I don’t ask for much but I do like a good snuggle in the morning. Yesterday morning I wheeked and wheeked and Mummy . . . didn’t come straight away. Of course, this just won’t do, so I chewed my cage clip in just the right way that it popped open, squeezed passed the food bowl and out of the cage. On the floor now, I gave myself a little shake down.
Now to find the hoomans. “I’m just coming piggies.” Mummy’s sing song voice called from the kitchen. Bother! She was not going to be happy to see me out of my cage . . . again. I am the reason there is stuff propped against the cage all night and only moved to give us breakfast in the morning.
I climbed the cage and peeked in. Buddy sat at the breakfast bowl sniggering. “Not funny, you’ve gotta let me in!” I hissed.
“Basil!” said Mummy’s shocked voice behind me.
Without waiting to hear what she had to say, I made a mad dash for behind the cage and ducked under the pile of newspapers. “He let himself out.” said my little hoomans voice from the sofa, “I don’t think he even noticed I was in here!”
I peered up and saw him leaning over the edge of the sofa and smiling at me. Busted!
“Basil.” Mummy called sternly. There was nothing else for it. I strolled round the cage and to where she stood, looking up with my biggest innocent eyes.
As if I would do anything naughty Mummy! Really, I’m shocked you’d even suggest such a thing.
The Treat: Loofah Teddy Bear
Price: £1.50 from Pets At Home (Also available, Woodlands Loofah Core Chews – £1.50 for 3)
Appearance: Attractive colours and the hoomans liked how they could feel and touch it to decide whether it was something whee would like
Initial thoughts from the hooman: Though they loved the loofah core chews they seem pretty frightened of this and don’t want to approach it. After some lap time with the toy they were much more relaxed around it but the size was an issue for them as, unlike the core chews, they couldn’t carry it around with them.
Thoughts from us piggies: Though it was pretty scary at first and whee were hiding from it whee realised it was pretty fun to chew on and throw around. It was a bit heavy from Noah and Nacho to lift and Basil struggled too, Buddy was the only one who could toss it around.
Pros: Cute, fun, easy to find when you want to clean out the cage, lots to chew, destructor-pig proof (Basil still hasn’t murdered his, whee are starting to think he is losing his touch!)
Cons: Whee can’t lift it, whee can’t throw it easily, it’s too big to fit in the pigloos, it gets covered in hay and poop really easily which means it probably won’t last as long as the loofah chews which easily brushed off.
Overall rating: 8/10 – If it weren’t for the size and weight of it, it would be the perfect toy. If you are looking for loofah chew toys for your piggies whee would recommend the core chews as the teddies may be more suited to bigger animals like rabbits.
Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil (with teeny input from hooman)
Whatever people may say about animals; whee do grieve. Whee do feel loss. And whee aren’t too different from you hoomans in the way that whee grieve.
Whee feel loss deeply and quite often go into a period of mourning. For some piggies this can last days then they recover but are a little subdued. For others they have lost their reason for living. Some will be apparently unbothered by it but it is important to watch out for signs and symptoms of depression in guinea pigs. Many of them can point to more serious things like health issues so it is important to get a vet to check your piggy over first, before assuming it is depression.
Whee are not claiming to know it all but this is just from Mummy’s experience with her bereaved boys piggies over the years.
- Lethargy – Not wanting to move around or do very much and behaving in a subdued manner. Not popcorning, etc.
- Less Vocal – Reduced or no vocalization from the piggy. Without a friend to talk to they won’t feel much like talking.
- And the most important of all, not eating. You should monitor your piggy after the loss of it’s cagemate. Assessing weight and watching them eat to make sure they are eating enough. Some will eat far less, while others will stop eating altogether. And you may have to get a vet to advise you on syringe feeding to help until they perk up.
Ways To Help
There are a few simple ways you can help a piggy that’s depressed but ultimately, guinea pigs are social animals and need companionship. When you and your piggy are ready, you should look into getting another friend for your piggy. Though it’s pretty tough, the piggy should come first. While you are looking you can:
- Give them a pet safe cuddly toy to snuggle up to
- Spend lots of time with them. You are their biggest comfort.
- If your hooman knows their the piggy died of some sort of illness. Clean out and disinfect all toys and cage thoroughly. Sometimes it is also a good idea to bath the guinea pig. They will however, need quarantining, for a short period of time to see whether they are ill before any introductions to other piggies can be made,
Losing a piggy furfriend isn’t easy. It’s horrible and confusing. But with all the things mentioned in this post you can make the time easier to bear.
Do you have any tips for grieving pets and owners? What did your hoomans do for you when you lost a furfriend?
Lets be thankful this Thursday for the wonderful furfriends around us on the blogosphere.
Nacho, Buddy & Basil
Well as you know, yesterday whee had to get a parcel for me, from the post office. For some silly reason they wanted my id! Nutty wasn’t very well in the morning and had to go to the vets so Mummy said I could come along to keep him company. (I’ll explain more about the vets later.)
On the way home whee stopped early and I knew whee weren’t home yet. Then our carrier was lifted and whee were carried somewhere. I could hear the whir of something, like the printer box with the compawter. There was a soft murmur of voices but nothing I could fully make out until a loud, bored sounding voice said “Next.”
I jumped as the carrier rocked and whee moved forwards. “Card.” said the same bored sounding hooman as before. There was a long pause broken only by shuffling noises and the occasional hooman cough. “ID.” demanded the voice. Mummy’s voice followed, so soft I couldn’t make out what she said. Apparently the hooman couldn’t either, “What?” snapped the hooman rudely. “I don’t have ID for the person the parcel is addressed to, it’s my guinea pig.” Mummy finally said loudly. After a second of absolute silence the hooman laughed. And a few other hoomans laughed. My carrier rocked again and then the roof opened slightly. I looked suspiciously out at the strange hoomans. There was more laughter and other hoomans waiting asked why I didn’t have a drivers license or something like that. This whole time the postie-man just laughed. Mummy proved who she was and they handed over the parcel, saying they hoped whee enjoyed it and had a great day. One even said they hoped Nutty was better soon.
When whee got home Mummy let me open my parcel. She was going to try to get pigtures of me opening it, but I was too excited and bouncy and she didn’t trust me not to escape while she took pigtures! So here is what was in my parcel prize from my furfriend Sammy the cat!
Those apple sticks look deeeeee-licious.
Unfortunately whee are going to have to end this post on a sad note. Nutty was taken to the vets yesterday due to a recurring respiratory problem which has been coming and going for months. He became significantly worse yesterday morning and whee rushed to the vets. During the course of yesterday his health declined rapidly and the hoomans were very worried. Whee are pleased to report he made it through last night, though he is struggling to breathe properly right now and cannot eat or drink for himself. Though he did eat a small piece or parsley and chewed on one of Sammy’s apple sticks so he is trying. With a great team of vets, furfriends and clever cavy savvy people advising us and all our hoomans there is still some hope but the signs are not good right now.
Please send my Daddy Nut, all your healing love and support.
Whee will update you as soon as whee can.