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Thread: Is this normal...?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Is this normal...?

    Hey guys, I was hoping someone could help me out with this. Okay, so my female guinea pig is about 1 1/2 years old. She is pregnant, she isn't supposed to have her babies till about the end of July. She keeps pushing, licking and biting at her bottom. She's not acting normal and I was wondering if anyone has any information on this that can help me figure what exactly is going on with her right now. Thank you in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: Is this normal...?

    Warning! Just in case you are not aware: Has she had a litter when she was 4-7 months of age? If she's never had a litter before, her pelvic bones are fused which would make it virtually impossible for her to push out babies and it is likely that she will not make it through labor, nor will she be able to give birth at all. She may need a cesarian section by an experienced vet, but even then the fatality rate is high. I hope you are an experienced breeder and already know all this! Addressing your question, I'm sorry to say I have no experience in breeding and can't tell you. :/ Best of luck!

  3. #3

    Re: Is this normal...?

    And I hope you're NOT an experienced breeder and that your pig is having an accidental litter. Pregnancy and delivery are very hard on guinea pig sows and pups, and the death rate for both is high. Additionally, guinea pigs have several genetic problems which can cause lifelong pain, and suffering until death.

    Has your sow had a previous litter? If not, she needs to see an exotic vet for an x-ray to see how many pups she has and how large they are. Her chances of a safe delivery decrease drastically with age, and while her pelvic bones are not fused, the pelvic ligaments do stiffen to the point that they don't stretch enough to allow delivery. If she has several small pups, she may be OK. If she has one or more large ones, maybe not.

    See for more info.

  4. #4

    Re: Is this normal...?

    Thank you for providing correct information. I don't support breeders either, I just hope there's some medical background knowing there is a pregnant sow involved. I clearly need to research more

  5. #5

    Re: Is this normal...?

    The pelvic bones fusing is a common misconception with guinea pigs. After somewhere between 7 months to 1 year of age the pelvic ligaments of a sow stiffen if they have not been stretched from a previous birthing.

    The ligaments rarely stiffen to the point where they don't stretch at all, but they won't stretch as much as they would have in a younger sow. Given the large size of guinea pig pups in relation to the size of the sow it is possible for even young otherwise healthy sows to suffer from dystocia, let alone older sows who's pelvic ligaments have less stretch. However even older sows have a chance at a safe unassisted delivery if the pups are smaller.

    From what I have read with guinea pigs c-sections are typically not a successful procedure. In almost all cases I have heard of the mother guinea pig has died within a few days of having a c-section performed, and most also have high mortality rates for the pups.

  6. #6

    Re: Is this normal...?

    For the pregnant sow, has there been any noticeable discharge from her vagina? Does she have a strange odour? Does her skin around her vaginal area look normal? Are her poops normal? Are the pups kicking?

    I would be concerned about possible infection (even uterine infection) or urine scald or pregnancy complications, as it sounds like she is acting like she is uncomfortable. The occasional pushing motion in a pregnant sow is not all that uncommon, as sometimes they can hiccup when the pups kick, however the licking and biting is not typical behaviour and is somewhat concerning.

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