Pigloos and heat

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:11 am

There was sadness in my house last night that could have been avoided. We have been unseasonably warm the last few days. At 5:15 this morning it was already 85 degrees, hot for us this time of year.

I was to Pig sit two beautiful little girls for the next two weeks. When they arrived yesterday evening by car they were suffering from heat stroke. The car they were in was air conditioned and the humans thought it was cool enough. Their pigloos were in the cage with them and, being GP's they were hiding in them.

If you are traveling anywhere, for any distance, get the pigloos or any other kind of hidey OUT OF THE CAR! The holes in the top are completely inadequate for venting heat. Both of those sweet little ones are dead. Instead of being wheeked at this morning, the place they were to be is quiet. I am just heartbroken.

Lady Bug is home in her house, in her cage and I took her pigloo away from her two days ago. As much as she loves her Weaver cups she is spending her time on her carefresh. Just too hot for her.

Take the couple of seconds to put your hand on your piggy to check for how warm they are.

Just mean this as a reminder that the weather is warming up. Protect your little ones. Don't let them die needlessly.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:20 am

Oh no - what an absolute tragedy.

It's extraordinary that this happened in an air-conditioned car.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:23 am

Extraordinary? Maybe. It certainly happened. They were beyond help by the time they arrived at my house. Big pigs, small pigloos I guess. The distance they travelled was only about 40 miles.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:27 am

Sorry, I only meant 'extraordinary' in that I'm surprised this happened in a car with a/c - not that I didn't believe it :-)

I don't think people realize how heat-sensitive pigs are.


Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:31 am

I think I will drill some more holes in our pigloo today. I wondered if it got warm in those, and how good the air circulation was for breathing, being that there are only a few small holes in the top and they are such solid plastic. My girl loves hers too, but I am sure she won't notice some extra holes.

So sorry about what happened, that must have been horrible to watch :(

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:34 am

No offense taken Mum. I was just trying to make the point that even though you as a human might think things are ok, sometimes they're not. Just take precautions.

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I dissent.

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 9:47 am

Oh how terrible! That person (or persons?) must be absolutely heartbroken. I imagine it was awfully hard for you, too. :(

Take care.

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 10:07 am

Oh how awful for you and the babies owners. It is so true that we do not realize how heat sensitive these guys are.

I only have one cage with a pigloo right now and it's had another entrance/exit cut into it so it's not AS bad but I think Mr. Piggy will have to do without from now on. I will give him an alternative (although it is not near as hot here as it is where you are).

Perhaps the Lady Bug would like a nice cool tile to lay upon?

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Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 10:14 am

If the cage was sitting in the sun in the back, it certainly could have been too hot. It is indeed a tragedy.

[and guinea pigs can never be left in a car when you get out]

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Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 10:16 am

Sorry to hijack the thread, but when you talk about tiles would something like this be ok for guinea pigs?


My boyfriend doesn't want to use regular tiles because he is scared they could be coated in something bad for the pigs. The package for that Chin-chiller also talked about storing it in the fridge before giving it to your pet.

Once it gets really hot we turn on the AC, it's just that transition time I'm worried about.

I'm really sorry to hear about those two pigs.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 10:24 am

Lady Bug is just fine : ) I keep a very close watch on her and in prior years have actually wrapped her in a damp cloth to cool her down. She has never been neglected to the point where she is approaching heat stroke.

She is the one who moved out of her pigloo and cotton Weaver cup. I have an old cotton towel for her to lay on and she doesn't even want that. She prefers the Carefresh. If she's happy, so am I but I'm still feeling her body temp. just to be on the safe side. I also have an indoor thermomator.


Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 10:44 am

There were several times I had to make the two-hour drive through open countryside to K-State when it was over 100 degrees outside. I brought a cooler full of ice packs with me, because my greatest fear was that I would have car trouble and we'd be stranded out in the middle of nowhere without air conditioning.

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I gave AGAIN, dammit!

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 10:51 am

When we go on vacation each year in June, I leave the central A/C on, set at 78, just for the pigs. 78 indoors is plenty comfortable, and it rarely kicks on in early June, but it is worth the peace of mind while we are gone. My neighbor who pigsits them thinks I'm crazy. I should say she knows I'm crazy.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 11:09 am

Oh, I'm so sorry for the family that lost their two precious guinea pigs. So heartbreaking.

Thank for the reminder, Bugs Mom.


Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 11:12 am

Such a sad thing to have happen.

I got worried about my guinea pigs being left at home in the summer and the temperature rising. I would turn on the air conditioner before leaving in the morning 'just in case.' Note to self: Next time spring the extra bucks for the programmable air conditioner.

Currently reading the book " The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood" by Sy Montgomery right now. It's the story of the author adopting a sickly runt pig - the farm animal type of pig.

However, there is a guinea pig reference in the book. The author said when a call was made about a guinea pig being left in a car with no water, people in her small town thought she was the one who made it. She didn't. Glad to see the call was more than warranted.


Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 12:52 pm

Oh Bug's Mom, what a horrible story!

We're having completely bizarre weather here -- in the nineties with a *hot* strong wind coming through. It's supposed to get into triple digits tomorrow and the weekend. I expect many reports of grass fires from this. Yuck.

Today I'm rearranging the living room so that all of us can sleep down stairs (we have no air conditioning), and I was just thinking that I had to make sure to freeze some water bottles for the pigs before this afternoon.

Thank you for posting this story; it must have been terrible for you to witness.

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Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 1:01 pm

Oh my gosh, those poor pigs. And their poor people, and you. :(

Thank you for the head's up, Bugs Mom.

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Contributor in 2020

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 1:24 pm

I have found that it's not so much a case of pigloos being hot, but that they lack insulation.

A few years ago when the air conditioner was on in my house it was hitting the side of Gilbert's pigloo, I thought he would be warm in there, but when I took him out his fur was cold. That's when I realized that they are not protective, just a hiding place.

It's possible that the sun was beating down on the pigloo through the car window. I'm very sorry to hear of this tragedy. Thanks for posting it as a warning for others.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 1:33 pm

And if the water was left in the pen, it could have been too hot to drink/help them. When we lost a couple of pigs to heat stroke, their water was more like tea water b/c of the sun and useless to them.

Situations like this are heartbreaking. Especially since they probably thought they were covered with the AC on.

When we go on vacation, we always turn the AC on, even low. We don't want the pets to suffer, even though they are in/have access to the basement where it's cooler.

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It started with Louie...

Post   » Thu May 15, 2008 1:36 pm

That is heartbreaking that you had to go through that. But thanks for posting and bringing to all the reminder that pigs can over heat easily. I hope this post will have saved some pigs in the future.

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