Good Guinea Pig Health

Protection from and treatment of, illness and injury. Access to a guinea pig competent vet, find one before you need one!

Your vet's phone number is an important part of your first aid kit

Your vet’s phone number is an important part of your first aid kit

Some tips on keeping your guinea pig healthy.

  • Know where your nearest guinea pig competent vet is, (vet as opposed to just the surgery, one good vet does not a good surgery make). See “Questions To Ask Your Vet”.
  • Visit your vet when you suspect guinea is unwell/acting differently/”not right”. Wasting time seeing other sources first could mean a longer course of treatment when you do see a vet and most medicines in the UK can only be dispensed by a vet or will need a prescription from them. Seek help from other sources AFTER the vet visit where necessary but inform your vet of what has been advised and anything else you have done. Vets are the only people that can do x rays ( and most have top of the range equipment), perform operations and have access to adrenalin etc should anything go wrong.
  • Always take guineas’ friend with them when visiting the vet, this includes when one guinea goes in for an operation. Take this into consideration when purchasing a travelling box.
  • If using a front opening travelling box use Vetbed or fleece as the bedding, not quite such an issue with top opening boxes but be aware that hay makes a mess (from a vet’s point of view), provide a small towel for guineas to hide under if needed.
  • Do not bath guinea immediately before a vet appointment, particularly if you think there is a skin problem, bathing can wash away symptoms.
  • Use a guinea pig friendly bedding. Guinea pigs are in constant close contact with their bedding, quality is key. Shavings and other wood based beddings are not acceptable in a time where there is a wide range of beddings. See The Hay Experts for guinea pig friendly bedding.
  • Clean hutches/pens/cages thoroughly twice weekly and disinfect them. Cleaning out is not so much of a chore when done frequently. Use a disinfectant such as Conficlean2 available from The Hay Experts.
  • Know your guinea pigs and what is “normal” for them. What are their routines at feeding times? Do they “hang back” or are they at the front of the pen with their front paws on the grids/door? Weigh them fortnightly to monitor their weight and spot possible early signs of illness. Take into consideration whether weight loss is due to age. Know what your guineas poops look like. Poops are a very good indicator of what might be happening inside the body.
  • Consider your guinea pig’s emotional well being. Are they happy? Do they have all they need, for example, a  compatible companion? Are you providing enough hay, on the floor for foraging as well as for eating? Emotional issues will often present as a physical problem too. See Gorgeous Guineas article on Bach’s Rescue Remedy for times of stress such as a death or new companion being introduced.
  • Know whether your guinea pig is a good drinker or not. A change in drinking habits may indicate a problem somewhere and it is worth mentioning this to your vet. Provide fresh water at room temperature, daily.
  • Keep a first aid kit. Must haves are: contact details of a good, guinea pig competent vet, a product containing Simethicone (such as Infacol, UK) and a Syringe feeding kit containg: syringe food, and 1ml syringes, such as Oxbow Critical Care (a favourite here) or Supreme Recovery. See Gorgeous Guineas’ article. Do not get Vetark Critical Care formula which does not have the fibre content of the others and is confusing as it has the same name as the Oxbow product. There are various other items that you may wish to purchase such as Kwench from Gorgeous Guineas and/or their Aloe Vera gel but these can be dispatched quickly by Gorgeous and your guinea should be able to wait  a couple days.
  • Feed a Calcium:Phosphorus balanced diet. The key word is “balance”. See Ratewatchers’ Diet for more specific feeding advice. Feed food at room temperature not straight from the fridge, this can cause stomach upsets.
  • Hay is the main part of a guinea pig’s diet and should make up 75-80% of it so feeding good hay is essential to ensure they eat enough. For a variety of hays (and other guinea pig friendly products) see The Hay Experts website.

April 10, 2013   Posted in: Bedding, Behaviour, FaceBook/You Tube, Health, Husbandry, Inside The Hutch, ratewatchers  No Comments

Guinea Pig Diet Facts

Guinea pigs need a proper diet, including fresh water (taken from the Animal Welfare Act, 5 Freedoms): Fresh food  twice daily, unlimited good hay, with hay making up the main part of the overall diet.

