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Thread: Hello!

  1. #1


    Hi all!

    I adopted a guinea pig last Friday and it was quite unplanned. I am now seeking out all information and advice so I can better care for him. This site has already been a wealth of knowledge and I'm certain I've only scratched the surface

    My kids love to go to pet stores and look at the animals, but I am a firm believer in adoption. However, last Friday while we were oohing and awwing, I saw a lone guinea caged away from the others that were herded together. I asked a worker about him and she said that he was not for sale because he was imperfect. This word upset me LOL so I decided I needed him and he WAS perfect... I asked why they would say that and he has a genetic condition that causes his eye to weep. They thought that he had an upper respiratory infection and treated him for months until this apparent diagnosis. But they were going to have to "dispose" of him since he couldn't be sold. I asked if I could adopt him, and after some run-around I was allowed to. He's got a cage and seems used to handling from what I can tell, I'm guessing because he was under the vet care for so long. He loves to go out to our back yard and play outside, munching grass etc.

    Here are my questions:

    1) In my reading and learning, I'm convicted that I need to get him a pal. Should I feel pressure to do it quickly or should I get him situated and learn more before taking on another one? (I have found 3 within an hour of me at various shelters via Petfinder)

    2) He's in a rabbit cage (even with no research I thought that the cages sold for piggies in store were too small), but can't seem to figure out how to go up the ramp. Can't figure out may be the wrong wording, but my concern is he's lived in an environment that hasn't taught him much... best ways to help him? Or is time all he needs?

    3) Same as the environment question but with food. He seems to have only been fed hay and pellets. No interest at all in other foods that we've offered, but he'll eat hay or grass from my hand. Should I push this and try to keep experimenting, should I work on it or let it go?

    4) His nails seem long to me. I purchase some clippers, but am terrified to hurt him. Should I take him to a vet?

    Any other advice is welcome, I am a TOTAL newbie and want to take care of this sweet guy as best I can. Thank you all in advance for any help, and thank you for the help that this site is!

  2. #2

    Re: Hello!

    Welcome! And thanks for taking this guy in.

    I'll let others answer your specific questions, but here's our recommended reading list:!

  3. #3

    Re: Hello!

    Hello and welcome to the forum Poor baby I am glad you have him now To answer your questions:

    1) Before you think about adopting another piggy you need a bigger cage. Even though the rabbit cage is big, it still is not big enough. For two males you need a 2x5 cxc cage and two females a 2x4. Speaking of verify the gender of your piggy. A lot of times pet stores mix them up. Make sure you research quarantine too!

    2) As I said the rabbit cage is really not suitable. Depending on the ramp it could just be too steep. Some guinea pigs just dont like ramps so I wouldn?t worry about it. Just make sure not to put any food or water bottle up there.

    3) What other foods are you feeding? What pellets? You need to feed a high quality pellet like Oxbow. You also need a vitamin c source. Bell peppers are a good source. Make sure to put the hay near or under a covered area, it will help him feel safe when eating. Fresh hay needs to be supplied 24/7. Also what are you using for bedding?

    4) Nails should be trimmed. You can get some kitten or small animal ones. It is helpful to have someone else hold while the other trims. As for the vet in general it is never a bad idea. I take mine for a yearly exam. Make sure you find an exotic one. Among other things the vet can trim the nails and show you how.

    In general read all the intro posts they have on this site. Lots of good info

  4. #4

    Re: Hello!

    In response to wheekermommy's questions:

    1) Yes! I am looking at the designs on this site, and deciding if I'll make or purchase. I'll try to verify, they told me they only sold males to prevent breeding but I could see it being a easy mix-up

    2) I have it lowered so I don't think it's steep, I think he just hasn't been exposed. Just a guess obviously.

    3) Pellets are "Kaytee Timothy complete guinea pig food", hay is "Kaytee Timothy all natural hay for rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals", and we've tried to feed him spinach, green pepper, red pepper, and arugula so far by either holding it out to him or putting it in his bowl. He shows a little interest when it's held out to him, but after sniffing he will turn and walk away. For the last two days I have minced the green pepper and put in with his pellets and he's eating some of it, possibly by accident? The hay is right by the covered area, and he also has an igloo he likes. Bedding is shredded paper that I've changed every two days so far.

    4) I have the clippers, I am just scared to use them. I think I'll schedule a vet appointment and have them walk me through it

    Thanks for the advice and help!!!

  5. #5

    Re: Hello!

    Kaytee pellets are pretty much crap. The only two brands we recommend are KMS Hayloft (available online) or Oxbow Cavy Cuisine.

    You might find this handy:

  6. #6

    Re: Hello!

    Thank you for that. I will purchase a better quality pellet and hay for him tomorrow! The linked thread also really helps! Hopefully I can get a new cage and then a friend for him soon <3

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