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Old 04-07-2004, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi we have 2 guinea pigs for pets for my 4 year old ds. Does anyone else who has them have trouble with the smell? We clean their cage and 2 minutes later it reeks again. Also we have the wood chips from the cage all over our house. Every day I find my 9 month old trying to eat them...yuck. Anyone have any ideas to fix this besides getting rid of them?
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:54 AM
 
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We didn't have a smell problem. we had them in a huge cage though with lots of bedding. Cage about 2 feet by 6 feet and usually only had one GP. The bedding was a good 2 inches thick and we only had to clean it once in a while, except the den/house area where he slept.

edtied to add that my husband built our cage with plywood back, sides and bottom and plexiglass front and heavy wire top for lots of air circulation and the bedding never escaped.
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:13 AM
 
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I rescued one about 2-3 years ago when I left the day care I was working at. they were seriously terrorizing and neglecting this animal. it is unfriendly and a huge PITA. but I keep plugging along with it, once we get pets, we have a hard time getting rid of them. we dont, actually....
(no judgement, there, I actually wish I could bring myself to give up a few pets we have now, they may get more than just care, they may get a loving home..but oh well)

it requires care more than three times a day, whether its change of water, food refills, etc. I change the bedding at least once a week, and it still smells up the room (it is in a rubbermaid 'gift wrap' size tub which is probably 2 feet by 4 feet at least) plenty of room for the one pig. three times as big as what it was in at the day care. we use pine chips I get at the feed and seed. I also have to buy pellets, timothy hay, and various fresh fruits and veggies (extra spinach and romaine, but otherwise just scraps and leftovers of ours) we really cant afford it. it isnt cuddly (I wouldnt be either after being abused by preschoolers and toddlers) and pees and poops everywhere. it also needs to be bathed a few times a month, or else. its nails need trimmed.

way too much info, more than you asked for, I know. but this pet has been very frustrating and lots of work and money for us ove rthese last few years, with almost no payoff.

The bedding doesnt get all over the house, except when I am cleaning and changing it...then its pretty messy. personally, I dont know why anyone would get one of these. But I know alot of people love them and enjoy them as pets. of course, i am leanign towards a no pet household, as any animal in a cage upsets me lately.

also, I let my neices play with the pig, but I am so nervous, as I read that they can be very fragile. if you grab a certain spot on their back, they cant breathe, and if they fall even a short distance (or are dropped) they can easily break their legs or back
so they dont even seem like a good kids pet. especially considering all the care they require.

so I am super careful with it around my 17 month old, and keep the cage away from her.

good luck. I dont mean to be a downer, I guess I needed to unload my guinea pig woes.
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:29 AM
 
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I always had some G Pigs growing up. Great pets. Totally trainable as house pets. They never smelled. It's likely your choice of bedding.
sorry-gotta go
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:44 AM
 
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speaking of bathing and nail trimming. We put some rocks in our GPs cage and no problem with the nails and he had a HUGE water dish that he bathed in (his choice). Maybe that will help cut down ont he work ??
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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We ahve two guinea pigs in a big cage. It's plastic on the bottom with a DEEP tray to keep in the bedding and wire on the sides and top. We scoop out the wet parts on a daily basis and change the entire cage and clean with vinegar/water once a week. We don't have a problem with the smell.

A few ideas...the smell usually comes from the pee, since the poop is relatively odorless. If you scoop out the wet parts daily, it should drastically cut down on the smell (and it only takes about a minute!). Also, make sure that they have a lot of water available to them at all times, preferably a water bottle, not bowl. When even slightly dehydrated, their pee can smell TONS more. Also make sure they're getting a good diet w/ lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Stay away from iceberg lettuce, as it can dehydrate them and isn't very nutritious. We give ours romaine lettuce, carrots, apples, carrot greens, celery (including leaves), broccoli, cucumber, melons, spinach, swiss chard, citrus fruits, strawberries, and corn husks (no tassels).
HTH!

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Old 04-08-2004, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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it also needs to be bathed a few times a month, or else. its nails need trimmed.
how do you go about bathing a guinea pig? I guess I never thought to do that. I think our biggest problem is we have a cage with open wire sides and they kick the bedding out when they chase each other. Then it gets tracked all over our house. I think I might try the rubbermaid tubs. Do they make one big enough for 2? I'll have to check that out. Ours are also not very cuddly. I wish they could be. Thanks for all the ideas everyone!
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:00 PM
 
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Oooh, there is something that is really toxic for a pig and I cannot remember what it is.
I want to say broccoli maybe? It's some vegetable that totally bloats them up. I remember b/c my SIL gave that veggie to her rabbit a few years ago and he died 2 days later. Vet told her what happened. I remember feeling awful b/c I'd never mentioned it to her.


