- Scrapbook Addict
My boyfriend and I wanted to get some pets to cheer up our apartment, and after doing some research we decided on guinea pigs. We went to our local pet store and purchased the only pig there, who we named Dixie. The store staff assured us he was female, since they only sold females. We went to another store and bought a pretty sow who we named Mittens. Again, we were assured she was female.
A week later we noticed they were ill, and brought them to the vet. The vet treated them, and sexed them, and told us yes, we had females.
A few weeks later, Dixie and Mittens were fine. We added another sow, Ellie, to our herd, and we were happy with three pigs. After a while, we noticed that Mittens was very fat, and we started to get concerned. We were told that her pear shape might be normal, since we "knew" that she hadn't been with males.
On April 30, 2003, Mittens delivered 3 healthy pups. When I came home and saw them, I was in shock- this wasn't possible! We resexed all of our pigs carefully, and discovered Dixie was male. We separated him while the babies
were still wet, but it was too late; Mittens was pregnant again.
Ellie delivered 3 pups with some difficulty on May 25, 2003. She was very young and scared, and needed help unwrapping her pups from the birth sac. We noticed that one pup was considerably smaller and seemed weaker than the other two. He didn't bounce around and popcorn, and his wheek was a little reedy.
Mittens' second litter came on July 8, 2003. Four pups were born, and three survived. Out of the nine pups, we had 6 boys and 3 girls. The 3 girls stayed with us, and I found good homes for the boys.
In December 2003, one of my adopters called to let me know that the boar she adopted from me (named Jack) died, diagnosis congenital heart defect. We were devastated to hear about it, but hoped it was just an anomaly since he
was a runt and had failed to thrive the way the other pups did. He was six months old when he died.
In March-April 2004, I noticed one of Mittens' pups (named Bandit) was breathing very heavily, almost a hooting sound. We took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. At barely one year old, she
would be on medications for the rest of her life. She's also at a heightened risk if she ever needs to be put under anesthesia, because of the heart problems. Her condition isn't curable; we can only keep it at bay with the medication and hope she can live a normal life.
In May 2004, a second pup, full sister to Bandit and half sister to Jack, is displaying the same symptoms as Bandit, and she will also need to be put on the same medications for the rest of her life. At the same time, we found out that Dixie and Mittens also suffered from the same condition. I now have 4 heart pigs and have been in contact with the owners of the other pups to let them know about the genetic problems.
I never intended to breed these pigs, and I feel horrible that this happened and thankful that both sows survived with the loss of only one pup. However, I feel worse that I bred pigs that are carrying a gene with weakened hearts.
I had no way of knowing this; I just chose two pretty pigs from the petstore. You won't be able to tell, either, unless you can speak to someone who's bred the pigs themselves, and kept all their relatives through adulthood to see if any problems arose. Problems like tooth and jaw deformities, bone deficiencies, ovarian cysts, heart conditions, and
many more conditions can arise later in life, incurring huge vet bills for the owner, and pain for the poor guinea pig.
Please, please don't breed guinea pigs. It's heartbreaking to watch a pig you brought into the world suffering of a
condition caused by his genes.
There's no way to know. You could breed pigs that have a prediliction to ovarian cysts, or tooth problems, or will have other serious conditions. Forget the money; can you live with yourself watching those pigs suffer?
This isn't even considering the issue of all the pigs in shelters and rescues who need homes.
I know you don't want to hear it, but I hope you at least read this post and it makes you think twice.
Kirbygirl, you sound like a sweetie and I know you'll try hard with your pig, but the point is, you're not a guinea pig. Your pig needs a same species companion. It makes a huge difference. People say they're happy, but how can you know when you have nothing to compare it to?
- Thanks for the Memories
condition caused by his genes.
No lie. We got Princess from the pet store in the 80's, young and pregnant. She had two pups with deformed front legs. They got around okay, but they were never quite "right". Our vet at the time could only offer us physical therapy (to try to stretch the legs) or putting them to sleep (which is what eventually happend when they got sick).
Princess was never a good mom. She had one litter of seven, three of which lived past birth. One was a tiny tiny runt I named Puff. I sat up all night with Puff, willing him to live. He lived about three days. He just wasn't big enough.
The pig I kick myself for the most is Suzanna. Awsome pig. She died while pregnant. She's the biggest reason I don't advocate breeding.
They were "for us" pigs. We weren't showing (although Charcoal did go to one show), and we weren't breeding for a line, or selling them. In other words, there was no reason, other than to have more pigs/raise babies.
I would have rather have had more time with Suzanna.
I agree. Fuzzie's cage has an Abby mix, a Peruvian and an American. Fuzzie's spayed girlfriends are from a rescue.
Not only do you not put a sow in danger by adopting, pigs from rescues are in top health at least from my experience. Both of my rescue sows went through spays brilliantly, without complication. Rescue pigs also seem more appreciative of a good home.
Kirbygirl, after we started bonding pigs together, we noticed new behaviors, they put on weight, and generally seem much happier living together. We have trios, but a pair is still far superior than a pig living alone. Paired pigs play and keep each other company.
- GL is Just Peachy
This pig carries the roan gene:
But you can't tell because she has zero roaning whatsoever. I got her from the pet store and she was pregnant, no doubt by her brother or father. I had no idea she had the roan gene until she popped out Einstein:
Blind, deaf, no incisors, molars that require monthly dental work. His condition is caused by having two copies of the roan gene. It's preventable if you know the genetics of the parents. You can't tell that his mother has one copy. How do you know, if you start breeding, that you won't end up with little Einsteins? And what are you going to do if you do? Knock them on the head? Build a gas chamber for them? Commit yourself to monthly tooth trims and special feeding as long as they live?
- GL is Just Peachy
He's handsome, isn't he? You can even tell he carries the roan gene. He was smart, adventurous, devoted to his herd, which included his human, me. He died shortly after his third birthday, of lymphoma and leukemia. Half his life was taken away because of what was probably a genetic predisposition to cancer. He could have had a hundred babies before he had his first tumor, if I'd been breeding him. And would they all have died of cancer? Probably not. If I'd been breeding him to Suzi, some might have died from birth defects (see above). But you can't tell from looking at him that he'd develop severe, horrible lymphoma and have to be put to sleep a couple of months later.
You know what scares me? Suzi could be related to him. I got her from the same pet store, and she looks just like his sister did. Will Suzi and her children suddenly sprout tumors in a couple of years? Who knows?
- Power to the Pigs
I know no one is going to be happy until I get another one...give me time... ;-)
It will not alter the personality of your pig. But after 3 weeks, you can introduce him to a female buddy. The wait is necessary for any remaining sperm to die. Otherwise, he may have one last hurrah, so to speak.
Since there are no testicles, the poops become more bean shaped, shorter and fatter like a sow poop.