Sunday, March 17, 2019

Guinea Pig Cage Cleaning Routine

Hi humans! It is Sunday, which is cage cleaning day here in the Cavy Savvy household. There are many ways to manage the cleaning of a guinea pig cage, and depending on your set up, you may find that a different works for you, but we thought we would share our process in case you want to try it at your house!
Time for cage cleaning!
  1. First, the type of cage you have affects how cleaning is done. If your cage has multiple levels, you may have to dismantle them and clean them piece by piece. When we were together in the same cage, we were in a MidWest Guinea Pig Habitat, which has the advantage of being inexpensive and made of soft, flexible nylon which is easy to clean. We would line this with fleece (bought and cut to size from a fabric store) and then place CareFresh bedding on top of that. Then, once a week, we would sweep up all the dirty CareFresh, and wash the fleece in the washing machine.
  2. Now that we are in the same cage but the cage is divided, we need a bigger cage so that we still have lots of individual space. We are fans of the Guinea Pig Cage Store because they also sell fleece cage liners that are the exact size of the cage, and are extra plush so they absorb better. We still place a layer of CareFresh on top but can use less since the fleece does a good job. The CareFresh makes a big difference with odor control. 
  3. When Sunday rolls around, the humans set up a temporary cage in the laundry room which consists of a few puppy training pads on the concrete floor and a cage placed around it. The humans place us and our housing and food in the cage, where we spend about an hour or two waiting for the laundry to be done.
    Our home away from home!
  4. The humans sweep up the old CareFresh and throw the dirty fleece pad in the laundry. They use a Free and Clear detergent without dyes or fragrances, since our paws can be sensitive to them. Then they wipe down the now empty cage with mild cleaning spray and paper towels. Once clean and dry, they place everything back in the cage and discard the used puppy pads. Good as new!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Aloha Peppers?

Aloha, readers! We found a review we had started on but never finished (around May 2018, when things started getting really crazy and we moved to a new place, and then took an extended break from blogging). You'll notice that Lola is able to be near me without being super-hostile (AKA the good old days!), and that we're still in our old cage. After this, we should be all caught up to the present day. :-)

Aloha peppers (AKA Enjoya peppers, Striped Holland bell peppers) come from a company called SUNSET, who describes them as follows: " As pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate, the Aloha pepper has beautiful red and yellow stripes and a sweet flavor unlike any other pepper on the market today."  Is that true? Our piggy palates were happy to test this claim out!

Look at it! That is an awesome-looking pepper! Can't wait to bite into it!

As mentioned in the past, most bell peppers start out as green, turn yellow and orange, and then eventually end up turning red. Aloha peppers, however, "are a fairly new variety that was discovered as a surprise variation in a garden in the Netherlands and have been developed over time to showcase the bi-colored traits. The vertical striping is not passed on through normal plant reproduction, so Striped Holland bell peppers are reproduced using cuttings and hand harvesting, making all the plants genetically identical." So it sounds like it's a lot of work for humans to make these striped peppers for our enjoyment!

Lola, do you think this tastes more like yellow peppers or red peppers?

Hey. I had my eye on that one!
As usual, we've never met a bell pepper we didn't like! 5/5 stars!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Guinea Pigs and Moving into a New House

Hi humans! Long time, no wheek. We missed you. It has been a long time since we updated, so we apologize for the months-long delay. Let us give you an update about what's been happening since we last posted:
  • The big news: the humans moved into a new house! It was so exciting but a bit scary because we were moved to an entirely different space. Being the creatures of habit that we are, disruptions to our routine are always unnerving, but especially so this time since we have always lived in the old house, in our old cage. 
  • Speaking of which, we got a new cage! The layout of the new house is so different, and the humans decided to gives us our own floor. The finished basement is all ours, and the humans even bought us a bigger cage.
  • Lola recovered well from her cancer, thanks to the great work of the vet crew at SEAVS. She still technically has cancer but has no symptoms, is no longer on any meds, and is not in pain. The only difference is that she now attacks me and seems to want to be in her own space. While guinea pigs normally should be paired with a buddy, in Lola's case she's given the signal that she's prefer to be an only pig moving forward, so with the vet's blessing, the humans complied. As a compromise, the humans placed a grid divider between my side and her side of the cage, so that we can still sniff, see, hear, and in Lola's case try to bite the other pig.

