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Pregnancy Behavior of a pregnant pig

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slynndowney

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Hi all!
I bought Maple six weeks ago from a pet store (poor research and planning on my part!) and the worker warned us that she may be pregnant (all the pigs were kept in one tank, two females/four males). I really wanted a female and not knowing the dangers of guinea pig pregnancy, my husband and I decided she would be a good fit for our home.

After about two weeks she really started to get bigger, all in her middle.
This is her the first day we got her:
2014 06 25 185548
This is her today:
2014 07 31 183046

I know it's hard to tell but she is definitely more round. (round is a shape, right?!) her size is very noticeable when she relaxes for a while but if i try to take a picture, she tenses up and sucks it back in, ha!

It seems there are tons of posts asking "is my pig pregnant?" and discuss size, but what about behavior? Mostly I am asking if this is normal pregnant piggie behavior to make sure my line of thinking is accurate:
1. the first two weeks we had her, she had no issue being picked up. but then suddenly stopped wanting to be held. I can hold her while she is in a shirt and she doesn't mind, but she hates being hand held.
2. she lays down ALL the time. when she eats from her dish. when she eats her hay. she will take breaks during floor time and just lay down under the coffee table. again, this changed about two weeks after we had her.
3. she pees much more frequently now than when we first got her (at least I think she does)
4. she never seems satisfied with food. i have probably given her a bit too many veggies, but she has never had diarrhea, and I try to keep track of her pellets, but throughout the day i fill the bottom probably three times, for closer to a 1/4 cup total

there has been no separation of her pelvic bones yet. and i'm pretty sure i've seen kicking. the best way i could describe them is it looked like she had the hiccups, and they startled her each time they started. she wouldn't let me touch her when they were happening. i've tried holding her sides when she is laying down but have not felt any movement. :confused:

We originally had her in a pet store cage, but last week her C&C (2x4) cage arrived and her fleece flippers came yesterday :) i feed her adult pellets, a combo of alfalfa and timothy hay (got her alfalfa after I thought she was definitely pregnant) and daily she gets a lettuce leaf, some pepper and I swap out cilantro/parsley/tiny pieces of fruit each day.

anyone that has seen piggie pregnancies, are these normal signs of a pregnant pig? I am so excited to see the babies, but it's also extremely nerve-wracking not knowing and knowing how difficult pregnancy can be on her. :( thanks for any advice!
 

Princess_Piggie

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Ohh she's so pregnant, poor little lady! Looks like she was pretty far along when you got her.

1. Pigs shouldn't be handled when they're that pregnant, it's uncomfortable for them. Minimise it to shuffling her around the cage to clean around her.
2. It's totally normal for her to be laying down so often. She's an exhausted expectant mummy! Move her hidey closer to her eating area. And she probably won't get anything other than stress through effort out of floor time at this point. Pregnancy is so hard on sows because they birth fully developed pups, i.e teeth, open eyes, ability to move and eat everything that momma pig can eat.
3. Not sure about that, but she may be peeing more because she's drinking more. Often when a pig comes to a new environment they take a while to get comfortable eating and drinking. My girls drinking level certainly went up once they were really at home and comfy.
4. No pig is ever satisfied with their food! They're "pigs" for a reason ;) She'll make you feel like she's not eaten for days and go mental wheeking, even if she only ate five minutes ago, so don't stress out and think you're depriving her. If she's under 6 months she can have unlimited pellets too, though. (And a little more than 1 cup of veggies per day won't hurt while she's pregnant either. 1 cup per pig is a minimum guideline, not a maximum limit).

You probably just keep feeling down her sides at times when the pups are sleeping, it can take a few tries per day to feel it, but at this stage, it's best for her if you just leave her to it. At that size, I'd say you'll be seeing pups pretty darn soon.

