Archive for February, 2008

Daisy and Clover…

Clover, after her Gorgeous Guineas treatment.

Daisy and Clover’s Humans phoned us and asked if they could bring in a couple of guineas that were no longer wanted by the children. When asked to be more specific number wise we were told it was six. The ’six’ guineas arrived in a 3 foot hutch (that had been well chewed by the inmates) and 2 washing baskets with towels over them. The two baskets were to seperate the fighting boars… In the hutch our attention was drawn to a sow and 2 ‘probably about 4 days old’ babies. Quickly followed by an admission that these were the result of breeding for a pet shop who no longer wanted to take the babies.

After the Humans had left, rather hastily, we looked inside the baskets, in total there were 15 guinea pigs divided into boars and sows! At this time RGPR was much smaller than now and it was going to be a case of squashing them in however we could. The young boars were happy to live together in a four and the sows were divided up as much as we could. Mum and babies were given a bigger hutch and the one they came in was diposed of immediately.

Two of the sows were Daisy and Clover, two short haired cresteds that looked very much like they had been bred from. Their humans had also told us they were ‘used to living outside’ and were bedded on shavings, not something I use. The result was two very fungal girls. After a visit to the vet we came back with some strong smelling Seleen, a dog shampoo for dermatitis. Unfortunately this had no effect at all and I turned to Human products in desperation. First I tried Polytar shampoo, a disgusting smelling shampoo that I had used on my son. No luck with that either, so tried the Alphosyl, a dark green antifungal shampoo for Humans. This made no difference either.

Chrissie, who had recently adopted Florence from me and was building me a website suggested that homemade shampoos might be more gentle on their skin and actually contain anti fungal ingredients. All very well and good but where do I get such shampoos? And how do I know its the right one with the right active ingredient? The answer was at the other end of the phone! Chrissie made her own shampoos for her Guineas and would like to try and make an antifungal one to help Daisy and Clover. In order for their skin to be monitored by Chrissie they went to be fostered by her.

I received regular phone calls to tell me they’d needed yet another bath because their skin was really crusty and flaky but then the baths got further and further apart until they were having one a month which is the most frequent a guinea should be bathed. Great, a real break through!

No, the real suprise was when they came to visit me! The 2 crested mumsy looking sows that left here were now 2 longhaired Coronets and very fit and regal looking! Disbelief is the only word for it! I adore Coronets and to this day have never had one of my own (but plenty of guinea keeping days to go).

They eventually found a Human of their own and several new friends in a big kitchen where they had an enormous enclosure, no more shavings and cold for them. Though they are prone to dry skin they have had no more fungal outbreaks and are given an Aloe Melt when needed to keep their skin moisturised.

Daisy and Clover, the first Gorgeous Guineas, but certainly not the last.

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