Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Product Review: Kaytee layer cakes

Today we're reviewing Kaytee layer cakes, which we received through Piggies Paradise. These are chew toys that are supposed to "provide a hard source for gnawing and trimming teeth." You may be wondering if Buffy can fairly review a product like this when she's feeling sick, but don't worry. The medicine is helping her feel a bit more like her old self, and I saw her chewing on the log chew toy recently. If these chew toys are any good, she'll probably want to chew on them, too.

Wood chew toys are generally safe as long as they aren't shiny or smooth, which indicates they're coated in a sealant.

Doesn't look like sealants were used.

We're not interested. Got any food for us?
These chew toys just don't interest us. They do look nice, though, so we're thinking we'll leave them in the cage as holiday decorations. We give Kaytee layer cakes 2 out 5 stars!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

How Do You Know When It's Time To Euthanize A Guinea Pig?

The humans have had to make a lot of hard decisions lately surrounding Buffy's health. A few weeks ago, they brought her in to the vet after she had been exhibiting lethargy and had been losing weight. An X-Ray revealed a uterine tumor that the vet diagnosed as cancer. They sent her home with some medicine, and told them to bring her back in in a few weeks. She had started to gain weight on the medicine at first, but after the course of treatment ended, her symptoms reappeared.

When the humans brought her back in, the vet explained that she wasn't a good candidate for surgery and gave them two options: to euthanize her, or to send her home with some painkillers and other meds to make her more comfortable.

The sad truth is, every guinea pig owner will have to face this question at one point or another; it's part of owning any pet (except for maybe a bird, some of which can outlive their human owners). The humans decided not to euthanize her just yet, and brought her back home, where I have been sleeping next to her and watching over her every day.

I've been sleeping next to Buffy, guarding her pigloo while she rests.
I will chitter at anyone who gets too close to her.
Buffy is in what can be considered a guinea pig hospice at this point, and the humans have been providing her with palliative care. She has regained a bit of weight now that she's back on the meds, but still has to have Critical Care a few times per day. She isn't in any obvious pain, and still enjoys coming out of her pigloo for treats and to hang out with me.

So how do you know what the right decision is under these difficult circumstances? The right decision in a situation where all of the options are bad is the decision you can live with. The humans didn't feel that putting Buffy down at that point was the right call because even though her condition is terminal, she isn't in pain, and with the meds, she can still enjoy nibbling on a blueberry, following me around, and chin scratches.

With Lola, the humans knew it was the right time because she was unable to eat on her own or with assisted feedings, and was in obvious pain on her last day. In that circumstances, it was the humane thing to do. But with Buffy, she isn't quite at that point yet, and the humans are committed to ensuring that her remaining time is as comfortable and happy as can be.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Guinea Pig Attractions Around the World: Cavy Village in the Netherlands

We recently mentioned some guinea pig-related attractions for your humans when they decide to go on vacation. Here's another guinea pig attraction we wanted to bring to your attention: the Cavy Village in Bakkeveen, The Netherlands. The Cavy Village provides a shelter for guinea pigs whose owners can't care for them anymore. In addition, according to their website, "the village has an entertaining and educative function. Thanks to the presence of the many guinea pigs, the chicken and the geese, the cavy-village is well worth a visit."

Watch this video about the village from Vice (make sure you turn on closed-captions if you don't speak Dutch):

Good job, Netherlands! We think every country should have a Cavy Village.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Guinea Pig Attractions Around the World: Nagasaki Bridge and Bogota Races

Many humans like to travel the world on vacations. It's just something they do, and no amount of wheeking can stop them. It's generally best to just let them go do their travel since there are lots of issues with flying if you're a guinea pig. (Just make sure they make proper arrangements for your care while they're out of town!)

If your human has decided they need a vacation but don't know where to go, here are a couple guinea pig themed attractions you can suggest to them to make sure they're thinking of you while they're gone:

Nagasaki Bio Park

If your humans decide to visit Japan, you have to tell them about this place at Nagasaki's Zoo and Botanical Garden. As described by their website, "You can see the adorable going home rush of guinea pigs on the bridge." This attraction is so cool that Parry Gripp made a song about it:

Bogota Guinea Pig Races

As described in the book Forty Five Ways to Feel Alive: "A super cute form of gambling has hit the streets of Colombia, it is called Guinea Pig racing. A number of small colored plastic huts are lined up at one end of the street and spectators place bets on which ones the guinea pigs will run into."

Here's a video of one of these races:

While this is cute, we'd like to know more about how the guinea pigs are treated before fully recommending this one. (If anyone has more information on these races, please let us know in the comments section.)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Buffy Status Update

While we would have liked to have provided you with another food review, product review, etc. by now, it's hard to think about those kinds of things when Buffy is sick like this. So for now, we're just going to give you a status update on Buffy.

The original discharge instructions said that we should have our humans contact the vet if Buffy doesn't improve in 3-5 days. Fortunately, she seems to be getting better. The humans have been diligently feeding Buffy her Critical Care and medicines, and for the past few days, her weight has been going up:
  • 12/2/15 = 727
  • 12/3/15 = 731
  • 12/4/15 = 747
  • 12/5/15 = 755
Hopefully, her increasing weight means that we can shift our attention from the partial GI stasis to the uterine mass. The next steps are for the humans to call the vet with a status update, and to schedule a recheck examination soon to "reevaluate the suspected reproductive tract mass/pathology." 
Glad to see you're not too sick for floor time with me, Buffy!
Let's hope the good news keeps coming so we can get back to reviewing products that you might be considering getting your guinea pig for the holidays!