Skinny Pig Care http://skinnypigcare.com The Best Source for Taking Care of your Hairless Guinea Pig! Wed, 24 Jan 2018 23:32:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Things To Never Buy For Skinny Pigs http://skinnypigcare.com/2018/01/24/things-never-buy-skinny-pigs/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 23:32:21 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=65 Wheels Guinea pigs do not have flexible backs like rats or hamsters. Wheels will cause permanent damage to their spine and back legs. Hamster Balls Again, guinea pigs are not flexible and putting them in a hamster ball with cause serious damage to their fragile spine and back legs. Mineral or Salt Licks Mineral and salt licks are incredibly unhealthy for your guinea pig. All the minerals and vitamins a guinea pig needs can be achieved by feeding a high quality pellet, hay and vegetables. Guinea pigs don’t need extra salt, there is plenty in their pellets. Just like salt

The post Things To Never Buy For Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>

Skinny Pig

Wheels

Guinea pigs do not have flexible backs like rats or hamsters. Wheels will cause permanent damage to their spine and back legs.

Wheel

Hamster Balls
Again, guinea pigs are not flexible and putting them in a hamster ball with cause serious damage to their fragile spine and back legs.

Hamster Ball

Mineral or Salt Licks
Mineral and salt licks are incredibly unhealthy for your guinea pig. All the minerals and vitamins a guinea pig needs can be achieved by feeding a high quality pellet, hay and vegetables. Guinea pigs don’t need extra salt, there is plenty in their pellets. Just like salt for humans, it is unhealthy and causes serious medical conditions.
Treat Sticks
Nuts, seeds and honey are not part of a guinea pigs diet. Treat sticks are horribly fattening with all that sugar!!
Seeds and nuts are chocking hazards. Never feed these.
Yogurt Drops
Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant, milk is not something they can digest. Milk will cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, both of which are serious.
Yogurt drops are full of sugar and have no nutritional value.
Small Pet Store Cage
Small cages are confining, cause boredom and do not allow for proper health. Guinea pig require large open spaces for exercise on their time, whenever the mood strikes.
Pet store cages are not only too small but over priced. Build your own and get creative.
Rabbit Pellets
Never feed your guinea pig pellets designed for rabbits or other pets.
Rabbit pellets do not contain Vitamin C and some even contain poisonous antibiotics to guinea pigs.
Pellet Mixes
Never purchase guinea pig pellets that have anything added, such as seeds, nuts, coloured bits, dried fruit and dried veggies.
All your guinea pig requires are healthy plain pellets. Anything added contributes to unhealthy weight gain, high sugar levels, chocking hazards and illness.
Vitamin Drops
Yes extra Vitamin C is important for pigs suffering with illnesses or just to give once and awhile to ensure they are getting enough but using it in liquid form is not the best solution.
Vitamin drops change the flavour of the water, this can cause guinea pigs to drink less, which is never good.
Vitamin drops degrade in the air and light, this means you add it to the water and soon the nutrients have disappeared and you are left wondering if they even got any.
If you want to make sure your guinea pigs are getting the proper nutrition, then feed a variety of fresh veggies, chew-able Vitamin C tablets, hay and high quality pellets.
Hay Cubes Or Stacks, Instead Of Long Strand Hay
NOTHING can replace long strand hay in a guinea pigs diet. Hay cubes and stacks can be added to their diet for treat purposes or to give them something to destroy but it does not replace actual hay. Guinea pigs require long strand hay for happy tummies but most importantly long strands of hay really make their back molars grind down.
Grinding down their back molars is crucial, guinea pigs teeth are always growing and need to be ground down by hay.

The post Things To Never Buy For Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Best Skinny Pig Cage 2017 http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/23/best-skinny-pig-cage-2017/ Fri, 23 Dec 2016 04:44:43 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=116 Best Skinny Pig Cage Review You decided to adopt a Skinny Pig, or Hairless Guinea Pig. Now comes the fun part of building the home for your newest family member. There are many different types of Cages and houses for your guinea pig available, but finding the one that’s just right is not an easy task. I’m going to list what the 5 best Skinny Pig Cages that are currently available. I went through this process many times before finally settling on a great cage for my Skinny Pig Penny! This is Penny Pinkerton. She is a small hairless guinea

The post Best Skinny Pig Cage 2017 appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Best Skinny Pig Cage Review

You decided to adopt a Skinny Pig, or Hairless Guinea Pig. Now comes the fun part of building the home for your newest family member. There are many different types of Cages and houses for your guinea pig available, but finding the one that’s just right is not an easy task. I’m going to list what the 5 best Skinny Pig Cages that are currently available.