Feed fresh food x2 daily 25g per guinea per meal, approximately made up of mostly leafy greens with slices of root veg


  •   Hay makes up the main part of the diet, around 75-80%, feed approximately guinea’s body size in hay, how much they eat depends on the variety of hay you feed and the guinea pig itself. The nutritional quality of the hay may also be a factor in how much hay guineas eat. Hay is meant to be an “empty fodder” save for the valuable long indigestible fibre it provides. The American green hays (in particular but not always) are often higher in nutritional value than a good meadow hay and less hay eaten may be the result of feeding these exclusively.


  •   Fresh food is fed in two meals, morning and evening, 50g per guinea pig per day. Feed a pair of guinea pigs 50g of fresh food twice daily. Meals should be made up of mostly leafy greens and a couple of slices of root vegetable dependent on the greens that have been fed. See Ratewatchers for more detailed information.



  •   Dry food is fed sparingly, usually once a day. Never keep topping the bowl up throughout the day.  Dry food comes in pellet format or a mix. Whichever you choose it must not contain any artificial ingredients, these are known to irritate the digestive system and they give a false positive when guinea is tested for diabetes. If medication is wrongly prescribed for this guinea may, quite likely, die. Pellets should be of a small size and shape that guinea can pick them up easily. Goat mixes and pony mixes are sometimes fed but these often contain ingredients that are not suitable for guinea pigs and can catch on their teeth (locust bean for example), others may not be the ideal Calcium:Phosphorus ratio for guineas, often ingredients not in guinea pig foods are included and while these are safe for ponies/horses and goats etc in a small animal like a guinea pig it can easily upset the Calcium:Phosphorus ratio which is now being recognised as an important factor in the guinea pig diet by some companies. Ideally dry food will be low in Protein and high in fibre (nutritional needs may differ for guinea pigs being used for breeding or showing).


  • Fruit should be only be given on rare occasions, if at all. It is high in sugars and also Phosphorus. Ten grams, twice weekly, as part of a Calcium:Phosphorus balanced diet is enough.  Acidic fruits such as apples and tomatoes may cause mouth sores and will definitely irritate any lesions there may be on guineas’ mouth. Gorgeous Guineas have an ointment that is effective in these situations.


  •   Edible treats will be your guineas favourite vegetable/herb etc or fruit, better still a variety of hay that they particularly love (although hay must NEVER be viewed solely as a treat, it is an essential.) There are commercial treats available but yogurt drops, treats containing artificial colours, egg, sugars, honey, seeds and milk must be avoided at all costs despite being marketed as “for guinea pigs”, quite simply they are not suitable and in some cases harmful.


  •  Fresh water must be always be available, in hard water areas use filtered water (a Brita filter jug is good), do not give bottled water (meant for humans)! These can contain minerals not needed by guinea pigs, not to mention other additives (be they natural or otherwise). Ensure that guinea pigs that have had bladder stone operations or those passing sludge/grit are having at least 40 ml of fluids a day. This can be achieved by giving 15 ml 3 x daily, orally via syringe; this amount will overload the guinea pig bladder, (thought to hold approximately 10 ml). A guinea pig’s drinking habits may be an indication of what is going on in the body, get to know your guinea pigs’ drinking habits (or lack of!).

April 4, 2013   Posted in: Health, Husbandry, Inside The Hutch, ratewatchers  No Comments

April, Husbandry

“animal husbandry: care and raising of domesticated animals” defintion of husbandry from

During April our theme is Husbandry- the care and management aspects of.

We will be looking at basic care, based on the 5 Freedoms as recommended to DEFRA  by the RSPCA. Points we will cover are:

A proper diet, including fresh water. Fresh food at least twice daily, unlimited good hay, with hay making up the main part of the overall diet.

Somewhere suitable to live. 4 foot by 2 foot/120cm by 60cm accommodation for two guinea pigs.

For any need to be housed with or apart from, other animals. Guinea pigs are sociable and must be housed with other compatible guinea pigs (not rabbits).

The ability to express normal behaviour. To be able to burrow in hay, run and have shelter to ‘hide’ in if desired. To have a friend(s) in the correct living sized accommodation.

Protection from and treatment of, illness and injury. Access to a guinea pig competent vet, find one before you need one!

Some of these will only be covered briefly because they are being covered in depth in a future month.

