Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Guinea Pig Attractions Around the World: Morugumi Cafe and Specialty Shop

As we mentioned in a previous post, we were staying at the veterinarian while the humans were out of town. The humans went on quite an adventure on the other side of the world, and we wanted to let our readers know about one of the guinea pig attractions they found.

Although we've already done two posts on guinea pig attractions in Japan, this will be the first time that our humans are actually bringing back first-hand experience of an attraction. (They also got a chance to visit one of the previously-mentioned attractions for themselves, so we might post on that in the future.)

In Tokyo, Japan, there is a neighborhood called Jiyugaoka where you can find a cafe and specialty store devoted entirely to guinea pigs! The place is called Morugumi, and if you're a human who loves guinea pigs, this is the place for you!
Fun awaits you on the second floor!
It's not a very big place, but their walls are lined with guinea pig merchandise for sale, both functional and ornamental:
Tunnels! Pellets!
Plush guinea pig toys!
Guinea pig books! Ceramic guinea pigs! Cuddle cups!
Ceramic guinea pig cop!
Little plastic guinea pig toys!
Little plastic guinea pig play set!
Guinea pig coasters!
And humans can reward themselves while they're here with some guinea pig themed human treats. (Don't feed these sugary human treats to your guinea pig, of course.)
Soda with guinea pig marshmallow, coffee with guinea pig art and a different guinea pig marshmallow on the side, and fondant guinea pigs. Can you handle this much cuteness?!
Those fondant guinea pigs on the side aren't just sold that way. The cafe will give you fondant to shape and paint with food coloring, allowing you to make your own guinea pig. If I could easily hold a paint brush, I might want to try that out!

By the way, the humans brought back a couple extra items from Morugumi, and we are considering holding another giveaway for our loyal readers. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Product Review: Supreme Petfood's Science Selective Guinea Pig Food

Hello there, readers. The humans recently went away on travel, and as we discussed in our post on guinea pigs and airplanes, it's usually best not to take your guinea pig with you on flights. Therefore, we were boarded at the vet until they get back, which is a little like going on vacation for us. There's all kinds of exotic sights and sounds to see there. (We honestly don't get why humans like exotic sights and sounds so much. They're a little scary, seeing as how they could indicate predators!)

Anyway, while we were being dropped off, we saw samples of a new guinea pig food called Science Selective, so we decided to make time for a new product review since we knew we'd have plenty of time. We couldn't even wait until we got home to try them, so the humans fed them to us in our travel carriers.

We like how the packaging looks. That doesn't really factor into our rating, though.
I'll try some!
She will too!
It tasted pretty good, although it was a little hard to stay focused on the merits of the product while we're in the midst of such anxiety-provoking change. But there are other considerations besides just taste, of course. We also have to look at the ingredients, which include the following: Alfalfa meal, whole wheat, wheat feed, soybean hulls, soybean meal, flaked peas, linseed, sugar beet pulp, soybean oil, fennel seeds, monocalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, dried dandelion, dried nettle.

Here are some concerns about some of these ingredients:

  • Alfalfa - Appropriate for young and pregnant guinea pigs, but not for general adult use. It has high levels of calcium, which can lead to stones. The product information page does say that it contains "Calcium 0.8%, Phosphorus 0.5%," which means that it falls within the recommended ratio of calcium to phosphorous of 1.5:1 to 2:1. However, even if the ratio seems good, we'd still be concerned about the total amounts of calcium and phosphorous being too high, even if the ratio is good.
  • Beet pulp - "Considered low-quality fiber that can clog the villi of the intestine"
  • Fennel seeds, Soybean oil - Seeds and oils are too high in fat, and often come from seed byproducts with little or no nutritive value
  • Calcium carbonate - As we've previously noted, we're having a tough time reaching a decision on this one. Oxbow uses it, and they use an advisory board of scientists and vets, but some have raised concerns about it anyway.

Unfortunately, due to these ingredient concerns, we're going to have to only give Science Selective Guinea Pig Food 2/5 stars. There are worse foods out there so we won't give it our lowest rating, but you can certainly do better. We're going to stick with our Oxbow pellets!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lola's trichofolliculoma removal and Deslorelin implant placement surgeries

Well, hello there, readers! We first wanted to let you know that the humans have caught and removed that little furry jerk that's been scampering around at all hours of the night. Good riddance, I say! Finally some peace and quiet.

But wouldn't you know it? As soon as you solve one problem, life throws another one at you. And this new problem is of the medical variety, which I would say in worse than our little home invader. You may remember way back when I was first introduced to the blog almost a year ago (has it really been that long?), I wrote: "I had a small lump on my back, but the vet said it was just a clogged oil gland, similar to a pimple, and that the vitamin C would help with that." That turned out to not really be the case; the lump just got bigger and bigger, which the humans asked about on subsequent vet visits, but they kept saying it was best to leave it alone. Just recently, a new symptom appeared: there was some fur loss near the lump. The humans made another vet appointment for me when they noticed this.
I am not a fan of this.

Diagnosis, please?

After giving me a physical exam, the vet said that I had two issues: trichofolliculoma (a benign follicle tumor), and cystic ovaries ("solid or fluid-filled pockets in or on your ovary"). They diagnosed this by noting crustiness by the nipples, areas of thinning hair (not consistent with mites or other causes), and a lump they could feel on the ovaries. I then had surgery to take care of both issues: removing the lump, and getting a Suprelorin (Deslorelin) implant, which will slowly release hormones into my body. The hope is that this will take care of the hair loss and the cystic ovaries; they said it might even make me feel calmer.

