Guinea Lynx :: Guinea Pig Heath Care

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Interested in purchasing a book about guinea pigs?
See what we have to say about a few of the books on the market.

We openly admit our bias toward books that promote responsible pet ownership and adoption. And books that discourage breeding and showing.

Ratings are "unscientific". It's hoped that you will read any book with an open mind. Just don't believe everything you read -- and that goes for the internet (even us!) as well as the printed word.

The best advice will make sense to you. Better books will also lay to rest old wives tales. Poorer books perpetuate them.

This page is new. Look for more reviews in the future!

A Grown-up's Guide to Guinea Pigs
by Dale L. Sigler (2000

    Anti-breeding     Diet     Housing     Medical     Overall

Dale's fondness and familiarity with guinea pigs comes through strong. His common sense advice will help new and old guinea pig owners. Geared toward adults.

Pros: Great basic content.

Cons: Poor format, few pictures, little medical advice. Not enough emphasis on the risks of purchasing from pet stores and benefits of adoption. Suggests purchasing from breeders. 1 1/2 to 2 sq.' per guinea pig is recommended and the author seems to think a 3 sq ' cage for an individual guinea pig is fine.
Guinea Pigs (Aspca Pet Care Guide)
by Mark Evans (2001 DK CHILDREN)
Basic care guide geared toward children.

    Anti-breeding     Diet     Housing     Medical     Overall

Pros: The information offered is basically sound, though limited in scope and written for children. Encourages responsible pet ownership.

Cons: Mark Evans (who is English) suggests housing guinea pigs in outdoor "hutches". Housing guinea pigs outdoors is inappropriate and may be dangerous. Temperatures range widely in many locations and guinea pigs will become forgotten livestock if not part of the family (see Housing).
Guinea Pigs, A Compete Pet Owner's Manual
by Katrin Behrend (Barron's)
64 glossy color pages, includes index. Geared toward children.

    Pro-breeding     Diet     Housing     Medical     Overall

Pros: Many cute pictures, nice format, attention to responsible pet ownership and suitability of a guinea pig as a pet.

Cons: Promotes small cage sizes. She asks and answers, "Do males get along with each other as well as females do?" By saying "Males get along fine, as long as they are neutered before their sexual maturity and as long as they were housed in groups at an early age." Long experience shows it is the personality of the guinea pig and not its sex that determines how well it gets along. See also Cavy Spirit's article on "Getting Along".
Guinea Piglopaedia - A Complete Guide to Guinea Pig Care
by Margaret Elward and Mette Ruelokke (2003 Ringpress Books)
179 matte pages (16 pages color inserts in two groups of 8 pages) - no index. 1/3 content general, 1/3 content medical, 1/3 content varieties, breeding and showing. Mette Ruelokke is a Danish vet; Margaret Elward a Dutch breeder. Adult oriented.

    Pro-breeding     Diet     Housing     Medical     Overall

Pros: Anatomy and physiology section. Extensive general medical section, from European point of view. Emphasizes the importance of hay (however, does not distinguish between grass hay and a legume hay like alfalfa). Attention to good general care.

Cons: Promotes small cages sizes, housing outside, recommends dog flea shampoos, newspaper for bedding. A few questionable diet recommendations like sunflower seeds, corn, and sugar beet cubes. Seems to suggest guessing if a guinea pig's weight has changed vs. weighing it. Claims guinea pigs can be "allergic" to common antibiotics. Large breeding section. Emphasis on breeding and showing.

Guinea Lynx Note: Margaret Elward and Mette Ruelokke claim four diseases make up 90% or more of all medical problems. They list malocclusion, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), mange, and pregnancy toxemia. They write, "These are usually named 'the four killer diseases'."

    Mange mites are indeed very common. But any guinea pig in the hands of a responsible pet owner should never be allowed to suffer -- mites are easily treated with ivermectin or selemectin.
    Pregnancy toxemia will never ever be a threat to your guinea pig's life if you are a responsible pet owner who has properly sexed your guinea pigs and has no intention of breeding.
    True cases of scurvy are few and far between if you are providing a proper diet and monitoring your guinea pig's health.

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