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Thread: Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

    Hello,

    I adopted a blind and deaf cavy last week, named Skittles. She is not a lethal, she is just disabled. Her coat is brown/black, her teeth look fine, and the rest of her is in tip-top shape.

    Her cage is a pet store brand, but it seems plenty big for her, and I keep it relatively empty except for food, water, and a few safe objects to play with. I also bought her a big play pen for exercise time, which she really likes.

    Here are my questions:

    1) I work full-time, so I was considering getting her a laid-back female piggie companion to provide her with some company while I am at work, but every time I put my hand in her cage and touch her, she freaks out and runs away. Should I just leave her alone in there?

    2) I have given her all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables, but the thing she'll eat is timothy hay, her guinea pig pebbles, red apples, and baby food. Is this a decent diet for her? I add vitamin C tablets to her water just to make sure she gets enough.

    3) Whenever she is in her cage or in the playpen, she does NOT like to be touched or picked up. I always feel like I handle her to rough when I pick her up because she'll pull away and shake to get off. Once she's off the ground, though, she mellows out and she really likes it when I pet her, give her massages, or brush her coat. But then, after 30 mins or so, when I go to put her down, she'll get nervous again and try to get out of my hands as I lower her into the cage. After so much bonding and interaction, she still does not want to be touched after I put her in the cage or playpen. What is up with this behavior? Is she just not used to the routine yet? I treat her as gentle as could be, and I know she is happy when I pet her, so why does she behave that way in her cage/playpen?

    4) I am thinking about getting her spayed. Would it be OK to get her spayed at 6-8 months old?

    That's about it for my questions right now. I would really love to hear back from everyone, as I cannot seem to find answers anywhere else.

    Cheers,

    Rich

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    Cavy Slave jenniwat001's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

    I'd get her a friend, a female would be best. Guinea pigs don't hve the best sight anyway and the smell of the other piggy might comfort her and she would know she was there.

    My pigs freak out when I touch them in the cage, I don't think it has much to do with her disability. She can probably sense something above her, and her instincts kick in.

    I don't like being suspended in mid air (walking over glass and rock climbing), I can imagine pigs don't like it either, as long as she fine when she is on you I wouldn't worry.

    Baby food? As in human? I don't know about that!. As for the rest of her diet I would keep adding other veggies, some pigs just take time to get to like it.

    Also the tablets in her water aren't good- it makes it taste funny and the sunlight breaks down the vit c content making it useless! You can give her the tablets in some apple if you want. Also apple shouldn't be fed daily- it can lead to ulcers.

    Sounds like you are doing a great job. Please build her a c&c cage- she will have more running around space without so much bumping into things. Also you will need extra space with another pig.


    Why would you get her spayed?

    Keep us updated on her progress.

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    Cavy Slave akstrohm's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

    How big is her cage? If it is a pet store cage, it is almost certainly too small. Even if she seems happy, she will be much happier in a bigger cage. Can you keep her in the play pen all the time? Have you looked into C&C cages?

    All guinea pigs should be kept with a same-sex friend, whether you give them much attention or not. Adopt, don't buy from a pet store. And make sure you are 100% sure of the sex of your pig (don't trust what someone at a pet store told you if that's where you got her).

    Most guinea pigs run when you try to pick them up. Taking her out several times a day for short periods will get her used to you. Try hand feeding her veggies as well. She will probably still be skittish though--many pigs are. And 30 min might be too long to have her out--15 min is better.

    What brand pellets are you feeding? Kleenmama, Oxbow, Sweet Meadow, and Mazuri 5664 are the only acceptable brands. If you're feeding something else, throw it away and get one of those. Keep feeding unlimited timothy hay.

    For veggies, pigs need at least 1 cup per day, and most of that should be leafy greens. You should feed lettuce and bell pepper now in small amounts until she eats them (stop feeding apples). It may take weeks or months, but keep giving them to her. Once she eats those, add in other veggies (and just a little fruit). See the nutrition charts in the stickies.