Skinny Pig Penny

Penny Pinkerton, the Skinny Pig

I went through this process many times before finally settling on a great cage for my Skinny Pig Penny! This is Penny Pinkerton. She is a small hairless guinea pig. She has two different colored front feet and red hair on her nose.  She also loves to let us know what she likes and doesn’t like, so she is the perfect reviewer of all things related to Skinny Pigs!

First and foremost you do not want to use a cage from the pet store. Skinny pigs are prey animals. They are agile and love to run around. They need more space than a small 2’x2′ area to run around in and that’s about all you can get from a pet store. Do you really want your new family member running around in a cage the size of a cats litter box?

Finding the right size Cage for a Skinny Pig

The first thing to consider is that you do not want to get a cage that uses a wire bottom. The metal can be very harsh on their feet  and can hurt your Skinny Pig. You also do not want to use an all glass enclosure. Skinny Pigs can overheat very quickly and need to have plenty of airflow to keep them cool.

By nature, Guinea pigs are not climbers. It is safe to have an open topped cage and not  have to worry about your Skinny Pig getting away. However, you should be careful if you have other pets in the house like dogs or cats as they could get into the cage and harm your Skinny Pig.

Guinea Pig Cage

Closed Wire Guinea Pig Cage

Now that we have an idea of the types of cages available and the ones that you shouldn’t use for your Piggy. Lets check out the Best Skinny Pig Cages

1.) Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat

Guinea Pig Cage

Midwest Guinea Habitat

This is it. This is the end all be all when it comes to guinea pig cages. In its stock configuration, it comes in a great size already. As is, you could house two guinea pigs in this cage as it is a sufficient size. It is adjustable and expandable by purchasing additional wire walls and panels you could increase its size. This would be nice for multiple guinea pigs of different sexes. They can be kept separate, but divider ramps can be opened and closed at will.

Guinea Pig Cage

Two Habitats Connected

This Cage is great because of how flexible it is, and makes traveling with a breeze. The wire walls are the perfect height so keep your curious guinea pig of trying to break free and the bottom is made of a canvas to contain any kind of mess. When its time to clean up the bedding, its very easy to wipedown the canvas and keep the habitat nice and sanitary.

2.) Living World Deluxe Guinea Pig Habitat

Guinea Pig Cage

Deluxe World Guinea Pig habitat

This is a great habitat for when other pets and small children are in the house. Sometimes its important to protect your guinea pig from the outside world as well. The lid on this cage is hinged so it is easy to reach in from the top, but stops the outside from getting in when its closed.

The hard plastic bottom makes cleaning a breeze unlike other cloth bottomed cages that require daily changing and washing. Bedding can be scooped up as it becomes used and easily tossed out. This habitat is a good size, but is only enough to house one guinea pig.

3.) Ware Manufacturing Pet Cage

Guinea Pig Cage

Ware Manufacturing Guinea Pig Cage

This is a great cage for  having one guinea pig. Its not as big as the other two but it does have the closed top which is great for houses with pets. You can be assured that your guinea pig will be safe in there from any other pets or small children that might be in the house. The wire mesh is removable so that you can reach the inside easily for cleaning.

Some people prefer to not have to deal with fleece, which is often used instead of bedding. This requires daily changing and can be a hassle. The cage here is perfect for using bedding  because of how easy it is to clean and wipe down. Its not great for travelling however.

4.) You & Me Living The Dream Habitat

This habitat is a great size for up to two guinea pigs. Its also unique that is on wheels and I really like that. It allows you to move the cage around the house as you would any other piece of furniture. Depending on the season, Penny likes to be near the window in the summer, and away from it in the winter. It can be drafty in her room so being able to relocate her easily is a huge plus!

5.) Ferplast Pig Cage

Guinea Pig Cage

Skinny Pig Cage

This is another great plastic bottom cage, with protective wire ceiling. It has a built in hideout for your guinea pig to escape to. Other habitats do not include this great feature and you would need to  put another hideout inside that habitat that takes up precious space. This cage also packs down very easily for traveling with.

 

Best Guinea Pig Cage Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my quick review of the 5 best guinea pig cages. I included links to amazon if you are interested in checking them out there and reading the reviews from other users. Just go ahead and click on the pictures when you are ready to decide which cage is right for you and your new family member. I definitely recommend the first habitat. Penny really enjoys it and it has ample space for her to run around and have a great time in!

