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Small pets

Guinea pigs - should females smell?

12 replies

MissShapesMissStakes · 13/02/2023 19:42

We've always had male Guinea pig pairs and they don't really smell much (indoors).

We recently took someone's female pair and they really seem to smell unusual (a bit like meat flavour crisps to me!). I know females tend to wee more, and they are long haired. We've had a snip of their hair and they've only been on their fleece for a couple of days. But already the room smells weird.

They are sharing a small room with a castrated male who eventually we hope to live with them. I'm wondering if it could be that they are settling in and making the place smell 'homely'? Is it just that females do smell different?

I am going to let them settle and then give them a little bath and tidy up (never really bathed our boys but these have a lot of hair too).

Any ideas on the smell?
Also recommendations for cage liners for females? We've always used proper cage liners but wondering if vet-bed might work better?

OP posts:
Brendabigbaps · 13/02/2023 19:44

Something is wrong there, males smell more than females.
take them to a cavy experienced vet.

samsonthecat · 13/02/2023 19:48

My boys smell much more than my girls. My girls don’t smell at all, my boys smell of boy.

MissShapesMissStakes · 13/02/2023 19:51

Interesting! Thank you.

Maybe a vet check then. They have come from a nice home so I was wondering/hoping if they just needed to settle in.

It's such a strange smell.

OP posts:
samsonthecat · 13/02/2023 19:53

Is the smell them of their fleece? Maybe wash the fleece with some bicarb in the wash?

MissShapesMissStakes · 13/02/2023 20:02

Thanks I'll wash the fleece. Though it was new in a couple of days ago. Just washed enough to wick. No other Guinea pigs on it.

It's on the pigs and their fur. Under their tummies have little damp bits. My boys are prolific poo-ers but nothing like this for wees!

They both need a good hair cut too so that's not helping.

OP posts:
FictionalCharacter · 13/02/2023 20:04

Definitely get them to the vet. They shouldn’t smell or be damp underneath.

MissShapesMissStakes · 13/02/2023 20:05

Will give them a call tomorrow.

OP posts:
MissShapesMissStakes · 13/02/2023 20:31

I've just cleaned them out totally. And their wee isn't what is smelling I don't think. Their beds don't smell either. It's just them.

Wonder if they just need a good bath.

Any recommendations for techniques are welcome. Never done a proper bath with our boys as they've never seemed to need it, and they've always been short haired.

Do I need to dry them with a hairdryer?

Have looked online but lots of different ideas.

Also will take them for a check up at the vets. She's really good with Guinea pigs.

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/02/2023 23:29

Get some Gorgeous Guineas Shampoo, loads of lovely ones Posh & Go for long fur , Cedar and Lemon grass (I used for bonding as it was a stronger scent to make them all smell the same

Wash the fleeces in a neutral detergent , no conditioner , I used Ecover or similar
Put some newspaper or puppy pads under the fleece to absorb

One of our sows peed blood and it was apparent on the puppy pad (she went to the vet the same day )

Unless you're planning to show them I'd keep the hair trimmed round the rump , I do feel sorry for the very long haired piggies dragging all that fur about .

Are their claws in good nick?
Are they a bit tubby ?
Do they drink enough?
Are they active or are they sitting in one place , peeing and poohing ?
It'll take a while to settle them , they'll be nervous wee souls .
Do you know if their previous owners used anything on the fur (though I cannnot think of anything that smells like meat crisps )

Bear in mind , sows go into season especially when you have a boar and neutered boars can still at "boary" .My sows were always within a day of each other going into season, it lasted 36 hours but they were evil and their pee smelled ! They can pee horizontally behind them which is a good defence against a rumblestrutting boar Grin

Washing them -
Extra pair of hands if you can
Get everything ready and in reach
We did them in the bath , put a towel inside so they don't slip , pour in enough warm water but shallow enough keep their heads and mouths clear of it
Plastic jug to sluice over water
Filled the sink with warm water in case we needed more clean
Dilute some shampoo in another plastic jug or cup
Couple of clean towels to wrap them

They can jump (little toads) Grin and will pee/pooh in their clean bathwater

We did pop one in the bath , sluice with water , lift out , shampoo, lather , rinse .well, towel wrap . If you put one hand under the belly and your forefinger and middle finger through their front legs and your thumb round the side you can keep them secure
We did use a very low heat hairdryer and kept my hand in the fur to fluff it and I coud feel how warm . Keep it moving .
Once they were dry we put them in a box of hay to relax .
Then deal with the sulking piggies and the water everywhere !

Our coarse coated boars ( Rex and Teddy) were bone dry as soon as they had a quick towel rub ! Gore Tex Fur

And photos will be required , obvs .
Pigtures !

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/02/2023 23:42

ooh and make sure the water doesn;t go in their ears or eyes . If you do the under-the-chest -hold you can lift the front legs up a bit and sluice the water from the shoulders to rump .

Ours looked like tiny lions with their little soaked bodies and dry ruffly face fur .
Be prepared for the nost pathetic wheeeeeeek when they go in the water

myveryownelectrickitten · 23/02/2023 23:54

They definitely shouldn’t smell or have damp bits or leaks OP - vet checkup needed?

MissShapesMissStakes · 26/02/2023 21:51

Thanks @70isaLimitNotaTarget that's all really helpful!

I took them both to the vets. The previous owner mentioned that the last week or so one had been losing weight too. So thought it worth it.

The vet says all is fine. One needs to put some weight on but the previous home had building work going on (they are friends of ours) so I imagine that had effected her appetite. She's already reached her target the vet gave us now.

They are both active, eat well, drink well and pretty sociable. They don't smell any more. I'm wondering if they were weeing more and messier to make their new surroundings more 'homely?'

We have boys from the Blue Cross in another room and they are much grumpier than these two lovely girls.

I've not washed them yet as they stopped smelling and aren't damp any more. The vet said she'd wait for a while to let them settle anyway. I've given the most placid girl a much shorter hair cut. And the sassy one is a hair cut in progress.

They have two weeks of a split cage and then I'm hoping we can move the bars to mingle with the boy we had neutered. They are mostly ignoring each-other now. The occasional rumble strutting from the male, but they ignore him anyway. I'm pretty sure, as sassy as he thinks he is, the larger female will rule the roost anyway.

Pictures as requested. Long haired ones are the girls.

Guinea pigs - should females smell?
Guinea pigs - should females smell?
Guinea pigs - should females smell?
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