View Full Version : Feet Peeling Feet

03-01-13, 09:03 am
When I picked up Charlemagne from the pet store on Monday, I obviously looked her over. I saw something but I didn't think much of it because she seemed to be healthy otherwise.
Anyway, the pads of her feet are peeling kinda like the way a human's skin would if they were burnt. She doesn't seem to be in pain, I checked her thoroughly elsewhere. I'm worried for my pig. Is it because it was too dry in there? The tank, I mean. They take good care of their animals, but you never know...
One more thing. How do I tell my mom that Charlemagne may need to go to the vet sometimes? My parents don't believe in the vet for animals other than dogs. They say rodents aren't worth as much, but Char is a baby, and she has a lot left in her at only four weeks old. I read from many sources that guinea pigs can live for up to eight years if you care for them properly.
Thanks for your input everyone.

R5 plus
03-01-13, 10:01 am
I have no information for you about the feet, someone with more experience will undoubtedly know more.


I'm a mom, maybe I can help with that part.

Do you have a way to bring in some income to go towards piggy care? Babysitting, shoveling snow, pet sitting, facepainting, lemonade stand, etc. Set aside money from every job to go towards vet care. Show your parents that you are serious about taking care of your pet, and that it is very important to you. Keep up with your daily responsibilities (cavywise and otherwise).

Find "teachable" moments to talk about your pets and the information you've learned about the care they need. These are times when you guys are just hanging out together and the subject of gpigs just naturally comes up in conversation. Parents use this tactic all the time with their kids and hope the lessons sink in and take hold. These are not "debate" moments; these are moments to share the wonderful world of gpigs AND slip in tidbits of information important about their care.

Next, pick the right moment to talk to them (or mom/dad). Make sure you have their attention and that everyone is in a GOOD, RECEPTIVE MOOD!!! Put yourself in his/her place. What are the biggest obstacles to getting vet care? Is it the money? The time? They don't like "rodents"? Try to address their concerns with thoughtful solutions that are realistic.

A little buttering up never hurts. I am putty when people comb my hair. I'd probably say yes to almost anything. LOL.

Hope your parents will come around. Just know, they may always have their limits.

03-01-13, 10:42 am
The tank, I mean. They take good care of their animals, but you never know...
Well, just the fact that they keep them in a tank means they don't take that good of care of them.

Please get your next guinea pig from a rescue or a shelter.

As for the foot problem, can you post a picture? It could be something as serious as bumble foot, or as benign as a spur. In the meantime, try rubbing a little extra virgin coconut oil onto her foot pads.

03-01-13, 04:03 pm
Thanks to both of you, RS for the vet advice and foggy for the medicals.

My mom said that she wouldn't have a problem with the vet as long as I had an "emergency piggy fund". I'm 15, Mom. I have no job :P

To foggy, it seemed that the pigs were quite healthy. The top of the tank was left open because the sides were tall so that people could reach in and check them out, so Char has already been socialized with. I know it's not good ventilation, but they were feeding them OxBow, which is a plus, and timothy hay of course, and they had toys. I will try to get a shelter pig next time, because I heard they were usually better pigs, healthwise.
With the foot problem, I will try the coconut oil if I can get some. Can you use anything more common? I'm not sure if we have that or can get it on such short notice. I just checked her here a few minutes ago, and it seems to be going away (as in, it's not as bad as it was the first day). Does this mean her environment at the pet store wasn't proper? I heard the wrong kind of bedding can dry their feet out, as well as living in wet conditions. So, I don't think the picture is needed since it is getting better on its own, and seemed to stop when she was taken out of the pet store environment, but also because I could not hold Charlemagne still enough to get a good quality picture in the darkness of my bottom bunk.

Sorry if I seem a little misinformed about the pet store hatred. I really do not like PetCo or Petsmart and do not trust them for anything other than supplies, because we have yet to find a place that specializes in guinea pig supplies. That would be lovely though, wouldn't it? So we went local to WAPC (I'm not giving out the full name because it gives away my location) and their bigger animals are usually the ones best cared for. They have various kinds of speaking birds as well as different types of bunnies, they breed their guinea pigs as well...I just saw a tank in there that had the mother guinea pig in it with all her babies. Oh no. I just realized that the tank was probably the same size as my 4.2 sq. ft. cage, and that's not even enough for one guinea pig. They're not nearly large enough for all the guinea pigs they house. But wouldn't taking one from there be saving a life just the same? Unless she has some disease that will kill her that she caught from the store, then the effort becomes useless.

Thank you for helping everyone! And RS, I liked your "I am putty when people comb my hair". It made me laugh at school today.

R5 plus
03-01-13, 04:45 pm
cavykaitlyn - Coconut oil is available at many grocery stores that have a natural/organic section. I get mine from Wegman's (just in case you have one).

