I have gone on quite the journey since Hanna passed away. I now have much more guinea pig experience and 9 lovely furry potatoes watching me as I write.
I still have Mia, Hanna's sister as well as Oreo and Ginger. Mia is slowly going blind as her retina's are detaching, Oreo is still Queen of the Herd, and now is known as wrinkly bum. Ginger has gone deaf, but despite a few scares, is doing well. I have my piggies trained to a whistle/verbal que system. For Ginger I use finger thumps and a soft gentle blow to get her attention. All are fast approaching 6 years of life.
Next up is Gracie, the future herd mistress. She is just as grumpy and crabby as usual, even after her spay. She will find a reason not to like something. She has been fairly healthy other then a recent UTI that started going south from the antibiotic. Yes, it was a piggie safe one and yes, I do use probiotics and Critical Care/herbivore EmerAid. She is also finally accepting ear rubs and nose rubs and enjoying them!
Then it's Buttercup. I almost lost her in the last 6 months from what started as a UTI. She had one before and did great. This time at the end of her treatment I noticed her poos went tan and started shrinking and her tummy was off. I started emergency care and got her into her vet's. She had gone into GI Stasis and was bloating badly. After 2 months she is almost normal, but does require "degassing". I feel really bad as she is still warry of me from having to inject her with the motility meds due to the severity of her stasis. I can now say that I am excited when one of my piggies toots. My husband has also learned that yes, guinea pigs can toot, and quite loudly. She is still not at full health and despite many lab tests and images, has trace amounts of blood in her urine with an odd orange color. Otherwise she is quite normal and even has a "boyfriend".
Next up is Mya, who is quite pretty and has the nickname of "Party Pants" from her coloring. She is the first piggie I have had with a bladder stone. She had just been into the vet for her annual wellness several days before. When I noticed her hunching and squeeking so softly it was barely audible, I promptly got her into the vets. He was able to get it out without surgery thankfully as it was dangerously large and located. It would have made a human cry for its size.
These remaining sisters are all just over 3 years of life.
I also intervened a few months ago and took over care for my nieces 2 boars. She was not intentionally cruel but after trying to teach her it became apparent that the desire to care for them properly was not there. The boars are George and Gizmo. Both have behavior issues and some bad habits. I am working on these.
George, who survived being mauled by Gizmo's father, is bar aggressive. A hanging chew toy every 4 inches and a lot of Phooey on the bars is starting to work. George, was neutered almost 5 weeks ago, and he had an undescended testicle. He is recovering well, but just had an emergency vet visit today. He had an area on his right side swelling, the place where the fat deposit instead of a testicle was. I had a vet appointment, but it ruptured before I got in. The swelling started Friday night, so I did keep a close eye on it. My vet took him in ASAP, and everything does look ok. I am giving him antibiotics as well as a nice antiseptic lavage two times a day. He is not a fan, but wound care needs to proceed. I also have pain meds for him since it is not in an ideal location for sitting.
Gizmo, who is younger and skittish, is now Buttercups' boyfriend. She was spayed so no babies. Despite him not getting the hint all the time, they do complement each other well. He now has spots from when she gets peeved at him, as do the walls, hence I have splash guards. I call them the Terror Twins as the cleaning of them is intensive.
George is about 2-1/2 and Gizmo 1-1/2 years of life.
Lastly is little Annabella. I adopted her after her owners permits for her were revoked. He was moving out of country. She has never been in a herd so I will try and introduce her to George as she is the only other piggie he bothers to notice in a good way. Once he can no longer father babies, I will try the introduction.
I did try an introduction to my herd of 5 girls, but she butted heads with Gracie. I knew Gracie was the one she had to get along with, but both are mule headed. Gracie's first impression of her was when she ended up splayed across Gracie's back with all 4 leg sticking out in different directions while attempting to show dominance. Gracie was not amused and since she is three times the size of Annabella, promptly bucked her off and started chattering and nosing up. Annabella did not back down and so down went the separation blanket.
Annabella has also never had fresh food so I am in the process of showing her the yummy world of veggies. She ate bell pepper for the first time today after rejecting it for the last couple months. I am hoping sweet George can help her and they can be bonded and not be loners.
Annabella is about 2-1/2 years of life.
After I lost Hanna I was heartbroken, but even with the recent passing of my first boar Charlie and fierce little Cookie, I still have room in my heart. It still hurts, but I know that they were loved and taken care of. I have much love to share and a very big garden.
Here is my Cavy Acres
And my resting place for those who have passed on. Hanna is the winged one, with the big one being Charlie and the little Abby being Cookie.
Luckily mine are happy in their current setup. Everyone has either a neighbor, a cage pal or both and the girls are next to a single boar and far enough from the pairs of boars so their presence doesn't cause any rifts.
As it is now, none of the pairs of boars are where they can sense the girls. Dean is next to them and Mr Bubbles is above and they're both single. Gillian and Skipper are above Dean, but not where they can see or sense them. The other 2 pairs are across the room. The ultimate setup would be all boars. Even if they don't get along, I could put barriers between them. Second best would be a totally separate room for the girls. If I had that, I'd get a couple more sows. It's nothing more than a pipe dream for me, but I really admire the way theirs is set up.
Sounds like you really take good care of your piggies!
By the way, Chili had an excellent way of handling her guinea pigs (putting them down in the cage) that I added to the handling page. She would stop just short of the floor and not set them down until they stopped squirming. It makes for calmer pig and (with new owners) fewer accidents from jumping!
By the way, would you like me to add your picture of your cages permanently to your topic for future readers? I generally only add medical pics but your cages are helpful ideas for others.