 

The post Best Skinny Pig Cage 2017 appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Overgrown Skinny Pig Teeth http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/23/malocclusion-or-overgrown-teeth/ Fri, 23 Dec 2016 03:42:08 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=55 What is malocclusion? Malocclusion is the fancy term for overgrown teeth. Guinea pigs have open rooted teeth, meaning they are forever growing. Teeth can overgrow for several reasons, the most common are an improper diet, illness or sometimes just due to genetics. Generally speaking, if the front teeth are overgrown, the back molars are going to be as well. Overgrown teeth prevent a guinea pig from eating properly or at all. Front incisors are to meet in the middle, there should be no gaps, no over lapping and no slants. Back molars can’t be seen by owners, only the vet will

The post Overgrown Skinny Pig Teeth appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion is the fancy term for overgrown teeth. Guinea pigs have open rooted teeth, meaning they are forever growing. Teeth can overgrow for several reasons, the most common are an improper diet, illness or sometimes just due to genetics. Generally speaking, if the front teeth are overgrown, the back molars are going to be as well. Overgrown teeth prevent a guinea pig from eating properly or at all. Front incisors are to meet in the middle, there should be no gaps, no over lapping and no slants. Back molars can’t be seen by owners, only the vet will be able to check those for you.

Signs of malocclusion

  • Not Eating
  • Trying to eat but food falls out of their mouth
  • Interested in the food but not picking it up
  • Drooling and wet chins
  • Bad Breath
  • Weight Loss
  • Blood and cut tongue or lips
  • Eating slower than normal
  • Dramatic chewing Motions
  • Front teeth are over lapping or slanted

What should you do if your Skinny pig has some of these signs?

A Skinny pig who possibly has teeth issues, needs medical attention right away. A Skinny pig with overgrown teeth cannot eat properly, could be injuring their mouth and is going to suffer from GI stasis. You must take your guinea pig to an exotic vet that specializes in Skinny pigs, you can’t diagnose teeth issues on your own.
Your vet will need to look inside your guinea pigs mouth, for a clear view buccal pad separators are used because back molars are very hard to see.
An x-ray will also most likely be necessary,to get a clear view of what is going on and to rule out other issues.

Treatment: What your vet will need to do

Dental surgery will need to be performed in order to try and correct the teeth. A guinea pig with overgrown teeth will most likely need to be put under for dental work. Filling down the back molars and front incisors will be done.
Often after dental surgery, a guinea pig will need to be hand fed for a period of time and will be on pain medication.
Sometimes after dental problems start, it can be a continuous cycle of dental filings for life. There are also cases where the guinea pig never starts to eat on their own again, so it isn’t something to take lightly.

Prevention: A proper diet is so important

Skinny pigs have open rooted teeth and need something to be constantly filing them down naturally. Hay is what your Skinny pigs require 24-7! A lot of malocclusion cases are caused from an improper diet, so I cannot stress enough about how important it is to provide your guinea pig with hay at all times. Long strand hay is the best thing for your guinea pig to eat and to really make those back molars grind against each other. Chew toys and pieces of wood can help the front incisors, but nothing can get back to their molars like hay can.

The post Overgrown Skinny Pig Teeth appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Hand Feeding Your Skinny Pig http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/22/hand-feeding-skinny-pig/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 21:57:58 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=57 What Is Hand Feeding a Skinny Pig? Hand feeding is when you are forcing your Skinny Pig to eat or drink because they are not doing this on their own. This is usually done when a Skinny Pig is feeling ill. Why Hand Feed? When a guinea pig is ill, they often will not eat or drink. Guinea pigs need to have water to stay hydrated, keep their organs functioning and food to keep up their strength. Guinea pigs can go into GI stasis, which is when their digestive system shuts down. This is incredibly important to prevent from happening

The post Hand Feeding Your Skinny Pig appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
What Is Hand Feeding a Skinny Pig?

Hand feeding is when you are forcing your Skinny Pig to eat or drink because they are not doing this on their own. This is usually done when a Skinny Pig is feeling ill.

Why Hand Feed?

When a guinea pig is ill, they often will not eat or drink. Guinea pigs need to have water to stay hydrated, keep their organs functioning and food to keep up their strength. Guinea pigs can go into GI stasis, which is when their digestive system shuts down. This is incredibly important to prevent from happening and you must force feed them to keep their tummies full.

When Do I Force Feed?

  • Your Skinny Pig is not eating or drinking on their own
  • They are not eating or drinking enough
  • They are exhibiting severe weightloss
  • They are recovering from surgery

What To Do First

If you are at the point where you are hand feeding your Skinny Pig, you shoul have a Vet appointment already made. It means that something is seriously wrong with your friend. You should be seeking professional help immediately. The only time this is not the case is when they are recovering from a surgery and you are feeding them to make sure they recover properly. Any other issue that requires hand feeding your Skinny Pig is a serious issue that a Vet needs to properly Diagnose. Force Feeding will help your Skinny Pig make it to the appointment, but will not cure them.

