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To continue with Guinea pigs or not?

lynn's Cavies

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Hello everyone,

I have a question and was hoping for some advice, opinons, etc.

I currently have 3 guinea pigs and I have allergies and asthma to them. I have had guinea pigs since 1998 (not the same ones of course) but after 3 years my allergies starting kicking in. I was devestated because I am allergic to so many animals and thought finally I had found a pet that I would not react to. My husband and I decided to turn our workshop into their home. We made sure there was/is electricity going to it so we could have heat in the winter and it is insulated. We installed 2 locks and have a baby monitor inside so we can listen to them. I'm able to go outside for periods of time and sit and visit with them but when my allergies act up I can come inside and get some relief.

I tried to keep them inside before we came to this decision. I take allergy pills (prescription ones) everyday, use a steroid nose spray, have hepa air purifiers inside. I tried using only fleece to see if it was possibly the bedding. I used hay cubes for awhile to see if it was the hay. But what it came down to is that I react to the urine and dander. I even had the pigs in a separate room in our house away from the bedroom and basically nothing worked. I consulted an allergist as well and got shots for my other allergies for 4 years approx.

So my question is after these guinea pigs pass away is it fair to adopt more? I'm thinking no but it breaks my heart to see so many guinea pigs up for adoption and knowing I won't be able to help.

I'm open to suggestions. But I cannot house them indoors due to my allergies. It's not simply having watering itchy eyes, it's asthma and it is extremely bad.

Thanks :)
Lynn
 

salana

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I actually think that sounds like a pretty good setup. Your workshop is not used as a workshop, correct? So there are no paint fumes, etc? And it's secure from wild animals and people? Do they have a source of indirect natural light, ventilation, A/C in the summer if needed? Are they weighed every week, checked over for health problems, taken to the vet when needed, fed hay and fresh water every day? Are they housed in appropriately sized cages with appropriate toys and appropriate friends (same-sex or fixed)? Are their cages spot-cleaned and cleaned when necessary?

If so, then I think the life you give them is entirely fair.

One question, have you treated them for mites? Some people react very badly to the digestive enzymes of mites. But that tends to cause rashes and hives more than asthma attacks.
 

lynn's Cavies

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Hi there,
Thank you for your response.

Nope we don't use the workshop for anything but the guinea pigs, we don't keep the lawn mower in there because of gas fumes. They have 2 large windows for sunlight and I have their C&C cages set up on a large table. I don't have any air conditioning but I do have a fan.

Yes they have been treated for mites. I treat them almost every 6 months with Revolution because I worry mites could travel in on the hay...not sure how true this is, but I don't want them suffering.

I have 2 females who live together: Bette and Edna. Chipy has his cage setup next to them because he is not neutered. I did have my guinea pig, Corky, neutered (he has now passed) but I'm nervous about getting Chip done. He seems content being able to touch noses through the bars.

They get timothy hay 24/7 and pellets, and a treat of veggies once to twice a day. I use fleece for their bedding and wash it every 2 days. It's amazing how well fleece works and now that it is warmer out I can hang it on the line and it dries extremely fast!

No I don't weigh them every week but that would be a good idea. I used to have a small food scale that I used. I'll have to get one of those again. It's a good idea for monitoring their health.

As for toys, they have hanging wooden toys and hard plastic links that hang from the cage sides. And one of those locker mirrors that don't break. And they have 2 wooden log hideys. Chipy has a wooden hide box. Sometimes I give them cardboard to chew on, without glue of course. They tend to just want to chew on hay instead.

I usually feed them cilantro, parsley, kale, green leaf lettuce, carrots, occasionally apples, green peppars, and dandelions.

Hmmmm, I guess that is about it!
Lynn
 

salana

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So get the scale and I'd say your pigs live the good life!

Pigs do not need lots of attention and cuddling from humans. They enjoy playing with and talking to their piggy friends, and some enjoy human contact. You might consider adopting pigs that are not very needy of human contact, when the time comes to adopt more.
 

Wheek Weak

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You say that you use timothy hay. I also have allergy/sinus problems and I've noticed that timothy hay seems to aggravate it a lot.

When I use bluegrass hay (KM's) the symptoms aren't near as bad (almost non-existent).

I sympathize with your misery and know exactly what you mean about animals needing a good home and not being able to help. Our landlord will not allow dogs or cats. Our hearts just break when we hear of a dog or cat in need of rescue.

I hope you're able to come with a solution to be able to keep your beloved pets, while also being able to live in (relative) comfort and good health.
 

Sweet Pea

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I am in the same Boat..My allergies started getting worse and I thought it was the hay or the bedding etc so made some changes But I didn't change.

I went to the Allergy speciallist and told her all my animals...Guinea pigs, Rabbits,degu,hamster cats.

Well Come to find out I am at the highest level of being allergic to the Piggies cats second, Rabbits hamsters very low.

I love my Piggies and will care for them and love them as Long as they are with me but most likely afterwards I won't be having any more piggies even though I Love them Soooooooo much.
 

Paula

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Lynn - if the question is whether or not you should get pigs after your current pigs are gone, I say yes. You are obviously a responsible person and do what's best for them and pay attention to their needs, care, happiness, etc. So when you think about all the other places needy pigs could end up, subjected to what, I'd say living in a shop that's been completely converted so that your pigs can live the best life possible is, as salana said, the "good life."

When you realized you were allergic to them you could have done a number of things, like just put their cages outside, taken them to the county pound, etc. Instead you remodeled your workshop (at least to some extent), which was no doubt costly and time consuming.

I'd say the world needs more piggy guardians like YOU. If you can provide for more needy pigs and are willing to do so even with your allergies, I think you are clearly giving your current pigs and any and all future pigs a very good life that they likely would not have elsewhere.
 
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Chin Lover

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:) Maybe you can try to find something for your allergies. Something that'll work for you, and make you feel better. Then you won't be so torn between your comfort and the piggies. Best wishes.
 
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