First Post/Photos

First Post/Photos

Well, this is fancy isn’t it?

This is my very first blog post!

 

My guinea pigs, Caramel and Nutmeg live in their spacious hutch outside, and they have a run in the garden that they spend at least 2 hours in every day, for grass and a run-about.

I have had my guineas for just under two months now. 

Caramel and Nutmeg came from Pets at Home and they were very tiny and scared when I first opened the little boxes they traveled in.

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The day after they arrived!

 

Once I put them inside their new home, I let them settle in for 24 hours. This is to help them to cope with the sudden change of surroundings and the lesser number of guinea pigs. (They were from a group of about 6 piggies in the shop)

I also didn’t feed them any fresh veggies for a few days to help settle their tummies after the journey. Keeping them on the food they were originally on also helped, as it was familiar to them.

Caramel and Nutmeg have a healthy supply of Timothy Hay, food pellets and water.

I also give them fresh veggies twice a day and fruit once a week.

 

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Yum!

Until next time,

Detective Ultramarine

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Bath Time!

Bath Time!

Guinea pigs need to be bathed once every 3-4 months to help them keep clean and free of fleas. They are naturally clean that’s why you only need to bathe them occasionally. Bathe them too often and you’ll break down the natural oils in their hair/fur that keep them healthy.

Getting ready:

  • Warm water (your blood temperature)
  • Pot with spout for pouring water over pig
  • Lots of old towels (at least 3)
  • Bucket with high sides
  • Carrier or box
  • Treats
  • Pet Shampoo (some people use baby shampoo)
  • Brush (for long coated pigs after their bath)
  • Flannel (small towel or face cloth)
  • Guinea pig

Make sure it’s a hot day, so they don’t get cold.

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I used Johnsons’s Insecticidal Shampoo: for small animals.

Pour about 1-2 cm of water in the bucket and place the flannel in the water so the piggies don’t slip.

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Lay it all out near you so you can reach everything without letting the piggies out of your sight.

Grab a piggie (I did Caramel first) and place them in the bucket and gently pour water over their back:

Once they are wet (avoid their face, eyes, ears, nose…) put them on a towel in a carrier or box and rub in the shampoo (follow the instructions on the bottle):

Place your cavy back in the water and rinse off the shampoo thoroughly. Caramel managed to jump out of the bucket, but I caught her before she went anywhere. If your piggie hasn’t been bathed before they will be scared and try to escape like Caramel did, so always be alert and keep an eye out for any teeth chattering. (a sign of anger).

Once the shampoo is out, dry with a towel until your cavy is dry enough to put in the run. Try to avoid putting them back in the hutch or cage straight away as they may get damp and ill.

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Caramel after her bath and before Nutmeg’s go.  (Yes Nutmeg is sniffing Caramel)

If you have more than one guinea pig, (which you should have at least two, unless you’ve lost one), tip away the old water and replace with clean warm water and repeat the process.

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All wet…
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…half dry…
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…drying off in the sunshine!

For Nutmeg, I put some shampoo in the water and frothed it up and poured it over her back, then I rinsed her with clean water, dried with some towels and gave her a good brush. The whole ordeal took a lot less longer than Caramel’s bath (possibly because I took less photos).

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Until next time,

Detective Ultramarine.

Hot Weather and Guinea Pigs

Hot Weather and Guinea Pigs

Hot weather and guinea pigs are not a good combination.

Because of their thick coats, guineas are prone to heat-strokes, so here are my top 5 tips on keeping them cool when it’s hot outside…

#1 Water!

Just like you, your pigs need lots of fresh and cool water all year round, but especially in the summer when it gets hot.

 

#2 Ice Bottles

Place an old plastic water bottle, three-quarters full of water, in the freezer overnight. Then, in the morning, wrap it up in an old towel or flannel and place it inside their hutch or run. It keeps the air cool and gives them something cold to lay against.

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Proof that this works!

 

#3 Shade

Cavies need shade as it keeps them cool and  protects their eyes from the sunlight. It’s a bit like putting on sunglasses or being in the shade yourself.

