Monthly Archives: November 2014
Whee always listen to what’s bothered Mummy in front of the telly in the evening! 🙂
Nacho & Noah
So as promised whee are going to explain Noah’s foot problem with a cautionary warning for other piggy owners. Whee apologise for not getting any pigtures but because he has dark feet it was difficult to see anyway.
Noah had what is know as a foot spur.
So what is a foot spur?
Some guinea pigs develop flaps of tough skin that protrude from their front feet. These spurs can be carefully removed with a nail clipper to prevent accidental tearing. Avoid clipping too closely and causing bleeding. (Reference – Guinea Lynx)
What does a foot spur look like?
As whee already confessed, Mummy forgot to take any pigtures of Noah’s foot but here is a good example of one. Please click on the image to go to the website whee found it on.
Why is this a problem?
Normally foot spurs aren’t a problem and can easily be snipped off. Noah’s were unfortunately the exception in the fact that they kept getting caught on things. If left they can also lead to infections in the paw – such as bumblefoot – and become extremely painful.
What can you do?
These do need to be dealt with by trimming them off. If you don’t feel confident to do this – as our Mummy didn’t – then you can either soak the foot and soften it to make it easier to remove or you can go and get a vet to do this for you.
Noah’s foot was pretty sore for a few days after and he has been feeling a little bit sorry for himself. While he was healing whee have had extra cage clean outs to keep things super duper clean for him and he has had lots of snuggles and fuss to cheer him up.
Can they be prevented?
Unfortunately it is not known why some piggies develop these and others don’t. The bedding used and cleanliness don’t seem to correlate to them at all. Some piggies will never develop them but roughly 1 in 4 do. To prevent them from becoming anything serious you should regularly check your piggies paws and trim their claws. Watch out for any tell tale behaviour of foot problems such as; limping, licking the foot, biting the foot, crying when using the foot etc. If in doubt you should always seek veterinary advice.
Whee hope this helps someone out with their piggy. And please remember to check piggy paws regularly.
Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil
Recently Mummy was asked a very silly question:
What is there to love about guinea pigs?
If Mummy had to answer that question she would be here forever. The better question would have been; what’s not to love about guinea pigs?
But seeing as someone asked whee are going to share with you the top 5 reasons to love guinea pigs!
- Whee squeak and wake you up everyfurry morning. Who needs an alarm clock?!
- You look like a healthy hoomans in the supermarket when you buy all our veggies!
- Even if you are sad, seeing us popcorning around and happy will no doubt improve your mood and Doctors actually recommend pets as therapy to help some hoomans feel happier!
- You discover how green fingered you can be, even in a small space growing herbs, grass and veggies to keep us happy!
- But best of all; whee love you unconditionally
as long as you feed usso whee are always there after a tough day at work or school.
So whee have a good question for you hoomans; what’s there to love about your pets? And pets; what’s there to love about your hoomans? (and you can’t say the food!!)
ps. Noah has had a poorly paw for a few days now but he is getting better. Thank you to those who have sent your well wishes, whee will try to get him to put a blog post together to explain efurrything as soon as he is well enough and whee apologise for disappearing for a few days, this was the reason!
In hot weather whee are at risk of heat stroke so whee advise you check this page whee wrote to see how you can avoid that.
In cold weather whee are equally susceptible to suffering. You can see our full article on cold weather care here.
Here are our top 5 tips to caring for your piggy during a cold spell.
- If it’s too cold for you outside then it is too cold for your piggies. You have the option to put a coat or jumper on to keep warm. Whee don’t!
- Bring outdoor piggies indoors during cold spells. Not only does this protect them from the fluctuating and extreme temperatures but you will also be able to spot illness or reactions to the weather more easily. If you cannot bring them into your home they should at least be moved into a shed, garage or porch where they can avoid the worst of a frost.
- The best tool you can have is a snugglesafe heat pad. Our hooman swears by them. For older piggies, arthritic piggies or piggies recovering from illness these are the perfect way to keep them warm. Alternatively if you don’t have one and need something to warm a piggy urgently – don’t risk using a hot water bottle – you can warm a small cold animal, by putting them on your bare warm abdomen. This transfers heat and if you put a blanket over the top of them too, should help warm them. If a piggy or any animal is seriously cold and showing signs of listlessness, weakness, or anything abnormal you should always call your vet for advice.