Fox Guinea Pigs, Mr fantastic, Mrs Fox

Fox Guinea Pigs, Mr Fantastic, Mrs Fox


April 1, 2013   Posted in: Husbandry, Inside The Hutch  No Comments

What is a guinea pig rescue?




Rescues may hold open days promoting guinea pig friendly products such as those made by Gorgeous Guineas

  • What should the role of a rescue be?

Guinea Pig Welfare believes rescues have an extremely important role in the guinea pig community. As they are often looked upon as a good and beneficial source, the responsibility of accuracy of information and education is paramount.

Rescues are often trusted because they have simply done well in rescuing a guinea from a bad or unacceptable situation, what happens next defines the real quality of the rescue.

Rescues can be really useful in providing basic services such as nail clipping, bathing and maybe holiday boarding time and space permitting. They will be able to provide details of a local vet (name, not just the surgery) and local suppliers. A good rescue will be the source of local reputable sources. When I ran Reading Guinea Pig Rescue (now closed) I only knew of pet shops and the local vets had, like most vets, very little experience with guinea pigs. I sourced a local farm shop and eventually worked with 2 local pet shops. The local vets became more familiar with guinea pigs and the knock on effect of me recommending them meant even more familiarity with guinea pigs but even better it encouraged other guinea pig owners in the area to build a relationship with their local vet and further guinea pig care so they had a source even closer to them.

Good boarding facilities for guinea pigs are very hard to find, those that are good are often booked up, a rescue, with all their local resources can and do help out in this area.


  • What are the basic guidelines a rescue must adhere to in order to be a reputable source?

The basic guidelines are quite simply The Animal Welfare Act, (UK), that is ALL the 5 Freedoms, and including the “specific guidance” that the RSPCA and DEFRA also recommend owners to follow. Only adhering to some of the 5 freedoms is denying guinea pigs their basic rights to a suitable home.

  • What is/can the rescue movement do to improve the life of guinea pigs in general?

The rescue “movement” have a lot of power at their fingertips. They will see vets more than the average guinea pig owner and therefore can build a useful relationship with a willing vet and increase the knowledge of guinea pigs in the veterinary world. Vets are the only network legally allowed to treat guinea pigs in the UK and owners are legally obliged to take their animals to a vet if they suspect they are ill. Why waste time taking an ill guinea elsewhere as the window of opportunity for recovering is often small and the sooner treatment begins the better it is for the guinea pig. This is especially true of , for example, what might appear to be a urinary tract infection that turns out to be a stone, only a vet can x ray, operate and provide drugs (UK) for guinea. Time is of the essence and shouldn’t be wasted. Therefore all rescues can improve the wellbeing of guinea pigs in their community by working with their vet.

If they wish to do more they can access their vet’s clients by liaising with their vet about holding open days to educate the general public regarding basic care. This has also been done by guinea pig enthusiasts who are not rescues.

The extent of the information a rescue provides is irrelevant, that it is up to date and accurate, quality information is relevant. Whilst basic care will remain, for the most part, the same, progress is being made all the time. New and different beddings are available for instance, whilst shavings and any wood based bedding has always been harmful there hasn’t always been a lot of alternatives. These days there is no excuse,  there are many alternatives and a lot of rescues will not rehome to a home that uses a wood based bedding because they are aware of the potential issues. It is like housing a guinea pig with a rabbit (you shouldn’t!!!), many rabbits and guinea pigs have lived together without issues, but they would have been happier with friends of their own and why take an unnecessary risk?

  • Should guinea pig rescues just focus their attention on guinea pig enthusiasts or should they be accessible to all?

Guinea pig enthusiasts probably already have access to sources of information, guinea pig pet owners in the general community are often the most in need of information. Rescues should, however, where possible, be sharing accurate information with all but making a special effort to reach those that may not know where to look for information. This is where a good relationship with a vet is useful, to be able to refer their clients to a good source of information is beneficial to them. Vets may see lone guinea pigs and recommend the Human takes their guinea to the local rescue to find a friend for example.

  • Are rescues regulated? If not should they be and what should the regulations be?

Currently in the UK there are no regulations regarding the actual rescue of guinea pigs, there are regulations surrounding the use of premises etc that should be considered before starting a rescue among the many other considerations.

