Guinea Pig Fun
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~ PLEASE SEE YOUR EXOTICS VET IF YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR PET
Guinea pigs cannot create Vitamin C so therefore they must receive it in their daily diet. Lack of Vitamin C can present symptoms such as difficulty moving, hopping, internal bleeding, loss of appetite along with weight loss, and dental problems. Commercially produced guinea-pig pellets in theory contain Vitamin C. However, not all guinea-pig pellets have sustained Vitamin C which means a longer shelf life. To ensure that your guinea pigs does not get scurvy, like the two guinea pigs pictured here, provide a quality guinea-pig pellet along with fresh vegetables fed in moderation. I use 1cc/mm syringe to give Child Life Vitamin C, a liquid Vitamin C for children, as needed such as when a guinea pig is stressed from a move or is ill. However, do NOT add the liquid or any other drops to water. The guinea pig would need to drink the whole bottle to get the proper dose and some guinea pigs will not drink water with anything added. In addition, Vitamin C loses potency when exposed to light.
Ovarian cysts can present with different symptoms but a change in attitude or a show of aggressive dominance can be an indication that the problem might be hormonal. In some guinea pigs there is crusting of the nipples and there may be hair loss on the abdomen or bilateral hair loss on the sides. If the problem is an ovarian cyst it may be cured by having the female guinea pig spayed. However, not all guinea pigs are candidates for the invasive surgery. If left untreated the cyst can potentially grow and burst thus becoming a threat to the life of the guinea pig. Hormonal therapy (HCG), which may or may not work, may be used to try to shrink the ovarian cyst(s) but it is not a permanent cure and must be repeated once the cyst returns.
The Satin breed's coat is lovely to look at but unfortunately the breed has some serious genetic defaults which can lead to a painful life and early death. This breed can be carriers of Osteodystrophy which the two guinea pigs in the photos on the right suffered from and died an early death. The guinea pig on the immediate right started hopping like a rabbit and then stayed in one place since it was too painful to move. For more information about this condition please visit this Guinea Pig Welfare page.
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