You're doing such a great job already by educating yourselves, doing the correct research (and correcting the unknowing mistakes you made), so don't worry too much. She's clearly going to be a very spoilt little girl! Have you thought about keeping a female pup to be her cage mate?
 

slynndowney

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That is such a huge relief to hear [MENTION=29900]Princess_Piggie[/MENTION] that my intuition was spot on! And yes I literally run down the stairs every morning like it's Christmas hoping there will be little babies :) I have only had her out twice in the past week for floor time (once to put in her fleece), but I will let her stay in the cage at this point. She spent the time pooping, peeing and hiding under our coffee table anyways.
And yes, she is spoiled beyond belief! :D
I definitely want to keep her babies if they are female. I wanted to get her a cage mate since I now know how important that is (we only had male piggies when I was a kid so didn't quite realize the necessity of another pig) but my husband wanted us to wait and see if she was in fact pregnant, which obviously was a good decision. I keep praying that she will have two little girls (since she doesn't seem big enough to have more than two or three pups) and we can keep all three :D I don't work so they will get plenty of love and attention as Maple already has. I'll be sure to post pictures when the babies finally arrive!
 

pinky

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You should have an exotic vet on hand in the event there's a medical emergency of some sort. It would be a lot easier to find one ahead of time that specializes in guinea pigs than waiting until you need one.
 

Princess_Piggie

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[MENTION=15081]pinky[/MENTION] makes an excellent point. Put your research in for that, I like to have a few trick questions ready when I'm "auditioning" a new vet. "What do I do if she ever gets a cold?" (Guinea pigs don't get colds, and an experienced exotic vet will know that).

If you do end up with an extra three females though, you will need to expand her cage a fair amount. You won't need to if there's only one female though. Have you thought about what you'll do with males pups when they're 3 weeks old? They can't stay with the girls after the three week mark, so you'll need somewhere to house them if you plan on adopting them out yourselves.
 

slynndowney

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[MENTION=15081]pinky[/MENTION] that's the one issue i haven't been able to budge my husband on. he grew up on a farm and is a hunter. He has a pellet gun on hand should something go wrong.. he can't see the point in paying a couple hundred dollars for a pet that cost $35... i disagree with him, but see his side of it too :/ i once spent an entire night awake with a sick sugar glider, feeding it from an eyedropper, before taking it to the vet the next day only to have it pass away (was a congenital defect we could do nothing about). Sometimes you need to let God take care of His creatures.
[MENTION=29900]Princess_Piggie[/MENTION] I'm waiting at this point to see how many/what sex babies she has. we do have the pet store cage for separation short term. I realize that even with two more female additions her cage will be a bit crowded. The largest issue we face is my husband's work moves us a few times a year. Thankfully we will be in this house for at least another five months, but who knows after that. As such, we may need to only keep two, maybeee three, and adopt out the rest. I'd prefer to keep all of them, because I know I'm going to get attached, but we can't always guarantee we will have such a large house every time we move. Plus the whole moving process itself...

This whole affair started when I decided I wanted a hamster, but realizing they are nocturnal, thought a guinea pig would be a better option. Then found out that they way we raised them when I was a kid was wayyy wrong. But I'm doing my research and correcting my previous mistakes :)
 

Ohana266

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I'm no expert on guinea pig pregnancy, but the baby girl I recently adopted is about 9 weeks pregnant and she sounds (and looks) an awful lot like your Maple. In the past few weeks I have noticed big changes in her, both physically and behaviorally. She used to be very outgoing and friendly, and she loved being held and petted, but recently she has been very protective of her space and spends most of her time either sleeping/hiding in her pigloo or laying down next to her food bowl and stuffing her face with pellets. She had been pretty mellow earlier on in her pregnancy but I ended up having to move her buddy out of their cage because she was getting VERY territorial and I was worried that their little tiffs would stress her out too much. Chewie also lays down while doing most everything; eating hay, eating pellets, eating veggies... she's pretty big now and looks uncomfortable, so I don't blame her. I've been able to see the babies kicking for about a week now, and if I sit with her for a little while I can usually hear them grinding their teeth inside her - it's the strangest thing!

