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Thread: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave jacqueline's Avatar
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    soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    so, after much e-mailing, i went this afternoon to a local rescue to check out 2 boys i've had my eyes on. they're both lethal whites, males, about 2 years old (amazingly). they are nicely bonded. they are very cute, but are aching for a home of their own. they are both deaf and blind, and appear to have some developmental delays - according to their rescue mom, they still act like very young pigs, even tho they're 2 years old. they also both have overgrowing upper front teeth that i'll need to trim every few weeks or so. they clearly haven't had too much human contact, as they were a little skittish when i held them - but oh -i'm in love!!

    i've spent the past few weeks reading everything i can get my hands on about the care of lethals. i do need some help from all of you however. i'll be picking them up next weekend, and have this week to get things together for them. ANY and ALL information you have from your experiences with lethals, or blinds pigs, in terms of cage size, etc would be helpful, even if i've already seen it.

    the other question i have is mostly for the moderators, i think. there are some sensitive questions i have about what i was told at the rescue about their care. i have nothing but respect for people who run rescues, but sometime how they care for their pigs is a little different from what i have read about here. i don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, especially if the rescue reads this site, so is there someone out there i can PM with some questions? either someone with experience with lethals, or not? thanks. sorry, btw, if this request seems inappropriate or disrespectful - it's not meant to be - i'm just trying not to hurt anyone's feelings in a public forum!

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    You can PM any of the mods about their care.

    You should also read fairymagic.me -- Fairy is a lethal white in England, and her mom takes AMAZING care of her. There have been some other notable lethals, including Casper, whose mom jumped through innumerable hoops to get her from Australia to Canada. Most do not live very long, so these little guys you're looking at have done pretty well to reach two years old.

    Several of the posters over at Guinea Lynx who have lethals are putting together a care guide for them. I don't know when it will be up, but will watch for it and let you know when it's online.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave jacqueline's Avatar
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    thanks @bpatters. i have read the fairie magic me site - it's too cute! i have followed casper's story as well. i'll keep checking on guinea lynx as well,

  4. #4
    Lethal Guru
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    What vet are you planning to use? I know Dr. Stuart in Bridgewater does very good tooth trims--he was always great at getting Einy's little teeth into shape.

    Do not give metacam every day. Give only as long as is needed for post tooth trim pain. It helps with pain but there is some evidence that it messes up the intestinal lining long-term.

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave jacqueline's Avatar
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    AAhh. . [email protected]salana! i was actually trying to either remember your name or find a posting from you. i thought i remembered someone on this site who had experience with lethals! (at least that's what i assumed). do you or have you ever owned lethals? and if so, would it be okay for me to PM you?

    now, back to the responses: the rescue mom was taught how to trim the teeth herself, and showed me as well. it's just the top front teeth that grow over. she trims them every 3-4 weeks or so. she says it doesn't hurt them, and they didn't seem upset when i was there and she trimmed them. she says the back molars have never been a problem.

    i researched and found a vet at NORTHSTAR animal hospital that specializes in exotics - a dr. doulen (sp?). my vet clinic has a vet that knows enough about run of the mill guineas to treat my boys, but referred me to dr. doulen for the lethals.

  6. #6
    Cavy Newbie Wildcavy's Avatar
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    I just wanted to say thanks @jacqueline for taking in these little guys. They are going to an amazing home :*)

  7. "Thank you, Wildcavy, for this useful post," says:


  8. #7
    Lethal Guru
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    I used to have little Einstein the Wonder Pig. He lived for a little over 2.5 years despite having no front teeth, and really screwed up molars.

    North star is great--they weren't around when Einy was alive (he died in February 2006) and I believe Dr. Doolan was at a vet hospital in northern NJ at that time that I couldn't easily reach. So I went to Dr. $tuart and he was entirely competent at dental work but in some ways it could be very frustrating to take my pigs to him. But I don't want to rag on him; he is a very talented vet and great at everything medical with every species he's seen. Guinea pig, hamster, turtle, potbellied pig, dogs with heart problems, etc. But he can be very expensive.

    That said, I've only been to north star once, in the middle of the night, with a chinchilla with a sprained wrist. (If you have chinchillas and dangling strings from curtains or blinds, please secure the dangling strings. The little brat chinchilla could have hung himself by his neck instead of his arm.) I don't remember what vet I saw, but he was great with chinchillas and the whole practice was just amazing, even at 2am. The receptionists cooed over him, the vet handled him perfectly, everything you could want in a vet practice.

    You are so lucky that your lethals have good molars and actually have front teeth. It seems like, other than the effect of other idiosyncratic factors, the completeness of a lethal's teeth has the biggest effect on their lifespan and quality of life. I had the hardest time putting weight on Einy because he couldn't eat hay without incisors. His molars probably would have been better if he could have gotten hay back to them. So with their less deformed teeth, your guys are pretty lucky. I would still recommend the basics for any special needs guinea pig: weighing frequently (maybe twice a week), getting baseline dental x rays to compare to, keeping critical care on hand, winning the lottery to have a vet fund (just kidding) (about the lottery).

    Oh, and you can definitely pm me!

  9. "Thank you, salana, for this useful post," says:


  10. #8
    Cavy Slave Roo99's Avatar
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    You are such a brave, wonderful guinea mama to take in lethals. I have always wanted to meet a lethal in person, and hopefully one day I can adopt one (or 2) and give them the best life that I know how. I have to say that people who care for special needs animals are some of the kindest that you'll ever meet on this earth. It takes a special kind of person to rescue lethals, and I commend you for that.

  11. "Thank you, Roo99, for this useful post," says:


  12. #9
    Cavy Slave jacqueline's Avatar
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    Re: soooo amazingly happy and excited, but need help . . .

    to be honest, i'm feeling a little bit like how imagine annie sullivan might have before she worked with helen keller. i've got a good amount of info about lethals, but surely not everything. these boys are not very well socialized, and i was so hoping to bring home cuddly little boys. but the challenge of helping blind and deaf pigs trust me and become peaceful enough to cuddle in my lap is one i can't resist. i would so like them to feel safe and cozy, and i can only imagine how extra hard that must be for guinea pigs who are blind and deaf. these critters are already sensitive and skittish, being the prey animals they are.

    and of course i am curious to see just how it is that they do manage to get around. clearly they have figured out a way to get what they need for the past 2 years now - with good help - but still. i will have their cage set up right next to my sofa (which is pretty much where my other 2 cages are anyway), and will be watching them closely to see what they do and how they do it.

    i read somewhere that someone had a blind/deaf pig, and whenever she went to approach it, she would gently blow on it, to let it know she was coming, so they it wouldn't be so startled, once my boys have settled in, i can't wait to try this and see how it effects our relationship.

    like i said, i'm so very excited, and a little nervous too. i will post pigtures and let everyone know how things go. thanks for the support!!

  13. "Thank you, jacqueline, for this useful post," says:


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