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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-19-2004, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Should I Get A Guinea Pig?

i've been wondering if a guinea pig might be a better pet for me. a few questions: will a small animal high rise on top of a 10 gallon aquarium be too small? do guinea pigs get diseases that need vet care easily? like wet tail with hamsters? i already know about how they need fresh hay and fresh fruits and vegetables because they don't create their own vitamin c. i know they need good quality pellet food and fresh water in a water bottle. i know they need companions. but if i see a cavy in the shelter labeled "loner. can not be housed with other guinea pigs." i'll take it right away, or at least put a reserve on it(if i can. never been to a shelter before). so..yeah.

ok, here's the things about me that i need to know if they are good for a guinea pig: i'm a kid. i depend on my parents to drive me places. i don't work yet. i'm planning to start a job at my dad's store next summer. i have about $200 at the moment. i already have a hamster and a fish. if i get another pet, it'll be from a shelter. i live near to at least 2 petstores, so it'll be easy for me to get supplies. i have school, chinese school, and violin, so i only have a couple of hours a day to my pet if i include my other pets, too. of course, weekends i have almost the whole day, but, you know. i have no younger siblings, i'm the youngest in my family, so no little fingers will be reaching in to grab any pet of mine. i have no dogs or cats, either, so nothing can hurt any pet of mine. i have my own room, and enough space for a cage in my room. i really want a pet that i can handle and cavies seem the best thing since they are gentle(well, the majority) and enjoy just chilling off in your lap. ok, i think that's all.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 10:32 PM
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I can't speak for everyone, but I would definitely not put a guinea pig in a tank. There is not enough ventilation.

Like you said, guinea pigs need plenty of vitamin C in their diet. If you give them fruits or vegetables, make sure it's in moderation. Too much can give them diarrhea. Also, make sure the veggies aren't too watery.

Make sure they have plenty of either timothy or alfalfa hay. That will help in the wearing down of the teeth.

Make sure you also have plenty of things for them to chew on. Also, about every three to four weeks check to see if their nails need to be trimmed. Overgrown nails can be very painful for a guinea pig, making it hard to walk. It can be very damaging, too.

I'm not too sure what diseases guinea pigs are prone to, but you always want to have an annual checkup for them. Make sure you find a vet that specializes in small animals.

And always make sure that you take enough time out of the day to spend with your pet!

Karen

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
will a small animal high rise on top of a 10 gallon aquarium be too small
Actually this is a step in the right direction. No one will likely approve of a guinea pig in a tank but with the high rise that will help.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 11:53 PM
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Just so you have some cage ideas, here is the site that I have developed my own version of cage from. cages

I am not sure of diseases, but URI's are common and you have to know what you are looking for since they are a prey animal and will hide it from you to the very last minute. If this is let go too long with out an experienced cavy vet to help the guinea pig could die. Another thing that you have to watch out for are abcesses, That is about a hundred dollar fix. I just had one of my guineas here operated on, he had a hernia and that surgery alone was $250. so your parents have an idea of what expenses could happen. I really don't bring my pigs in for annual check-ups, I only bring them in when they are ill. Guinea pigs do not get dry tail and never use that medication on them.