- Extra hay. Though they need lots of hay all year round with it being 70% of their diet putting extra in for bedding is a great way for them to hide and keep warm. Hay nests!
- Hutch snugs or bottle snugs. Whee have not used these but they are good for piggies kept in sheds or garages during cold weather. An extra layer of insulation to protect them! Alternatively you can put a layer sheet of radiator reflector foil (available from most DIY shops) over the hutch. This helps to insulate the hutch and reflects any heat back inside.
Most of what whee have said is transferable to other species, hamsters, cats, dog, rabbits etc.
So please remember to keep your pets warm this Winter!
What are your top tips for staying warm in cold weather?
Whee asked you all for posts you’d like to see and the one request that caught our interest came from Isabelleh
How can you get scared or stubborn piggies to get to know you even after months?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here guys . . . I’m a very nervous piggy.
Loud noises, loud hoomans, thunder, fireworks, spoons clinking against the side of a mug, jangling keys and a whole host of other things scare me into hiding or panicking. There was no reason for me to feel this way in hooman terms. I hadn’t been hit or hurt or suffered in any way before. I had a very fortunate upbringing with lots of love and care from day 1 up until the day I came to Mummy and beyond.
The thing is, for us piggies, fear is a natural response to hoomans. We don’t know you, you’re huge compared to us and whee are prey animals. All our instincts scream at us to hide and avoid you.
Taming me was possibly the most difficult according to Mummy but also the most rewarding. It took a long while but below are the steps she followed to gain my trust.
– First, whenever she was on the phone, she sat next to the cage for conversations to get me used to the sound of her voice in a situation where I wasn’t the focus of the attention.
– When whee were brave enough to peek out at her (This took nearly 10 days for me) she changed so she was talking to us softly and had her hand on the edge of the cage holding a piece of spinach or parsley. Parsley got my attention more but it’s all about what is your piggies favourite. After twice daily attempts over four days, I dared to dart out and grabbed a mouthful.
– Over the next few days Mummy worked with gaining my trust by offering me food and wouldn’t let anyone try to pick me up. To clean us out she guided us calmly into a box and did it quickly and put us straight back.
– Then she began to use the hand not offering the veggie or treat to stroke us. For the first three days I ran away each time but on the fourth I flinched but didn’t run.
-After that, even when I was a little skitty she got me out every day to handle and snuggle. As I was only little, she cuddled me in an old beanie hat. She would reach in and pick me up quickly and securely using the hat and both hands. Not giving me time to run or panic or get stressed. If she ever missed and didn’t manage to get me first time she would close the cage for a few minutes and talk softly to me and then try again.
Whenever I was out I was fed a little herb treat or piece of veg to build my confidence.
Now when I see the beanie or a cosy I know there is a positive experience or treat on the way so I stress far less. In fact, when I’m out, I have been known to fall asleep.
But getting to this stage has taken months and I still get frightened and hide a lot. The most important thing to understand is; all piggies are different. A piggy will get scared or nervous at first. It’s a natural response for us. Some piggies, like me, will never totally relax or feel want to be handled often. Buddy will positively leap into your arms for a snuggle. Basil has been known to let himself out of his cage for one and Noah, well Noah will have hugs but only on his terms!
The key thing is patience. Time and patience are all you need!
Whee hope you find this information helpful. What tips would you give hoomans for taming pets?
Have a great Tuesday efurryone
It’s too early to be awake hooman! Let me sleep!
It’s the hooman here. The boys are certainly having a lazy day today and couldn’t think what to write on the blog! But in the coming days you’ve got a Pigmas Gift Guide, some pet friendly recipes and a wildlife update to look forward to!
We’re just wondering is there anything you particularly want to see more of? Any burning questions you have about guinea pigs?
Also, I’m thinking of getting the boys to do some book reviews, is that something you’d be interested in.
Anyway, I’m going to have to be quiet, they’re trying to sleep now.
Hope you have a great Monday
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Have a super Sunday efurryone