 

#4 Hides

Hides provide some shade and offers them a safe, dark place to hide. Do not use plastic hides, they (according to Little Adventures) trap in heat due to their smaller openings. Also some plastics retains heat in a way that wood or cardboard will not. Guineas will sleep through most of the heat and a damp towel placed over a willow bridge helps keep it cooler too.

 

#5 Veggies

Watery vegetables and dryer veggies soaked in water are a tasty way to help your pigs to hydrate more. Do be cautious of over feeding your pigs as they could become ill.

Keeping cool in the shade…

 

Until next time,

Detective Ultramarine

Our visit to the V-E-T-S…

Last Saturday, at around lunchtime, I noticed that Caramel had wet fur under her chin that looked like blood. I did some research and discovered that female guinea pigs do not have periods. So I informed my parents and they contacted Emergency VetCare and we were asked to try to find where it had come from.

I took the guineas out of their hutch and examined them in their run, I saw that Nutmeg also had whatever Caramel had under her chin. I could not see where the pink colour (What I call blood) came from. By this time Caramel’s nose had some clear discharge. I did not manage to get any clear photos for you to see, so sorry about that.

On our way to the V-E-T-S…

 

The vet gave both of the piggies general check-ups and said that she couldn’t find out why they were like that, but it is quite possible that one nipped the other.

After we were told that they were fine the vet weighed them, they were:

Caramel: 820 grams (I think this is because I trim Nutmeg’s hair and not Caramel’s)

Nutmeg: 800 grams

I was told to weigh them twice a month, because if there was a health problem, it would show, whereas you may not find out until they are obviously ill, and then you don’t have much time to help them.

We then drove home and I put the piggies out in the run, and they seemed rather happy so eat some grass. By this time the wet fur had dried and Caramel’s nose had cleared up.

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Two days later and they are absolutely back to normal, so I’m not really worried anymore. As you can see, they are very healthy, so I hope it’s just a one-off thing!

 

Until next time,

Detective Ultramarine

Guinea Pig Product Reviews

Guinea Pig Product Reviews

Alright! So I’m back from my little unplanned break, with some guinea pig product reviews!

 

#1 Small Pet Carrier made by Living World.

Pros: Lots of air holes, light, spacious, strong clip/lock.

Cons: None discovered so far…

Piggies: Very tasty thing to chew on!

 

#2 Hairdresser scissors made by Fine Lines UK.

Pros: Sharp, comfortable for use in either hand, a pleasant weight to them.

Cons: Quite stiff, but hopefully that will wear out as I continue to use them.

Piggies: We like to sniff them first, sometimes we try to run away from them!

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#3 Nail Clippers: Small made by Rosewood.

Pros: Good grip, size fits my hand well, cuts smoothly, has a safety catch.

Cons: Hard to remove from the packaging, has a part that seems to be there for no reason.

Piggies: Our toenails disappear when our human uses this, not sure if that’s a good thing…

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#4 Excel: Country Garden Herbs made by Burgess.

Pros: Encourages foraging, good for emotional health, a yummy treat.

Cons: Enables piggies to be rather fussy (something that I try to avoid) 

Piggies: Some of it is delicious, so we can pick out what we like and leave the rest.

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#5 Yummy Fruity Shapes made by Armitage: Pet Care– Rotastak.

Pros: Only 50p, cute shapes and good size for the guinea pigs’ mouths.

Cons: None discovered so far…

Piggies: We both enjoy them as a tasty breakfast!

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Slightly smaller that what you see here.

 

#6 Cardboard Tubes that BookWorm gave to the guineas, found at The Scrapstore.

Pros: Comfortable, snug hidy for the guinea pigs while they’re out in the run.

Cons: Not easy to remove a curtain pig (Nutmeg…) in order to get them into the carrier!

Piggies: Safe, and cozy, we like to run into one of these when there’s a loud sound.

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Nomming on some Burgess Forage

 

And some photos of the piggies in the summer sunshine as a bonus!

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Spy Cavy in camouflage.

 

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Detective P.G. on a lunch-break…

 

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She’s spying on you…

 

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Nutmeg discovered her new ability to pose!

Until next time,

Detective Ultramarine