Just so long as your parents are willing to make the commitment to get you and your pig to the vet when needed and help with expenses (they are not cheap animals to own) I don't see a problem. Just give the pig, if you do just get one, plenty of attention, even if that means holding him/her in your lap while you are doing your homework.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 06:43 PM
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I find that most guinea pigs are very hardly little animals and while some get sick most do not have illness issues. So long as you care for them properly (changing bedding and keeping them fed and watered) They are pretty happy campers. A glass aquarium is a good way for them to not stay healthy. They really do better in an open cage. Since their urine is so high in ammonia they can get really ill from an enclosed cage. I'd wait until you can get better housing for one.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-21-2004, 03:32 PM
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I have a cage idea for you. I got this off of a website. You can buy one of those small animal pens and set it up in a rectangle. Then find a rubbermade container that will fit into it(try not to make it too small, the biggest you can fit into it). Since you have no younger siblings and no dogs and cats it would be perfect. Then you can just put everything it needs into the rubbermade container (without the lid of course). That would make a piggie pretty happy. My little piggie has a home made cage. It is just a wooden frame with the chicken wire that has the really small squares in it. We also gave her a small second level. She is pretty happy in it. Those are just some ideas in case you cant afford to buy a guinea pig cage.
Hope this helps
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 10:28 PM
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So what did you decide to do, HamterDudette??
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 02:32 AM
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A ten gallon tank, no matter what you add to it, is too small. I'd not go less than 3ftx3ft personally.bigger if possible. I bred cavies for a few years..and came up with a great cage idea that I think has been mentioned. HUGE Rubbermaid tubs, like 4ft long, 2ft wide, and 2ft tall..I only had one cavy, out of ...a few hundred over the years..be able to jump out of one of those. Just heated up an ice pick melted holes in the side for a water bottle nozzle to stick through (hang it on the outside).. The main probs then can have are Upper respiratory infections.. they can get ringworm.. lice/mites.. and have teeth probs..if they don't meet correctly and wear down on their own..or if they ever break a tooth (just need to be checked regularly, you can do this, and sometimes trimmed -by a vet or someone experienced if you don't know how to do this yourself..and I'm not recommending you do unless you have previously).. need regular nail trims..Can get ear infections (I checked my cavies ears regularly as well)..and boys should have their rear ends cleaned out(in the folds near their penile sheath)..to prevent buildup of debris and infection thereafter. I did this once a month. You can dissolve Vit C in the water daily.as well as give them oranges and Kale. Avoid Iceberg lettuce (no nutritional value). They don't get "Dry tail" , although they can get diarrhea from too many fresh fruits/veggies. Fresh hay should be provided at all times. Probly know this, but no cedar shavings..OR Pine that hasn't been KILN DRIED. Aspen would be an even better choice as it's a hardwood and contains no phenols(oils). They need things to chew on all the time to help keep teeth in check.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 04:03 AM
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my last guinea pig, porcellus, lived happily in a ten gallon tank that was cleaned every 2 days. the cat i had at the time, michael, thought porcellus was a kitten and groomed him. porcellus came out to sit on my lap about 3-4 times a day. loved to be brushed. loved his broccolli. he purred. i really loved him a lot. he got run around time in the bathroom several times a day and never seemed unhappy.
but that is just one experience.
they are noisy but don't bite. very loving species. just watch what they chew on.
good luck
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 10:56 PM
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Exclamation

I just rescued two GP's and know little about them, but it is OBVIOUS a ten gallon tank even with a "high rise" is WAY too small.

Such a habitat might be big enough for a pair of degus, maybe.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave
I just rescued two GP's and know little about them, but it is OBVIOUS a ten gallon tank even with a "high rise" is WAY too small.

Such a habitat might be big enough for a pair of degus, maybe.
Nope thats even too small for degus they like lots of space too, just the same as guinea pigs

Kirsty


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 05:44 PM
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Personally

Degus are a lot more vertical even, as far as climbing a bit..I'd give them even more room than cavies...or at least something as wide as for cavies, and taller. But for a cavy in a ten gallon..they could turn around and take a few steps, but that's it. Sure they COULD conceivably live in something that small..as a dog could live in a crate it's whole life, and a human COULD live in a bedroom and never leave if it had the proper supplies..but quality of life would be very poor.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 08:53 PM
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On degus.org I saw a tank (maybe a 20 gallon) and they showed how to construct a "high rise" cage so they could climb up. I have seen them in zoos, and they love to climb and gnaw. . . and knock other degus off their perches! They are not as politie as gerbils.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 01:26 PM
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A tank is ok for the bottom of a degus cage as they love to dig so ideal but they need bars to climb up too so need the height whereas guinea pigs prefer the floor space. They might not be as polite as gerbils when it comes to perches but they sure know how to talk to you

Kirsty


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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my GOSH!! i totally forgot that i made this thread!!! well, anyway, thanks a lot, everyone!! all of your advice was really helpful!!! but i think i am gonna wait until i can afford everything on my own and be able to drive it to the vet....so...yeah. but i will still have questions for a while. it might even be a few decades before i can finally handle a couple of guinea pigs well. oh well. i can wait. again, thanks a lot.

"Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening." ~Pardo
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alfalfa hay, chicken wire, ear infection, ear infections, guinea pig, guinea pig cage, kiln dried, respiratory infection, respiratory infections, upper respiratory infection, upper respiratory infections, vet care, wet tail


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