Duration of pregnancy
Average terms are about 10 weeks. The duration of this period can be influenced by the age of the animal, the breed, the number of fetuses, as well as the health characteristics of a particular female. Of course, if there are two or more cubs in the tummy, then the gestation period will be reduced to 58-62 days. When the baby is the only one. 70-75 days.
Guinea pig pregnancy
For all animals, pregnancy is a difficult period and this also applies to rodents. The owner should pay the most attention to the guinea pig at this stage.
What to do if your guinea pig is pregnant
It should be borne in mind that childbirth may be accompanied by deviations from the norm and the owner must also be ready for this.
Features of feeding a guinea pig during pregnancy
When caring for a guinea pig during pregnancy, it is necessary to pay sufficient attention to the feeding process. Carefully monitor the cleanliness of the feeders and drinkers (it is recommended to wash them at least twice a week), as well as the amount of feed.
During pregnancy, it is necessary to double the amount of food for the animal, and by the end of pregnancy. three times.
For feeding, you should use both classic rodent feed options, hay, and:
- fresh vegetables and herbs;
- special granulated food for pregnant rodents;
- cottage cheese.
After the birth of the cubs, the female is thirsty for some time, so it is necessary to ensure that there is always fresh water in the drinker. It will also be beneficial to give the animal juicy fruits.
In the event that the guinea pig refuses to eat after childbirth, it is necessary to show the animal to the veterinarian. Among the possible reasons for the lack of appetite is the development of endometritis, which can lead to the death of the animal.
The birth of guinea pigs
Often the birth of piglets occurs precisely at night, when it is dark and quiet. Lasts about an hour, but time may increase if there are more than one cubs or this is the first experience with a rodent.
The guinea pig, already in the process of childbirth, sits, as it were, with its head down to the pelvis. During contractions, you can hear as if hiccups, but this is a sound inherent in contractions. The female breaks the amniotic membrane herself, as soon as the babies are born, then licks them and feeds them.
After completing the process, the owner should carefully replace the litter with a clean one.
Unlike other rodents, such as rats and hamsters, baby guinea pigs are born with their eyes open, covered with hair and with erupted teeth. Literally immediately after birth, they begin to move independently.
Selection of animals for breeding
When choosing a female and a male, first of all, they pay attention to the health of both, so that the offspring are healthy.
It is important to avoid mating closely related individuals, such an experiment may be unsuccessful. There is a risk that children will be weak, with health problems. The number of pregnancies in one female per year should not be more than twice, the animal’s body needs time to recover. Mom’s health directly affects the health of babies being born.
It is better to choose guinea pigs of the same breed if there is no purpose for the appearance of mestizos. Basically, breeders prefer to keep the quality of the offspring, without crossing different representatives.
Newborn guinea pigs
A good birth weight for a baby ranges from 45-140 grams. If the weight is 40 grams or less, then the probability of fetal death is high.
Also, the weight will depend on the number of cubs, the more children, the less their weight. Accordingly, if the female has the first pregnancy, then the baby will be alone and his weight will be good.
Already in the first days, the children of the guinea pig begin to try the food, repeating everything after their mother. The droppings are transplanted into a separate cage about a month after birth.
Cleaning your ears is one of the important points of care. Check them for mites and keep them clean with a paper towel. Do not use ear sticks or cotton swabs. If an unforeseen illness occurs (an unpleasant odor emanates from the ears, and the animal itself tilts its head to the side of the problem ear). this is a signal for the veterinarian to intervene.
Bathing a domestic pig
Despite the fact that the guinea pig is a guinea pig, it has a negative attitude towards water procedures. Therefore, bathing should be done as needed. In case of severe contamination, you can do without washing only the affected part of the animal’s body. The water temperature should not exceed 38 degrees, and if you cannot do without shampoo, use a baby bathing product. Be careful, as the pig’s head cannot be wetted. After finishing the procedure, wrap the animal in a towel and dry it off. The use of a hairdryer is allowed, especially when your pet is of the long-haired breed.
