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Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 29, 2011
In August I adopted 2 guinea pigs and I was told were sisters. They are named Salt and Pepper. I recently posted about Pepper's unusual death. I hadn't picked up Salt in about a week except once, immediately after I discovered Pepper's body. Today I picked her up to clean her cage. I saw she was pear shaped. I felt her belly and it felt firm, but not jelly like, or bloated. I held her and left my hand against her belly for a while. After a few minutes, I felt "poppy" or "crackly" sensations in her abdominal area. She hasn't been drinking a lot more, but she has been EATING!!!!!!!!!! I would say maybe 3/4 to 1 cup a day! I gave her 2 houses, a pigloo, and 2 bricks and clean tile over the top.Right now I have her on some newspaper and hay, with a loose piece of fleece for her to hide in. (She kept burrowing under her regular fleece.) Is it possible that the old woman I received them from lied so she could get rid of them? And does it sound like she is pregnant? I have had litters before.
It's doubtful that she's pregnant. Did you not ever notice the gender of Pepper? 3 year old males have very obvious genitalia. Is Salt about that same age? Females around 2 1/2 years old often start to develop ovarian cysts, which can give the pig a pear shape (like a pregnant pig). Check out ovarian cysts at www.guinealynx.info .

Newspapers and hay are not good bedding. Either keep a layer of fleece on top of the newspapers or don't use them. Hay, too, is not a good bedding because once it gets wet it starts to decompose, attracting insects and giving off odor.
I've noticed it for a couple days now, and there is nothing else described in that article. I also think she may be younger than what I was told. I never even thought to look and make sure they were bother girls. Pepper always backed away rather than turned around, and I can honestly say, i never looked. Is there anything other than going to the vet that could tell me? And would that be why she eats so much, but isn't overweight? What about the "poppy" sensations in her abdomin? Sorry about the question over load :) Oh and one more thing, she is much more timid than normal, even for her. She won't even come for cucumber! Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks!
I'd take her to a vet if you have a concern, but could it be diet-related? One of our pigs gets "poppy" sounds when he is gassy. It sounds like Rice Krispies (snap, crackle, pop) and kind of feels like it when it is still in his belly. He got really uncomfortable one day and we took him to the vet, who confirmed it was gas. We determined that apples make him gassy and avoid any veg or fruit that is more prone to create gas. He didn't want to be held much on the day we took him in, either, but I think it was because of how uncomfortable he was. The modification in his diet helped quite a bit. That is just our experience though.
It doesn't make a noise. I just feel it.
What type of diet and veggies are you feeding her? Is she getting a good variety of veggies daily? Red or green lettece, peppers, cilantro? Good quality hay and pellets? Check out the diet/nutrition site "sticky" for a great list of foods they can have and how often.
Get into the habit of weighing your pig each week when you clean the cage. Hold the pig in your lap and gently check all over the body for any lumps or wounds. Look underneath the pig, at the genitals, nipple, and belly. It's important for you to know what your guinea pig looks like all over it's body, because if something is different/wrong you need to be able to tell.

Take Salt to the vet. The vet should be able to tell if she's pregnant or has cysts.
I can't pay for a vet, and I know my parents won't. They hate my guinea pigs, and call them rats. They want me to get rid of them. I don't have anything to weigh her with. I have noticed, though, that one of her nipples turned dark. No weird bumps. Just poppy feelings in her side, a pear shape, and she eats a TON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1) You shouldn't own any animal unless you are prepared for responsible ownership - This includes vet fees. This comment is more for your parents.
2) That's very unfortunate that your parents dislike your helpless, innocent, loving pets.
3) Calling a guinea pig a rat, however inaccurate, is quite a compliment. Rats make extremely good pets!
4) It's quite unfortunate that guinea pigs are so commonly referred to as "childrens pets." Dogs and cats are usually "family pets," and there is no logical reason why guinea pigs shouldn't be.
If the Pepper was male, you would definitely have noticed his male bits when you picked him up. They are hard to miss.

What is she eating 3/4 to 1 cup a day of? 1 cup/day of veggies is a normal diet for a guinea pig.

Newspaper isn't a good bedding for her to be on because it's not absorbant. You end up with a sticky, wet mess. Try Carefresh or aspen as an alternative. Carefresh is a bit more expensive but aspen is absorbant, less expensive and it goes a long way.

What does her diet consist of? What kind of veggies (and how much?)? Does she get hay? Pellets?

I have to agree with TCTrun, unless you can afford vet care or live with people who are able and willing to provide the funds for vet care, it's not fair to the animal, to bring it into your home.

