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Thread: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

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    Cavy Slave Krymle's Avatar
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    Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    My friends have 3 guinea pigs, 2 girls and just recently adopted a boy. Their cage is 100x80cm with an upper level. It is hidden beneath their desk and is always quite dark, as the sunlight cant reach well down there. They have serveral other animals as well, including 2 chinchillas, and a hamster, whose cage needs are met just fine. But i dont think 100x80 is enough, is it? By my calculations it comes to just under the MINIMUM required, not even the preferred size. I think the 2 girls had it okay with their 100x80 and an upper level, but now that they have added a boy, it just doesnt seem enough to me. My friends are in a relationship, and one of them hears what i say, and would like to expand, even though they dont really have the space. The other one, says it is fine, it meets the minimum requirements set by danish shelters(We're from Denmark), and i keep saying those numbers are wrong, and to check this site for all guinea pig needs. They brush it off.

    Whew.. how do i talk some sense into them? Or am i wrong, and the cage is fine for 3 pigs?

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    Is the boy neutered? If he's not, they'll have more problems than just the cage size.

    You are right, they don't have enough space for 3 pigs. The cage should be at least 12 sq.ft for three.

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    Cavy Slave Krymle's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    Quote Originally Posted by lissie View Post
    Is the boy neutered? If he's not, they'll have more problems than just the cage size.

    You are right, they don't have enough space for 3 pigs. The cage should be at least 12 sq.ft for three.
    I forgot to say the reason they got a boy is because they want to impregnate the two girls. First, she was just gonna borrow the male, but she ended up buying him.

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    Cavy Slave pigtales's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    How long have they been guinea pig owners? Is sounds like they have limited experience or were poorly educated about guinea pig care. Not only is the cage size entirely too small, but breeding guinea pigs is not recommended and can be very dangerous and life-threatening for the mother and pups. Could you print off some of the more vital health and safety information and physically give it to them instead of just directing them to the website? I am truly concerned for these three piggies.

  5. "Thank you, pigtales, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Krymle's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    Quote Originally Posted by pigtales View Post
    How long have they been guinea pig owners? Is sounds like they have limited experience or were poorly educated about guinea pig care. Not only is the cage size entirely too small, but breeding guinea pigs is not recommended and can be very dangerous and life-threatening for the mother and pups. Could you print off some of the more vital health and safety information and physically give it to them instead of just directing them to the website? I am truly concerned for these three piggies.
    I think they have had guinea pigs for 4-5 months now. And they had guinea pigs as children. Can you direct me to this specfic information, you think i should print? An URL?

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    Cavy Slave pigtales's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small


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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    The main things I think you should tell them are:

    1) Pregnancy is very hard on both sows and pups, and the death rate is high. Guinea pig pups are HUGE in relation to the sow when they are born, and that makes for a VERY difficult labor and delivery.

    2) Guinea pigs are susceptible to a number of genetic illnesses that cannot be treated. Pigs with the roan/dalmation allele (all roan pigs, and potentially any pig with white on its body) can produce pups with lethal white syndrome. They are born blind and deaf, with wonky or missing teeth, and immature digestive systems. They require lifelong, expensive care, including frequent dental trims.

    Another genetic issue is osteodystrophy, a painful bone and joint disease with no possibility of treatment other than pain medication, which doesn't always work.

    Please encourage them NOT to breed these pigs. There are thousands of guinea pigs in rescues and shelters that need good homes, and there's no need for anyone to deliberately breed another one. There are enough accidental pregnancies to keep the species going without planned breeding.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Friends adopted another guinea pig - cage too small

    Also if the boar is housed with the sows he will re-impregnate them within minutes of birthing or even within minutes of miscarrying leading to back-to-back pregnancies. Back-to-back pregnancies greatly increase the risk of complication and puts a massive strain on the sow's body. As sows on average have between 2 and pups do they have the facilities to house a potential of 10 guinea pigs total, if one sow was to have 3 pups and the other was to have 4, after just the first litter?

    If they are to have all three guinea pigs and even just the potential first litter of pups, even if each sow only had one pup, in that one undersized cage that would be a level of overcrowding that greatly increases the risk that the pups will have their ears chewed on/off by the adults. Also all male pups MUST be separated from all females at three weeks of age or they can get their mother and sisters pregnant leading to inbreeding and all of the risks of genetic diseases and birth defects goes up the more inbred they become.

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