Monday, January 25, 2016

Product Review: Critical Care with Apple and Banana

Most of the products we review are intended for use by all guinea pigs (whether or not they should actually be used by them, or will actually be enjoyed by them, is a separate question). Today's review will be of a different kind of product: Oxbow Critical Care, Apple Banana flavor. As the package states, this product is a "premium recovery food which can given to herbivores with poor nutritional status resulting from illness or surgery."

I do like Oxbow, apples, and bananas. But not being sick.
I'd probably prefer it if I didn't have to use a product like this, but seeing as how I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, this product has made a huge difference. It's really helped to keep my weight stable.

Critical Care comes in a powder, which has to be mixed with water into a soupy paste before you use it.
The humans have learned to only give me one unit of the syringe at a time, and then wait a while for me to finish eating it before giving more. Any more than that, and it will spill out of my mouth. They then try to wipe off my chin with a tissue, and I can't help but trying to eat the tissue, which frustrates and baffles the humans. (Have you ever tried chewing on a tissue? They're loads of fun to chew! I guess it's just a guinea pig things that humans don't understand. Like how we don't get you humans chewing gum.)
It's not bad.
Critical Care is definitely no carrot--I wouldn't recommend just eating it as a treat. But as a guinea pig food for medical purposes, it works great. The taste is okay, and more importantly, it helps me keep my weight up; my weight had gone down to 607 grams at one point, and now I'm able to keep it at around 800 grams. And for this very important reason, Critical Care with Apple and Banana gets 5/5 stars!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Where Guinea Pigs Came From: The Montane Guinea Pig

We've talked a bit about guinea pig history in the past. You may remember that guinea pigs had a giant ancestor called Josephoartigasia monesi about 4 - 2 million years ago, and that we were eventually domesticated and began showing up in Peruvian art around 200 AD. Between those two times, we had a wild ancestor that we were most likely domesticated from called the Montane guinea pig (Cavia tschudii), also known as Tschudi's Cavy or cuy silvestre in Spanish. Unlike that giant ancestor, the Montane guinea pig is still around today:

A black and white photo of one from 1964. (Source) Looks like he's about to wheek about something.

Artwork by Ed Stauffacher. (Source) Looks like he's on the move for food.
Image from Foobie. (Source) Looks like he's wondering what that human with the camera is up to.
Here's a video of a trapped Montane guinea pig in Tanti, Argentina. He doesn't seem to like being in a cage, and the boy lets him out at the end.

Although we look very similar to the Montane guinea pig, "the domestic guinea pig has a somewhat more pointed, narrower skull that the wild tschudii." The Montaine guinea pig can be found in Peru, Chile, and Argentina, and the coloration varies by location: "in Peru the dorsal fur is dark reddish-brown mixed with black, and the underparts are dark buffy-grey; in Chile the dorsal surface is pale agouti brown with paler underparts; in Bolivia, the upper parts are agouti olive and the underparts creamy-white or white." When you look at some of the above examples, you can see the color differences and might be able to guess where they're from.

If you're ever in Peru, Chile or Argentina, say hi to our adorable living ancestor for us!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Product Review: Grreat Choice Small Pet Chew Ring

That's not a typo in the post title--at least, not on our part. The company that makes this is product is actually called "Grreat Choice," because nothing says you've chosen well than buying from a company with a typo in their name.

Okay, maybe we're not being fair. We shouldn't judge a product just based on the company name, right? It could turn out to be a great product. A "grreat" product, even. (Sorry, couldn't help ourselves!)

Anyway, today we're reviewing Grreat Choice Small Pet Chew Ring, which claims to "support positive chewing behaviors" and "help reduce boredom." Let's check it out:

Do I want to chew on this thing?
Nah, I'm not interested, and neither is she.
When the humans saw that neither of us were interested, they hung it up in our cage in case we'd change our minds. We didn't. We'll give this product 2/5 stars since just like the Kaytee layer cakes, it seems to be safe to chew on, but we just have no interest in doing so. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pomelos?

Before we get into our review, we'd like to give a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all our readers. The humans have been pretty busy with holiday stuff and feeding Buffy her meds and Critical Care, so they haven't been fetching us new stuff to review nearly as often as we would have liked. Today, we had to wheek our insistence that today's the day we finally review something new. As it turned out, this worked and we got ourselves a new fruit. Looks like 2016 is off to a good start!

Today, we're going to review pomelos (AKA shaddock, pummelo, etc.). Pomelos are a really big citrus fruit. How big, you ask? So big that people have made hats out of them.
That's a big fruit!
You might be thinking that pomelos look similar to grapefruits. As it turns out, there's a really good reason for that. Grapefruits are actually hybrids between pomelos and oranges. We'd advise feeding pomelos in the same amount and frequency as grapefruit: only give part of a section to each pig occasionally as a treat. Only feed us the flesh, not the peel, and be sure that there are no seeds in the parts you give us.

Tastes like grapefruit without the bitterness.
You've been sick lately, so I won't try to steal any from you. Go ahead.
Pomelos are sweet, juicy, and really tasty. Therefore, they get 5/5 stars!