 In the aftermath of the surgery, the humans are now giving me Enrofloxacin (antibiotic), Meloxicam (pain killer), and Cisapride (GI mobility drug). I've also got a shaved patch with stitches on it, so I'm not looking my best at the moment. Hopefully, I'll be back to normal soon, though!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mice in the house with Guinea Pigs

Earlier this week, the humans were sitting on the couch, watching television, when we overheard one say to the other: "Are the piggies still in their cage?"

"Yes. Why?" The other human asked.

That was the moment the humans realized they had a mouse in the house, and began a minor panic. Humans can be really funny that way. They love us, but they're terrified of another much smaller rodent species?

Anyway, the humans got down all all fours, shining flashlights to confirm what they saw. Once confirmed, they immediately rushed out to Home Depot and bought some non-kill, humane traps to catch it.

Image of the mouse the humans saw not available, but here's a picture of a mouse invading a guinea pig cage from the Happy Cavy blog. (image source)
So what's the big deal about mice? Well, according to the CDC, "Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent." Huh. I guess the humans weren't being so silly after all. Get that jerk out of here, humans!

Here are some things you should know if you have mice invade your happy guinea pig home:
Wish us luck catching the interloper!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Guinea Pig Attractions Around the World: Fortune-Telling Guinea Pig in Bulgaria

It's time for another installment in our guinea pig attractions series! Last year, when we posted about a fortune-telling guinea pig named Ganesh in India, we figured that was a pretty unique attraction. Today, we learned it's not quite as unique as we thought. It turns out that there's another fortune-telling guinea pig in Sofia, Bulgaria:
What does it say? I'm dying to know! (source: The Inconsistent Nomad)
This guinea pig attraction was described by Carla on The Inconsistent Nomad blog. While exploring Sofia, Bulgaria, Carla and her friends came across a man on a street corner with a guinea pig on a newspaper-covered plate:
Andre turned to us to translate.  "He says it's a fortune-telling guinea pig.  We pay him, and the pig tells us our future." Who needs the Nevsky Cathedral when you can get a guinea pig to predict your future?
We paid out the hefty sum of about 25 cents.  The man pulled out a box of of cards wrapped in very thin paper, very similar to that box of cards containing the god-awfully impossible questions in Trivial Pursuit.  He held the box in front of the guinea pig.  The pig leapt onto it and began to rifle through the cards with his front legs.  He suddenly stopped, bit down onto a single card with his teeth, and pulled it out for the man to take.  He unwrapped the divinely inspired/randomly selected card and proudly presented it to us. 
Unfortunately, they'll never know what was in their future, as the card was in Bulgarian. If any of our readers happen to visit Bulgaria, keep an eye out for fortune-telling piggies, and make sure you have a way to actually read the card!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yu Choy?

Yu choy goes by several alternative names, including: "Green Choy Sum, Choisum, You Cai, Cai Hua, Yai Tsoi, Caisin, Flowering White Cabbage, Mock Pak-Choi or False Pak-Choi." We're going to stick with Yu Choy, which is what Blue Apron calls it. It's popular in China, and is similar to Bok Choy. According to the diet expert at Guineapigcages.com, yu choy is "similar to broccoli and contains high amounts of A and moderate amounts of calcium ... It can... be fed once or twice a week in small portions."

Yu choy is also the latest in a series of new foods we've been able to try, thanks to our human's subscription to Blue Apron. Keep up that cooking thing you guys like to do, humans!
This is yu choy (image source: specialtyproduce.com).

Not bad.

What do you think, Lola?

Not bad.
Before giving our rating, I'd like to provide a disclaimer. The pictures above show way more Yu choy on our plates than we're actually supposed to eat. The humans would have taken it away well before we ate anywhere close to that amount. It makes for better photos if you're actually able to see the food we're eating, but we don't want anyone thinking this is actually the proper amount to feed your guinea pig.

Now, back to our review. Lola got a little bored and wandered off after a minute of munching on Yu choy. I was a bigger fan of it, but eventually got bored as well. It's not a bad food, but it's no carrots. And the health warnings about vitamin A and calcium should also be taken into consideration. We'll give Yu Choy 3/5 stars!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Guinea Pig World Records, Part 2

Last year, we posted about some interesting guinea pig world records, including the oldest guinea pig, the longest jumper, the highest jumper, and the fastest runner. It looks like another guinea pig world record may be on the verge of being set:
This is Ginger. She might be famous soon! (image source: Union Leader)
Ginger is a guinea pig who lives with her human, Briana Drouin, in Hooksett, NH. Just this month, Ginger gave birth to 10 baby piggies at Northside Animal Hospital. While 2 of the 10 were stillborn, the other 8 are alive and thriving so far. Their names are: Bean, Coffee, Ginger Jr., Peanut, Almond, Coco, Chocolate and Brownie Jr. Ginger's human Briana was quite surprised, as she was told to expect about 3 baby guinea pigs.

Briana thinks that Ginger may have broken the world record for the largest litter of guinea pigs. The previous she record she found was 9 baby guinea pigs, set in 1992 in Australia. Guinness is investigating, and it will probably take them a few weeks to verify if this is a new record or not.

If you live close to NH, be aware that Briana will be putting them up for adoption. It could be a chance to take home an adorable piece of guinea pig history!