The Harlem Cavies

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Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:56 pm

Firstly, i must warn you all that I do work at a petstore [Petland Discounts], and while I know many hiss and curse at the idea, I know that me being there changes a great deal. The stores in NYC are close and tight in social manners, and word travels fast in correct care.

For some time now, I had been working at my store, making sure eveyone had constant hay, veggies in the morning, vitamins in the water, cage changes every day, and the like. Fights never broke out, and our cages hold only females, and very very few of them. Infact, I'm even proud to report that all of our girls popcorn and that cavies sold do not go to "My kid wants to test out having a pet" homes but to "Now you do understand that they live for possibly long past 5 years, need grooming, constant hay, floor time, alot of space, love.. etcetcetc". is mentioned in every sale I make, if not how to make a cage as well.

And you wonder why so many parents drag children from my store wishing they had gone to a naive salesgirl...

Atleast 5 months ago, a family came in with an elderly sow [ 5 years old ] who I never learned the name of, a short hair with the most gorgeous blonde markings I had ever seen. At this time, cavies were out of the question in my apartment, we were still handling our mice and terrarium amoung everything else [ meaning other pets ]. She was placed with younger females and I took her carrying crate while others that i worked with took the incredibly large hutches for her slew of rabbits.

Four months ago, I came upon a newborn tricolor shorthair birtched from our young albino abby. Safe to say I was pissed, but we soon leared that accidentally Domino [ who I now own ] had been put with her. How this resulted in a tricolor shorthair that looks nothing like either of them is beyond me, but he was the only male to touch our albino abby.

Clorox, as she is now named, did well with the pregnancy, or so it seemed. She ate every day, drank every day, and nursed her baby, who was drinking milk 24/7. If the baby had maybe stopped suckling more than average [ this little girl never left her mother's teat ], Clorox would not have lost so much weight. In the end, I had to seperate her and house her with only the unnamed female.

Clorox got worse. She chirped and called for her baby all day, stopped eating, and eventually stopped cleaning herself. Eventually it was down to me feeding her Nutrical and Nutrical covered food, bathing her constantly and wiping her down morning and closing. But in the end, I couldn't stand it, and my boss [ who cares just as much as I do.. which is why she allowed this on both occasions ] had me take her home.

The cage I quickly bought, and after that the unnamed, elderly female followed along with Domino. The bore was kept in a seperate cage, and my two girls were housed together. Through love and cuddling, Clorox's weight came back and she was popcorning again.

It was around then that I saw an add for a female abby that need a home asap. We went to the house and low and behold Science Project [ lovingly called Science ] became part of our home. Science's dominant mannerisms was perfect for our girls, who loved how she herded them into the igloos at night and snuggled with them during the day. Science also ALWAYS made sure Clorox ate, and if she began to forget to clean herself again [ which she sometimes does.. cleaning everything except her tummy after she happily popcorns into the litterbox and sits downright in a pile of fresh poo ] Science would give her a good shove, rumble, and begin cleaning the messy girl herself.

Last month our unnamed girl passed away from old age. She was popcorning slower, sleeping more, and cuddling far more often. She passed away in her sleep in the igloo, and it took us some time to get past Science and remove her. Clorox was once again heart broken, but Science has been working her through it with alot of love and less frequent scolding.

As we speak we're packing for our new home where a castle of a cage awaits them, split down the middle with a coroplast and cube wall to seperate what could evenually be boys plural from our girls. Domino waits for a cage mate, but until then he and my cat spend alot of time together. Floor time is abundant, veggies constant, hay everywhere.

More than anything I've missed hearing the noise of wheeking early in the morning when I woke for school. Dapples running around in her cage when I was much younger. Now I'm greeted by 3 voiced from 2 rooms, and it fills that hole I had inside.

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GL Junkie

Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:19 pm

Vitamins in the water is a big no-no. It changes the flavor of the water, and the pigs may not drink as much.

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Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:58 pm

Another fun story.
Not to intrude on the fun part, but read over the reference and hand feeding information here. Nutrical is too fatty and concentrated for guinea pigs (they can develop serious problems from excess fat soluble vitamins). Glad she made it though.

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For the love of pigs!

Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:10 pm

The last Petland Discounts I went to (Jersey City, NJ, on Route 440) had an owner return pig (infested with mites) for sale. We'd gone there in a pinch when we ran out of bedding. The manager (I think) happened to be the one who rang us up, and I mentioned the sick pig to him. He seemed surprised and said she wasn't supposed to be out for sale and that he would "take care of it." I said I hoped they'd get her the medical care she needed, but I fear that wasn't the case.

I've only ever seen pigs crammed into dirty cages with no food at the various Petland Discounts I've been to. Glad to hear at least one employee cares.

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Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:41 pm

What should be used instead of vitamins? They drink just as much as they always did for the girl at the store and my cavies at home, so I'm shocked about that.

As for the Nutrical, trust me, it's not something I wanted to do. However she wasn't about to get vetcare and it got her to eat, which was the reason for using it. There wasn't any other options left at that point though.

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Scrapbook Addict

Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:43 pm

However she wasn't about to get vetcare
I'm not sure if I'm interpreting this correctly. Are you saying that you didn't think your pig deserved to see a vet?

Vitamins in the water are useless. Fresh veggies generally provide enough vitamin C, or the pig can be syringe fed liquid vitamin C or a crushed C tablet.

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For the love of pigs!

Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:54 pm

Vitamins degrade rapidly in water, and you generally have no idea exactly how much the pig is getting, especially if they share a bottle.

Susie, when he said "However she wasn't about to get vetcare" I think he was referring to when the pig was still in the store's care. Great, isn't it?

Knee Deep

Post   » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:58 pm

Petland around here(Akron, Ohio) is probably the worse store there ever was with the care they (don't) provide to their animals. I was in there over the weekend showing the disgraceful store to a friend in from MN, there was 1 female in with about 8 males. Most of them had thinning hair, ear tags, and torn ears.

Glad to hear your trying to make a difference in your area, I guess it starts somewhere small and grows. Hopefully.

Welcome to the forums.

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