The diet of a guinea pig is not distinguished by the sophistication of dishes, despite the fact that the choice of food is quite diverse. Pet food includes grains, vegetables, fruits, hay and herbs. Treats are beets, carrots, oats, various root vegetables. From herbs, you can give dandelion, clover, nettle, yarrow. But the nutrients obtained from natural feed are not enough. Provide the animal with additional vitamin C in the ratio of 1 mg of ascorbic acid to 1 ml of water, which must be changed every day. When kept at home, a guinea pig needs 20 mg of vitamin C per day.
It is strictly forbidden to feed the rodent with damp and dirty food, fruits that have lost their freshness, as well as sweets. But flax seeds and sunflower have a beneficial effect on the beauty’s fur.
The diet is important for the health of your pet. For daily feeding, observe the same time in the morning and evening. An exception is made only for pregnant women. transfer the animal to four meals a day. The feed in the trough should be constantly, as the guinea pig does not tolerate hunger.
And do not be confused when the rodent eats its feces. This phenomenon is normal for this type of animal.
Basic rules for caring for a guinea pig
The guinea pig is not only an animal for children’s fun. A small, fluffy animal will delight even in the process of caring for him. To avoid disappointment, neither you nor the guinea pig, adhere to some recommendations for the correct content:
- feeding. two to three times daily;
- thorough cleaning of the cage. once every week;
- litter change. once every three days;
- combing the fur. once every three days (if you wish, you can every other day);
- cleaning the feeder. daily;
- nail trimming. once a year.
In addition, it is recommended to conduct a preventive examination every three days, which will allow you to take emergency measures as soon as necessary. The purpose of the examination is the timely detection of wheezing during breathing, runny nose, skin wounds, eye problems.
The pig needs to be provided with daily walks around the apartment. At the same time, be careful not to accidentally injure the little animal, and protect it from other pets that are dangerous for the baby. If you value your furniture, take precautions, as a rodent can test the strength of its teeth on it.
How to properly care for your guinea pig
The guinea pig is like a soft toy, only animated, easy to care for and easy to maintain. A wonderful pet that will brighten up loneliness, give warmth, please with its tenderness for 5 to 15 years. But only on condition of care and reciprocal love on your part. Caring for her is so simple that even elementary school children will spend no more than two hours a week servicing a pair of toy animals.
In a guinea pig, the front teeth, like the claws, are constantly growing, which is characteristic of all rodents. Nature has laid down that the animal must grind the incisors, since long teeth interfere with quality food intake and can injure the tongue. Give your pet a chance to chew on something hard. The problem will be solved if the diet contains solid food, such as grain, or tree twigs (preferably fruit).
In some cases, you have to go to the veterinarian to shorten the incisors. The reason is usually in the congenital arrangement of the teeth. Then plan a visit to a specialist about once every three months.
Short-haired guinea pigs take care of themselves on their own. With the help of their own teeth, they comb and thus clean their fur. But it will not hurt if at least occasionally you go over it with a special brush. During shedding, mainly in autumn and spring, the coat should be combed twice a week.
But the owner will have to take care of the long-haired animal. This procedure is necessary not only for the aesthetic appearance of the pig, but is also a kind of massage, and also prevents tangling of the coat. If, nevertheless, a matted lump forms, carefully cut it off with scissors.
The Angora breed is the most troublesome. Its coat reaches a length of 20 cm and must be brushed two or even three times a week with a brush and a special comb. With the regularity of this procedure, the wool acquires a silky sheen. And for the summer season, you can cut it, thus lightening the long-haired coat of the pig.
- soft brush for small animals;
- comb with sparse teeth;
- metal brush;
Pay close attention to the eyes when examining your guinea pig every day. If they are clean, without secretions, this is an indicator of the healthy state of the animal. If there are the slightest changes, swelling or even redness, wipe them with soft paper towels and analyze what caused this ailment. The animal does not like drafts, maybe it is worth moving the cage to a more protected place. With repeated repetition of deviations from the norm, the help of a specialist is required, who will prescribe eye drops.
