The Guinea Garden Rescue

A home for guinea pigs in need

 

Guinea pigs have  a tendency to get themselves into some sticky situations... and often need help getting themselves out of them!

Lost!

When you lose a guinea pig, usually your first thought is OHMIGOSH I LOST A GUINEA PIG. Once you calm down you will then need to find them!

1) If your guinea pig is lost in a garage or shed, first check for any exits to the outside world. Usually a guinea pig will be totally stunned (so first they'll find a hiding spot and then won't move.) so should be contained in the garage or shed. Block up these exit holes and look everywhere for the guinea pig. If you can't find them and are certain they're not in there, uncover the holes to allow the guinea pig back in should they wish. If you're not sure they're not in there, add some food and water to the shed, leave the holes covered.

2) Search your garden or surrounding area. This could be huge with many escape holes so really there is no point covering the holes. Just check under bushes and dense plants and anywhere there could be a hiding spot. Apart from that theirs not a lot you can do. If the guinea pig seems to have consumed some, (even if you're not quite sure) take them to the vets to get them checked for posioning.  

3) if you still haven't found your guinea pig, put up posters locally, on lampposts, trees, town council boxes, vets and anywhere you can think of. Post them through neighbours doors and ask them to check with people they know too. Unfortunatley, you'll just have to wait, but never give up hope.

 If your guinea pig is lost inside, its a much easier task to find them! If you know that they're confined to one room, shut the doors and make sure theres no acess to electical cables. Then look under things till you locate a guinea pig.

Once you have your guinea pig, give them lots of love as they will be quite shocked and it would have been quite stressful. Give them their favourite foods and check on them regulaly. 

Bleeding

For shallow wounds, such as a bite from another guinea pig, apply a little pressure to the area for a few minutes until the injury stops bleeding

For deeper/bigger wounds, apply a clean cloth to the injury, and take the guinea pig to the vets ASAP if the bleeding shows no sign of slowing down.

If you cut the quick and the claw is bleeding, for a little bleeding applying pressure with a towel/tissue is often enough, other times an icecube may be needed, and in severe cases some 'kwik-stop' powder must be dabbed on. This often stings buteffectively stops the bleeding very quickly.

Do NOT EVER leave a guinea pig alone unsupervised when it is stil bleeding! 

Attack by cat/dog/fox (going into SHOCK)

Guinea pigs are easily stressed, and something like an attack by a cat or dog could kill them, if the attacker doesn't.

1. Remove cat/dog from scene. Making a 'SSSSS!!' noise will usually get rid of a cat, and dragging a dog away whilst yelling loudly will work. Also spraying with a mist sprayer should chase them away.

2. Check for a heartbeat. Some guinea pigs go instantly into shock and seem dead! Place them on the floor if you can't feel a beat, and the guinea pig should usually raise their head.

3. Check for open injuries. Cats and dogs have filthy mouths and disease will almost certainly set in if the vet is not seen imediatly. If the guinea pig has no open wounds, wiggle toes, feet, legs etc and make sure there is no broken bones. If there are, again, a vet must be seen.

4. Keep guinea pig quiet and place back into their home. Add their fav. treat to tempt them into eating. Make sure that they're above all comfortable and warm, and so long as there's no injuries, a guinea pig should recover (from shock) overnight. If they seem back to their normal self the next day go back to the regular routing

Head stuck somewhere

For example, though a hole in some mesh, a hole in a fence etc.

If they got in, they must be able to get out!! Usually, once a guinea pig gets in this situation by trying to get through the place they're stuck, and once they realise they are stuck, will continue to get their body through, not withdraw their head.

This is usually a two people job.

1. Cover the guinea pigs eyes with a soft cloth. This will help reduce stress and wiggling.

2. Hold the guinea pigs back end, (and if possible another person gently restrains the head.

3. One person push, the other pull, but very gently. Thats pretty much all you can do.

4. If the above fails, you may have to cut the mesh, try to cut into the hole etc. This is only ever a last resort, because the noise and movement will frighten the guinea pig, and injury is very likely to occur to the guinea pig.

5. Once removed from the hole, check the neck for open sores. Put antiseptic such as 'Savlon' on, even if the flesh is not broken, to speed recovery.

Trapped in a tube!

If you give your guinea pigs toilet rolls (or any kind of tube) beware they may get stuck!!

Guinea pigs are highly unlikely to get stuck in toilet rolls unless they're under a year old, but wider tubes are a different matter! Despite the comical appearence, this can be very stressful for the guinea pig.

They get stuck because they can't get in any further, so you should get the guinea pig out the way they came in. Tilt the tube slightly, gently wiggling it and supporting the guinea pigs back end, and give them a fuss once they get out!

If the wiggle tactic doesn't suceed, you can cut them out, but that's pretty dangerous. The ideal option is to soak the tube if its card based and it will disintergrate and expand, releasing the guinea pig. Dry them off and put them back in their hutch with their fav. food to get over the ordeal.

Dropped/jumps whilst being carried

Guinea pigs are sadly very skittish, and have a tendency to wriggle. Lots of handling will very easily stop the wiggling, but still, quite a lot of guinea pigs find themselves falling through the air at some point in their lives.

Guinea pigs have the aero-dynamics of a brick!

These creatures are unlike other rodents, and injury is pretty likely.

Simply check the guinea pigs over for injuries, observe the guinea pigs walking, and if theres anything unusual about their movement, take them to a vet immediatley to provent spinal injuries.

Bowl tippers

Some guinea pigs are bowl tippers. This can be a boredom thing or just a bad habit. It's also bad for you because a lot of dry food gets lost in the bedding.

How to solve

1) Give guinea pig more toys (loo rolls, chews etc)! If it's bored, this usually stop it.

2) Try using a ceramic bowl. Some guinea pigs just tip this over too, so in that case, but the ceramic bowl into a larger bowl. It can't tip it over!

3) Cut down on dry food by half. It may sound mean, but they soon realise that if they tip their bowl over, they don't get anymore food, and keep the bowl upright so they can eat. Clever little things!

George was a bowl tipper, and we used all three to wean him off this habit. He's allowed to tip over his veg bowl (because he enjoys it so much, and veg is easier to find than tiny pellets) so long as he keeps his other bowl upright- and he knows it!

Grief in guinea pigs

Guinea pigs do very much feel grief if a companion dies, or if a sows litter is taken from her. They get over it in time, like humans, but sometimes need a bit of a helping hand.

Signs of a lonely guinea pig or a greiving guinea pig are... sudden loss of appetite/ weight, sudden shyness/timidity and not as friendly or just act depressed. They may sulk around, or lie down and be uninterested in toys or cuddles. If in the run, they might not leave their hidey hole or may not eat grass. You should give them time to get over it (if your guinea pig is lonely, don't give it time, give it a friend!!!!), and eventually, they will.

Give them lots of TLC, but keep the routine as normal as possible. If a guinea pig lived in a group larger than a pair, keep it that way. But if a guinea pig lost it's only companion, it's sometimes a good idea to get it a new friend.

For a mother who's lost her sows, why has she lost them?! If they've died then she'll greive and get over it naturally, but if they've suddenly vanished from the cage (you've given them away) she will take much longer to recover. It's harder not knowing what's happened, after all. If you're breeding guinea pigs then you should be responsible enough to keep them yourself, or even better, DON'T BREED!! Guinea pig sanctuaries are fuelled by unwanted guinea pigs, and why is that? Because people keep breeding!! If the litter is unexpected, try to keep atleast one of the babies.

When Hattie lost her mum, she became much shier, and stopped madly squeaking for food, but two months on she's almost back to her usual self. Greif doesn't go away overnight.

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