Hand Feeding Supplies

 

What Type Of Syringe?

You will need to use a syringe that has a large opening to push out the Oxbow Critical Care, or Pellet Mash you have made. The small 1cc style syringes usually used for medications will be too small and get clogged up if you try to use them for force feeding. I like to use this style syringe. It is always a good idea to have one of these handy in case of Emergency. Amazon is great, but time is of the essence and even 2 days with Amazon Prime won’t be fast enough.

The syringe is a good size and it makes pushing through critical care very easy. it has a tapered end that will fit into your Skinny Pigs mouth easily and allow them to gingerly eat. You should be giving them about 10ml every few hours.

What Can You Force Feed?

Using a product such as Critical Care, Supreme Recovery  is what is ideal. All these products contain important vitamins and mineral your Skinny pig requires. All Skinny pig parents should have a packet on hand even when you don’t need it because when you need to force feed you don’t have time to run around trying to find it at a vet clinic.
You can also use pellets to force feed if you are in a crunch, you would need to soak them and make a mash. All packets will say how to mix up the food. I’ve always found more water than what is asked for to be easier. It was easier for the guinea pig to swallow, easier to get out of the syringe and great to know you are getting more water into their system.

How Do I Hand Feed?

You need to hold your Skinny pig securely or have someone hold it for you. You will need to load your syringe and then slip it into the side of your guinea pigs mouth (they have no teeth on the side) and squish in some food. Don’t overload their mouth, you don’t want to make them choke. Switch between food and water, they need some water to wash it down and to keep hydrated.

Some Skinny pigs will not mind getting the food but others will fight you!
Don’t give up, you must get them to eat. If you are having troubles keeping your Skinny pig still, you can always wrap them into a towel to limit their movement.

For Skinny pigs who are not eating or drinking at all, you really need to do this every few hours and get a good amount of food and water in.

The post Hand Feeding Your Skinny Pig appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
UTI: Urinary Tract Infection http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/22/uti-urinary-tract-infection/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 21:28:35 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=59 Urinary Tract Infection In Skinny Pigs Skinny Pigs are susceptible to UTI’s just like humans. UTI’s are an infection of the urinary tract, also known as a bladder infection. Guinea pigs are low to the ground and not the cleanest animals, this makes UTI’s a common illness. UTI’s can be treated and are also preventable. The last thing you want is for your friend to be in pain all the time. Signs & Symptoms of Skinny Pig UTI Much like UTI’s in Humans, Skinny Pigs suffer from the same fate. It is very unpleasant for them to have a UTI

The post UTI: Urinary Tract Infection appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Urinary Tract Infection In Skinny Pigs
Skinny Pigs are susceptible to UTI’s just like humans. UTI’s are an infection of the urinary tract, also known as a bladder infection. Guinea pigs are low to the ground and not the cleanest animals, this makes UTI’s a common illness. UTI’s can be treated and are also preventable. The last thing you want is for your friend to be in pain all the time.

Signs & Symptoms of Skinny Pig UTI

Much like UTI’s in Humans, Skinny Pigs suffer from the same fate. It is very unpleasant for them to have a UTI so noticing the issue early is paramount to getting it corrected. Some things to look out for:

  • Weightloss
  • Blood in Urine
  • Pain while Peeing

Bringing Your Skinny Pig to the Vet

Your guinea pig should get an x-ray to rule out bladder stones, which have similar symptoms. Palpitating the abdomen and collecting a urine sample will be done. The urine can be tested to see if blood is present and can be cultured to see what antibiotics will best attack the bacteria present.

 

Skinny Pig UTI Treatment

Antibiotics and possibly a pain medication will be prescribed to treat the infection. Treatment can take around 2 weeks or sometimes more to clear.
If you notice blood again in the urine after treatment has finished, return to the Vet.

Skinny Pig UTI Prevention

Some ways to prevent UTI’s from occurring are:
  • Keeping a very clean cage
  • Remove solid areas daily
  • Use the most absorbent bedding you can
  • Supplement Diet with Oxbow Urinary Support Tablets
  • Unsweetened, watered down cranberry juice

Keeping your Skinny Pig healthy and diet conscious is very important. I like the Oxbow Urinary Support tablets for maintaining a proper and well balanced diet. Thankfully they are available from Amazon at a very affordable price.

