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Summer Safety

Well whee all love the Summer don’t we? The sunshine, the flowers, the heat. But what happens when the heat gets too much? When it’s that lovely hot Summer morning, and you put your guinea pigs out to play in the garden?

Do you sit out, enjoy the sun with us? Or do you decide that when it gets a bit too hot, about midday, when the sun is at its highest point you want to go in so you leave us out there. The simple truth is; you may be causing unnecessary suffering to your beloved pets.

If it’s too hot for you out there then it is too hot for us. Don’t leave us out in the garden while you go in to cool down. Though whee are not sure of exact figures (having only read stories online and some probably aren’t put out there) whee are always shocked by the amount of guinea pigs that die every Summer due to heatstroke.

Though whee think its common sense whee are going to put these points together:

> When in the garden, please give your guinea pig an area of shade and something to hide in. One per piggy is usually best. Whee have a blue tent, and small cuddly pet beds for our garden time.

> If you are putting us out for longer than half an hour, please put out a bowl of water or attach a water bottle to the run, somewhere shaded to keep the water cool for us.

> It is also good to give us some vegetables with a high water content such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, pepper etc.

> This can be used in a cage or outside. Either get a pet safe cool pack for them to cuddle up to. Or make your own by filling an empty water bottle with water and freezing it. Then wrap that in a towel or blanket and put in the cage or run for us to cuddle up to.

> Watch out for signs of heat stroke (or heat stress). Signs of heat stroke include panting, slobbering, weakness (floppy body), refusal to move about (lethargy), delirium, convulsions and eventually death. Yes, it is that serious.

With heat stroke your piggy will be floppy and lethargic, it is one of the scariest things to see. Best treatment whee can recommend is syringe room temperature water and place them on a cool wet flannel or cloth, somewhere shaded. Alternatively you can use a spray bottle of cool water and spray a light mist over the piggy. But the only real advice is get that piggy to a cavy savvy vet ASAP.

So whatever you do this Summer to enjoy the hot weather please remember, we rely on you so keep us safe and hydrated.

Sunny Sunday Warning – When Water Bottles Go Bad

This has left our me quite upset but I needs to share it so other people keep a look out for it too.

This morning when the little hoomans were changing the water they noticed that Nacho and Noah has hardly drunk a thing and were lying around in the cage appearing quite listless. I immediately realised they were dehydrated and began syringing water into them. Very quickly they perked up and returned to their normal selves in under twenty minutes.

image

Looking much brighter

I then had to try and work out how they could have become dehydrated with a full bottle of cool water in it’s usual place on the cage when yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year so far here.

Answer? A broken water bottle.

Yes, I couldn’t believe it either but it appears that a piece of food, it looks like carrot, had somehow got itself stuck behind the ball bearing in the bottle and resulted in it not letting water out. With it now removed the whole thing works much better but I did pop out quickly and buy three water bottles so now both cages have two each and there is a spare if one does break.

Luckily there was no lasting damage but with the weather warming up the chances of heatstroke occurring are much higher and without water it could have been a very different story.

The most frightening thing is we clean the bottle with a bottle brush and rinse it through once a week to prevent this and that happening. We did that yesterday morning, yet somehow during the day it still happened. Please check your piggies water morning and evening, especially in hot weather.

If you need advice on how to deal with or prevent heatstroke in guinea pigs we have a page here.

Stay safe this Sunday efurryone

~ Amy (AKA The Hooman)

Mega Mouthful Monday

It’s that time again. That day whee all dread has come back around. All Nacho’s hiding under tents couldn’t keep it away.

Monday

When munching in the garden whee sometimes take mega sized mouthfuls, on days like Monday’s whee take the biggest mouthfuls ever!

Now Mummy has been working on putting together a special little section on the blog for some time now – A Hoomans Guide to Guinea Pigs. (You can see the little tab up there under our banner) This is being updated and added to all the time with new sections and info as whee post it but so far it has the following sections:

The Basics of Guinea Pigs

Handling and Health

Emergency and Illness

Break The Boredom! Time For Toys!

