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Cave Spring Guinea Pig Rescue

About Guinea Pigs

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Cavia porcellus

Despite their common name, Guinea Pigs are neither pigs nor are they from New Guinea. They are rodents that belong to the family Caviidae. Guinea Pigs were originally indigenous to the Andes Mountain range in South America.
Guinea Pigs usually from 1-3 pounds and are about 10-15 inches long. They usually live 6-9 years with proper care. Domestic guinea pigs generally live in cages. Cages with wire mesh floors are not recommended by guinea pig owners as these can cause injury and may be associated with a foot infection commonly known as "bumblefoot". Cages are often lined with wood shavings or a similar material. Bedding made from red cedar and pine, both softwoods, were commonly used in past decades but are now believed to contain harmful phenols and oils (particularly red cedar). Many retail stores and manufacturers still advertise softwood beddings as safe for guinea pigs, but there is growing pressure to stop the practice. Safer beddings include those made from hardwoods (such as aspen), hemp, paper, or grain. A new idea for bedding is the practice of lining the cage with newspaper or another absorbent material and covering it with fleece. This is cheaper than standard beddings, and easier to clean. Shredded office paper is another inexpensive alternative. "Cubes and Coroplast" (or C&C) style cages are now a common choice.

Cavy Cages / C&C cages

cavycage1.jpg
C&C Cage

Guinea Pigs have a chorus of sounds. Here a just a few and what they're thought to mean:



-Wheek - A loud noise that sounds about the same as its written form. An expression of general excitement, it can mean "feed me", "pay attention", or possibly "I'm hurt". It is sometimes used to find other guinea pigs if they are in a run. If a guinea pig is lost, it may "wheek" for assistance.



-Rumbling - This sound is related to Guinea pig dominance or in response to an unfamiliar sound. It can also come as a response to comfort or content. Whilst courting, a male usually purrs deeply, while swaying from side to side, nearly lifting the rear feet.



-Chattering - This sound is made by rapidly gnashing the teeth together;it is a warning to others to keep away. Guinea pigs tend to raise their heads when making this sound so as to look more dangerous.



-Bubbling, or Purring - This rather pleasant sound is made when the guinea pig is enjoying itself, when being petted or held. They may also make this sound when grooming, crawling around to investigate a new place, or when given an unexpected food treat, like lettuce or carrots.



(From Wikipedia.com)

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