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Breeding Is guinea pig pregnancy REALLY that dangerous?

Raine59

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
371
First of all, let me say I am not a breeder and have no intention of breeding any guinea pigs and I know what the stance is on this forum about breeding guinea pigs. But I have read on here that the mortality rate for pregnant GPs is somewhere on the order of 20-25%. This means that 1 in every 4 or 5 pregnant pigs dies as a result of being pregnant. I find this hard to believe as I've never actually heard a legitimate story of a guinea pig dying from giving birth. Just since I joined this forum about a month ago, I've read numerous stories about people acquiring female GPs from shelters, pet stores or wherever, who turned out to be pregnant and often the baby pictures are posted, but yet I haven't read about a single death among the mothers. When I was very young (many, many years ago), my family bred guinea pigs and though occasionally one of the babies would die, I'm pretty sure we never lost a mother. Reproduction is a normal part of life for any species and if guinea pig reproduction was as dangerous as many claim, I would think the species would have died out long ago. Does anyone have any factual, published data that supports this claimed mortality rate? Has anyone considered that if everyone stopped breeding guinea pigs deliberately and took great pains to keep males and female apart to prevent pregnancy, eventually the species would die out?
 
Use the search bar at the top of this page and do some research. I remember SurfingPigs and spy9doc (I think it was them) having a discussion on it. If you searched I'm sure you would find it, as well as many other threads on this topic. Since this is a topic that is always brought up on this forum, you will get a million hits from searching.
 
Also, remember that this is a site where members tend to be much more cavy savvy than the general public. Thus they would know how to do things to lessen the mortality rate, like feed the pregnant GP correctly, catch signs of problems like toxemia early, and go to the vet for a C-section on an older sow who never had babies before. Thus it would stand to reason that the statistics from personal cases here would be less mortality than you'd find in a random sample.
 
I too have trouble believing the 1 in 5 when it comes to just the sow, if you throw in babies then I would think the number would hold true. (IE 1 in 5 births results in a death) Since being on this forum I can think of two sows that have died during or shortly after their labor. I can think of quite a few babies that have not made it. My personal experience isn't wide enough to make a real analysis but I have fostered three sows that were pregnant and each has survived along with all their babies.
 
I was wondering the same exact thing @Raine59. This is a great post, especially beings you had the guts to do post it! Kudos for giving your beginning "I am not for breeding, I understand what this forum stands for, etc." because without that, you would be attacked in seconds. :p

Also, @Inle_Rabbit yes the 1 in 5 chance of a death (whether a baby or a mom) does sound much more reasonable.
 
I don't need to know the stats for guinea pig mortality due to pregnancy. I know that many are being euthanized due to the large number of unwanted ones out there while people continue breeding them. What really irks me is when I hear someone say breeding is a life lesson to teach their kids. My response would be it's a far better life lesson to show compassion towards the ones that need a home instead of selfishly bringing more into the world.
 
Amen, Pinky. I've long believed that every kid who gets a life lesson in the "miracle of birth" by breeding a pet should also learn about the "miracle of death" by spending a few hours in the local animal control department's euthanasia room. Hey, it's also a life lesson, ain't it?
 
I remember SurfingPigs and spy9doc (I think it was them) having a discussion on it.

I'm just curious as to what thread this is. I mean, spy9doc and SurfingPigs? That sounds like a must-read, definitely.
 
I'm just curious as to what thread this is. I mean, spy9doc and SurfingPigs? That sounds like a must-read, definitely.

Meaning that they posted on this topic. Use the search box to find the thread.
 
I agree with @mufasa, the "miracle of death" I think is a more important life lesson that the "miracle of life". There will always be people breeding animals, but so few people have the ability to put an animal down, breeding and bringing more animals into the world is easy, killing another living thing is probably one of the hardest things a person has to do.
 
There are so many topics about breeding that arise, I was wondering if someone would just post the link because it would save loads of time. It would just be much more convenient. Why send me on a scavenger hunt when you could just as easily post the link?
 
If accidental and purposeful breeding of guinea pigs miraculously stopped completely, then we can discuss the preservation of the species.

Honestly, I don't think we'll ever come to that. Guinea pigs are a food source in parts of South America (livestock), and there will always be carelessness of breeding. We should aim to *reduce* that , but I don't think it's going to go away completely. There's always going to be people who simply don't care about the repercussions. By educating people, you can still prevent a lot of breeding. So let's not be pessimistic.

I'm sure there's a lot variables when it comes to the sow dying. Age, genetics, the knowledge of the person breeding, and luck. It doesn't matter the exact percentage. If the sow doesn't die, a pig in a shelter still might. Those bred babies will find homes the shelter pig could have had. It still does damage.

You bring up a nice point about people here having sucessful pregnancies. I'm sure they're more successful here because there are piggie experts, but I wonder how many pregancy threads don't get updated because the pig died? They might not want to post in their thread again after being grief stricken with a death. Or perhaps the only reason why they joined was to get help for their sow. After they recieved help, they move on.

I've actually lurked in some knowledgeable breeder-friendly piggie forms. Even experienced people still have their sows die rather often. That's why I came back here and became anti-breeding. Took me a year to start seeing those dangers. On the surface it doesn't look as bad as they say, but keep digging and you'll definitely start seeing just how bad it really is.
 
There are so many topics about breeding that arise, I was wondering if someone would just post the link because it would save loads of time. It would just be much more convenient. Why send me on a scavenger hunt when you could just as easily post the link?

Why make us do the scavenger hunt when you are the one that wants to read it? It would take me or anyone else the same amount of time (and more effort) to find the posts since we would then have to post it for you. :p
 
My response would be, "why not just drop the subject"......especially on an anti-breeding forum? Trust me, you can't win!

It was just curiosity that led me to wanting to read it, not actual hope to understand more of the pros and cons of breeding. That's why I didn't "drop it".

Why make us do the scavenger hunt when you are the one that wants to read it? It would take me or anyone else the same amount of time (and more effort) to find the posts since we would then have to post it for you. :p

I figured you, rather ellisa, knew what thread it was beings she brought it up, and would not have to search for it.
 
I don't remember what the thread was called. I just remember reading it a few months ago. Maybe the thread wasn't even about breeding, it could have just been thrown into the conversation. I would post the link if I knew it.
 
If I felt very strongly about a controversial topic and wanted to get others to see things my way, I would find it more productive to be pleasant and courteously explain my point of view as well as offer other sources of information to support my viewpoint. I don't understand why so many people on this forum find it necessary to criticize and belittle people who don't agree with them, not to mention always wanting to drop any topic where someone expresses a different viewpoint than they do. As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I am not specifically referring to anyone in particular on this thread, but have noticed this problem in many different threads on different topics. I have even seen moderators close down threads because they don't agree with what the poster is saying. Shouldn't people be allowed to express their opinions, even if they are different from the majority, without being criticized?
 
Has anyone considered that if everyone stopped breeding guinea pigs deliberately and took great pains to keep males and female apart to prevent pregnancy, eventually the species would die out?

This if my own view on it. There will always be someone breeding guinea pigs. It's not like we can get every single person in the world who breeds to stop, not to mention all the accidental pregnancies such as boars breaking free.
However, what we can do it educate others. If we tell other people about the dangers of breeding, the number of pigs in shelters/resuces, and how many are being euthanized every day, then maybe some people will stop breeding.
There really isn't a need to breed with all the animals in shelters/rescues. There are so many lovely animals waiting for homes, shouldn't they get a chance at a happy life?
 
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