Guinea Pig First Aid Kit

Heat Stroke (And how to deal with it)

If you have any ideas for sections you’d like to see please let us know! The other tabs up there have also been updated and redesigned so please take a look and let us know what you think.

Have a mellow Monday efurryone ^_^

Basil

xxxx

ps. Little Nacho was super lucky to be the proud winner of The School Daze Pigture  contest run by Sammy over at One Spoiled Cat. The you had to enter a pigture of you enjoying you Summer Holidays. Nacho spent his on the hunt for a missing parsley plant. Here is the winning pigture and the award. Thanks so much for voting for him efurryone, whee are so proud and excited!

Nacholookingformissing parsley          SummerVacationWinner

Not Cool!

Ok, well this post is part rant, part lesson to be learned. Whee were inspired to write this by June Buggie’s rant about dogs in hot cars over at RumpyDog, read the post for yourself here.

It got us started on one of our ‘pet hates’ or should whee rephrase that as ‘things pets hate’. You may or may not know, guinea pigs are like humans in their feeling of temperature. If it’s too cold for you out, then it’s too cold for us. The same, for hot weather.

So when it is that lovely hot Summer morning, and you put your guinea pigs out to play in the garden, that’s great. Sit out, enjoy the sun with us. Then when it gets a bit too hot, about midday, when the sun is at its highest point and you decide you want to go in, its too hot for us too. Don’t leave us out in the garden while you go in to cool down. Though whee are not sure of exact figures (having only read stories online and some probably aren’t put out there) whee are always shocked by the amount of guinea pigs that die every Summer due to heatstroke.

Though whee think its common sense whee are going to put these points together:

  • When in the garden, please give your guinea pig an area of shade and something to hide in. One per piggy is usually best. Whee have a blue tent, and small cuddly pet beds for our garden time.
  • If you are putting us out for longer than half an hour, please put out a bowl of water or attach a water bottle to the run, somewhere shaded to keep the water cool for us.
  • It is also good to give us some vegetables with a high water content such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, pepper etc.
  • This can be used in a cage or outside. Either get a pet safe cool pack for them to cuddle up to. Or make your own by filling an empty water bottle with water and freezing it. Then wrap that in a towel or blanket and put in the cage or run for us to cuddle up to.
  • Watch out for signs of heat stroke (or heat stress). Signs of heat stroke include panting, slobbering, weakness (floppy body), refusal to move about (lethargy), delirium, convulsions and eventually death. Yes, it is that serious.

Some fab advice and a very frank comment whee discovered may be useful (read the full post in the forum here – fair warning, it is distressing and does mention multiple details about the deaths of guinea pigs to heat stroke)

“Overheated pets are usually done for. It depends on how hot, for how long, and if emergency veterinary treatment for shock and such is instituted soon. I’ve not seen an overheated cavy or rabbit live yet. Some dogs. Some dogs with brain damage. You pretty much cook their neurological system (brain) and cause a lot of irreversible damage. The best way to survival is complete avoidance of the situations which cause overheating.

The first treatment on the way to the vet’s is to use some cooling methods. I go with lukewarm water, actually. The key is to cool gradually, but not too slow or fast. Then IV fluids and other medications as indicated. I think mannitol for brain swelling is on there. I haven’t dealt with one since last summer, so my brain is rusty. Some vets also give steroids. I think you don’t have a chance in the world with SQ fluids and this. It’s a true medical emergency. It’s kinda like putting a band-aid on a severed artery. “

With heat stroke your piggy will be floppy and lethargic, it is one of the scariest things to see. Best treatment whee can recommend is syringe room temperature water and place them on a cool wet flannel or cloth, somewhere shaded. Alternatively you can use a spray bottle of cool water and spray a light mist over the piggy. But the only real advice is get that piggy to a cavy savvy vet ASAP.

You see why whee think people need to learn to take precautions?! This is another forum page where a piggy owner talks about how she learnt a very hard lesson about piggies and heat (again this is very upsetting so beware)

If you need more advice on keeping piggies cool indoors in hot weather, there are some great links here. Whee hope this helps somefurry.

Please remember to keep all you pets hydrated and safe this Summer.

Be sensible.

Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

xxxx

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