Tasman, New Zealand
Posted Dec 01, 2015
While I am sure that many other people have had great guinea pig experiences I can honestly say that my short 8 month stint with Piggy has put me off for life.
We got Piggy off a neighbour who was leaving the country thinking that it might make a good first pet for our daughter; the neighbour assured us that she was in good health and had had all her vaccinations etc. It was only three weeks later that things went entirely to sh*t.
After eating well Piggy went off her food just like that and a quick expensive trip to the vet later determined that she had a condition called ketosis which resulted in a weeks long period of forced hand feeding.
She recovered but developed an infection a few months later which necessitated antibiotics and then finally her ketosis returned worse than before so we made the decision to put her down.
My daughter was traumatised by the whole affair and my pocketbook was considerably lighter. The worst part is the obvious distress the poor creature was in during the multiple vet visits, feeding and medicating. I probably would have put her down sooner but my daughter was in love with her.
Aside from all that I can say the general care – food, hutch, etc was relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. During her good periods she tolerated being handled well enough but they were few and far between, during her illnesses being held or touched clearly frightened her.
We scaled back to goldfish after that for a few years and branched out with trepidation to a kitten who was great but my would skip a beat every time it even coughed, thinking that we would be back in that horror again.
So in short, no I would have a guinea pig again, purely because that first time was so dreadful. The vet assured us that it was very unlikely to happen again if I got a new one from a reputable breeder but I’m afraid the damage has been done.
Sorry Piggy :(