Call your vet or google? The real name for GP is "cavy" and there's a National Cavy Club or maybe American Cavy Breeders Assoc?
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Old 04-08-2004, 03:53 PM
 
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i have 2 guinea pigs. they don't smell at all.

i use old towels for bedding and change them once a day.
i suppose i am a cloth diapering guinea pig mama.


there are tons of online resources for guinea pigs.
the very best one in my opinion is
www.guinealynx.info

hth!
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:14 PM
 
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We have had our guinea pig for about three years now. She is the best pet we have ever had. We never have a smell problem. We use either cypress shavings or something called "woodypet" (google it). Also, guinea pigs are not supposed to be bathed. They should not need it if they are healthy and their cage is cleaned once to twice a week. It is my understanding that bathing them can cause problems. They bathe themselves, like cats. I am not sure the details. I never really researched it. It is just easier to keep the guinea pig dry totally than from drowning while being washed by an over zealous child.
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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We have a sweety guinea pig, last in a big family of 10... It's definitely better in the spring & fall when he can be outside, though. Ditto on the Woody Pet--the cheapest most absorbent thing in the world for pigs!

Quote:
there is something that is really toxic for a pig
I think it's parsley. I've heard iceberg lettuce bloats too.

Some things make them really smelly, like kale. Grass seems to sweeten their emissions & make them SQUEE with pleasure.

When we had a long-hair we bathed him (and gave him haircuts, too) b/c he was just very miserable and often got nits in his long hair. But our short-hair has never had a bath. The long-hair loved swimming around... I filled the bathtub so that only the "deepest" side had water, and only about an inch on that side. He would swim a little and then go rest on the "shore." It was warm water & he sat until dry wrapped up in a towel; they catch cold easily. We used baby shampoo and cleaned the outsides of his ears with q-tips. Aw, I miss my first baby. sob.

squee squee squee

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:51 PM
 
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great site! thanks!

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:56 PM
 
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I think our biggest problem is we have a cage with open wire sides and they kick the bedding out when they chase each other. Then it gets tracked all over our house.
sorry for all the posting. i get enthusiastic about the wee pigs!

does your cage also have a wire bottom? we started with those but found that really hurts their footsies. the best is one with an ~5 inch high tub on the bottom and cage on the top, then fill with a nice big layer of bedding (or towels! i'm impressed with the amount of laundry you must do, KLK7!). But make sure there is plenty of air flow b/c the ammonia from their pee can make them very sick (not that you wouldn't be changing it often enough for it not to smell! but i think even a little would hurt their little lungs.)

hth, squee!

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 04-09-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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I don't have guinea pigs, but I have rabbits and since they share some commonalities, these might work for you. Since one of my rabbits is a slob, I have several little litter boxes in the cage. This way, it's almost impossible for him to not use a litter box. And it's easy for me to change the appropriate litter box(es) each day, rather than having to do a daily whole-cage cleaning. Those low-sided small Rubbermaid containers (or similar) would work well with small pets. Also, I use shredded paper/newspaper bedding. You can buy this or make your own, and it doesn't have a smell of it's own to add to the pollution. This is the only type of bedding approved for rabbits because all of the others (crystal, wood, clumping, etc) are harmful to bunny lungs. Not sure if that applies to guinea pigs or not.

Good luck!

Tara
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Old 04-09-2004, 03:19 PM
 
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just to clarify:

Parsley is not toxic to guinea pigs.
in fact, it is a great treat to give them a small amount every other day for vitamin C, as guinea pigs cannot product their own vitamin C like humans and must obtain Vitamin C from their food. According to my vet, parsley is a superior choice because most pigs love it and do not like oranges, red pepper, or tomatoes, all other good C choices. Not too much though because parsley is also high in calcium, and some pigs are known to form bladder stones. My pig had a bladder stone surgically removed last year and it was horrible for him.

Iceberg lettuce is not toxic either, but is not good for them either, like it isn't for us. Too high in nitrates. Kind of like guinea pig candy bars.