As far as money is concerned. Your house is different than mine I'm sure. My kids get an allowance every 3 months until they are 13 (that's the theory at least, the oldest is 12). They have to do chores (unpaid), but anything I consider "out of the norm" I am willing to pay money for the kids to do it (Warning: I'm cheap though). You may not have a job with a W-2, but there are many options out there that can pull money into your vet fund. Many I mentioned above, but something else might work better for you. I have encouraged my own daughter to draw dragons or caricatures for birthday parties to make extra cash. She is very talented at this. She might not make as much money as an adult, but it's a win-win for both her and the parents of the b-day kid(She hasn't done it yet, but who knows, maybe someday).

You may have a way to bring in cash if you think outside the box. Where was this "emergency piggy fund" going to come from?

03-03-13, 07:23 am
Okay, so I must say I appreciate everyone's help on here. R5 plus, I apologize for calling you the wrong name! Everything's smaller on my phone, so it looked like an S to me. Oh, and thank you for your help! I will have to try some of those ideas in the near future. I like the drawing idea, but I can really only draw anime :) the other things sound good, like babysitting, but I wouldn't think that people wanted an autistic watching their kids, now, would they? I act eight years old at times. But really, thank you.
I have another seemingly minor problem. Char is wheeking in a very odd manner. She'll squeal sometimes, but others it seems more near hissing. But then I read that pigs don't hiss, and she lives alone after all. So what is this? Should I be worried? She's nearly five weeks (birthday's January 28) so I'm unsure if she just doesn't know how to wheek yet. But then I would think that they were born with that ability. Any answers would be appreciated.

03-03-13, 09:03 am
I'm sure that the vets here tire of hearing me say this, but "guinea pigs are as individual as we are". There are very few ABSOLUTES where cavies are concerned. I also caution you about believing everything you read and taking it as gospel. Most of what you read is just that person's opinion. You seem like a very savvy young woman who is capable of researching different sources when you have a question.

One of those differences in cavies is that they have different "voices". My little Maya has this raspy "hoot" and when we first got her, I was concerned that she had a URI and was having difficulty breathing.........and she was promptly carted off to the vet. Turns out that this is just her voice and her way of conversing. Chester, on the other hand, is very vocal and chirps almost constantly when he is happily being held. The sound is very different for each of them.

Maya just turned 1 y.o. and she only began making certain sounds as she got older. Just accept your cavy with an open heart and mnd and watch her personality develop as she grows.

03-03-13, 09:29 am
That's very interesting...different voices? I suppose sometimes she can be said as having a bit of a different way of speaking. Sometimes she'll make the sound but others it doesn't come out right. I was worried, but it seems now like I shouldn't be!
Thank you for the pleasantries :) She doesn't have any other problems, although she doesn't drink much. I fill up her bottle frequently, but it doesn't seem to go down much, if at all.
Sorry I'm bothering everyone with all my pig's problems. She's a pet store pig. I probably should have gone with a shelter one, but when we had gone to the pet store a week before and when I saw her in there I couldn't resist.
Thank you spy9doc!

03-03-13, 09:27 pm
Both of my girls have VERY different voices. Hustle is VERY vocal and loud. Her "voice" is not incredibly high pitched but noticeable. Flo's "voice" is extremely quiet but with a ridiculously high pitched "whistle".

And depending on how big your water bottle is you might not notice it going down much. Our pigs drink water but not a ton. We change it every day to give them fresh water but if we only filled it when it was empty we would only fill it twice a week for two pigs.

03-04-13, 01:46 pm
The bottle is a fairly decent size. I see her drinking from it at times, but as much as I see her doing it, the amount left doesn't accommodate. Do you think that something could be wrong with the bottle itself? Or maybe I'm being piggy paranoid 0.0
Thanks Juliaanimal! You were helpful with the confirmation that my pig was not deathly ill :)

03-04-13, 01:55 pm
43868Kind of hard to see in this pic, but my Dwight when I took him in had scaly peeling skin due to his previous homing situation. After treating it with coconut oil it has cleared up. If it starts cracking or bleeding though you definitely want to take them in to see an exotic vet, or if it doesn't clear up. My vet gave me a topical antibiotic for Dwight in case it ever cracked/bled. In your situation it might be something different. I know my vet was concerned about a fungal infection until it cleared up. As far as her squeeks and wheeks go I would make sure they aren't raspy. If they become raspy definitely take them to an exotics vet as it could be due to throat/respiratory issues (most commonly an URI).

03-04-13, 04:53 pm
Thank you kristastrophe. No, they're not raspy, it just seems like she can't get it out sometimes. And with the feet it seems that it had cleared up a lot since the pet store change.

A last question...
Char seems to have fattened up over the last 24 hours. It could be she was eating a bunch, but are there signs of pregnancy I should watch for? She's five weeks today, I believe. The man said four weeks one week ago. Is she just growing? Dunno.

