Archive for the ‘Guests on Planet Guinea’ Category

Thanking my Lucky Star

Earlier this month Little Miss Lucky left us to become a star on Planet Guinea. She is the white one that bounces around and desperately tries to get in front of the of the others, if not on them!

Little Miss Lucky arrived in 2009 after having over 5 homes in 2 weeks. She was brought here because she ‘wouldn’t live with anyone’… It wasn’t long before Little Miss Lucky had chosen to live in a herd and was adjusting to being part of a group as nature intended.

I am proud that she was chosen as a case study by a local Animal Aromatics student but even more ‘stunned’ at the benefits she experienced. Despite never fully overcoming her physical hormonal issues Miss Lucky’s behaviour changed dramatically, proving that, for her, the issue was notΒ  linked to what was happening physically (Ovarian Cysts), if it wasn’t for the hairloss there was no indication that anything was wrong.

All this has been a valuable part of the continuous learning curve linked with guinea pigs and was yet another life that was not in vain πŸ™‚

Karen (Thanking the Lucky Star) πŸ™‚


Chantilly’s Christmas

Chantilly was a Planet Guinea guest in 2008 after she had been found by a dog and their Humans who were out walking. Chantilly and her friends had been dumped and left to die.

After a traumatic birth, during which she had a littr of 3 pups, 2 dead on arrival and Mr Big, weighing in at 44g, she recovered and was chosen by the lovely Cakey to be his new friend.

Here is her Christmas portait with Cakey:

All by myself, (The Early Days)

don’t wanna live all by myself, anymore…

Violet’s Human contacted me when a sow she had taken in from a friend wasn’t reponding to being rehablitated and bonded with other guinea pigs. Previously Violet had lived with a sow where there had been much animosity and the situation escalated so much it got to point where the Human handed over Violet over to a friend who also had guineas.Β  The intention was to rehabilitate Violet and then rehome her. However after weeks of trying to bond Violet with several groups her new Human contacted me and asked for help, unfortunately it isn’t as black and white as just giving advice so I offered to take Violet in long term and, after working through her issues, to find her a new home.

Violet spent 7 days on her own in C+C caging next to my group (who have no issues and are a laid back bunch).

She had minimal handling from me, only a checkover daily, no cuddling etc. She’s also had a Melt and shampoo. That way she could adjust to the surroundings with nothing else to bother her.

She spent much of her time from day 2 onwards just stood up on the base of the cage watching the other guineas eat and sleep etc. They came over to have a look at her on day one but by day 2 they left her alone.

She had some time outside, I put a small run inside the big one so she was still with the group but couldn’t get with them. She moved ‘with’ them, as they moved up the run so did she, she seemed to follow one sow in particular. I put the others away and left Hope in the big run and opened the door ofΒ  Violet’s run, Hope went in and had a nosey and then hopped out again with Violet following her. They had about 5 minutes together (Violet doing lots of sniffing!) then I put them back in their pens (Violet on her own).

On SundayI took one of the C+C grids out, when Violet noticed it was gone she hopped over the plastic base and into the next pen. Rather sheepishly she had a look round. No one took any notice of her.
There was some ‘handbags at dawn’ with one of the rescue sows that is in there, (she also has problems socialising, or did, but has come on leaps and bounds), after a while they settled and went their seperate ways. When it had quietened down and they’d sorted their differences (no blood:) ) I took the other rescue sow out for a while. When I put her back she wasn’t interested in Violet. I was in the shed all afternoon so could keep an eye on them but there were no problems πŸ™‚ Violet stayed with the group that night, and is still with them. She hasn’t made any friends yet, really, though my boar seems to like her.

I’ll leave her there for a while until she starts to come out of herself then try her with other rescue pigs, that will beΒ  the true test!Β  I can see her fear, and that needs to go.

Hormonally Yours…

This month we have 3 sows with Cystic Ovaries, each presenting with different ‘symptoms’. Sandy has the classic bilateral hairloss, hopefully we will see some fuzz growing back soon πŸ™‚ Sandy has no dominance issues with the other guineas she lives with but does have crusty nipples- another sign of ovarian cysts/hormonal issues, but certainly not present on all cases.

