The Story of Two Little Wheekers

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:16 am


So sorry about Taco. Too precious for this world. Another star in the sky! So happy the others are doing well and have happy homes! Sending big hugs and I congratulate you on what you do as I could never let them go! Great work and you have two cheeky lovable piggies!

CleoCharity

Post   » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:33 pm


Wow, I can't believe the fosters have been with us for over a month! Faye is still her sweet self, and is getting awesome at letting me pick her up. Cookie is still super scared of everything, but today I was holding her on my lap after trimming her nails (which went surprisingly well), and she purred. Both of them are gaining weight very steadily, and Faye's starting to look a little rounder than she once was, but it's not enough to be 100% sure about her being pregnant.

Cleo and Charity are happy and healthy, and as food-obsessed as ever. The fosters didn't wheek much when we first got them, and my own girls weren't huge wheekers themselves. One day Charity wheeked a couple times for her veggies, which started the fosters off, which got Cleo going. Now during feeding time, I can barely hear myself think.

In a few weeks, I will have owned guinea pigs for 6 years. My first ever pig was a super sweet, incredibly patient boy named Ginger. He was dropped off at the shelter for not getting along with the male pig he had lived with. He had lots of health conditions, and at around 5 years old, his tear duct got infected. We had no idea what it was, and at first, his only symptom was milky white liquid leaking from one of his eyes. We brought him to the vet, and they gave us antibiotics. They didn't work, and a lump started developing between his eye and his nose. We brought him back to the vet, and they said it was much worse than they thought, and he had to have surgery on it. The surgery went well, although we still kept working on draining the lump, and he still wouldn't eat well. We had him on critical care, pain meds, and antibiotics at this point. Eventually, he started to get better, and we were able to take out the tube that we used for draining the lump. He started to eat again, and when we checked in with the vet, they said there weren't any more signs of the infection. They took him off antibiotics on a Wednesday and the next Monday, I come home and found him lying in his cage, unable to get up. He was spasming and couldn't control his limbs. We rushed him to the emergency vet, and they immediately brought him back. About a half-hour later, they came and got us, and told us that the infection had moved into his brain, and taken control of the part that controlled his muscle movements. They had him in the surgery room, on oxygen with a bunch of tubes hooked up to him. There was a very small chance he would survive, and if he did, he wouldn't be able to be a normal guinea pig. He was in a lot of pain, and we ended up deciding that putting him down was the kindest thing. I remember seeing him hooked up to all of those tubes, and how helpless he looked.

This post is longer than I meant it to be, but I wanted to share Ginger's story to remember him. He was such a special pig, and he will forever be missed. I realized that I hadn't posted anything about him, and since it's nearing the anniversary of six years since I first met him, I wanted to share my sweet boy's story.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:51 am


That is so sad1 Thank-you for sharing! I have tears running down my face! RIP sweet Ginger! Loved then, now and forever! You are now pain free. Sending big hugs.

CleoCharity

Post   » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:03 am


This is him at about 2 years old, with his favorite stuffed animals:

This is about a week after his surgery, when he still had the draining tube in:

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2019

Post   » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:51 pm


Handsome sweet boy. So gentle eyes! Great pictures!

CleoCharity

Post   » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:53 pm


We're pretty sure both of the fosters are pregnant. They are gaining weight fast, becoming pear-shaped, and you can feel large lumps in their sides. We are crossing our fingers for safe and uneventful pregnancies and births, with big, healthy, fast-growing babies.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:47 am


I hope for the best too! Always worrisome when you have a pregnant guinea pig.

CleoCharity

Post   » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:50 pm


Yes, definitely! I'm always worried that I'm not doing something right. When we checked in with the shelter a few weeks ago to tell them we thought it was possible at least one of them was pregnant, the person on the phone (just a staff member, the foster coordinator who we normally talk to wasn't there), we asked if we should bring them in for checkups/ultrasounds. He said it probably wouldn't be necessary, but I'm now wondering if maybe we should try emailing the person we normally talk to and asking her opinion, especially now that we're almost positive they're pregnant.

I'm also worried about cage size. I can feel at least two babies in both pigs, maybe three in Cookie, and I'm not sure if when they give birth, if it would be better to ask the shelter for another cage, and split the litters up so they all had more room. The person on the phone said that they could always give us another cage, but their cages are impossible to clean and to take the pigs out of. For fosters, we put them in the pet store cage we got when we first started owning guinea pigs, before we knew better. It's slightly bigger than the pet store cage the shelter had them in when we picked them up, and it's top opens up so it's easy to take them out. I think it would be a good idea to have the sisters together, and have them help parent the other litter along with their own, but I don't want them to be cramped.

I wasn't sure if I should post this here, or make a new thread. If anyone has any ideas, or experience with pregnant pigs/multiple pregnant pigs together, anything helps!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:22 pm


Multiple families together are fine as long as they've got enough room. How big are the individual cages? And how large would they be if you joined them together?

As long as they're doing OK, there's probably no need for a vet visit.

CleoCharity

Post   » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:27 am


The foster cage that is ours is this, with the platform taken out and replaced with a normal pigloo:

I don't know the brand or how big the cage is that the shelter loaned to us, but I don't think there's any way to join them together. If the cage seems to be too small after the first litter (it's fit three babies and one adult before), then I'll probably also use the cage they loaned to us and see if they do better or worse separated. Worst case scenario, I could always use my own money and buy a bunch of C&C grids and set them up as a big enclosure on the floor with towels as the bedding.

