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GUINEA PIG MANAGEMENT. Cavia porcellus. Origin. Cavia porcellus – domesticated Cavia aperia – wild wild – Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay also known as Cavies domesticated 16 th century – England. Varieties of Guinea Pigs. Traditional American or English – short hair

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guinea pig management

GUINEA PIG MANAGEMENT

Cavia porcellus

origin
Origin
  • Cavia porcellus – domesticated
  • Cavia aperia – wild
  • wild – Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
  • also known as Cavies
  • domesticated 16th century – England
varieties of guinea pigs
Varieties of Guinea Pigs
  • Traditional
    • American or English – short hair
    • Abyssinian – whorls of short rough hair
    • Peruvian – long hair
varieties of guinea pigs4
Varieties of Guinea Pigs
  • New varieties
    • Silky – medium length soft hair
    • Teddy – short, coarse hair
    • American Crested – short hair with contrasting whorl on forehead
    • Rex – very short, soft hair
    • Hairless
basic guinea pig
Basic Guinea Pig

  • compact stocky body
  • tailless
  • diurnal – actually
    • short naps night and day
  • sebaceous marking glands - rump
  • open rooted teeth
additional characteristics
Additional characteristics
  • vocalize – at least 11 sounds
  • good swimmers
  • seldom jump
  • rarely bite or scratch
  • need frequent handling
  • lifespan – 5 yr average, ~8 yr max.
uses of guinea pigs
Uses of Guinea Pigs
  • Pets
  • Scientific research
  • Food
home sweet home
Home Sweet Home
  • Temperature: 70, 65 – 79
  • Space
    • < 350 gm 60 sq. in.
    • > 350 gm 101 sq. in.
    • max size 1.2 x 3.8 cm mesh or solid
home sweet home19
Home Sweet Home
  • Bedding
    • wood shavings – not cedar, pine
    • shredded paper
    • not dusty
    • timothy hay overlay optional
    • clean weekly
home sweet home20
Home Sweet Home
  • Humidity 50%; 40 – 70
  • Light cycle 12:12
  • Air changes 10 – 15 per hour
digestive system
Digestive System
  • Strict herbivores
  • Hind gut fermenters – cecum
    • Lactobacilli sp.
    • primary fatty acid – propionic acid
nutrition
NUTRITION
  • require vitamin C
  • have higher folic acid requirement
  • sensitive to excess Ca, Vit. A, Vit. D
    • leads to metastatic calcification
    • mineralization of soft tissues
feeding
Feeding
  • Additional Requirements
    • ~ 6 gm feed/100 gm body weight
    • 18-20 % protein
    • 10-16 % crude fiber
  • Use guinea pig feed!!!
  • NOT RABBIT FEED
    • no vit. C and high in vit. D
feeding management
Feeding Management
  • Messy feeders
  • Use J-feeders not bowl
water management
Water Management
  • Glass/clear bottles preferred
  • Like to play with waterers
    • will empty water bottle and/or
    • stop up the opening
    • check frequently
  • Change & Clean water bottle daily
  • Automatic waterers
    • check daily; acidify water at source
    • reduces pseudomonas
water management26
Water Management
  • Glass/clear bottles preferred
  • Like to play with waterers
    • will empty water bottle and/or
    • stop up the opening
    • check frequently
  • Change & Clean water bottle daily
  • Automatic waterers
    • check daily; acidify water at source
    • reduces pseudomonas
water management27
Water Management
  • Glass/clear bottles preferred
  • Like to play with waterers
    • will empty water bottle and/or
    • stop up the opening
    • check frequently
  • Change & Clean water bottle daily
  • Automatic waterers
    • check daily; acidify water at source
    • reduces pseudomonas
reproduction
REPRODUCTION
  • age to sexual maturity 68-70
  • estrous cycle 15-17 days
  • gestation 59-72 days
sexing
SEXING

male: straight slit female: Y-shaped

breeding
BREEDING
  • females pair at 400gm; 2-3 months
  • males pair at 600 gm; 3-4 months
  • breed females before 6 months
    • otherwise pubic symphysis fuses
    • must relax at parturition
care of young
Care of Young
  • precocial – born
    • furred, eyes open, teeth erupted
    • walking within 2 hours
  • two nipples – inguinal region
    • can care for four young
    • litters 3-4 (range 1-6)
care of young34
Care of Young
  • milk
    • 3.9% fat
    • 8.1% protein
    • 3.0% lactose
diseases
DISEASES
  • genetic
  • infectious
  • environmental
  • nutritional
  • others
diseases36
DISEASES
  • malocclusion – over growth of teeth
  • causes
    • environmental
      • inadequate opportunity wear down teeth
    • genetic
      • teeth do not meet properly
  • in guinea pigs
    • lower premolars may be tilted inward
    • eventually tongue is trapped
infectious diseases
INFECTIOUS DISEASES
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica - pneumonia
    • do not house with subclinical carriers
    • rabbits, cats, dogs
  • other infectious diseases are much less common
other diseases
OTHER DISEASES
  • vitamin C deficiency – scurvy
  • metastatic calcification
    • mineralization of soft tissues
  • heat stroke
    • 85º F+, high humidity, lack of ventilation
  • barbering
    • small bald patches
public health risks
Public Health Risks
  • minimal
  • diseases guinea pigs may carry
    • Bordetella, Salmonella, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Streptococcus
ad