Here's a great food list for what is ok and what is not:
http://www.guinealynx.info/nutrition.html#fave

I built my cage for them so it's up off the floor and easier on my back to clean and play with them. It only takes 2 towels per day and the rest is just old newspaper. They love it and i had a lot of fun building it.
Here's how I built my cage:
http://www.cavycages.com/cubes.htm
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Old 04-09-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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I am putting together our pig's cavycage today. I got the chloroplast this morning for $9 per 4 X 8 sheet. We are so excited.
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Old 04-09-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Here's a great food list for what is ok and what is not:
Great list! I'll add celery to the list; mine loves it with the leaves especially & it has lots of Vitamin C. I rechecked my book on g. pigs and it does say parsley *in high amounts* was toxic, so thanks for that clarification. It also says pigs love clover (yes! mine looooves it) but it can make them gassy. Don't want a gassy pig, teehee.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:05 PM
 
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I miss my pigs. Squeak, squeak- love that sound. you'll never have to worry about a burgler- I felt so safe- the pigs would squeak if anyone came in.

Mine did smell if I didn't scoop the pee daily. I had two- a long-haired mother and daughter. They were great pets. Dh built little wooden tunnels we could set up in the kitchen and let them out to run through. They loved it!

I'm waiting until the kids are older to get another pair. Our local cavy rescue won't place pigs in homes with children under seven.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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I want a pig.

Sadly, my kids are too little yet to appreciate that they're not squeeable.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:07 AM
 
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I am a recent fan of Guinea Pigs and also think they are a great pet. We had one we got on a whim from the local pet store- he was friendlier than the others and then they told me he was free (they have apolicy that customers can return the pets if they become unwanted and then they give them away). So, we brought him home and modified an old rabbit cage for him. He was about a year old when we got him. We had Charlie for about 6 mths and then he suddenly lost weight and I took him to the vet, and, to make a long story short, he died there after a week of tests and syringe-feeding, fluids, etc.
People thought I was looney to pay money for the rodent to have all of that vet care, but I really loved him at least as much as my dog and cats! I still miss him. We have another one, a baby girl one- Rosie. I like her too, but not as much as Charlie. He was so cool, the kids (my 3.5 yr old and my roommate's almost 3 yr old) played with him all the time, putting him in the baby doll stroller and giving him treats, etc. He loved it, I never had to worry about him biting, and he would just "wheek" with pleasure when he heard the fridge open or someone went up to his cage. Rosie is not quite as user-friendly, but I guess she just needs more time.
I use pine shavings from the feed store, and we have a problem with the wood chips coming put where the door is. We used hard plastic sheets to modify the wire-bottomed cage so that it has the plastic for a bottom and for sides, everywhere except onthe door. I have't had a problem with smell. I use a plastic trash bag or an old towel in the bottom (be careful with the trash bag if your piggy likes to eat it!) and then fairly thick layer of the shavings. We don't have a smell problem- not from the pig anyway! :
Also, I tried one of those corner litter boxes for small animals (look at the pet store) to see if she would use it. She doesn't. BUt it's worth a try, try placing it where he/she already pottys a lot if posssible.
I think Guinea Pigs are great pets, even for small children, as long as the children understand how to handle them and can be trusted to be as gentle as possible.
BTW, I am thinking of getting another one to keep Rosie company, so anyone in SC (near GA border) with a female needing a home, we might be willing!
Sara
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Old 04-14-2004, 04:13 AM
 
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Oh how I miss my piggies! I had 5 at one time but had to find new homes when the babies started arriving. They weren't getting the love they deserved and I was afraid the kids would hurt them.

Our Cage was made by dh, we made it 6 inches deep and put plexiglass up for the sides, then the top was open. This kept the litter inside the cage and not all over the house.

Cilantro was one of my piggies faves. They also loved the green tops from carrots (not that you can find them in the stores) I think once my girls get older (at least 8 or 9) I may try to get another one. I love the sounds they made. There's nothing like a piggy purr
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:51 AM
 
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I think it depends on your children as to what age the pig is ok to have. Mine have been great. We have had her for 3 years. My oldest was 4 when we got her, my youngest was about 9 months old. Now, they get rough with my Mom's cats but are so gentle to Daphne (our pig). Of course, I am not far away so I can observed. And, every once in a while I can tell she has had enough of being the "baby" in their play. So, I step in and put her up to sleep for a while. But, she is always ready to play again in a bit.
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