The post UTI: Urinary Tract Infection appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Caring For Senior Skinny Pigs http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/22/caring-senior-skinny-pigs/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 05:06:45 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=67 At What Age Are Guinea Pigs Senior? The average guinea pigs life span is about 5-7 years, so really once your guinea pig gets to be about 4 years old, they are considered senior. What To Expect When guinea pigs age, just like humans they can get arthritis, have mobility issues and just generally slow down.  Older guinea pigs can get cataracts (impaired vision), they can lose a bit of weight, have decreased appetites, you may notice they sleep more and you can also notice they may seem uncomfortable (arthritis). How Can You Help? Is your cage one level? A

The post Caring For Senior Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
At What Age Are Guinea Pigs Senior?
The average guinea pigs life span is about 5-7 years, so really once your guinea pig gets to be about 4 years old, they are considered senior.

What To Expect

When guinea pigs age, just like humans they can get arthritis, have mobility issues and just generally slow down.  Older guinea pigs can get cataracts (impaired vision), they can lose a bit of weight, have decreased appetites, you may notice they sleep more and you can also notice they may seem uncomfortable (arthritis).

How Can You Help?

Is your cage one level?

A one level cage is best suited for senior guinea pigs. Having a ramp or platform can really aggravate arthritis. Never put the only source of food and water on a top level, this is unfair to senior pigs and you really could be putting their health in danger. If you find your senior pigs use a ramp with ease, I still recommend making the top level a lounge area. This means they don’t have to go up their if they don’t want to.

Is Everything Easy To Reach?

Like mentioned before, make sure all food and water is easily accessible. Never put food or water where it isn’t easy to get at. I don’t recommend having hay racks they need to reach up for and make sure water bottles are at a comfortable level to drink from as well.

Is there soft bedding and snugly beds?

Hard surfaces or uncomfortable areas to lay down on, are not going to be doing senior guinea pigs any favors. You need to make sure they have extra cushion in their cage and lots of warm cozy areas to sleep (all guinea pigs benefit from this). Extra padding in the cage will be more forgiving on sore joints and tired legs.

Are they showing you signs of pain?

Paying close attention to your guinea pigs is always important. As some seniors age, arthritis can become quite serious. In some guinea pigs, it can mean they no longer are enjoying life because of constant unmanageable pain. Seniors with very uncomfortable arthritis need to be seen by an exotic vet because their is plenty you can do to help. Metacam is an anti-inflammatory & pain medication. This is one of the medications a guinea pig can be on daily or as needed to help them cope with the pain. It decreases swollen joints and eases pain. A Skinny pig in pain will not move, eat or be relaxed.

Do they have cataracts or blindness?

If you notice some cloudiness in your Skinny pigs eyes, this could be cataracts. It is a condition that elderly pigs can have and nothing can be done for it. Make sure to take them to the vets if you aren’t sure it is cataracts because an eye injury can also produce a clouded eye. Some Skinny pigs can lose major eye sight as they age, so take notice to whether they seem to be bumping into things, startling more easily and seem nervous after their cage has been changed around.
If you notice this, please make sure to keep their cage the same at all times! Not changing things around will allow them to get used to their set up and make it easy to navigate with failing eye sight. Another great thing to do is make your presence known before entering their room or reaching into their cage.

Are Senior Skinny Pigs Warm Enough?

Senior guinea pigs may have a slight weight loss and sleep more. It is vital that you make sure they are kept warm. A warm environment will help lessen joint pain and keep their thinner bodies at a nice temperature.

Remember…

As your guinea pigs age, you are there for them to make this stage of their lives as comfortable as possible. Never refuse medical attention because of their age, all guinea pigs deserve treatment and living in pain is not something they should be put through.

No matter how old a Skinny Pig is, they need love care and respect at all times! Make sure you are always doing what is in the best interest of your Skinny. They are your pet, friend and companion and they will treat you the same!

 

The post Caring For Senior Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Bladder Stones in Skinny Pigs http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/22/bladder-stones-skinny-pigs/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 04:54:30 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=45 Know How Much Calcium Is In Your Guinea Pigs Diet Calcium is an important nutrient for growth and proper health in Skinny Pigs. However, you need to be careful because excess calcium can have negative consequences. Young Skinny Pigs that are less than 6 months old require more calcium for proper bone growth. Try to feed your Skinny pig vegetables that are higher in calcium. Alfalfa based pellets are a great way to make sure your young Skinny is getting enough Calcium. Skinny Pigs older than 6 months you need to take caution with how much calcium is in their

The post Bladder Stones in Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Know How Much Calcium Is In Your Guinea Pigs Diet

Calcium is an important nutrient for growth and proper health in Skinny Pigs. However, you need to be careful because excess calcium can have negative consequences. Young Skinny Pigs that are less than 6 months old require more calcium for proper bone growth. Try to feed your Skinny pig vegetables that are higher in calcium. Alfalfa based pellets are a great way to make sure your young Skinny is getting enough Calcium. Skinny Pigs older than 6 months you need to take caution with how much calcium is in their diet. It is at this age that excessive calcium can cause health issues.

