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maximum safe temperature inside the house during a power outage?

webjetter

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Today our electricity went off for nearly 3 hours, which prompts this question:

What temperature is dangerously hot for piggies? I've done research on this forum and there are MANY different pieces of advice on temperature. The ideal temperature comments are consistent, 65-75 degrees. But the heat stress / heatstroke temperatures mentioned here range from 75 to 90 degrees, so I'm not sure what's accurate. At what point should I start implementing cooling strategies (temperature-wise and symptom-wise)? When should I get them out of the house and into air conditioning?

Our home is air conditioned at around 75 degrees in the summer, it's very comfortable. Today we heard a transformer blow and the power went out. Fortunately we live in a well-insulated block home. I kept watching the temp on a digital thermometer we have in another room, and when it got to 78 I used a water sprayer to spray their flat rock (that sits under the water bottle) with cold water since they like to lay on it. As the temp kept rising I placed small wet fleece pieces and a few ice cubes in the cage, put cold water in plate and placed it in front of the tunnel they run in and out of so they'd have to run through it, sprayed down areas in the cage they like to lounge in, and moistened their heads and backs with cool water. It got up to 82 degrees by the time the power came back on almost 3 hours later. They seemed fine, no change in behavior or any signs of heat stress at all, but I was worried the whole time.

I need to know if I did the right thing. Especially because we'll soon be going out of town for 4 days and my best friend will be house sitting and pigsitting. I want to add this info to the instructions in case this happens while we're gone. Plus we live in Florida and it's hurricane season. (YIKES) I want to instruct her that if a power outage causes the temp to get to a dangerous point she needs to get the piggies out of the house and at least take them for a ride in the air conditioned car until the temp gets back to a safe zone.

Any help would be appreciated.
:)
 

Haley0489

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The main site says

"The room should have a stable temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees F (18 to 24 degrees C). 85 degrees and over and your guinea pig is likely to die from heat stroke. 85 plus degrees is typical in garages in the summertime. If you are comfortable, your guinea pig will be comfortable. If it's too hot or cold for you, it's too hot or cold for them."

I would trust their information more than anyone elses, and the 'if you're comfy, they're comfy' is a great rule of thumb.

At 82 degrees, they may have been getting a little warm but I'm sure they were fine, especially with all the precautions you took. I would recommend making an ice pad for them. Take a ziploc fill it half way with water, seal it, place inside another ziploc [in case of leaks], and freeze flat. Once frozen wrap in a towel.

The [sandwich bag sized] ice pads stay frozen in an air conditioned house for 6 or so hours. So you could make a few of these and stack them up in your freezer for safe keeping. My pigs love to lay around on them even when the power isn't out.
 

PixieStix

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I like to freeze water bottles or plastic 'jars'. Just drink the water/eat the contents, fill them about half way up with water, freeze them, and wrap a dish towel over them so it's still cool, but not freezing for them. I always have at least one in the summer for when it gets hot out. My girls don't really cuddle up to them like some pigs do, but it cools the surrounding area and them if they're near them. I also use a big tile which they will lie on. I've spritzed water on them in the past if it gets really hot.

The part of the house they are in is heated, but not air conditioned, so appart from windows open in the summer, I sometimes have to use these methods if it's getting a little bit warm for them.
 

cavyinhawaii

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Anytime your over 80 degrees be careful. 85ish is when heatstroke can happen.
Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Frozen water bottles are good too. I put them in socks because they fit nicely. The pigs seem to like them.
 

webjetter

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Thanks you guys!!
 

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