  • As for me, I'm over seven years old now! The vet mentioned that I am one of the oldest pigs she's treated. I'm a little slower than I used to be, but I still love snuggling with my humans, eating my favorite snack of Belgian endives, and napping in my pigloo. Given my dental issues, I need molar trims every 6 weeks, and I need to be hand fed Critical Care three times a day, plus I take Meloxicam once daily. I look forward to my daily feedings and I like the taste of the medicine. It's my chance to get some one-on-one time with the humans!
Thanks for following our adventure! More posts to come soon.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Lola update: Guinea pig recovery from surgery

Hi, everyone. I suppose I'm overdue for a blog update after my recent ordeal, and I hope I wasn't keeping you all in suspense. I survived the surgery just fine, and have been doing a pretty fine job of recovering if I do say so myself. Of course, it helps to have some fine humans to help my recovering by keeping track of my medication regimen. After getting back from surgery, I was on 6 different medications/supplements:
  1. Meloxicam (for pain and inflammation)
  2. Cisapride (for gastrointestinal tract motility)
  3. Enrofloxacin (for controlling gas in the GI tract)
  4. Trimethoprim Sulfa (to treat bacterial infection)
  5. Tramadol (to control pain)
  6. Critical Care (if not eating well, or to help weight loss)

That's a lot of medicine!
Now I'm done with most of those medicines, which means a lot less plastic syringes being shoved in my mouth. My weight has been down a little lately, and the humans need to check with the vet to find out what my "new normal" should be after the spay surgery that removed the uterine cancer.

Thanks for the nice comments, readers!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Guinea pigs, cancer, and surgery: Lola's very rough week

The humans went out of town for a week last week, and boarded us at the vet. Near the end of our visit, the vet noticed a bit of sludgy, pink-tinged urine (likely from blood) in the cage. As our readers know, I've been having a few issues lately, so their first thought is that it came from me. They examined me and found nothing that would explain the blood--although they did find I was due for another molar trim, had a weepy eye, and some nasal discharge, and prescribed some medicine for each condition. They then moved on to checking Lola, and noticed that she had a bloated belly.

Lola, is your belly bloated because you take so much of my food?
They took some x-rays of her, and noticed a large mass that was pushing on her other organs. The "primary concerns" on her discharge statement said:
  1. "Abdominal Mass: Possible uterine cancer, bladder cancer, or other cancer
  2. Lytic (moth-eaten) Pelvis: Possible bone cancer, bone infection, degenerative changes, other"
The humans then had to schedule surgery for Friday, where her life hung in the balance. There wouldn't be much they could do if it was advanced bladder cancer, but if it was uterine cancer, they thought they could remove her reproductive tract to bring it under control.

Lola before being dropped off at the vet for surgery. Good luck!
The humans got good news from the vet on Friday: Lola made it out of surgery okay. She's in observation until Monday, which is common after a guinea pig surgery. The cancer was in her uterus but unfortunately it also did spread to her bladder. The vet thinks if she makes it to Monday, she will probably live many more months pain free. Since the cancer was made worse by hormones, they fact that they spayed her will keep it from growing fast.

Poor Lola! I can't wait to get my cage-mate back tomorrow. It's been so lonely in the cage all by myself. I hope she's able to continue keeping me company for a long time!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Guinea Pig Product Review: Small Pet Select Loofah rolls

While Valentine's Day is still a couple weeks away, there's never a wrong time to show love for your guinea pig! Whether it's a nice pet on our heads, or a new chew toy to sink our teeth into, gestures of affection are almost always appreciated.

Today, we're reviewing another toy from Small Pet Select to let you know if its a good way to show your piggy appreciation: the Loofah roll! They describe this toy as follows: "Loofah is nature's floss for rabbits and piggies!  Terrific for giving those teeth a great workout, loofah also provides a totally different and interesting chew texture for the buns and the guinea piggies."

Will we find it as interesting to chew on as they claim?

Bite!
Munch!
Sniff!
Nibble!
We got to say that this was a pretty cool texture, and it was in fact fun to chew on! But what exactly is a loofah (also spelled "luffa")? According to Wikipedia, it is the fruit of a vine plant which "may be allowed to mature and used as a bath or kitchen sponge after being processed to remove everything but the network of xylem fibers." The family of plants that it belongs to includes many foods that guinea pigs can eat, including squash, watermelon, and cucumber. In addition, no safety concerns were mentioned on the guinea pig forums that we saw, and we have a generally favorable view of Small Pet Select as a company. Therefore, we're pretty sure loofah (or "luffa") is safe.

We also looked at other reviews for this product, and wanted to note a couple things that others mentioned:
  1. "I've used it to stuff healthy treats... into. This keeps him working to get to the treats, which he can smell through the loofah!"--Nice idea which could make this toy even more fun.
  2. "This is a massive hair magnet! My bunnies like them, but I find I toss them out because they get all gross with bunny hair. I've yet to find a good way to remove bunny hair from a loofah!"--We haven't experienced this with ours, but wanted to note this as a possible problem anyway. (Maybe it's a long-hair vs. short-hair issue?)

We give Small Pet Select Loofah rolls 5/5 stars!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cavy Savvy 2018 Guinea Pig Books Giveaway Lightning Round Winner Announcement!

Good news, readers! We now have enough entries in the lighting round of our book giveaway contest to select a winner using a random number generator. And the winner is...

Ryan!

Congrats, Ryan! You just won some cool guinea pig books:
Happy reading!
Please email us your current mailing address to cavysavvyaguineapigblog@gmail.com within 7 days and we will send mail you your prize. (If left unclaimed, we may choose another winner, so don't delay!)