How Is Calcium Processed?

A guinea pig will use whatever calcium they need up and the extra gets passed out through their urine. You can get an idea of how much calcium is being passed by your skinny pig. If you use fleece bedding, it can be possible to see white deposits left behind. Some deposits are OK, but if you are seeing too many that can be an indication they are getting too much calcium in their diet. Hard or gritty deposits are a sign you need to make changes to their diet.

What Happens When A Skinny Pig Gets Too Much Calcium?

When a Skinny pig regularly is being fed too much calcium, the bladder will have a hard time flushing it all out properly. If the bladder isn’t flushing out all of the extra calcium, it starts to stay inside the bladder creating sludge.
When conditions are right, this sludge can start to form stones.
Bladder stones in a guinea pigs bladder can turn fatal quickly and require Vet care right away.

How Do I Know If My Skinny Pig Has Bladder Stones?

Signs of bladder stones are:
– Pain when peeing or pooping
– Weight loss
– Not being able to stand or lay down comfortably
– Refusing to walk or eat
– Sitting hunched or fur puffed out
– Blood in the urine
– Large gritty residue left behind after peeing

What Do I Do If My Skinny Pig Has These Signs?

You should take your Skinny Pig to your Vet ASAP! The only way to know for sure that your Skinny Pig has stones is to get an X-Ray or Ultrasound performed. Feeling the abdomen is not always the best way to detect stones. Make sure to ask for an X-Ray

What Can Be Done For A Guinea Pig With Stones?

It is rare for guinea pigs to be able to pass a stone on their own. Some females have been able to pass small stones but in males this is nearly impossibly because of their small urethra. Stones can cause blockages and severe pain.
A guinea pig cannot live with stones in their bladder, the only option is surgery.
Bladder stone surgery can be expensive and is invasive, but there is no other way to get rid of a bladder stone once it has formed. Make sure you pick a vet that is exotic, specializing in guinea pigs and has done these surgeries before.

How Can I Prevent My Skinny Pig From Getting Bladder Stones?

Not all stones can be prevented, genetics plays a huge role in this but diet does as well. Make sure you know the calcium content of all foods your guinea pig is eating. Check out charts on the vegetables you feed, make sure you’re feeding hay that isn’t alfalfa, read the label on your pellet package (you want .4% of calcium or less) and make sure to offer filtered water (this takes out extra calcium). You can put multiple bottles of water in the cage to promote more drinking, you can give an Oxbow Urinary Tablet a day to help with proper bladder function and you can reduce the amount of pellets in pigs showing signs of calcium issues.

 

The post Bladder Stones in Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Why Skinny Pigs Need Vitamin C http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/22/skinny-pigs-need-vitamin-c/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 04:07:27 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=49 Why Does Your Skinny Pig Need Vitamin C? Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for the proper health and growth of your Skinny pig. Skinny pigs aren’t able to make their own ascorbic acid so they need to get it from their diet. It is very important that your Skinny gets this nutrient in the food they are eating. What Happens When They Don’t Get Vitamin C? In Skinny Pigs, Vitamin C is required for making Collagen. Collagen is required for your Pet to have healthy blood vessels and strong bones. Collagen also aids in healing wounds and scratches that

The post Why Skinny Pigs Need Vitamin C appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Why Does Your Skinny Pig Need Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for the proper health and growth of your Skinny pig. Skinny pigs aren’t able to make their own ascorbic acid so they need to get it from their diet. It is very important that your Skinny gets this nutrient in the food they are eating.

What Happens When They Don’t Get Vitamin C?

In Skinny Pigs, Vitamin C is required for making Collagen. Collagen is required for your Pet to have healthy blood vessels and strong bones. Collagen also aids in healing wounds and scratches that your Guinea Pig may be able to.

Vitamin C is required for making collagen. Collagen is required for healthy blood vessels, the proper formation of bones, and wound healing. Deficiency results in fragile blood vessels, hemorrhages of the gums and tissues in the mouth, skin, muscles, and internal organ surfaces.  A Vitamin Deficiency results in fragile blood vessels, bleeding from the gums and tissue in the mouth, skin, and internal organ surfaces. It can also cause abnormal cartilage and bone formation. This can cause them discomfort and lead to painful swelling of joints and cause mobility issues.

