Information for Guinea Pig owners - Part One

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Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic
8-10 Queen St
Murwillumbah
NSW 2484

Phone:
02 6672 1919
Fax:
02 6672 1918

Guinea Pig Biology 101

Guinea Pigs are a popular and highly personable pet. We are seeing more and more guinea pigs and have had a few requests to write a series of articles on these pocket-sized pets.

For this first article in the series I will pass on some biological information on guinea pigs. The female is a sow, and the male is a boar. You may think that the babies would be called piglets, but actually a baby guinea pig is a pup.

A pet guinea pig can be expected to give you 5-7 years companionship at a minimum with appropriate nutrition and health care.

Weighing your guinea pig is a very good basic monitoring method to assess their ongoing health. Most will weigh 1.2-1.5kg when fully grown, but a large boar may grow up to 1.8kg. Weekly weighing is recommended as a small decrease in weight may indicate the start of significant health issues.

While the sow generally will no have more that 5 pups, they can start having them quite young so numbers can multiply rapidly without due care. Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity at 3 weeks in males and 4 weeks in females. The sow should not be bred at this young age. Veterinarians generally encourage desexing of pet guinea pig because birthing difficulties and mother mortatiity is high in sows.

Stay tuned for the next article on guinea pig nutrition.

 

Licorice and Caramel

 


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