My Set of G-Pigs

I’m currently hosting a home for my lovely set of G-Pigs consisting of a castrated male one and two girls. Guinea Pigs live in harems, therefore the ideal constellation is to have a male and several females he can reign over. Too bad nobody told mine this story.

My male one, Anton, is a red Abyssinian and a typical guy, he’s showing off and waggling his butt like a champ. He’s a really funny one and once broke his upper teeth off. God know how he managed to do that. With just 970g and still overweight he’s very small for a male. He’s a rescue pig from an animal rescue organization and probably from an inbred family line. He suffers from mild allergyies (allergic coryza), but as long as his hay and straw won’t dust too much, he’s just ocassionally sneezing. It’s not bothering him at all. His other problem is his asthma. He’s sometimes coughing as if he’s violentely trying to cough mucus up or something. The first time I heared it, it really scared me, but he’s only doing it occasionally. On very rare occasions, he’s having a bit trouble breathing. It sounds as if he’s whisteling from his breathing system. I have an emergency cortison-Injection in my fridge in case he has a bad attack and needs something against the swelling asap.

My “big girl” is a miracle pig. Her name’s Patti and she’s a white-chocolate-red swiss teddy. I got her together with the other female from a pet store and soon she began to develop serious problems with her intestinal system. She was chroncially bloated and it wouldn’t get better no matter what we tried. Her immune system was at the worst and she suffered from additional secondary infections, including pneumonia that was treated with 6 weeks of antibiotics, gastritis, a bad fungal infection and several bacterial infections & viruses. Her last virus infection took her two months to heal off and I thought she would die during that time twice. However, during the entire time, I thought she wouldn’t even make the night at least once every other week, because she was doing so poorly. I had to force-feed her for 9 months – smometimes more and sometimes less, had her on anti-bloating medication the entire time, pain medication in such a high dosis that she got addicted to Metamizol and had her on different antibiotics for weeks. All of that with a G-Pig not even a year old. It was a very tough fight and considering how fast these animals die, it’s a miracle she’s alive today. Back then I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing by keeping her alive, but seeing her today, it was all worth it. We don’t know exactly why she had so much trouble, but we found out she can’t eat fresh vegetables or fruits. That means no fresh carrots, salad, cucumber, apple, nothing or else she’s bloating up immediately and she needs a very specialo diet with additional vitamins. She also has a very sensitive and dry skin and a chronically weak immune system, but everything is very well managable.

She’s a big fighter, that’s probably the reason she made it through all of it. She’s a real character and the unrivaled queen of the group. She’s what I call “passive dominant”. She’s super chilled out and never seeks a fight. She never tried to bite or showed any agression towards the other pigs, but she’s the boss and she expects everyone naturally to accept that. My male had a real problem with that behavior when he was first introduced into the group and never managed to climb the ranks ablove her. They sorted it out without anyone getting injured and the male eventually settled down below her just fine. My underweight tiny piggie grew into the largest one of the bunch. She’s very large for a girl and weights proud 1050g. She’s simply amazing.

The last of the bunch is my peruvian princess Rosie. She’s chocolate-red-white-cream colored and with about 900g she’s the smallest and lightest of the bunch. She’s super social and get’s along with everyone no problem. She’s also the most talkative and can get on our nerves a lot when she wants food – she’s very pushy when it comes to treats. Even thought she’s the most delicate of them all body-wise, she never had any health issues whatsoever. Her only problem is that for about half a year now, she develops phantom pregnancies all the time. She doesn’t seem to really suffer from it, she just has milk and can be a bit moody sometimes, but generally she’s doing extreamly well. I talked to our vets and they said I don’t have to worry about any health issues whatsoever. Since she’s developing phantom pregnancies so often, I’m thinking about getting her castrated nonetheless. She’s two years old and at an age where she can get through an operation considerably good. Maybe I can take some stress off her shoulders that way, but any operation bears a risk and since she’s the delicate type I’m quite worried.

As you can see, they all have their indivdual problems, but since I know all of them inside out, I can deal with them allright. I have different medication against pain, bloating, gut-fungus, skin-fungus and asthma on stand-by at all times. I know the G-Pig dosage for several antibiotics, fungus medication and our expectorant by heart and if everything fails, I can still have a talk with one of our vets. It may sound as if I’m having a lot of trouble with my pigs, but that’s really not the case.