It is not recommended to bathe a pig under 1 year old, because small animals are very sensitive to temperature changes and drafts. It is recommended to bathe the animal in the summer to provide it with the required temperature.
Bathing is advisable if the pig has really become dirty enough, otherwise it can be simply wiped with wet wipes or a wet towel.
- place the pig in a container of water, gently holding with one hand and stroking the back;
- pour water from a glass on the animal’s fur so that it gets well wet;
- apply shampoo and lather well, gently massaging the coat;
- it is necessary to wash off the shampoo very carefully so that it does not remain on the coat, otherwise it can harm the health of the animal;
- after that, the pig must be wrapped in a towel and wiped well;
- when the animal calms down a little, you should finish drying the wool with a hairdryer.
The animal will need a haircut if it is a long-haired breed; short-haired or rosette pigs do not need a haircut, as they take care of their hair on their own.
The long-haired variety should be cared for continuously and consists of brushing, trimming and trimming. The animal’s hair must be brushed regularly so that it does not have time to curl up into lumps. For combing, you need to purchase a special brush that will facilitate this process.
If you do not brush the animal regularly, then the rolled up hairballs need to be trimmed. Lump formation can also appear in short-haired or rosette breeds, so you need to examine the animal and carry out this procedure on time.
It is also recommended to trim the hair of the guinea pig in the nipple area if it feeds the offspring.
To trim the animals, you can go to a specialized salon or perform the procedure yourself. You need to cut the animal no more than once every three months. When performing the procedure, it is necessary to trim off hair that looks dirty or sticks out in hair. It is recommended to carry out a haircut for animals in the spring, before the onset of heat, so that the pet feels comfortable in the summer.
The animal loves to eat well and a lot, so provide it with a large variety of food and clean fresh water.
As for nutrition, the animal must be constantly provided with hay, since the rodent is constantly chewing something. Recommendations for choosing hay for animals:
- dry alfalfa is given to animals under 6 months old, as well as to females that bear offspring or feed babies;
- Timothy and bluegrass feed animals from 6 months and older.
It must be remembered that a lack of hay can cause bite anomalies in animals, misalignment of teeth, the correction of which will require an operation. Lack of hay can cause the body’s digestive system to stop working, which is fatal.
Consider what you can feed your guinea pig, besides hay. The animal should eat fresh vegetables daily, while leafy vegetables should be no more than 20%, as they can provoke diarrhea.
The animal must be provided with fruits and vegetables in order to receive the necessary amount of vitamins.
From vegetables and fruits, guinea pigs can be given carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, pea pods, spinach, a small amount of apples and strawberries. Animals should not be given arugula, cauliflower, Iceberg lettuce, potatoes, red leafy vegetables, radish.
It is important to remember that the animal must be provided with vegetables in an amount of at least 1 cup per day, while it is not necessary to give the whole amount at a time, you can divide it into several doses. No special pelleted feed is needed for a healthy pig. But it is important to take into account that if she previously consumed this food, then gradually it is necessary to transfer her to normal food.
Pets are very fond of free space, so you should provide them with at least 0.7 square meters. m in a cage. The bottom of the cage should be solid, not lattice, so that the animal’s legs are protected from damage. The cage can be without a ceiling if it has walls at least 35 cm high.
Various multilevel cages can be dangerous for these animals, because they can be severely injured when falling from a height. The cage must contain at least 2 cm of paper and must be changed every week.
Guinea pig care rules
For a guinea pig to develop well and be healthy, it needs to be properly cared for at home.
Due to the fact that the claws of a guinea pig can curl during active growth, which leads to curvature of the fingers and injuries to the pads of the paws, it is necessary to regularly trim the claws of the animal. This procedure should be carried out once or twice a month, when they grow more than 2 mm.
It is recommended to trim your nails from 3 months of age, when you begin to notice their active growth. You need to carry out the procedure with a special nail clipper for small animals.
