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Pregnancy Guinea pig NIPPLES during pregnancy

Inquiring Mind

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Hello, I am brand new to this forum and a brand new piggy mama (grandma technically, as they're my daughter's piggies.)

I hope I am being paranoid, but I noticed that one of our new baby guinea pig's nipples seem rather large. In many other animals, swollen nipples are a sign of pregnancy, so I thought this might be the case for guinea pigs too. Her nipples are several times bigger than her half sister's (though she's older.) I've google image searched guinea pig nipples, but didn't find much.

If she is pregnant, she couldn't be very far a long, as she's still quite young. Don't ask me how old she is though, because the "breeder" couldn't tell me their birthdays. I don't know enough about guinea pigs to accurately judge their age based on their size. It's quite frustrating and I am very annoyed with the so-called "breeder." In reality, she's just an irresponsible woman who casually lets her pigs have babies.

So yeah, anyone know if guinea pigs get big nipples early on in their pregnancies? Are guinea pig nipples naturally big? Please tell me I'm being paranoid...
 

Inquiring Mind

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Thanks for the info, but unfortunately it doesn't answer my question about nipple changes (if any) in guinea pigs. All the information revolves around detecting extremely late stage pregnancy, such as feeling babies kick, hearing their teeth gnash, etc. I haven't come across any info about possible early stage symptoms, like elongated nipples (maybe 'cause there is none).

I was hoping someone with knowledge/experience could confirm or disprove whether guinea pigs show obvious nipple changes in pregnancy, or that guinea pigs naturally have good sized nipples. The baby guinea pig's nipples are noticeably bigger than my cat's, and she's had a litter of kittens (she was a pregnant rescue.) Unfortunately, I don't know what normal, non-pregnant guinea pig nipples look like, so I can't make a comparison.

I guess I'm just out of luck. Guinea pig nipple size isn't a topic that people want to discuss, and my thread clearly isn't going to change that! lol Oh well. Time will reveal if she's pregnant or not. If she isn't pregnant, I will be amused by how concerned I got about the size of her nipples. Hopefully I'm just an obsessive, worry-wart new piggy mama, getting worked up over normal anatomy!
 

Sparklederp

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My females have always had large nipples, definitely longer than a cat's, and they were never pregnant. Even boys have pretty visible nips, though not as long as the girls'. The few pregnant sows I've had in my care had even bigger nipples, but not until the last couple weeks of the pregnancy. Hope that sets your mind at ease.
 

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Thank you for replying! I do feel better now. I know comparing my guinea pig's nipples with my cat's is a bit silly (considering they're totally different species), but it was the only comparison I had! But yeah, I can stop worrying for the time being. Glad someone gave me a relevant response:)
 

Sparklederp

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You're welcome! If she is pregnant, it'll be very obvious in a few weeks, but there aren't really early signs of pregnancy that you can recognize and long nipples are pretty normal in lady pigs. Hopefully all is well and she isn't preggo. Good luck with her.
 

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Just an update: My concerns about my new guinea pig were correct. Winnie is definitely pregnant and the babies are now finally easily felt through her stomach. I first felt faint blips a couple weeks ago, but now the kicks are a lot stronger. Her sister's nipples (Lulu) are not even a fraction of the size as Winnie's were a month ago. I would need to compare Winnie's nipples with other female piggies, but it seems to me, Winnie's large, elongated nips were due to her being pregnant, which was evident EARLY ON in her pregnancy.

She also had other symptoms that I didn't mention. Ever since we first got her, she's never been energetic. While Lulu would happily popcorn around the cage in between eating and sleeping, Winnie would just lie in the corner. She's also always hated her stomach being touched. She obviously gained weight, but apparently weight gain isn't a reliable indicator.

I am now skeptical that guinea pigs ONLY show symptoms very late in their pregnancies. Maybe it's just a coincidence, or maybe some guinea pigs do start showing signs early on. While weight gain, lack of energy, sensitive tummies etc, could be given other explanations, swelling nipples are due to hormonal changes, like pregnancy.

In my humble opinion (based on very limited experience), I recommend people check their piggies nipples if they're worried about pregnancy - it can't hurt, might help.
 

bpatters

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It can be a sign of pregnancy, but also of ovarian cysts, so it's not definitive. And if I'm not mistaken, some sows get fairly far into their pregnancies before there are significant changes in the nipples. But some rescuer who's had several pregnant sows could chime in on that.
 

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Are you sure that Winnie's sister is a sister and not a brother? I ask because you mention that there were noticeable differences between their nipples and others have reported that females typically have elongated nipples while males would not.
 

NinjaAlena

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Yes, because how else would she get pregnant? Was she around any other males. And you should do a quick check to make sure her sister is a sister and not a brother.
 

Inquiring Mind

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No, her sister is definitely a girl. The woman sold me a pregnant guinea pig. She had all her pigs in one hutch (very irresponsible.) Even if Lulu was a male and had knocked Winnie up since I've had them, Winnie wouldn't be far enough along to feel the babies move so strongly.

Winnie's nipples were noticeably different from her little sister's from the start. They've gotten a bit bigger now that she's further along, but not that much. It seems to me that her pregnancy hormones had effected her nipples soon after she was impregnated. Lulu has nipples, but Winnie has "teets", if that makes sense.

When I first asked the question, I was hoping people would send me photos of their non-pregnant female piggies so I could compare. It doesn't make much of a difference now though - she's definitely pregnant!
 