In terms of vet visits, I'm going to keep a close eye on them and if anything changes or looks off, I'll contact the shelter right away. Thanks for your help!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:57 am


I'd vote for expanding with grids. They're always useful, and easily stored when not needed.

That foster cage won't work for two sows and pups -- the pups will get their ears nibbled.

May I go on my rant about pigloos? The air circulation is terrible, the pigs sit in their own waste, and they're just invitations for one pig to trap another and get their nose slashed for its trouble. If you keep it, please drill big holes in the top and cut another door in it.

CleoCharity

Post   » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:34 pm


Okay, then I'll probably expand with grids. I just have to figure out how, since we have a dog, and I don't know how to make a dog-proof cover that's easy to take off and on. The dog isn't always allowed in the room, but I would never want somebody to leave the door open by accident and have any of the pigs get hurt. There's no way that I could have the enclosure on a table or above the ground (I don't have room). Do you think that cage would work for one sow and her pups, and then having the other sow and her pups in a different cage? If that wouldn't work, can probably think of something else, but that would probably be the easiest and safest thing.

If there's a chance of the cage hurting the babies or the moms, then I definitely will do whatever I have to do to prevent it. I've never heard of pups getting their ear's nibbled on before, except for if they are just born and don't get up right away, and the mom bites at them to use pain to make them move (this is just something I read, I don't know if it's true). Do you have any more information about the ear nibbling in pups?

As for the pigloo, I totally agree with you. I don't like them, and I don't have them in my girl's cage. The shelter gave us this one, and I don't have a different thing to put in for them to hide in (we took the platform the cage came with out a long time ago, as it took up too much space and wasn't being used). I have an old pillowcase draped over one part of the cage that they can hide under, but it's not low down as they have tried to jump on it, and I worry it wouldn't be able to hold their weight well. They're very scared, so I don't want to take out the pigloo and leave them without a place to hide well under. I tried putting a fleece hidey in, but Faye started to nibble on the fleece, so I took it out immediately, as that can't be good for them to ingest. Do you think having a pigloo in there for the rest of the time they're here (probably a little over a month) is okay, or is it so bad that they can't have it in temporarily?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:48 pm


Closet shelving makes an awesome, dog-proof lid.

Ear nibbling in pups is pretty common if there are too many pigs in the cage. I'm sure you can search something up on this forum.

Just cut another door in the pigloo with a jigsaw, and drill some holes in the top. That will solve the problem.

Are you sure Faye wasn't just tasting the fleece? Most pigs will taste it, but I've never known a pig to actually ingest it.

CleoCharity

Post   » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:23 pm


Is a 2 by 2 c&c cage large enough for one sow and her babies? I realized that since my own girl's cage is technically two cages, I can easily separate the "kitchen" from the rest of the cage for the three weeks that the pups are born until they go back to the shelter to get adopted. My girls will still have their 2 by 4 and their 2 by 2 loft, which they're fine with, and have had before.

For the pigloo, since it's not mine, I can't really cut parts out of it. It already has four holes drilled into the top, but I don't know if that's how it came, or if the shelter did that. If I move Cookie and her litter into the 2 by 2, then they can have a fleece cube I have, that has good ventilation and multiple exits. I also have a fleece tunnel that is currently in my girl's cage, but it's not their favorite, so I can try washing it and then seeing what Faye does with it. I assumed she was eating it, because my first pig would actually eat his fleece forest, but he could just have been an oddity. If Faye doesn't eat it, I can give that to them until the babies are born, and then she and her babies can keep it in their cage. That way, I won't have to keep using the pigloo. If I notice Faye eating the fleece, then they'll probably have to keep using the pigloo for now. I can always check with the shelter to see if they have any hideys with better airflow and multiple exits, but I don't know if they do.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:37 am


Guessing it would be an improvement (more space - you can measure). If you do go with a cubes cages, you will have to baby proof it because they will be able to get through the grids.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:19 am


Technically, a 2x2 isn't large enough for one pig, much less a pig with pups. Can you add some grids to give them more space? You can baby-proof by doubling the grids.

CleoCharity

Post   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:57 am


I wish I could, but I have a coroplast base in there, and I don't have a larger one that's not already being used (the cage is from The Guinea Pig Cages Store, which sells c&c cages). I know that 2 by 2 is too small, but it's bigger than the other cage the shelter gave us, and I can't think of a better solution. There's no way to link any of the cages together or anything like that.

To prevent this problem in the future, I'm thinking of getting a midwest cage that I can disassemble when I'm not fostering, but that couldn't be right now.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:17 pm


Put a piece of plastic or old shower curtain down instead of coroplast. All you need is something waterproof to protect the floor. Just make sure the pigs can't get to it to chew it.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:41 pm


Ditto bpatters on just finding something that is water proof. I had a nice piece of rubber pond membrane that I put under a temporary cc cage once.

CleoCharity

Post   » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:36 pm


I will definitely try to find something larger that will work.

To prep for the girl's births, and to try to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, I was reading up more about guinea pig births, and whether they can be with other pigs. I found this, on https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/pregnancy-guide.109375/ :


The girls will probably give birth around the same time, but I don't want to take any chances. Once they give birth, I'll separate them anyway, because of space. At the earliest, they could give birth in a little under two weeks, but since it's their first pregnancy, I'm expecting it to be a little longer. Any opinions on what I should do?

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