Guinea pigs by nature have claws on their hind legs longer than on the front ones, therefore, when carrying out the manipulation of cutting the claws, it is necessary to take this factor into account and trim the claws on the hind legs a little less than on the front ones, so that the animal is comfortable to lean on them.
Before you start cutting the claws, you should take the guinea pig in your arms and turn it back to you, put the animal on your knees and, holding the paw in one hand, trim the claws with the other. It is necessary to carry out the procedure in good lighting, because you may not notice the blood vessels and accidentally cut them off, while the animal will start bleeding.
So that the nails after cutting are not sharp, they can be filed with a special file. It is important to trim the claws in a timely manner to prevent lengthening of the blood vessels.
The guinea pig loves attention, so it is best to place the guinea pig cage in the bedroom, hall or hallway, that is, wherever you are most often. The animal does not tolerate low temperatures, this must be taken into account and the animal must be kept in an apartment or house, and not on the street.
Animals also need to be exposed to sunlight for some time, so it is necessary to regularly place the cage on a well-lit windowsill or take it out for a walk.
For the safety of the animal, you need to take care that the cage does not accidentally overturn, for this it is best to fix it.
How to properly care for your guinea pig
Guinea pigs are one of the most beloved pets.
They do not take up much space and can become great friends for both children and adults.
What is needed for complete care of guinea pigs?
In the first days after buying an animal, do not frighten him with too loud sounds and sudden movements. Guinea pigs are, by nature, extremely shy creatures. If you want the animal to have confidence in you, then be patient. But in consequence, he will begin to recognize you, whistling joyfully.
Long-haired guinea pigs require special care for their fur, after bathing it must be dried with a towel.
There are both long-haired guinea pig breeds and short-haired and even completely hairless (skinny breed). For example, a rosette guinea pig has not only thick hair, but also a very unusual color in the form of rosettes.
Wool grows in different directions, so the owners of such an animal often have the feeling that the animal has just woken up, being pretty disheveled. In order for the coat to always be shiny, it is necessary to take care of it in a timely manner, approximately every 2-3 days. To do this, you may need:
- comb with sparse teeth (for long-haired animals);
- metal brush;
- soft brush (for short-haired animals);
- papillotes. pieces of an ordinary kitchen towel;
You need a towel so that you can wipe the animal dry after bathing. If you leave it with damp fur, then the animal can quickly get sick with a cold. Bathing guinea pigs is carried out only in warm water: as a shampoo, we choose a cosmetic product with a neutral ph.
If a tangled patch has formed in the fur, it should be cut with scissors. Do not forget about the claws of guinea pigs either: they need to be carefully trimmed with special nail clippers so as not to damage sensitive blood vessels.
Rules for buying guinea pigs
Great importance should be attached to the direct purchase of an animal. The further health of the pet depends on your choice. In order not to acquire a knowingly sick animal, you must adhere to a number of rules.
The first thing you should pay attention to is the general condition of the animal. An active lifestyle and a good appetite have always been considered the key to the health of a guinea pig. In addition, the appearance of the coat is of great importance: it should be clean, without bald spots and lumps, and also attract with its healthy shine.
The animal’s eyes should be clear and clean without any clouding. If you see a kind of receding hairline behind the ears in an animal, then you should not think that this is a pathology.
The guinea pig’s face should not be too thin. However, when an animal has clear signs of obesity, this also does not mean that it is in good health. Guinea pigs are extremely unpretentious creatures. They can be left alone at home or with their relatives: this will not affect their condition in any way. And for children, these animals are the best option, since, despite the noticeable incisors, the animal remains extremely friendly and good-natured.
Of course, it would not be bad if several individuals were purchased at once so that your pets would not be bored during the moments of your increased employment at school and work. However, such a company should be chosen wisely: it is better to give preference to one sex, otherwise you will soon turn from a caring owner into an experienced breeder.
Which gender should be chosen, it is already up to the owner to decide, however, it is recommended to take all the same females: they are much calmer than males, who become avid fighters with age.