Signs & Symptoms

-Lameness; stiff or slight hop while moving
– Lethargy, weakness
– Decreased appetite or inability to eat if teeth are involved
– Joint pain and swelling in legs and ribs
– Bruising or bleeding of the gums or skin
– Diarrhea
– Rough hair coat
– Weight loss

Prevention

Preventing scurvy is easily done through a proper diet. You can make sure to include the following:
High quality pellets with stabilized Vitamin C
-Fresh vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C (Bell pepper is a great low calcium option to feed daily)
Chew-able Vitamin C tablets
-Feeding fruit on occasion
-Fresh grasses

Treatment

If you believe your guinea pig may be suffering from scurvy, a trip to the vets is needed. Your veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose and let you know the proper course of treatment required. It is also a good idea to have the vet check out your guinea pig because they may require a pain medication to help alleviate pain and swelling.

When a guinea pig is ill, it is always a good idea to provide extra Vitamin C.

Things To Avoid

Liquid Multi Vitamin and Vitamin C are not recommended because you cannot tell how much is actually being taken in and vitamins degrade in the air and light.
Vitamin drops in the water change the flavor of the water and can make guinea pigs not want to drink as much, this is not a good thing.

The post Why Skinny Pigs Need Vitamin C appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
Weighing Your Skinny Pigs http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/21/weighing-your-skinny-pigs/ Wed, 21 Dec 2016 21:14:37 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=51 Why You Need To Weigh Your Skinny Pig   Weighing your Skinny pig about once a week is very important. Skinny pigs are prey animals and are masters at hiding illnesses before it is almost too late. The first signs of illness are often a subtle or drastic weight loss. Weighing your Skinny pig weekly will allow you to spot a weight concern promptly and put you on alert to a potential problem. How Do I Weigh My Skinny Pig Purchasing a small kitchen scale is often the best choice. You can use the ones that come with a bowl on

The post Weighing Your Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>

Why You Need To Weigh Your Skinny Pig

 
Weighing your Skinny pig about once a week is very important.
Skinny pigs are prey animals and are masters at hiding illnesses before it is almost too late. The first signs of illness are often a subtle or drastic weight loss. Weighing your Skinny pig weekly will allow you to spot a weight concern promptly and put you on alert to a potential problem.

How Do I Weigh My Skinny Pig

Purchasing a small kitchen scale is often the best choice. You can use the ones that come with a bowl on top to make life easier, then you won’t have to subtract the weight of you adding a bowl or basket to the scale to hold the piggy in. Make sure the dial (if you don’t have a digital) is set to zero, place your piggy on the scale and record the number down. It is important to weigh at the same time of day, because you don’t want to throw off your numbers by weighing them at all different times, what they have eaten will factor in.
Pick a time say in the morning before you’ve handed out their daily veggies and pellets.
SKinny Pig Scale

Kitchen Scale

I like this kitchen scale for weighing Skinny Pigs. Penny enjoys it and it gives me an accurate digital reading down to the gram.

How Much Is Normal For Their Weight?

 

All Skinny pigs weigh different amounts, so getting to know what is normal for your piggies will just be a matter of weighing them weekly for a little while and getting some base numbers. If you’re concerned about them weighing too much, a trip to the vets is important, they can better let you know if they are concerned by the high numbers. I find my male skinny pigs to weigh anywhere from 800 grams to 1100 grams.

What Is A Concerning Weight Loss Amount?

It is normal for Skinny pigs to fluctuate in weight slightly.

Normal: 5-10 grams weight loss
Keep An Eye On Them: 20-40 grams
Schedule A Vet Visit: 50 grams or more

When you need to keep an eye on your Skinny pig, start weighing them daily to make sure they are not losing weight daily, if they keep going down, they need medical attention. If your Skinny pig has a large weight loss, you’ve scheduled them an appointment already, the only other thing you can do is start to hand feed to help them not lose anymore. Critical care or making a pellet mash and syringe feeding them is vital for keeping their stomachs going and maintaining strength.

Weight loss can be a sign of many illnesses, so medical attention from an exotic vet, who specializes in Skinny pigs is required. No large amount of weight lost is normal, so don’t wait for other signs to show up, get your piggy in to see the vet right away.