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Pet Facts from Germany

I’m working as a veterenary nurse/technician in training in a small vet clinic in Germany and after I watched some veterenary videos on youtube, I decided to tell you guys some facts about pets in Germany.

  • 20% of german households home a cat and 14% home a dog, making cats the most vs000291-europaeisch-Kurzhaarpopular pets in Germany. The most popular breed of cat is the European Short Hair. The most popular dog is the Mixed Breed – I’m not kidding.
  • Germany has 100% no kill animal shelters. Here in Germany it’s forbidden by law to euthanize an animal unless it suffers from an incurable desease that cuts down greatly on the quality of life of the animal.
  • You need to pay taxes for a dog, because they leave their feaces wherever you’re walking them and that sh*t needs to be cleaned up by someone. You don’t need to pay taxes for cats – living 100% inside or not doesn’t matter at all.
  • Our shelters are anything but empty, sometimes overpopulated, but if you want to adopt an animal from a shelter, pe prepared that you will have to come several times to get to know the animal and convince the people from the shelter that you can provide appropriate living conditions and care for the animal, be it a great dane or guinea pig.
  • Germans have a serious helper syndrom when it comes to animals. Since living conditions for pets are generally pretty good here compared to many other countries, there’s a lot of people trying to help animals in countries with worse conditions by bringing them to Germany. However, many people also see this practice with great concern, due to three main reasons: 1. Our shelters are full as they are, we have more than enough pets waiting to be rehomed on our own. 2. Imported dogs often come with deseases that’re naturally not seen here, leishmaniasis for example. 3. It doesn’t help the situation in the country of the animals origin at all.
  • The practice of neutering and spaying is very common over here and many people who don’t want to breed will neuter/spay their animal to make life easier and less stressfull for themselves and the animal. However, if you go very strictly by law, you’re actually fordidden to remove an organ unless the animal suffers from problems with it. Thislaw is usually interpreted very… open minded.
  • If you want to own a dog taller than 40cm or heavier than 20kg, you will have to pass an exam that will test basic knowledge. I did hear rumors one state is panning on having everyone take this exam, regardless of how tiny the dog is. I totally support this, because of the high amount of aggressive little dogs I see every day at our clinic – our small muzzles are much more in use than out big ones.
  • Ever since the early 2000s there’s been a new stricter law regarding the ownership of AMERICAN_STAFFORDSHIRE_TERRIERdog breeds that’re classified as potentially dangerous. Every state has it’s own laws, but you can generally say that if you own a dog from these lists you will have to pay higher taxes, need to provide special requirements in terms of the housing situation of the dog and you will have to pass a special test. The dog might also need to have it’s race determinded even though it’s a pure breed. Races that usually fall under these laws are e.g.: Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bullterrier and to a lesser degree e.g.: American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Rottweiler. Since the Stafford was a pretty popular breed prior to these laws, after they became effective german shelters were run over with Staffs and Staff Mixed Breeds.
  • It’s forbidden to cut off the tail or any other body part off the animals body for beauty reasons as it has been common practice in several breed of dogs like the Boxer or the Dobermann. Recently there has also been a case in court where it was forbidden to breed canadian-sphynx cats, because their havily reduced whiskers for beauty reasons are considered an act of animal cruely as it leaves the animal handicapped. … so why is it still allowed to breed pugs or cavallier king charles spaniels?
  • There are many places you can take you dog with, even restaurants and shops might allow you to take your dog with you.
  • Exotic pets like different types of snakes, bearded dragons or spiders and turles are on the rise, but they’re still very far behind the “classic” pets.
  • Cute rabbits and guinea pigs are still considered typical pets for small children and Kaninchen_20090127_0023often given to them as presents, even though I personally think they’re unsuited for children. They’re very afraid of humans and don’t like to be petted, need a special diet that is often messed up and die very easily if not provided with proper care. In the past decade the overall knowledge of the average Joe on how to keep such an animal has greatly improved. There’s still a lot that needs to be done for the smallest of pets, though.
  • There are still people left who believe a female dog needs to have a litter of puppies at least once, before she can be spayed safely. This is nonsense.

I guess that’s it for today. Of course there’s also acts of animal cruelty in Germany and it’s not always as rosy as it seems to be. We have problems as well, but we try to work on them, but like ever there’s much to be done.

My Guinea Pigs Anton, Patti & Rosi

My Guinea Pigs Anton, Patti & Rosi