What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Is Pregnant
How to care for a guinea pig: features of the content
The guinea pig belongs to the rodent family, so the animal feeds on grass and crops. A native of South America. These animals are used to gathering in groups of 5 to 15 individuals. Before wondering how to care for a guinea pig, you must understand the conditions in which the animal grew up, what habits and lifestyle it has.
Guinea pigs are very sociable animals, so for their better health it is better to have two animals.
Conditions for keeping animals
With proper care, guinea pigs live on average 8 years. However, some individuals can live up to 10-15 years. It should also be remembered that the guinea pig, unlike rodents such as hamsters and gerbils, is a daytime animal, so you need to allocate a bright corner for it. But still, it is better to bypass places with direct rays of the sun.
The pig should move. If it is not possible to release the animal into a special enclosure, he should be allowed to walk around the apartment.
As a home for the animal, you need to purchase a spacious cage. Its minimum size should be 40 by 40 cm. over, it should have any other pallet, but not a wooden one. This is because guinea pigs excrete a very large amount of urine. This fact often discourages those who want to have this animal at home.
So that you do not feel a special smell from the animal, it is necessary to lay a special bedding made of sawdust on the bottom of the cage. She will absorb all the unpleasant smell. But you need to remember about the timely change of the litter (2-3 times a week): this way, you can eliminate the possibility of persistent odors.
As for the litter itself, only large sawdust should be purchased so that they cannot accidentally enter the animal’s respiratory tract.
To maintain cleanliness in the animal’s cage, it is more advisable to use cat litter, which, when wet, forms large lumps. In addition, in this form it is very convenient to clean up contaminated areas, which greatly facilitates the animal.
It is also worth putting a small house in the cage together with a hole. It will be a great resting place for your guinea pig. In addition, do not forget that animals in the wild are accustomed to living in burrows, so with the help of this house you create the most natural conditions for the animal.
Guinea pigs in the wild are used to being active in order to be able to escape from their enemies. Therefore, more often you let the animal go for a walk around the apartment, just remove all the wires and expensive carpets that may be nearby.
There are three things to avoid while keeping guinea pigs:
- open drafts;
- low humidity.
The latter factor can arise in winter due to the appearance of regular heating in the apartment. To create favorable conditions not only for the pet, but also for yourself, you need to purchase high-quality air humidifiers. Animals are best able to tolerate a slight cold snap indoors than overheating.
The optimum temperature in your apartment should not exceed 20 degrees. However, a strong decrease in temperature is also undesirable, not lower than 10 degrees.
Proper nutrition for guinea pigs
These animals have one peculiarity: a very long intestine. Such a structure was created specifically for the complete degradation of cellulose. In order for the intestines of the animal to work correctly, you need to make a balanced diet.
Guinea pigs are rodents, so solid foods make up the bulk of their diet.
Of course, guinea pigs can replenish some necessary substances by eating their own droppings, but you should not break the animal’s usual diet. Usually guinea pigs are fed in the morning and in the evening, at least 3 times a day.
It is better to always leave a little more food than the animal can eat at one time. over, this type of animal feeds on small portions. Their main diet is:
We try to choose only imported brands, since domestic feeds often do not correspond to the declared quality. Here are the approximate brand names: VITAKRAFT, PRESTIG, FIORY.
This product should only be selected in sealed bags to avoid the possibility of mold growth. The hay should smell like fresh grass only. It is better to avoid products with various additives.
Fruits and vegetables
Every guinea pig must have this additional diet, at least as a treat. This can be cabbage, apple, carrot, lettuce, or pear.
Prohibited foods include any meat, including fish and poultry, sweet and salty foods. This can also include dairy products, except for cottage cheese and milk, which are allowed to be given in small quantities. You shouldn’t substitute milk for water for an animal.
Smoked and spicy dishes should also be excluded from the animal’s diet. You also need to be especially careful during summer walking guinea pigs: they can eat clover, dandelions, birch and aspen branches. It is better not to give an animal to an unfamiliar grass, so as not to avoid possible poisoning and death. It is strictly forbidden to give the animal lilac flowers: for guinea pigs, this is a real poison!