Wishing Maple a safe, easy labor and healthy pups!
 

pinky

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[MENTION=15081]pinky[/MENTION] that's the one issue i haven't been able to budge my husband on. he grew up on a farm and is a hunter. He has a pellet gun on hand should something go wrong.. he can't see the point in paying a couple hundred dollars for a pet that cost $35... i disagree with him, but see his side of it too :/ i once spent an entire night awake with a sick sugar glider, feeding it from an eyedropper, before taking it to the vet the next day only to have it pass away (was a congenital defect we could do nothing about). Sometimes you need to let God take care of His creatures.
[MENTION=29900]Princess_Piggie[/MENTION] I'm waiting at this point to see how many/what sex babies she has. we do have the pet store cage for separation short term. I realize that even with two more female additions her cage will be a bit crowded. The largest issue we face is my husband's work moves us a few times a year. Thankfully we will be in this house for at least another five months, but who knows after that. As such, we may need to only keep two, maybeee three, and adopt out the rest. I'd prefer to keep all of them, because I know I'm going to get attached, but we can't always guarantee we will have such a large house every time we move. Plus the whole moving process itself...

This whole affair started when I decided I wanted a hamster, but realizing they are nocturnal, thought a guinea pig would be a better option. Then found out that they way we raised them when I was a kid was wayyy wrong. But I'm doing my research and correcting my previous mistakes :)

It really has little to do with the "cost" of a pet or allowing God to exclusively take care of his creatures. A vet can diagnose whether something is congenital or treatable. Sometimes, an inexpensive antibiotic is all it takes to treat something, while not providing it can cause immense suffering and death. There are no guarantees in life but being willing to provide medical care will often prolong it. Even farm animals require vet care now and then.
 

pigger123

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If you had a sick human child, would you think, "Why bother paying hundreds of dollars on medical bills when they might not make it anyway? Let's just shoot them in the head so we don't have to waste our money." No, I don't believe anyone would think like that. So why should we think that way about our pets? It's not about how much you paid for them, it's about how they are living creatures and you chose to take on the responsibility to take care of them by getting them in the first place.

Best of luck to Maple with the delivery! In case it isn't already, her cage needs to be baby-proofed.
 

Starthecavy123

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Ditto [MENTION=30060]pigger123[/MENTION]
 

CavyMama

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I do understand where your husband is coming from. It's a sentiment that many people share. "It's only a guinea pig". They are thought of as "disposable pets". That thought process is something that needs to change. It doesn't matter how much you paid for a pet, it is still your responsibility to provide medical care. It is part of what you signed up for when you agreed to bring a pet into your home.

Guinea pigs range in cost. A guinea pig from a rescue might have an adoption fee of $25-$30. A guinea pig from a breeder might cost $150. Does that mean that the guinea pig from the breeder deserves to see a vet more than the rescue pig? They are both guinea pigs. Why should what you paid, decide if the pig is worthy of receiving medical treatment?

Although your husband might think he knows best about how to take care of any kind of medical issues that come up, you do have a say in what happens. It's time to speak up. You need your voice to be heard. He might think a pellet gun is medical treatment rather than a vet visit but you get a vote too. The pig can't speak for itself. Be the voice for the pig.
 

Starthecavy123

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I don't get what you husband us say I just don't. She is a living breathing creature and you have a responsibility. Any pet no matter how small is a commitment. Any animal I've owned putting them down was a last resort. It doesn't matter how much you spent on her. You wouldn't do that to a human child. I look at it this way we don't have the right to choose who dies and who lives. I think put an animal down should be a last resort. Like for instance if the animal is in pain. She's one of gods little creatures. :) If it were me I'd tell him over my dead body.
 

