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Worried about sisters guinea pigs.

(2 Posts)
WawaSkittletits Wed 24-Apr-13 10:17:12

I've just been to visit my parents and sister who is home from university. My sister has 2 guinea pigs that she leaves at home for my parents to look after while she is doing her degree.

These guinea pigs live outside in the garden all through the year and nobody has picked them up for a long time. The only contact they get is when they get cleaned out once a week and fed.

I'm looking for some advice about their health as I'm a bit concerned. One of them has a very red leg, the other which has very thick fur (like a sheep) has a massive bit of matting like a dreadlock. I tried to untangle it but its got lots of dirt in it and wont budge. They both appear a bit overweight but I'm no expert on how big they should look so I'm not sure on that one. I think they are about 4 years old.

I've expressed my concern but none of them are really animal lovers and I don't think they really care, they wouldn't waste their time at the vets. Is there anything I can do when I visit them next to sort out the matting? I cant afford to take them to the vets myself unfortunately and cant take them as I've got a dog.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 24-Apr-13 11:53:59

Very sad.
Probably helped being a bit chubby if they were outside all winter- this year we've had ongoing freezing nights. I've kept my boars in at night in our small bedroom (they go out during the day with a heater)

The red leg- could be a bite from her cage-mate
Self barbering
Skin irritated by dirty bedding.
She really needs to see a vet IMO

The matted one- try a pair of round ended baby scissors and snip into the matting to loosen the main clumps. Put your fingers at the base of the hair against her skin to prevent the risk of catching her skin.
Could you give her a bath and keep her warm until she's dry? Make sure she's completely dry before she goes out. (I put mine in a box of hay after a towel rub and cool hairdrier. Keep it moving and keep your hand between the guinea and the dryer.They can scald easily)
You could massage some neat shampoo into the matting to loosen it before you wash her.

She really needs to lose the hair clumps or she'll be at serious risk of flystrike. They lay eggs on dirty bottomed animals and the maggots basicall eat their host.
Can take as little as 12 hours for it to occur so if they're only being checked every week....... angry. Horrible way to go.

And I know some people do a once a week clean, but guineas aren't the cleanest animals. A week old bed would be rank.

They really need rehomed don't they?
If your sister is a studant would she be able to get PDSA care for the guineas leg?
Can you phone a Rescue to enquire about space?
These guineas deserve more don't they.It's good that they've got you looking out for them but as you say you're limited by what you can do.

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