Monthly Archives: October 2014

The importance of weighting

guinea_pigs_tales_profile_kirkMy dears, I know that usually we are funny and we tell you a lot of stories about our amazing life in Brussels, Belgium, sometimes the savvy cavy in me thinks it’s a good moment to have a serious conversation. And this is one of those moments. Today I feel it‘s high time to talk about the importance of weighting your piggies. I will refer only to Guinea Pigs as I am no expert in other four paws creatures.

We are small creatures. I mean our weight, in normal circumstances, goes up to 1.4, maximum 1.5 kilos. Still, like in humans, there is no rule saying that all the piggies should weight this or that. But there are some rules regarding the evolution. And the only way you can oversee that everything goes well with your piggy is to weight him/her regularly. This doesn’t mean once every couple of months, but once every week or at least two weeks.

What are the common rules? First of all, a young piggy (up to 10 months – 1 year) should constantly gain weight. Or at least not to constantly lose it. No worries if one week he or she is 30 g lighter, but if this goes on for more than two weeks, it’s maybe the time to check if there is a problem. A piggy may seem like eating and acting normally, but a loss of weight may be a sign that there are other problems. It’s not for sure, but better check.

Second, at some point your piggy should stop gaining weight. In adult age, your furry friend should not gain anymore, but keep him/herself in between some limits that you will know if weighting is done on regular basis. But pay attention to the weight where they stop. If a piggy is showing signs of going above 1.4 kilo, you should asses with your vet if the piggy is in good health. An active piggy that has plenty of time and space to move and has this weight is not a problem, but one that is lazy or living in a small cage may just be fat and develop all the associated conditions. So, keep your piggy active and control his/her diet!

Next point depends a lot on the piggy, but usually it’s doable. Help your piggy weight more than 1 kilo! Don’t push for it, it should normally come around 8 – 10 months, but if it doesn’t happen you may try some diet tricks also. Why is this important? Because, as I said before, we are small creatures and, if sick, we can rapidly lose weight. A piggy weighting more than 1 kilo has more “manoeuvre space” and chances to get him healthier faster are better.

Now, don’t just weight your piggy and keep the numbers in mind. It may be very helpful to have a sheet of paper or a notebook where you can note down the date and the weight. That will help in case you go to the vet or just to give you an overlook over his/her evolution.

Oh, and most important! Try to use the same scale in the same conditions (day of the week, moment of the day – before or after breakfast/dinner). Check the scale from time to time by weighting something that you know for sure how much weight.

I think I covered the most important things, so I’ll end my post with a nice and recent photo of me enjoying my veggies.

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Soft fur

guinea_pigs_tales_worf_profileApparently we, the guinea pigs, don’t have fur, but hair. To be honest, I have my doubts. Humans also have “hair”, but their hair is much different and for sure not as nicer as ours. So, I really don’t like my perfect fur being assimilated with the weird stuff covering humans’ heads and other parts of their bodies. But this is not about humans…

Today I just want to brag about my perfect, interesting fur. Or hair. As you prefer. I don’t know if you know, but I am black, with a white butt and with some brown and white spots. And I am a silky piggy, not a normal as the other three boys are. The thing is that my marks are almost symmetrical. It upsets me that I am not just symmetrical, only “almost”, but there is nothing I can do. Maybe some plastic surgeries interventions…

So, I was really thinking about participating in some beauty contests to show my perfect white butt to some sows, but I think I’m a little bit too shy for that. It’s like I’m wearing white pants all the time. How classy is this?! White pants and black coat… I’m already dreaming of the times of the musketeers and nice ladies with huge dresses. I think I would have been a real stud on that age.

On top of all this, I have a white and brown tuft on my head. I love my tuft! More, my lower lip is pigmented half white, half black and I have a stripe of white silky fur on my chin. By the way, my white butt and fur is different in texture than the black one. I just love scratching myself to feel the difference. And the human female also.

But, “la pièce de résistance” are my whiskers! On the left side of my head, some of them are white and some are black, while on the right side all are black. I am super cute with all this marks.

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My first birthday party

guinea_pigs_tales_Data_profileApparently on the 15th of October it was my birthday. To be honest, no one knows exactly the day I was born because in a pet shop nobody cares about this. But our human female decided that no piggy should live without having a birthday party and a reason to celebrate once per year. So, based on some complex calculations (my weight, the date I arrived in pet shop, the lies the employees of such place tell about one’s age), she concluded I was born somewhere in October and 15th of October seemed a good date to celebrate.

I had no idea what to expect. I never had a birthday party, Spock and Kirk were vague in their explanations, so I didn’t know what will happen. Of course, 15th was a working day, so no human was around and available to bring treats and let us play in the house. But we’ve spent a lot of time in front of the laptop watching sows playing in grass on YouTube. Awesome day! Just me and my boys! Although we are always just the four of us…

The human promised me a birthday party in the week-end. And I waited that week-end like no other. But Saturday passed with no sign of a party for us, although they had a bbq, and Sunday began with scary suggestions like “bath”. Still, hope was with me.

After we had breakfast, the human let us explore the house. I and Spock got the bedroom, where no one has gone before. OK, Spock was there once before for two minutes! So, I’ve got the chance to pee and poop in a brand new room. Priceless! Unfortunately, after this fun part, she really gave us a bath with some fancy shampoo to treat some presumable lice issue. But Spock made sure she got out of this as soaked as we were. When I went back to my room, I was surprised to realise we were moved one room to the right, so that Kirk was not our neighbour anymore. Now he has a better view over the house and Worf on his right.

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But the real party started only after! And it was all about nice herbs! The human grew fresh grass for us. Especially for my birthday! And she also bought us some dill, which I love. And I’ve also got a fleece blanket in my room. It was super fun. After all, even the bath was cool, because my fur is now soft and white. Although for a while I looked like a decrepit lamb…

Now I look forward for Worf’s birthday party: I’ve heard we will have loads of pellets!