slynndowney

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I'm no expert on guinea pig pregnancy, but the baby girl I recently adopted is about 9 weeks pregnant and she sounds (and looks) an awful lot like your Maple. In the past few weeks I have noticed big changes in her, both physically and behaviorally. She used to be very outgoing and friendly, and she loved being held and petted, but recently she has been very protective of her space and spends most of her time either sleeping/hiding in her pigloo or laying down next to her food bowl and stuffing her face with pellets. She had been pretty mellow earlier on in her pregnancy but I ended up having to move her buddy out of their cage because she was getting VERY territorial and I was worried that their little tiffs would stress her out too much. Chewie also lays down while doing most everything; eating hay, eating pellets, eating veggies... she's pretty big now and looks uncomfortable, so I don't blame her. I've been able to see the babies kicking for about a week now, and if I sit with her for a little while I can usually hear them grinding their teeth inside her - it's the strangest thing!

Wishing Maple a safe, easy labor and healthy pups!


That sounds EXACTLY like my Maple!! We didn't get a friend for her yet since we were wondering if she is pregnant, but she has been very snippy with me these past few weeks. I keep calling her a butthead :p and I hope that changes after the babies are born because she was such a sweet pig before lol
 

slynndowney

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Yes, the cage is baby proof. Well, can be, I have coroplast and cardboard that can be put up when we are ready!

Let me explain more on this vet topic.. I wanted to take her to a vet when I thought she was pregnant. My husband did not see the need because why do we need a vet to say yay or nay? I have researched and there is a vet hospital in town that will take exotics. I could probably call and actually ask them about guinea pigs to be sure.
If she has an infection or some other fixable issue, I have no doubt that he will allow me to take her to the vet. He is not that type of person. However, if she has a prolapse or if a baby is born severely deformed, or some MAJOR issue, he will take care of that issue himself. Yes, with a pellet gun.
So I hope that clarifies our situation. I'll take the responsibility for making it seem like she will never see a vet for any reason whatsoever. Because that is NOT the case. :)
 

foggycreekcavy

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There's no need for your husband to "euthanize" with a pellet gun. Any vet can euthanize a guinea pig, and most don't charge very much to do so.

Regardless, please refrain from mentioning this again. Your comments are upsetting to many of the forum members here.
 

Starthecavy123

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My vet didn't charge me when I had to put Bella down. She had gotten pregnant at the pet store to and long story short the babies didn't make it. And Bella had to put down (R.I.P. Bella).

I wouldn't care how much they charged at least it'll be painless. I just don't see your husband's logic. Every animal is a responsibility and that means vet care as well. None of my pets ever went without vet care. If I had a rat they would see a vet when an illness came up. Same as any pet I would own be it a horse or something as small as a hamster.
 
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slynndowney

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Regardless, please refrain from mentioning this again. Your comments are upsetting to many of the forum members here.

Everyone seems to have ignored the fact that I am not entirely comfortable with the issue either, as I did not grow up in a "take care of your own" lifestyle, and I began this thread with the utmost concern for my guinea pig. But I guess when one facet of your lifestyle is not generally accepted, it doesn't matter what else you say or do.

I assure you that I care very deeply for my pet, as well as any pet I have had or will have, and I am extremely upset and disheartened to see the negativity that has been generated from one mis-thought post. In no way did I mean to construe that Maple will never receive necessary medical attention, and though we may not choose to use a means you see as "best", her welfare and well-being are at the top of my priority list.

I greatly regret ever joining and posting. I have spent the better part of this morning upset over the replies and I will not be returning to these forums. I sincerely apologize to anyone who was made upset, that was never my intention.
 

foggycreekcavy

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No need to leave. There's a wealth of information here, and lots to learn. Not everyone will see eye to eye. I totally understand that your care and concern for her was your first priority. I don't doubt that you will get her the vet attention she needs if necessary.

Most likely she will deliver with no problems and the point will be moot.

Startthecavy, there was no need for your second paragraph. It was better to let the issue go--my comment to refrain about the issue was for all concerned.
 

foggycreekcavy

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I am closing this thread.
 
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