What is your plan now for Salt? How do you know your parents wont pay for vet care? You say you "know" they won't but have you asked? If they care for animals at all, I don't think they would be heartless enough to just let an animal remain ill, even one they don't particularly care for.

As for your parents calling them rats, TCTrun is right again. Rats are intelligent animals. I've never owned a rat but everyone I know who has, says what good pets they make.

Crackly/popping feeling in the belly could mean any number of things: gas, bloat, digestion problems, etc. The only way to know for sure is to have a vet check her over.

If you cannot afford vet care and you parents refuse to provide vet care, the responsible thing to do would be to rehome her so she can get the care she needs. It's important to put her need to receive proper vet care above your desire to keep her as a pet.

1. I know it is not fair to her to keep her if I can't care for her, but no one wants her, I have been trying to rehome for over a month.

2. I would pay for a vet if I could, but I am 13 and 5/6 and 1 day...... no job...... no money except from odd jobs aroung the house.

3. I love Salt dearly, and only want the best for her, and am doing the best I can.
I would try an see if you have a rescue near you that can take her. They could get her the medical help she needs. If Pepper died all of a sudden with no visual cause, something internal may be going on, and she may need some medicine.
I live in the middle of nowhere where noone cares about guinea pig and no one wants a pregnant one! SHe isn't the cutest which is why I got her there are no shelters!!!!!!!!!!!

Is there anything I can do? I live in cattle country. There are no cavy savvy vets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I honestly think you should ask your parents to please help you, and be honest that you feel like you are in over your head. If they do research on here, GuineaLynx and Cavy Spirit then they should be able to help you better than any of us here can.
I live in the middle of nowhere where noone cares about guinea pig and no one wants a pregnant one! SHe isn't the cutest which is why I got her there are no shelters!!!!!!!!!!!

You are making a lot of assumptions here and counting things out before you know for sure. You dont know that NO ONE cares about guinea pigs. You don't know that she's pregnant and won't until you get her checked by a vet. Even if she is pregnant, there are people out there who will want to foster a pregnant pig. You don't know that there aren't any shelters in your area. Have you looked on petfinder? You put in your zip code and it shows you all the shelters in the surrounding areas.

The local shelter here is mainly cats and dogs but they also take in hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, ferrets, rats and yes, guinea pigs. It can't hurt to at least ask around. Maybe try a local vet (even a non-cavy savvy one) to see if they know anyone who is looking to adopt a guinea pig. They might even be willing to house the pig there until she gets adopted.
What @Wildcavy suggested could definitely be helpful, I know you don't want to get rid of her (and this may not be what you want to hear), but maybe an owner who is able to give Salt the veterinary care she needs is the best thing for her. It might be hard to have lost Pepper recently, and then lose Salt right after, but at least if you can adopt her out, you will have the comfort of knowing she is going somewhere where someone can provide for her health. If I was anywhere closer to Wyoming, I would adopt her for you, but alas, NY is quite a drive. I'm so sorry for the loss of Pepper, and I wish you and Salt the best of luck, please keep us posted on what develops (adoption, a vet visit and diagnosis, or anything that happens to her).

1. I know it is not fair to her to keep her if I can't care for her, but no one wants her, I have been trying to rehome for over a month.

2. I would pay for a vet if I could, but I am 13 and 5/6 and 1 day...... no job...... no money except from odd jobs aroung the house.

3. I love Salt dearly, and only want the best for her, and am doing the best I can.

My comments were essentially directed at your parents. I am sorry for your loss (Pepper) and I sincerely hope you can figure out how to keep Salt and keep her healthy. You are being very responsible by coming here and asking questions, especially for your age! I hope your parents learn to see your piggy (or piggies) as a FAMILY friend. All you can do is talk to them, get them to read this forum, etc - Basically what you are already doing. I applaud you for that!
I have already spoken to the listed wyoming person who wants to adopt. She doesn't want Salt without Pepper. Also, It's not that my parents are coldhearted, we called the vet, and he said that it would cost between 100 and 200 dollars to get her ultra sounded and find out. My parents just don't have that much extra cash to take her with.
Okay, if you go to petfinder.com, use the pull-down menu to put "small & furry" as the animal. Type in:"guinea pig" as the breed. Then enter your zip code. That will show you all the shelters in your area that take in guinea pigs. OR you can put in "any" for animal to simply find shelters around you that are regular cat/dog shelters to contact about bringing Salt in.
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