If there is enough space in the cage and there is an opportunity to “have fun” (hammock, ladders and other attractions), then it is not necessary to walk the pet. But if the cage is too small or, apart from the feeder and drinker, there is nothing in it, you can periodically organize walks for the pigs. In order to avoid such troubles as gnawed furniture or a damaged carpet, it is better to build a special fenced aviary. You can release the pigs to run into the fresh air, but they must be carefully monitored so that they do not run away into some burrow or become prey to a larger animal.
What is a guinea pig sick with??
- Parasites. internal (worms) and external (fleas, ticks).
- Alopecia (hair loss). due to improper diet, stress, lack of vitamins, the presence of parasites.
- Wounds and fractures. occur when rodent conditions are violated.
- Rickets. the disease is typical for animals suffering from a lack of sunlight and vitamins.
- Colds (acute respiratory infections, pneumonia, otitis media, cystitis). caused by hypothermia of the animal.
- Anomalies of the incisors. occur at the genetic level or due to improper care of the pet’s teeth.
- Disorders in the digestive system (diarrhea, constipation, enteritis, flatulence). occur due to non-observance of feeding rules, as well as due to infections.
- Eye diseases (keratitis, conjunctivitis). causes: infection, chemical and mechanical irritants.
- Obesity. triggered by an unbalanced or overweight diet.
It is a contagious, deadly viral disease. There is no cure, so the animal will have to be euthanized. Symptoms: weakness, apathy, seizures, impaired coordination of movements, paralysis.
It is a contagious, incurable disease that can be transmitted to humans. Symptoms: shortness of breath, convulsions, pleurisy, fever.
Attention! The normal body temperature of a guinea pig is 37. 39.5 C˚.
Photo of guinea pigs
Childbirth and baby care
Childbirth usually takes place quickly and without features, lasting no more than 30 minutes. Newborns are born sighted, hearing and with developed incisors. Weight ranges from 50 to 140 grams. Litter contains on average 3. 5 individuals. Cubs grow quickly, on days 2. 3 they begin to eat the food familiar to adults. By the month they become full-fledged guinea pigs, which can be removed from the mother.
It may happen that the mother dies during childbirth or afterwards from toxicosis. Then the best option would be to plant the offspring with another female, since it is better for babies to be among their relatives. Usually it is possible to feed orphans with diluted dry cream from a pipette. Be sure to provide the crumbs with access to eating the litter of adult pets. If by 17-20 days of life the weight of the cubs has doubled, then we can assume that they are rescued and develop normally.
Unfortunately, you need to get rid of non-viable babies born with a weight of up to 40 grams. It is almost impossible to get out of them and, even if it succeeds, the individuals will be too weak and painful for a full life.
This is a bacterial disease common in the mumps family, leading to paralysis of the limbs. A sick animal should be isolated and urgently taken to the veterinarian. Symptoms: diarrhea, refusal to feed, exhaustion.
Preparing for pregnancy
Despite the fact that the animals reach sexual maturity early, experts recommend bringing them at the age of at least 10 months. When choosing a pair, give preference to individuals of the same breed and age category. Parents-to-be should not be related. Obese individuals should also be excluded. Increase the amount of vitamin E in the animal’s diet a week before the intended mating.
It is advisable to plan the future pregnancy so that fertilization takes place no later than November, then the female will have time to feed the offspring before the spring molt. Otherwise, the combination of lactation and molting can become fatal for a female weakened after pregnancy. For the same reason, it is not recommended to cover females more often than three, but difficult to care for and breeding rare breeds, twice a year.
The heat in guinea pigs lasts 2 days, it is repeated every 12. 20 days. The most favorable period for fertilization is the first 12 hours. It is not difficult to notice the readiness of the pig to become a mother; it takes a characteristic posture: it raises the back part, spreading its paws and freezing motionless. Males are almost always ready to mate.
The fertilized guinea pig is placed in a separate cage. If the next estrus does not occur, then this indicates a pregnancy that will last about 10 weeks. Multiple pregnancies may result in earlier births.