Ready to give up

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Post   » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:30 pm

I have had Guinea pugs for 5 years now but it’s been a long struggle. Recently my younger has developed Bumblefoot slightly due to obesity and lack of exercise. The problem is that they have no interest in do anything outside their cage. When out the mainly cower in fear. The are both 3 and the other one has small health issues too. I’m just not sure if I am still the best home for them or if it’s time to rehome.

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Post   » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:51 am

I'm sorry you're struggling with the health of your guinea pigs. Some of them do like to laze around and that doesn't help their health at all.

I have a single female. Without a cage mate it would be easy for her to just lay around. So to keep her interested in moving I rearrange her cage daily so her hideys and hay pile are in different place. I scatter fresh grass and corn husk around the cage so she has to forage. I also have a couple of toy balls that dispense treats. One is a cat toy and I put a teaspoon of pellets in it so she has to walk around rolling the ball to get the treats. I put veggies on a baseball-size wiffle ball and she pushes that around for the veggies. She also likes to explore when several hideys are lined up in a row like a tunnel.

Maybe some of these ideas would get your guinea pigs moving more so they get some exercise.


Post   » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:11 am

Maybe have a cover over part of the cage, being mindful that there is still enough airflow, so the house eagles cannot get to them? It is not like we can tell them they are safe, but a cover might do the trick.

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I dissent.

Post   » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:23 am

How big is their cage?

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Post   » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:34 pm

Some good ideas! I added them to the exercise page (quoted you):

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Post   » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:15 pm

You have a real issue here. I can relate to the problem you have with them cowering in fear as most of my pigs had the same problem. It was worse when I took them outside to graze. We overcame that with a few safety measures. Guinea pigs are prey animals near the bottom of the animal food chain and they're very aware of this. They need overhead cover as well as on at least two sides. It doesn't need to be total cover, just enough so they can get completely under it. For the sides, I put up barriers on the sides where the most noise comes from. I put their toys or treats out in the open to coax them out.

Another useful trick was to put them down together. If they're not paired and tend to fight, you can put them in separate enclosures and butt them together so they can see each other and interact through the wires. Guinea pigs feel safer when they are not alone. You can also get down on the floor or ground and play with them. We did that with Mr Bubbles and he still didn't move around much, so we would goose him lightly, which got him excited enough to start popcorning.

You don't mention their diet in your post. What are you feeding them, and how much? I ask because we were grossly overfeeding Mr Bubbles. On his veggies, he was getting two large lettuce leaves, several baby carrots or half a bell pepper twice a day. They only need about a cup of veggies total per day. I kept his pellet bowl full all of the time and they were terrible pellets with seeds and sugar filled kibble bits mixed in. He only needs about an eighth of a cup per day and they are pure Timothy pellets. This on top of the unlimited hay. Once the vet reviewed his diet with me, we made the necessary adjustments and worked on getting him more active and moving around. He's now an active and healthy guy.

For the bumblefoot, bedding can have as much to do with it as just sitting around. This site is a gold mine of information on all of these issues. I'd hate to see you give up before trying everything possible to get your little ones happy and moving around again.

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