Archive for August, 2009

Cinnamon Star- There You Are…

This wheek the very lovely Calista went to be a Star on Planet Guinea. Calista was 5 and had been gifted to Planet guinea as part of the Satin Study (to establish whether or not Osteodystrophy is present in UK guineas), Calista’s breeder kept impeccable records and we could see if OD was likely to happen. Because such care had been taken when selecting Calista’s line it was thought that there was unlikely to be any OD in it, her ancestors had shown no signs (though OD can be carried) and her breeder was also the owner of several generations of pigs before her.

Calista never showed any signs of OD, she did have some tooth root problems which she overcame. She had an horrific abscess and I was all for giving her every treatment available, however Jenny (our vet) calmly suggested we try the least invasive form of treatment first- antibiotics and flushing and go from there. Calista’s Incisors turned brown for nearly a year but they came back white and strong much to my suprise and she had no trouble after that.

Calista went to Piggy PMs where she was a ‘guinea pig’ in the Vet Room, she helped in the demonstration on syringe feeding and giving tablets etc. Her quiet and calm manner made the vets and nurses look quite professional!

At home Calista was a ‘nursey pig’, she snuggled up to the lovely Angel when she got older and washed her eyes for her :). A very quiet and unassuming little girl but always standing her ground. I will always remember Calista for the way she snatched up food and held her head high before trotting off to some far corner to eat it, away from anyone else 🙂

Calista is the Cinnamon Agouti Shiny Star on Planet Guinea, a chocolate grey but subtly shiny star that hangs round in the foreground, unassuming but unmissable 🙂

Karen (who can’t believe how quickly the last 3 years have gone)…



A Red Shiny Star On Planet Guinea

This wheek Planet Guinea gained a bright red, shiny star when Mr Red left us suddenly. The star can be unpredictable in its movements, sometimes lingering at the back, at othertimes right at the forefront making sure it is seen.

Mr Red was living with his two sowfriends Gem and Krystal. Previously he was used to living on his own and lived his life accordingly, grazing his way through the day, not really sure what life was for. Then he met the girls and his life took shape! Life was for eating! Quickly eating everything before someone else did! No more grazing through the day, do that and there’d be nothing left 🙂 Mornings were for wheeking for your breakfast, eating it, and then sleeping… If the Human comes into the shed and doesn’t offer food or rustles a bag yet gives you nothing then wheek! Very loudly just wheek!

Mr Red had some sort of mobility problem, possibly osteodystrophy, possibly not. However, he didn’t know he was ‘disabled’ with a problem and lived his life to the full 🙂 Such a shock to find he had left Planet Guinea to become one of the shiny stars…

Karen (pleased to have given this boy the best wheeks of his life 🙂 )

Mr Red

Bargain of the Wheek- NOT!!!

A few wheeks ago I was told of a guinea pig that had been found at a local car boot sale, he had been specifically placed, in his cardboard box, near the car so that he wouldn’t be missed by the car owners.

Fortunately he was seen and immediately was taken to the organisers of the event who then relayed several stories of various pets (including dogs) that had been left at the site, the last one being a box of kittens. No reports of any ‘lost guinea pigs’ had been made so the couple took him home and started to make enquiries about finding a rescue that would take him. Despite being in our area we are full at the moment and could only refer him on to another rescue.

Is it worth saying ‘Please don’t abandon your pets’? This is not only against the law, there is no excuse for it. This area has plenty of rescues who will offer advice if they cannot offer a space. Admittedly this is the first abandoned guinea pig I have come across locally this year (after a record breaking number of abandoned guineas in 2008) but it is one too many. Owners owe it to their pets to at least see that they reach a rescue safely.

If you come across a seemingly abandoned animal contact the local branch of the RSPCA, there are rules that apply to the rehoming of such animals.


