Ozarks.

Ru-Runt just learned to jump from my hands to my neck. I was sitting down and had her cuddled on my chest, against my neck. I picked her up to look at her and she leapt from my hands back to my neck. It was cute, but I'll be careful not to let her do that just anytime. My first guinea pig as a child used to sit in my lap, and I'd wiggle my hands under her and click my teeth, then she would leap UP to my neck. I've never had one leap over a foot across open space before. I'll have to get a YouTube shot of that (with a big cushion underneath). Seriously, she is an acrobat.

Thanks for the support!

03-12-09, 10:42 pm
So cute. What a sweet story. I'm sure you'll find homes for them, if I was closer I would totally take one. Good luck and welcome to GPC!

03-13-09, 04:26 pm
i wish i lived close i really want a guinea pig but i live in florida and ru-runt and the other pigies are so cute if only you could come or ship them with special shipping for animals o.m.g its just i dont want to have to get a guinea pig froem petsmart or petland or petco i would rather rescue or adopt or help out in a way. i would pay up to $35.00 dollars. but aww its so cute nice mouse by the way its pink.

03-13-09, 05:01 pm
First off, Welcome to GPC and I'm glad to hear than Mom and pups are doing alright.

Second, to answer some questions I saw, here is some information on lethals
and secondly, from everyone that is knowledgeable about cavy genetics on this forum would tell you that there is indeed no such thing as an albino guinea pig. They'er either an all white coat, which is not the same thing as albinism, or a lethal.

03-13-09, 05:08 pm
Thank you for the information on lethal whites and the white color versus albinoism. I was mostly worried abouting adopting out the white abyssinian female if she might have potential problems. She seems to be robust at this point. I looked up Himalayans, and she doesn't have the dark ears and nose that that the pictures show. So with everybody's help I've identified her as a PEW