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General Concerned about piggies, am out of country

TinyPiggy

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 20, 2022
Messages
62
Hi
I hope this is " Living with pigs'" is the right category, because this covers a number of things including diet, cage, and more. Let me begin-I am currently out of the country, and will remain so for a few weeks, leaving my precious boys with my dad. Now, he loves animals and everything, but he's not very experienced with guinea pigs. He likes to joke that I'm spoiling them, which is probably true, but still worries me.

So recently when I was checking in with him, he. confessed that we had run out of pellets and that he didn’t want to buy anymore because, well, small pet select pellets are expensive. I tried to get him to buy pellets, but he just laughed, leaving me hoping that I convinced him to.

Also, from what I can see, he’s been using the same fleece for about 3 weeks. Yeah. That’s bad. And now I’m worried that I’ll come home to stained, disgusting fleece. And I hate to have my fleece stained. I absolutely hate it.

Another thing. Whenever I get a picture update of them eating their vegetables, I see, despite my very stern care guide, the boys are eating a whole lot of carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers. Which is probably bad. Usually, when I’m home, I manage to convince my mom to buy a larger variety of veggies, but now? Um, I tried to convince him to get a wider variety but… “ the Guinea pigs used to eat better than us, they’ll be fine for a couple of weeks..” okay, fine. They eat better. But they eat better so they not get sick!

Last thing, I know that this thread is getting super long. My dad is doesn’t know the pigs well enough to know if their okay or not. I mean, if they get another eye infection, that’s quite visible, isn’t it? But if they get mites?? That’s not super visible.

What should I do??
 
First things first, I would triple check he did indeed get more pellets, if they are having a limited variety of vegetables then pellets become even more important to give them the right vitamins and minerals they need. Tell him this, if he isn't going to feed them a variety of vegetables then he NEEDS to be making sure they have pellets.

I wouldn't be concerned about the fleece getting stained, fleece is made of plastic fibres so it doesn't stain like natural fibres do. However dampness, mould or damage to the absorbent layers from built up acids and ammonia from the urine would be more of a concern.

I wouldn't be too worried about mites, unless you recently brought in a new guinea pig the odds of a mites flare up are extremely low unless their immune systems are somehow compromised from some other illness occurring.

If you are concerned for their health the best indicator of how they are doing is to monitor their weight, if your dad is willing to weigh them weekly and their weights remain stable then that is your best indicator that they are doing ok health wise.
 
First things first, I would triple check he did indeed get more pellets, if they are having a limited variety of vegetables then pellets become even more important to give them the right vitamins and minerals they need. Tell him this, if he isn't going to feed them a variety of vegetables then he NEEDS to be making sure they have pellets.

I wouldn't be concerned about the fleece getting stained, fleece is made of plastic fibres so it doesn't stain like natural fibres do. However dampness, mould or damage to the absorbent layers from built up acids and ammonia from the urine would be more of a concern.

I wouldn't be too worried about mites, unless you recently brought in a new guinea pig the odds of a mites flare up are extremely low unless their immune systems are somehow compromised from some other illness occurring.

If you are concerned for their health the best indicator of how they are doing is to monitor their weight, if your dad is willing to weigh them weekly and their weights remain stable then that is your best indicator that they are doing ok health wise.
Hi
Thank you for your reply! I wonder, would buying those Oxbow Vitamin C tablets help at all?

Also, my parents refuse to let me put the fleece in the washing machine, so I've been hand washing them with no problem, but...I doubt that my dad has the time and/or patience to wash the fleece, and with all the business of getting ready, I forgot to make a couple extra fleeces like I was originally going to. So...the fleece still offers a bit of an issue, making me worry about urine scald and bumblefoot.

Is there a way to prevent getting urine scald or bumblefoot while still having a probably soaked liner? We do have like a 1/4 bag of Carefresh bedding, likely not enough to last longer than two or three days...
 
The Vitamin C tablets are unlikely to help too much, not all guinea pigs like to eat them and your pellets should have vitamin C in them already. It would be better to just get good pellets as at least you know they will eat them.

The only way to prevent urine scald from damp conditions is to stop the conditions being damp. Now the liners may not be as damp as you may expect, but the only one who can tell you how damp it is or is not is your father, as long as he is keeping the poops off of it then there might be enough evaporation to keep it dry enough. If it is damp then he needs to take the fleece out and either wash it, or put disposable bedding in and keep that clean and keep topping it up/changing it until you return. Perhaps the cost of disposable bedding, and the work involved in hand washing might make him reconsider washing the fleece in a washing machine.
 
Thank you for the reply. I asked my dad about the pellets, and he told me that he bought pellets that he knows I absolutely hate. Kaytee Timothy Pellets. A little story time, when I first got the boys, they ate that junk. I thought it was a " good pellet" because it wasn't colorful or full of little rainbow colored bits. But after learning a bit more about guinea pigs, I decided to change pellet brands. We did that, changing to Small Pet Select, and I was happy for once that they were eating better pellets than that junk. But now...he thinks Small Pet is too expensive. So he got that junk without even telling me! And he got the ten pound bag! So of course I made him promise to never buy any of that...junk again, stick with Oxbow or Small Pet. But for now, my poor babies are practically living off carrots, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and that junky pellet, Kaytee Timothy Pellets. All together, I'm pretty sure that's a recipe of disaster, aka: UTIs or worse.
 
Also, I forgot to add-what are the symptoms of any sort of medical conditions that can be caused with a high calcium diet? ( AKA: a bad, high calcium pellet, iceberg lettuce, etc)
Thanks :)
 
Last edited:
Too much calcium can lead to bladder and kidney stones. You will want to keep an eye out for sludge (white gritty texture) or blood. I'm sure our more experienced members can provide more complete information.

Can your ask your dad to switch from iceberg to a more nutritious lettuce such as green or red leaf lettuce? Iceberg has no nutritional value and often causes guinea pigs to suffer from diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.

Also, is it possible for you to take the fleece to a laundromat instead of hand washing it? I share a duplex with my brother and he doesn't want me to use the washing machine for piggy items so I go to a laundromat to do their laundry weekly. I have also seen small portable washing machines. If you have just fleece and not a full liner, the small portable washing machines might work for you. I saw one Youtuber use a small portable washing machine and they were washing by hand previously.
 
Last edited:
Too much calcium can lead to bladder and kidney stones. You will want to keep an eye out for sludge (white gritty texture) or blood. I'm sure our more experienced members can provide more complete information.

Can your ask your dad to switch from iceberg to a more nutritious lettuce such as green or red leaf lettuce? Iceberg has no nutritional value and often causes guinea pigs to suffer from diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.

Also, is it possible for you to take the fleece to a laundromat instead of hand washing it? I share a duplex with my brother and he doesn't want me to use the washing machine for piggy items so I go to a laundromat to do their laundry weekly. I have also seen small portable washing machines. If you have just fleece and not a full liner, the small portable washing machines might work for you. I saw one Youtuber use a small portable washing machine and they were washing by hand previously.
Thank you for your reply. I told my dad that, and will try to convince him to do just that. Thank you again!
 
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