Thursday, March 31, 2016

Introducing Lola (#2)

Well, hello there, humans! I'm Lola. I know this must be confusing for you since one of the founders of this blog was also named Lola. I'm a different Lola.

I'm two years old, and I belonged to a wonderful family where I was cared for especially by Sophia, a 10-year-old girl who likes soccer and was the best guinea pig owner around. Sophia took amazing care of me, held and pet me, and gave me all the treats and attention I deserve. But when Sophia and her family got a new puppy, she realized that the puppy was going to need a lot of attention and training, and that living in a house with a dog would be hard for me to adjust to. Sophia and her family made the brave decision to do what was best for me and find me a new home, which was hard both for me and for the family. But while I am sad to leave, I am very excited to live with other guinea pigs for the first time.

The humans are planning on introducing me to their other pigs Buffy and Broccoli eventually, but it's important that I first go through a quarantine period. The quarantine period is an important step to take when introducing guinea pigs to each other, because it allows the pigs have a chance to get to know one another through sight and smell. Broccoli seems especially curious about me. It's also very important for ensuring that medical problems aren't spread.

Hi over there! Can't wait to meet you!
The other thing the humans did was to get me a checkup at the vet. I hadn't been to a vet before so I wasn't sure what it entailed and was calm during the car ride, but I quickly learned that going to the vet is not fun! They poke you and look really close at you, and shine lights in your face to make sure you're healthy.

The vets said that I am in great health, but that I should start taking some vitamin C, and they recommended some shots before I am introduced to the other pigs as a preventative measure. 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.

Here's me at the vet getting an exam.
The vet shines a light in my ears and nose to make sure I'm healthy.
I am so excited to share my piggie adventures with you! You'll be hearing more from me soon.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Product Review: Ecotrition Yogies Treats

It's time for another suspected bad product review. Sadly, there seems to be no shortage of junk products for guinea pigs out there, so we have plenty of material to post about. We'd rather be telling you about awesome products, but hopefully our bad product reviews will save some guinea pigs from eating things they shouldn't be eating.

Today we're reviewing Ecotrition Yogies Treats:

What the heck are those pink globs?
As usual with suspected bad products, we had the humans take pictures at the store and then we researched the product. If our research found nothing wrong with it, then we'd send the humans back out to buy it. However, it was pretty obvious in this case that Yogies are filled with garbage ingredients:

That's what's in the pink globs? Are you kidding me?
Let's review a few of these ingredients :

It should come as no surprise that we're giving Ecotrition Yogies 1/5 stars. We much prefer carrots!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Calabaza Squash?

Calabaza squash is a winter squash that looks a lot like a pumpkin. When it comes to winter squash like calabaza, we can have it 2-4 times per week. Don't feed us the stem, skin, seeds or stringy parts around the seeds. Just feed us some raw cubes of the orange flesh.

Just the cubes. That's the good stuff!
By the way, the seeds can be toasted and eaten by your humans if you don't want to waste the parts we can't eat. Calabaza can also get as big as watermelons, so your humans will probably have to eat some of the orange flesh as well. There are plenty of recipes out there for them to use.

Calabaza squash tastes a lot like butternut squash, which we also liked. Therefore, it should be no surprise that calabaza squash gets 5/5 stars!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Guinea Pig World Records

Although she doesn't do it as much anymore given her age and health condition, Buffy used to be quite a jumper. She'd jump up on top of pigloos and the platform on the smaller cage. Thinking about this got me wondering what the world record is for guinea pig jumps, which then got me thinking about guinea pig world records in general.

Here are some fun guinea pig world records:
If you think you can beat any of these records, you can register at the Guinness website. If you succeed, you'll be immortalized alongside Truffles and the others. (That is, until the next record-breaking guinea pig comes along!)

I wonder if there are any awards that we would qualify for. I don't think either of us can outrun or out-jump these piggies. Maybe if there was a "longest-running awesome blog written by guinea pigs" category?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Antibiotics and the Guinea Pig Microbiome

After the vet diagnosed me with a uterine mass that was most likely cancer, I was put on a variety of different medicines. Several weeks ago, I was able to stop taking the Enroflaxacin, which is an antibiotic. Antibiotics are a type of medicine that you have to be careful with. Part of the reason for this is that the overuse of antibiotics can give rise to bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, making them less effective of a treatment.

There's another reason you need to be careful with antibiotics, though. Antibiotics work by targeting bacterial cells in your body, but not all bacteria are bad. Your body has friendly bacteria in it that do good things that help keep you healthy; for example, some good bacteria can help your body digest things that it wouldn't be able to digest on its own. Also, when the friendly bacteria are killed off, that leaves room for other bad bacteria to move in and multiply. For example, humans who take antibiotics for too long may kill off the friendly bacteria in their intestines, and a bad bacteria called clostridium difficile can move in and cause nausea, inflammation, and other symptoms. 

This ecosystem of bacteria living inside our bodies is called the microbiome. According to a scientific study, the guinea pig microbiome has even greater "bacterial richness" than humans! There's still a lot we don't understand about how the microbiome works, but there are a couple things that do seem clear. First, it's probably good to eat a varied diet to encourage microbiome diversity. Second, you'll want to be careful with antibiotics, and only take them when necessary, and only for as long as necessary.

Check out this colorful, tasty salad. I like helping my microbiome!
And so does Broccoli (om nom nom)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Review: Guinea Pig Pride & Prejudice

We don't usually do book reviews on Cavy Savvy. Unlike blogs. books are made of paper, and paper is way too tempting to chew on. However. today we're going to make an exception this time and review A Guinea Pig Pride & Prejudice.

The original Pride and Prejudice, according to Wikipedia, "is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency."

Is it just us, or is anyone else starting to feel a little sleepy just from reading that sentence? And the actual text of the story isn't any better. Fortunately. in the guinea pig version, we have pictures of guinea pigs in costumes to liven up this musty old story:

We would have preferred a more interesting story, and frankly don't understand why the original Pride and Prejudice did so well among so many humans. Fortunately, we do understand and appreciate the great guinea pig costumes in the guinea pig version! We'll give Guinea Pig Pride & Prejudice 4 out of 5 stars!