Ideally guinea pig rescues would be inspected regularly to ensure they are not overcrowded, keeping to the Animal Welfare Act 5 Freedoms and specific guidance and are rehoming to Animal Welfare Act compliant homes. It is unlikely this will happen though and it is up to rescues to set the standards themselves, to limit the amount they take in and rehome to quality homes and not just for the sake of finding a guinea pig a home.

  • Do enough businesses support guinea pig rescues and do rescues support businesses enough?

Whilst it needs to be remembered that businesses are outfits that need to make money it has been shown by Gorgeous Guineas and The Hay Experts that running a successful business and supporting rescue work can go hand in hand. Both are ethical businesses, they practise what they believe. The Hay Experts only stock rabbit and guinea pig friendly products and Gorgeous Guineas are constantly improving their already effective skincare products and developing new ones. When Reading Guinea Pig Rescue (now closed) took in 18 fungal guinea pigs Gorgeous Guineas stepped in and offered to help when both veterinary products and recommended products by another source proved to be too harsh and were ineffective. All the affected guinea pigs recovered and, along with Thistle Cavies, Reading Guinea Pig rescue played their part in the development of the Gorgeous Guineas’ products. As time went on more rescues chose to support this guinea pig friendly business that also kept guinea pigs and could give advice based on experience. An outstanding feature of this skincare business is the advice they give freely and promptly.

Guinea Pig Welfare has been “accused” of being an advert for Gorgeous Guineas, indeed it is! Any business that promotes accurate care and supports the rescue cause gets our support.

We have been asked by a British pet store company if we would advertise them on our site and receive payment, unfortunately they could not or would not make the changes needed in order to feature.

Rescues are advising lots of people, it is important that businesses are supported for the right reasons and the right businesses are encouraged to continue.

  • Should we support all rescues because they are quite simply a rescue with good intentions? Is that always enough?

All rescues should be supported and helped but those that refuse to listen to good advice unfortunately do not always warrant continued support. Good intentions are a fantastic start but along with that good listening is a must…

Rainbow at a Piggy PM with products sold by The hay Experts

Rainbow at a Piggy PM with products sold by The Hay Experts



March 31, 2013   Posted in: Inside The Hutch, March 4 Rescue Guineas, Planet Guinea, Rescue  No Comments

March, 4 Guinea Pig Rescue…

The Guinea Pig Welfare theme for March is “March, 4 Guinea Pig Rescue”. During March we will be looking at different aspects of Guinea Pig Rescue. To contribute to our feature visit our Facebook page here and leave your comments. We will be featuring some rather influential rescue guinea pigs and seeing what part they have played with their contributions to Pigdom. Guinea Pig Welfare believes every guinea has a story to tell and that is their contribution to Pigdom, all they need is a Human to tell that story.

We want to explore the running of rescues and their rights and responsibilities both to the law and to the guinea pig community but most importantly to guinea pigs.

  • What should the role of a rescue be?
  • What are the basic guidelines a rescue must adhere to in order to be a reputable source?
  • What is/can the rescue movement do to improve the life of guinea pigs in general?
  • Should guinea pig rescues just focus their attention on guinea pig enthusiasts or should they be accessible to all?
  • Are rescues regulated? If not should they be and what should the regulations be?
  • Do enough businesses support guinea pig rescues and do rescues support businesses enough?
  • Should we support all rescues because they are quite simply a rescue with good intentions? Is that always enough?

Are these the questions we should be asking during rescue month or are there more?

What guinea pig website will you find Chiara (from Reading Guinea Pig Rescue, now closed) on?

What guinea pig website will you find Chiara (from Reading Guinea Pig Rescue, now closed) on?


March 3, 2013   Posted in: Inside The Hutch, March 4 Rescue Guineas, Planet Guinea  No Comments

Introducing Lola…

A conversation taken from the Guinea Pig Welfare Facebook page (with permission) about introducing guinea pigs to each other when you are faced with having to introduce rather than the ideal situation where the guineas choose…





“I am looking for advice please on methods you may have used which worked when bonding guineas. I am trying to bond my widowed 3 1/2 yr old Lola with a pair of beautiful bonded sisters who are approx 10 months. Tried towel method and neutral territory both ended up with Lola and one sister face lunging so separated immediately. Thanks in advance.”

“How did you go about the introduction process the first time?”