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Jmoore77

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I think it depends on the guinea pig. My Lily gave birth on 12/24. Her nipples were never any bigger than her cage mates until after she had her babies. She also was very active throughout her entire pregnancy until a couple of days before she delivered. I hope your piggie has a safe birth and healthy babies. The babies are such a joy to watch��
 

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Thanks Jmoore. I imagine, just like humans, guinea pig pregnancies would vary. Some women have tons of symptoms, while others don't realize they're pregnant until they're giving birth! You couldn't even tell I was pregnant with my daughter until I was six months along. I had to have extra tests done because I was so small (she was totally healthy btw. I just carried differently.) It stands to reason that guinea pigs could be the same.

I really hope she makes it. She was obviously so young when she got pregnant, it's quite scary. Even now she's not full grown. I will be beyond angry at the breeder if she doesn't make it. I also now have the stress of finding her babies good homes. This whole situation is very unfortunate.
 

LoveMyHerd

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I think a lesson has been learned. For more reasons than one: adopt, don't shop! :) I know it's hard when you don't know about shelter pigs and backyard breeders and piggy pregnancies, but if you ever get any more pigs in the future, get them from a shelter or rescue.
Keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask any more questions!
 

AmberCalzone

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I think a lesson has been learned. For more reasons than one: adopt, don't shop! :) I know it's hard when you don't know about shelter pigs and backyard breeders and piggy pregnancies, but if you ever get any more pigs in the future, get them from a shelter or rescue.
Keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask any more questions!

I'm not saying that people shouldn't adopt from rescues (in my opinion they should!). BUT I do have to say that adopting from a rescue doesn't guarantee that you won't get a pregnant pig. It does WAY lessen the chances, of course! But all pet owners should still be prepared to take on more than they bargained for, even when adopting from a rescue or shelter. I adopted my pair of pigs from a shelter, but Emma did come home pregnant, unknown to me or the shelter at the time of adoption.

Of course, I'm not saying not to adopt. Yes, adopt... don't shop. But be prepared for anything!
 

pigmommy89

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My second guinea pig I ever had, Squealer (got her when I was 12), was about 2 months old when I got her. A couple months later, I felt strange movement in her belly. I was familiar with rabbit gestation, so I assumed it was also around 30 days for guinea pigs. I called the vet my grandma used for her rabbit, and was shocked when he said approximately 68 days!

About a week later, on June 18, 2001, she gave birth to one huge baby boy. I named him Little Pig, and he was so special to me. Sadly I lost him due to unknown causes on August 27, 2003. Gone way too soon. :(

Anyway, the moral to that long story is that Squealer was only 4 months old when Little Pig was born, and she was fine. It's not ideal, but they can do just fine. It's actually more dangerous for them to be bred for the first time later in life, after the pubic symphysis stiffens. But all pig pregnancies are risky, so breeding is not recommended at any age.
 

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There are no shelters in my immediate area. There are two guinea pig shelters in Queensland - one in Brisbane (12 hours away) and one in Cairns (6 hours away.) There is an RSPCA in a town that's 1.5 hours drive away from me. When I entered "'guinea pigs" into the search engine, it came up with no results. I didn't check my town's only pet store because the woman who runs it is horrible. I would never buy a pet from her.

My husband had to ask on a local facebook community forum if anyone had guinea pigs. We got a reply from a woman in the next major town to us (1.5 hours away.) We had to go on a mini road-trip to pick them up.

Since learning that Winnie is pregnant, I contacted the Cairns shelter for advice on how to screen potential owners. I also wanted to know if she knew of any shelters closer to me (she didn't. )I spent over an hour on the phone with her this morning. She gave me some good advice and I'll be contacting her again when the babies are born. For the record, she told me that I was "definitely doing the right thing" and that it sounds like I'm taking "excellent care" of my pigs. I did tell her that if I ever get pigs in the future, I will try and get them from that shelter, despite how far away it is.

But yes, shelters are always best.
 

foggycreekcavy

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Actually, rescues are the best! Of course I'm biased, since I run a rescue. Most rescues (reputable ones, anyway) would not adopt out a pregnant guinea pig (unless the adopter were experienced in guinea pig births).

As for guinea pig nipples, I have had plenty of pregnant guinea pigs here, and most had no noticeable enlargement of their nipples before giving birth.

I have had females with enlarged nipples who turned out to have ovarian cysts.
 

Inquiring Mind

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Actually, rescues are the best! Of course I'm biased, since I run a rescue. Most rescues (reputable ones, anyway) would not adopt out a pregnant guinea pig (unless the adopter were experienced in guinea pig births).

As for guinea pig nipples, I have had plenty of pregnant guinea pigs here, and most had no noticeable enlargement of their nipples before giving birth.

I have had females with enlarged nipples who turned out to have ovarian cysts.

Is it possible she could have ovarian cysts AND be pregnant? Or would the ovarian cysts prevent pregnancy?

I am still open to pics of female piggie's nips to make a comparison. You are more than welcome to send me photos so I can see what normal nipples looks like.

Keep in mind though, there are all sorts of anomalies in nature. Maybe Winnie's nipples have always been a normal size, or maybe she's just different than most other pigs. Again, I will never be able to answer that question unless I can sort out what "normal" looks like.

If anyone would like to do a photo-shoot of the underside of their piggies, I would appreciate it.
 

Inquiring Mind

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One more thing: shelters and rescues are the same thing. The woman I talked to today "rescues" pigs. All her pigs are surrendered, abandoned, abused, or just needing a home.
 

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