The post Weighing Your Skinny Pigs appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
10 Skinny Pig Facts Everyone Should Know http://skinnypigcare.com/2016/12/20/skinny-pig-facts/ Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:03:53 +0000 http://skinnypigcare.com/?p=61 1. Hay Must Be Available At ALL Times This is a mistake that I see new Skinny Pig owners do all the time.  Hay is either not provided at all or not enough. Nearly 80% of a Skinny Pig’s diet is made up of Hay and should be always available for them. Hay is great in that it is the only natural product that helps grind down their back molars and keeps their digestion constantly moving. 2. Large Cages Are A MUST! The larger the cage for your Skinny Pig the better. The small desktop sized cages that you see

The post 10 Skinny Pig Facts Everyone Should Know appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>
1. Hay Must Be Available At ALL Times
This is a mistake that I see new Skinny Pig owners do all the time.  Hay is either not provided at all or not enough. Nearly 80% of a Skinny Pig’s diet is made up of Hay and should be always available for them. Hay is great in that it is the only natural product that helps grind down their back molars and keeps their digestion constantly moving.

2. Large Cages Are A MUST!

The larger the cage for your Skinny Pig the better. The small desktop sized cages that you see at the pet store are much to small. Skinny Pigs may be small but they are very active and require lots of exercise. A common cage size is 2’x4′ for two Skinny Pigs. Pet store cages don’t come close to this size. The bigger the cage, the more room your Skinny Pig has to run around!

3. Skinny Pigs Need Vitamin C

Skinny Pigs don’t create their own Vitamin C, so they need to get it through their diet. It is an important and vital nutrient for bone formation, a strong immune system, and healthy teeth. Ensure your Skinny Pig is getting the correct amount of Vitamin C and that the pellets you are feeding them come from a high quality, reputable maker. You should feed them fresh veggies like bell pepper or give them chewable Vitamin C tablets.

4. Skinny Pigs Have Poor Eyesight

 Skinny Pigs do not have the best eye sight. They are prey animals so they have great movement detection all around them but it affects their depth perception. Do not ever leave your Skinny Pig on a table or other place high up. They will not know how far the ground is and will try to jump if they think they can make it. They can seriously injure themselves in a case like this or even cause death. Please be very careful and never leave them unattended.
Skinny Pig Facts

Skinny Pig Snack

5. A Skinny Pigs Life Span

Skinny pigs can live on average 5-7 years BUT there are plenty of stories about piggies reaching 8,9 and even 10 years old. This means if you’re thinking of guinea pigs as pets, you need to think about where you will be in the next 10 years, can that include Skinny Pigs?

6. Skinny Pigs Are MESSY

It is basically impossible to litter train a guinea pig. They will always poop/pee where they eat and sleep. Guinea pigs are incredibly messy and you need to be aware of this. They take a great amount of care in order to keep their living conditions clean. If you are using fleece, be prepared to spot clean two or more times a day. Make sure you are ready to change bedding often, wash beds and remove soiled hay! They take a lot of time, so they aren’t for everyone.

7. Skinny Pigs Are Expensive

Guinea pigs are not a small cage, pellet and water type pets like some believe.
They require large cages, pellets, vegetables, hay, water, bedding, medical care, toys, and accessories! Make sure you have it in your budget for their weekly needs and some to spare for emergencies.

8. Skinny Pigs Require Vet Care

Small pets are just as important and large pets. Skinny pigs are prone to illnesses or injury. Skinny pigs need vet care and only exotic vets specializing in guinea pigs are appropriate. Make sure you have funds set aside for medical care, emergencies and health checks, as they can be costly.

9. Skinny Pigs Aren’t Extremely Agile Or Flexible

Skinny pigs have short legs and are low to the ground, making them best suited to smooth, one level terrains. Never house your Skinny Pigs in cages designed for rats, chinchilla’s or rabbits because they do not have the ability to balance and climb. Do not have high up areas expecting your Skinny Pig to jump up or down from, don’t have things out of their reach and never put them in hamster balls or give them wheels in their cages. Guinea pigs have extremely fragile legs and backs.

10. Skinny Pigs Are Prey Animals

I hear it all the time, “My Skinny pig is scared of me”, “My Skinny pig doesn’t like me” or “Why doesn’t my Skinny pig like being picked up?” Guinea pigs are prey animals, meaning they are the ones that get eaten in the wild. It is in their nature to run, hide and be afraid of getting picked up. You can’t have expectations of guinea pigs being cuddly or super tame, those things take time and even then, some pigs will always be unable to hide their true instincts. Start off small with them and build on it. Start by feeding snacks and veggies.

The post 10 Skinny Pig Facts Everyone Should Know appeared first on Skinny Pig Care.

]]>