Red Letter Day


Mr Red had had an eventful life leading up to his arrival on Planet Guinea. After his brother drowned in a flood he was handed over to a guinea pig lover in the hope that his skin problems could be sorted out once and for all. Despite trying several treatments the problem reoccured, coupled with this an abscess under his chin erupted and was soon a large crater as it was left to burst. There has been a suggestion that it was possibly caused by the bandage he wore when he had the had the fungal infection.

After a bath his previously ‘parasite poo littered’ hair was shiny and clean again, though it was only after a CocoNeem Melt from Gorgeous Guineas later that week that he was truly clean. The abscess had drainage points in several places where it had just burst open but it needed lancing so that gravity could give a helping hand with the draining. The affected area was the size of a 50p piece and the thickness of the skin said that it was likely to be months if not years old. After having it lanced by Hannah at Active Vetcare in Tilehurst (who had not seen an abscess like it), flushing x2 daily was much easier. Mr Red was put on a course of antibiotics (Baytril @ 0.4ml x2 daily) and had treatment with Xeno 450 for mites. The area didn’t get any worse but it was a week or so before any improvement in the skin could be seen, the area around the abscess was sore and needed some Aloe Vera Gel (from Gorgeous Guineas) to soothe it.

A month later healing was progressing well and Mr Red went for his pre op check up to see if he was well enough to be castrated. Mr Red had been on his own for a good 2 years. He was well enough to be castrated and Hannah was pleased with how well the abscess had healed over. Still very visible but definitely better than it was.

On collection a very pleased nurse told me that Mr Red had come round within 2 minutes of being put back in box for recovery and had eaten all his post op food! He had been given Rimadyl prior to the op and obviously wasn’t in any pain 🙂

Mr Red was a typical post castrate patient- preferring to lay in his hay than on his Happy Soles veterinary bedding 🙂

The day after the op Mr Red was moving around awkwardly, almost pulling himself around using his forelegs. He had some Rimadyl to ease what seemed like pain and this helped until the effect wore off. As he wasn’t improving at all it was decided to leave him off the Rimadyl and monitor him. Within 24 hours Mr Red was back to how he had been.

Mr Red is a Satin and from the day he arrived he was showing signs of Osteodystrophy, something that some Satins get to varying degrees, see for more details. We concluded that because of having painkillers Mr Red had been moving in a way that he wouldn’t normally because the pain would stop him.  When the painkillers wore off he obviously felt the strain that this had caused.

These days Mr Red is living with two gorgeous Himmy girls and enjoying his new found friendship. However, he has had to adjust his lifestyle a little, in the past Mr Red was a ‘grazer’, he would eat his fresh food in his own time throughout the day; the Himmy girls have a different take on food, eat it all up at once until its gone! Mr Red has got the hang of this now and is a lot more enthusiastic about eating!

Hopefully someone will give him a Forever Home for his twilight years, there’s no telling how his Osteodystrophy will ‘pan out’, he may get it severely or it could just stay as it is, whatever, his new home will be made aware of this and Jenny at Active Vetcare has seen Satins with osteodystrophy before now and can give good advice. His abscess has shrunk to the size of a pimple, though the skin is still thick around it and this will probably always be how it is.

abscess from the side

Mr Red and his nasty burst abscess before it was lanced.

Fade to Grey…

Last wheek the very lovely Satin went to be a star on Planet Guinea. Satin came into rescue with her pal Silk and was rehomed with a boarfriend. When her boarfriend died she came back to choose another one- Vincent, who she also outlived. Her Humans were not in a position to take on any more guinea pigs but knew that Satin needed a new friend.

She returned here and was welcomed into Cloud’s group where she was ‘everyone’s friend’. She overcame a tooth root abscess while she was here and her Incisors never did grow back ‘right’. At over 7 years old she has gone to shine down on the others here.

Satin is the dove grey star that is always visible and is frayed around the edges. She has her own space and is in no one’s way 🙂

Karen (checking the maths , it doesn’t seem that long ago satin arrived, but it was…)


Satin when she arrived here for the first time.