03-04-13, 05:13 pm
If you can get a kitchen scale that weighs in grams, start weighing weekly on it. It's important to keep track, as weight loss is one of the first and sometimes only signs of illness.

If she is gaining lots of weight in a short period of time, she could be pregnant.

03-05-13, 09:20 am
Oh no :( my mom said if she's pregnant we have to take her back, even though the pet store said they would take the babies. Mom said she doesn't wanna deal with birth and having Char possibly eat her children. Help please :0

03-05-13, 09:30 am
Oh no :( my mom said if she's pregnant we have to take her back, even though the pet store said they would take the babies. Mom said she doesn't wanna deal with birth and having Char possibly eat her children. Help please :0

It's a myth that guinea pigs will eat their babies. I have never, ever heard of an actual account of that happening. I wouldn't panic, she may not even be pregnant. Look over these links on what to watch out for:
If she does happen to be pregnant, would you be able to take the pups to a rescue instead of returning her and the babies to the pet store?

03-05-13, 09:32 am
im pretty sure guinea pigs dont eat their pups in any situation, that is more of a hamster thing and even then hamsters only do it if theres is something wrong with the pups or the environment which they are in, or even if you keep the male in with the mom during birth that can get her to eat them. Of all the posts here i have never heard anyone say mother ate the pups. mom will eat the after birth which is a bit gross but natural. I hope your piggie is not pregnant, she might have gained a lot of weight due to the better food she is getting with you than at the pet store

03-05-13, 06:03 pm
Thanks guys. I'm pretty sure she is pregnant, because she looks so much bigger than she did two days ago. Look:
This is a big problem.44039
And, if that wasn't enough, I found this...
That dark spot by her nose had something hard on top of it, which I managed to get out when I looked at it. She didn't squeal, so I don't think it was attached...anyway, there's like a hole under it, small but still there, and she's not acting unusual so I don't know what's up. Lemme try to get a better photo.44041
okay, look to the right of her nose. That dark spot is where the hole is. I'm so worried! And her feet are bad again... What does this all mean? Will she die? Help please!

03-05-13, 06:27 pm
I don't know about the rest of it, but does your mom have any Aloe plants growing in the house? My piggy that has dry feet does very well with the tiniest drop of pure aloe. Also, if she has any sort of kitchen scale for measuring food portions, they are perfect to weigh piggies!

03-05-13, 07:26 pm
Yes, my mom has an aloe plant and I will try it once I have done some more research.
Mu sister, who has volunteered for the animal shelter for several years and was even quite knowledgable about animals before hand, has checked Char's stomach problem out and said that she was not, in fact, pregnant. And the hole in her face is a scab, she says also. Thanks Taylor!

03-05-13, 10:55 pm
She doesn't look pregnant to me. Is there pus underneath the scab? Does it smell bad? Is the area swollen?

03-06-13, 07:51 am
I think maybe it's because she's eating better here than she did at the pet store, poor pig :( foggycreekcavy there doesn't seen to be anything wrong with the scan other than it just being there. It doesn't smell, doesn't ooze, and its definitely not swollen. She could have either gotten poked by her hay or it's from the little fights she had with Deli. But she seems perfect otherwise, she's eating and drinking well and doesn't seem to be in pain.

03-08-13, 04:55 pm
UPDATE: Even though I got her from a pet store (bad idea, but I got lucky with her and I know not to do it again) Charlemagne is doing great! Her foot peeling is clearing up very nicely and I applied a little aloe to speed it along after doing some extensive research. She tried to lick it off the shower curtain, to which I promptly shuffled her over for. She's also not minding the little scab she has on her face, which is good. The fur there is gone, of course, but with good time she'll be fuzzy again :) Thanks everyone! More to come soon!

05-11-13, 06:24 am
UPDATE: Charlemagne is due soon! I'm really excited :) However...
Just after feeding her some carrot, which she really, really hates (that was all I had, I didn't think she would mind that much) she sneezed. And then I put her back in her cage and she sneezed a little more, but it went away after maybe ten minutes. Is it just because of the carrot I tried to feed her? Did she not like the smell, or the taste? Should I be worried at all? She seems very healthy otherwise, her scab is gone and the fur has returned, her feet are healthy, and she's eating just fine (also drinking well, and pooping in the food bowl :P) She loves her veggies, and her poops are great. Could it be because of the CareFresh I'm using? I think I need to change it, once my mom can get me out to the pet store...
Any help is appreciated, thank you guys :)

05-11-13, 06:49 am
I like the drawing idea, but I can really only draw anime :).

You can make money drawing anime. Look specifically for anime forums and maybe you can post your art up for sale there. Look at deviant art and etsy as well. Good luck!

05-11-13, 08:30 am
I know you say the foot problem is gone, but just for future reference a footproblem can signal an underlying discomfort. For example, my pig's feet were peeling and irritated, and the vet determined it was because she is bloated. The bloating makes her uncomfortable, so she moves around a lot, which is what is causing the foot issue.