    Do not put vit. C drops in the water. The vit C degrades quickly in water, making it useless. Plus it can make the water taste different causing a pig not to drink as much. Until your pig starts eating bell pepper and other veggies regularly, you can give a 100% vitamin C tablet (no sugar or other vitamins). You should feed 1/8 bell pepper per day per pig for the vit C.

    Don't get her spayed. It will cause no change in health or behavior and the surgery carries some risk.

    Almost all of these questions could have been answered with a forum search. Read through the stickies as well. Hope this helps!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

    I am definitely going to adopt her a friend. I just don't want the other guinea pig to take advantage of Skittles.

    Yes, I feed her Gerber Year 1 Applesauce, Carrot, and Banana. She really loves that stuff. I only give it to her once a day, via a syringe.

    I give her eCotrition pellets, which seem legit. They have fruits, veggies, timothy hay pellets, and Ester C. Is there any reason specific reason you would not recommend these as opposed to the other brands you like?

    I think she likes Red Peppers, cause she ate a few pieces of it the last time I gave it to her. The leafy greens, not so much. I will try to hand feed her greens from now on.
    I give her tons of timothy hay. She loves that stuff.

    I have a guinea pig magazine / book that has all of the nutrition requirements, etc. That is where I got the idea of putting vitamin C tablets in her water. It also said that spaying my piggie would prevent ovarian cysts and other issues like that from developing in the future. That is the only reason why I would have considered it.

    I cannot remember the size of her cage, but it is quite big, especially for her size. I will definitely get a bigger one once I adopt a new piggie. It will be useful to have 2 cages for the quarentine time.

    The play pen does not have a roof, and I would not want her to climb out of it and run around the house. She is not the climbing type, she'll turn around as soon as she feels/senses a road block, but I am just being paranoid. If I hold her for 15 minutes, would it be ok to let her run around in the playpen for a few hours? (With food and water in there, of course.)

    Thank you all for the helpful replies. I have read the stickies and many online articles and my magazine. A lot of the info is kind of conflicting, and to boot, I have a deaf/blind guinea pig, so I don't know if all the advice that is out there necc. applies to her. That is why I asked those questions.

    Many thanks,

    Rich

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    Cavy Slave jenniwat001's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

    Quote Originally Posted by mrdellano View Post


    I have a guinea pig magazine / book that has all of the nutrition requirements, etc. That is where I got the idea of putting vitamin C tablets in her water. It also said that spaying my piggie would prevent ovarian cysts and other issues like that from developing in the future. That is the only reason why I would have considered it.
    Most pet books/ magazines are a bit out dated. Spaying her will prevent ovarian cysts (as she wont have any ovaries to get cysts on!) but I'm not sure that the risks of unneccesary surgery are out weighed by the benefits, but I'm no expert.

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    Cavy Slave PiggieMom's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my Deaf / Blind cavy

    If her teeth are fine, is there a reason you hand feed her? Does she have trouble eating on her own?

    Most guinea pig books and magazines are full of misinformation, unfortunately. I wouldn't feed banana at all, it can cause constipation. Fruit should only be fed once a week (that would include any apple sauce or baby food). This thread has a bunch of charts on which veggies are good to feed as well as some other information and this thread has some sample menus. Pigs are often slow to try something new, so even if she doesn't eat something right away keep offering it to her. It may take several weeks before she decides to eat it.

    If you don't trust that she's getting enough food on her own and you think she needs to be handfed, I strongly recommend Oxbow's Critical Care. I wouldn't feed baby food, I've heard of people having problems with bloat when using it.

    If she eats a varied diet, following the rules provided by Ly's chart, she shouldn't need any vitamin C supplement. If she's not eatting her veggies right away you can syringe her som liquid vitamin C. 30 mg should be more than enough a day.

    I leave my girl in her floor time pen sometimes for the entire day. She loves having all that extra space to explore. I'm sure your girl will be fine as long as the pen is stable and she has food and water.

    When you look to adopt her a friend, perhaps you can find a guinea pig rescue near you to help you pair her with someone. All the handicape pigs I've read about feel much safer when they have a good friend to touch and smell.

    (Sorry this post was so disjointed, I was trying to answer all your concerns so I was scrolling up and looking at your two posts to see if I missed anything).

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