Little Miss Lucky has hairloss in patches all over her body as well as the usual bilateral hairloss. She has been treated for mites and fungal problems but when this didn’t have any effect she had a course of Chorulon injections on day one and day ten. This ‘symptom’ is also seen in dogs and in very rare cases they do not regain their hair. Since the injections the irritation to her skin that Miss Lucky was experiencing has ceased. In Humans there is often discomfort with Cystic Ovaries, it is possible they were irritating Little Miss Lucky. Little Miss Lucky has had behavioural issues in the past, possibly due to cysts, possibly not…

Fern has no hairloss, but the day after she arrived on Planet Guinea she was having heavy blood loss. She immediately went to see Jenny at Active Vetcare, Tilehurst, who felt a cyst in one of her Ovaries. She was prescribed Baytril @ 0.4ml x2 daily and given a Chorulon injection with another to follow in 10 days. The bleeding has now stopped. The most suprising thingΒ  with Fern was how ‘normal’ she was whilst losing huge amounts of blood! She continued to eat and drink as normal and was happy with her friends- no dominance issues that are sometimes associated with hormonal problems.

These girls go to show that there is no obvious one sign and it was simply by handling Fern that her bloodloss was noticed, had she been left because all seemed well it could have been a different story.postmelt

Sandy, who also had mites (note hairloss around face and general ‘broken’ hair), has bilateral hairloss.

Blowing a Gale through the Forest…

Gale and Forest are Molly’s sisters, the three little girls born to Krystal and Gem whose story appears earlier on in The Pig Issue.

The 3 girls were still suckling from mums at 4 wheeks old so I decided to separate them! The girls went to live with Heath, a youthful boy born here last October. This would also be good for Molly who wasΒ  provisionally reserved to go and live with Mr Melt and Friends, pending guinea pig approval.galesept13 Gale

The move went ultra smoothly, not problem. The next step was to separate Molly from her sisters, to make the move smoother for Molly she got to stay with Heath and her sisters got to live with Twig- Heath’s brother. Expecting great trauma at this point I was extremely surprised at the reaction to the split, or perhaps I should say lack of reaction! No calling to each other or pining, nothing! Lots of noise, these are vocal girls after all, but only the usual ‘feed me’ wheeks etc.

When Eclipse arrived at RGPR I decided to put him with the Squeaky Girls, Gale and Forest. Twig went to live with Krystal and Gem who made their feelings clear regarding frisky young boars from the start πŸ™‚ The change in behaviour towards Eclipse was quite something. Gale and Forest happily played with the younger Twig and Forest was often seen sitting on him, something she would do to Gem and Krystal. But Eclipse commanded respect from the moment they met. It was a silent command but very evident. The girls were almost like guilty schoolgirls who were half sure they had been found out. Things are mopre relaxed now and there have been some food fights but that air of respect is apparent.

Forest and Gale are funtime girls who would like a large cage for zooming please. Their new Human must be sensible and not be tempted to give in to them, they are very cute but also clever, their Human will be twice as clever and one step ahead of them!

Being slightly deaf would be a benefit too, their wheek is incredibly high and just happens at random times, optimistically…



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 πŸ™‚

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

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.Β  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.

Jobshare on Planet Guinea


New arrivals on Planet Guinea mean that a jobshare has been created πŸ™‚ Krystal and Gem are both excellent mothers doing a fine job at the local Kid Zone. Between them they look after 3 pups who move around the hutch in a trio and from sow to sow in a trio.

On arriving home Molly, Forest and Gale had been born along with their sister who was asleep and still in her sack, despite breaking the sack and warming her up Big sister did not survive 😦

At this time Gem was obviously straining and had been so for nearly 30 minutes which is far too long. On picking her up it was apparent she was giving birth to a pup that was breech, a twist of the hand, and the force of gravity Bigger baby sister was out, but very dead 😦 A very definite lump that wasn’t moving meant that another pup was inside and needed to come out fast.

A call to the local Guinea Cab Service had us going over the speed bumps up to the surgery and not long before arrival the pup was born. Mum didn’t remove the sack but seemed interested in what was going on, I did it for her and handed her back the pup but further examination in the surgery showed no heartbeat and eyes that were glassy 😦

She was put back in with Gem and Gale and came back to Planet Guinea.

The smallest pup was Gale at 99g, then Forest at 103g and Molly was 106g.

Life is for living, eating, feeding from whoever’s on duty and learning about the world around them πŸ™‚

Karen (not making a drama out of a crisis πŸ™‚ )

5 August 2009: These cheeky little girls are still trying to drink from their Mums at 5 weeks of age despite being told to ‘get lost’ in no uncertain guinea pig terms. Yesterday they were introcuded to Heath a young castrated boar who is much more playful than Krystal and Gem who are enjoying their well earned break πŸ™‚