“I made a pen out of a big cardboard TV box (approx 1.5m square) put in a freshly washed cover and lots of piles of food plus some Pigloos. Next I put all the girls in and they all hid so I decided to take the Pigloos out. They all stood still, staring at each other for ages then Lola went for a wander over to the sisters and started sniffing. Face licking ensued between Lola and Princess Piglet, Pepsi, Piglet’s sister just lay there looking bored! Then Lola picked up some parsley, began to eat it and Piglet decided to grab the rest of it from her mouth.
Then it all went wrong teeth chattering started then Piglet started going for Lola’s face, really snapping at her and Lola was going back at her so I threw a towel over Piglet and moved Lola out of the way. This happened again so I put the Pigloos back in and they all hid again then came out and sniffed a little then the teeth chattering and head raising started again – then Piglet lunged at Lola so I towelled her again and called it a night!”

“Ordinarily I would advise letting Lola choose her friend but it isn’t always like that! I put them in an open neutral run with heaps of hay and go from there. Some will get on immediately others need time, use your judgement but they do kind of need to work things out as well so let behaviour happen. If all isn’t going well. calmly separate them and try again in a bare neutral run (save for heaps of hay!). This time separate them before it all goes wrong (if you feel that is the right thing to do), that way they have some positive time together, make a note of the time they are together so you have an idea of progress. Gradually introduce houses/fiddlestix/Pigloos etc. Rescue Remedy is useful for guineas and humans too.”

“Got the pen out again yesterday for some playtime and I only put in piles of fresh hay this time. I cuddled each piggy for a while before putting them in the pen so they were all calm. Lola was purring like a cat! Put them all in the pen, they all hid in hay then Lola started chattering…..lots of bum nips, squeaking and chasing followed, all the chasing and nipping was done by Lola! Then something strange happened in that Princess, the piggy who she was face lunging with, suddenly crouched down flat as Lola was chasing her! Then Lola started licking her bum and looked like she was “soft dropping”pinching! This happened a few times until they both lay together eating hay!! Pepsi her sister just hid in a corner and went to sleep at one point, then Lola woke her up by nipping her bum then they started chasing each other! They played for around an hour then Lola curled up in some hay and went to sleep! I am so pleased!! Looking forward to today’s play session and hope it goes well again! How many play sessions do you think are needed before I put the new sisters into Lola’s C and C pen and try them there? The sisters are in a Ferplast cage and as Lola is in a C and C pen I cannot put cages side to side so they can see each other.”

 “Remember this behaviour has to happen. You will also get “behaviour” when you introduce them to Lola’s pen but it all passes eventually. I have only introduced rescues on neutral territory, when I introduce newbies to my herd they go straight in the pen because I know my own guineas- Zen will always prod and poke the newbie and test their patience the others are fine. Zen really pushed it when I introduced Breeze and Mr. Fantastic stepped up and actually stood between the two sows. All is fine now, Zen still has a little pop but Breeze is secure in her new surroundings and just puts her head down and ignores her rather than retaliating out of fear. If you want you could take the top off of the Ferplast and put the new people under it in the C and C pen? You need to gauge things and do what you think is right and when you think it’s right, they’ll let you know, but do expect some “behaviour” to happen!”

“The girls are now all in Lola’s C and C pen! Playtime today went fabulously! Little bit of teeth chattering from Lola and a couple of bum nips and then they all went to sleep together! The sisters seem to back off from her or just stand still and wheek when she teeth chattered so I am guessing Lola has told them she is top pig! Girls all seem fine now; put them in C and C pen around 2pm and no incidents! Do you think they have settled in now? Sisters love the big pen and were popcorning around! Lola was acting like a spoilt child wherever the sisters were she wanted to be so would oof them out!”

“Yeah am sure they’ll settle into a group, Lola sounds a bit bewildered by it all but she’ll be fine. I never really know whether those making all the fuss (Zen in my group) are the underpigs trying to establish themselves/fight for their place or are the top pigs, I am pretty sure that in Zen’s case she is bottom pig hence all the insecurity when a new Pigson is introduced but whatever! Enjoy your herd!”

