Wheekback for Guinea Pig Welfare Wheek…

Feedback, facts and figures from Clinical director Jenny Towers of Active Vetcare:

“We checked about 25 pigs (some together!) and found that a lot were healthy :) but also dental problems (incisors and molars ), skin disease – mostly fungal. Lumps and bumps and one that had signs of cystitis.”

Jenny agrees that next year we need to encourage the other practices in the group to actually do the health checks themselves. This will increase the number of guinea pigs they see and will benefit everyone in the local guinea pig owning community, particularly the pet owner (as opposed to enthusiast) who is most in need of good and accurate information. Furthermore it will increase the knowledge of the vets and their familiarity with guinea pigs. Several guinea pigs were referred to Tilehurst for a health check by other practices.

Feedback from Chrissie Slade of Gorgeous Guineas:

“Hannah checked Jupiter over and said that there was a thickening around the stifle (knee joint) causing his limp. No signs of any pain but if there is in the future, Rimadyl will take care of that. Also discussed castration (her suggestion) as she knows most of my other boars had been done. The following week he had his little op, sailed through it despite being (old at) 4 and was signed off yesterday at his post op check.”

I find it quite a breakthrough that Hannah has addressed the emotional well being of a guinea pig here, thinking ahead and looking at the bigger pigture. Jupiter is currently being introduced to 2 other boars but if that doesn’t work he will live with one boar, being castrated means that should he ever need to find a friend in the future he has more options.

Thank you to everyone that has given feedback and supported the Wheek, some very pleasing comments on our Facebook page too, as well as pigtures!


  • Provide goody bags
  • Have a display board to illustrate current message/theme
  • Only provide guinea pig friendly products
  • Put a warning about removing handles on carrier bags before giving to guinea


  • Advertise the event more: in local pet shops, shops local to the practice
  • Get facts and figures from the practice
  • How many guinea pigs attended?
  • What benefit to humans and guineas is the healthcheck? State this in advertising
  • A consult fee is £30 normally, so Active Vetcare have donated lots!
  • Ask Jenny and team what can be improved for next year
  • Ask people to spread the word by putting up posters and by word of mouth
  • Advertise benefits of meeting your vet and talking to them when you haven’t got a sick guinea pig


  • PDF posters and put on the website to make available for future Guinea Pig Welfare Wheeks people want to organise in their local area.
  • Encourage local practices within the group to carry out the health checks themselves rather than refer clients to Tilehurst.
  • Format a template with Jenny to help the other practices carry out Welfare checks themselves.

Last but not least I have had some terrific news from someone who is trying to get a Welfare Wheek going in her own local area. She has a good relationship with her vet and is willing to put in the time needed to help them hold a similar event. I am more than happy to provide any literature/posters or whatever help is required. More on this event will be posted on our Guinea Pig Welfare Facebook page.


Jupiter, with his friend Ice, whose emotional wellbeing was considered at his healthcheck


November 18, 2012   Posted in: Guinea Pig Welfare Wheek