“I clucked like a mother hen last night and got up several times to check on them all! Last check at 5 am and they were all snuggled up together under the dog bed! All good today too so I am very happy! Shed a few tears yesterday as Lola hasn’t uttered a wheek or squeak since Peppa went to the Bridge. She never even squeaked for numnums like she used to. No matter how many cuddles she had with me she looked terribly sad Since her adopted sisters have been in her pen with her she hasn’t stopped chatting! It’s been very hard for me after losing Peppa so suddenly and I still have some bad days but I know that her new adopted sisters will look after her and Pepps is still looking down on her. One is never enough! Loving my new herd and will post some pigtures for you. Thanks again for the help.”

BIG thank you to Nicola for letting me retell her story. I think real life experiences are so important. Every introduction is going to be different and this makes it a very hard process to advise on so this is a very welcome addition to the website! 🙂



Day 5

Day 5

In the bonding pen I made day 3! Lola hiding!

In the bonding pen I made day 3! Lola hiding!

Pepsi chilling and not bothered about Lola at all!

Pepsi chilling and not bothered about Lola at all!

February 24, 2013   Posted in: Behaviour, FaceBook/You Tube, Inside The Hutch, One Is Not Enough  No Comments

The Issue with Permethrin…

Thanks go to Daisy’s Human, Louise, for sending us this story in the hope that it will publicise the need to check exactly what you are giving your guinea pigs and to underline the fact that it should not be Permethrin! All medicines have side effects and all guineas will react differently and with varying degrees of sensitivity but where there is a safer option use it! Because guinea pigs are such small animals needing small doses usually medicines are often decanted into smaller vessels which may mean you are not automatically given the contraindications etc, ask for them, you are within your rights, even if you forget at the time, ring the surgery and ask or search for the product online, it will be there. NOAH Compendium ofAnimal Medicines is a good place to look.



“After discovering a mild infestation of mites in my four piggies, I treated them with a spot-on treatment called Xenex Ultra. Unfortunately I had confused this with the treatment I had used in the past, another spot on called Xeno 450. It was only later that I realised the Xenex Ultra contained the active ingredient Permethrin instead of Ivermectin.


The morning after treating the girls, they were all in a terrible state of anxiety, in particular Daisy. She was hurtling around the cage, screaming as if in pain. She kept banging into the walls and the other pigs. All of them were chattering their teeth and a huge fight broke out with her sister, Mabel.


I took Daisy to the vet immediately. I wasn’t even able to pick her up and ended up having to get her in the vet carrier by throwing a towel over her. The vet was very familiar with this terrible adverse reaction to Permethrin and had seen it quite often in the past. It had caused Daisy to become anxious, aggressive, hyper-active and hyper-sensitive to light, sound, noise and touch. The vet informed the drug manufacturer but other than washing off any remaining spot-on, there was little else they could advise other than take her home and try and keep her quiet.


Over the next few days, we treated Daisy with rescue remedy to help calm her down, but she basically lived under a towel in a separate area of the cage until the drug had worn off. It took about 5 days until she was happy to come out from under the towel and walk around normally.


It has been several weeks now and its starting to look like Daisy and Mabel may never be able to live together again. Before using this drug, all four girls lived very happily together for over 2 years. Both Daisy or Mabel don’t seem to be able to forget the huge fight they had the morning after using the Xenex Ultra. At the moment every reintroduction ends up in another fight with teeth chattering and them lunging at each other with all their teeth bared. Anyone that has a lovely group of chilled-out and bonded piggies will know how heart-breaking it would be for this to happen. I’ve never seen a hint of aggression in any of my piggies until using this drug, it really seem to have changed their personalities. I’ve been bitten myself more often in the last 3 weeks, then in the whole 10 years I’ve had piggies as pets.

I really want to stop other pigs (and their owners) having to go through the same thing and the best way to do this is to make sure any reaction to a product is reported. The first people to tell is the Veterinary Medicines Directorate or VMD. These are the people who make sure animal medicines are safe and effective. They have an online or paper form which you can fill out and can be found here:

I think it is also important to make sure the drug manufacturer also knows about the reaction. You can find the manufacturers contact details by searching on the NOAH website (National Office for Animal Health)


After checking through my cupboards I found another two products containing the same active ingredient, Permethrin (Johnsons Insecticidal Shampoo and Johnsons Insecticidal Spray). It is used in lots of other products other than Xenex Ultra, so please check the labels carefully.


This whole incident makes me so sad and I wish I could turn back time and have never used the Xenex on my piggies. I hope telling Daisy’s story will help to warn other people about the dangers of using Permethrin on their guinea pigs.”



The correct treatment for mites is to give an Ivermectin product, Xeno 450 for guineas over 800 gms and Xeno 50 for guineas under 800g are the correct ones, on day one and day ten and a bath in a Gorgeous Guineas’ shampoo as instructed.


Thanks to Gorgeous Guineas for these definitions:

  • Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide that comes from the flowers of specific species of Chrysanthemum.
  • Permethrin is a synthetic version of Pyrethrum with the chemical constituents based on those found in natural Pyrethrum. It is this synthetic version that is most often used in insecticidal products because it is far more stable in sunlight. Natural Pyrethrum breaks down in about 12 hours, but Permethrin is far more stable and longer-lasting at 30 days plus.

Read the Gorgeous Guineas’ blog post on this story here:

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Daisy and friend


Lazy Daisy




February 19, 2013   Posted in: Fungal and Parasitic Skin Problems, Health, Inside The Hutch, Miscellaneous, Planet Guinea, The Pig Issue  No Comments

Maggie and Big Dave

What happened for you to need a friend?

In the summer of 2012, my brother died at the age of 4 years old from kidney failure. I was left very sad and lonely, even though we never appeared to be particularly “close”.

How did you find your friend? Where did you find your friend?

I went dating at Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue in Glynneath, South Wales. As a neutered boar, having lived with another boar all my life, I decided that it was time to get myself a wife. A lovely lady called Suzy, cupid to cavies, who runs the rescue initially set me up with a gorgeous dark-eyed-white sow, but unfortunately there were too many “personality differences” for us to become hus-boar and wife-pig. It was a shame, as she was a real stunner! Next on the dating scene, was Maggot.

Why did you chose this particular pigson?

Maggot wasn’t my idea of beauty, by any stretch of the imagination. She was a very funny looking pig. Her previous owner hadn’t looked after her very well at all, so she was very thin and scruffy, and would just sit staring into the corner of her cage. When she arrived at the rescue, her cage was thick with several weeks worth of poo, and she was very sad. Her name, Maggot, gives an idea of the state of her cage. When she arrived at the rescue, she was in such a state that she wasn’t expected to survive. After some TLC from Suzy, in the form of a clean cage, warm bed and some good food, she gained strength and was eventually ready for rehoming, even if she was still a bit odd looking.

Her behaviour on our date was surprisingly rude! Suzy explained that as she’d never had any interaction with another pig (or any other animal, including her human), she didn’t understand pig-etiquette. I’m a gentle-pig though, so I didn’t let it phase me. It turns out, that looks can be deceiving, and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! This strange looking, lost little pig had a wonderful pig-sonality (under the rudeness!), and we found ourselves falling for each other. After our initial date, we spent a week in the honeymoon suite at Glynneath GPR, and then returned home, where we have lived happily ever after!

What is life like now?

Married life is great, it’s gone to both our waistlines a little though!

After a few months of wedded bliss, Maggot unfortunately became unwell. After the local vet was stumped, she travelled to a specialist, who diagnosed her with abscesses in her throat around her vocal cords, something that they’d never seen before. After a lot of treatment (which she never once complained about!) over several weeks and a four-figure vet bill, she’s now back to 100% health. Unfortunately, I’m now currently unwell with a problem with my bladder, but Maggot is being the ever attentive wife-pig and not eating my share of the veggies! Unfortunately for our human, we’re certainly testing the “in sickness and health” part of our vows!

Despite being unwell, Maggot has blossomed into a delightful little pig; she’s very curious and a real character. She’s no longer called Maggot, I call her Maggie now, as she’s a real iron lady! She’s testament to the hard work and dedication that Suzy at Glynneath GPR puts in to all the pigs that cross her threshold, and proof that even the saddest rescue tale can become real treasure, if given the chance.



By Big Dave (aged 5 1/2 years)


Maggie and Big Dave

BD smile

Big Dave’s “in love” smile



February 14, 2013   Posted in: Bedding, Behaviour, FaceBook/You Tube, Inside The Hutch, One Is Not Enough, Rescue  No Comments