Age unknown guinea pigs

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After many weeks of searching I have found 2 RSPCA guinea pigs for adoption. My worry is that they are age unknown as they were removed from a multi-animal house. The information I have on them is " Both girls gave birth shortly after arriving and have spent some time in foster while they were raising their young. Both guinea pigs are friendly but can be a little shy at times so need to gain a bit of confidence in their new home. As they are bonded, they need to be rehomed together. " I know we will have the patience to give them confidence but what I am worried about is that we get them and they die quickly due to old age. We recently lost our rabbit after 8 happy years and my daughter is still getting over that loss so another one relatively soon would not be good for us. Part of me thinks that if the RSPCA though they were pretty old they wouldn't want the guinea pigs to go through the further trauma of settling into a new home. What do people think?
 

Wiebke

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After many weeks of searching I have found 2 RSPCA guinea pigs for adoption. My worry is that they are age unknown as they were removed from a multi-animal house. The information I have on them is " Both girls gave birth shortly after arriving and have spent some time in foster while they were raising their young. Both guinea pigs are friendly but can be a little shy at times so need to gain a bit of confidence in their new home. As they are bonded, they need to be rehomed together. " I know we will have the patience to give them confidence but what I am worried about is that we get them and they die quickly due to old age. We recently lost our rabbit after 8 happy years and my daughter is still getting over that loss so another one relatively soon would not be good for us. Part of me thinks that if the RSPCA though they were pretty old they wouldn't want the guinea pigs to go through the further trauma of settling into a new home. What do people think?
Hi!

'Age unknown' usually means that your girls are fully grown adults, past teenage but not elderly - that would be described as 'mature'. As they have both given birth without problems, I would personally put them most likely around 2-3 years, so you should hopefully get some more years out of them as the average life span is 5-7 years. For piggies from a really bad background, I usually count every year beyond 4 years as a bonus but most of mine have lived a normal life span irrespective of their background (of which some have been every bit as horrendous as they come!)

With your love, patience and good care, your girls will be more likely to realise their full potential - and that is what you are aiming at.
I have and have had quite a number of piggies from neglect situations like yours; they have still lived a perfectly normal life span and often lived as some of the longest lived of their particular rescue bunch, including some sows having given birth repeatedly.
Keep in mind that the adult piggies in any neglect situation are petty much the tough ones and the survivors. The really old and frail ones as well as the ones with long term medical issues will generally stay on at the rescue or in foster care as permanent residents and will not be put up for adoption in the first place.

Please also keep in mind that your pets are always just on loan on a contract that can be revoked at any time without notice. It is never so much the length of time but the quality of time and the joy of life you provide and get back that makes the real difference. I have lost youngsters to sudden acute heart failure after less time with me than a fair number of the oldies I have adopted aged 4-7 years to give them a happy retirement after the loss of their companions - and my, have the oldies rediscovered their zest of life and lived longer than they would have done otherwise; often beyond the average life span to 8 or 9 years old!
I still can't think of my Bryn Oscar (who didn't listen to either name) without a big grin. He was here for only one year, but it still feels like five - he just packed a life time's worth of fun cutting a swathe through my old ladies, escaping from his pen at every opportunity (it ended up looking like Fort Knox), working up the other younger husboars in the other pens and being full of mischief quite generally, but also very caring of any of his frail ladies when they were not well or coming to the end of their own lives. So much for a 'sad old gent stuck in rescue'! He was 5 years when I adopted him as a no longer wanted widower and 6 years old when he died in 2013...
Give me a real oldie anytime - they know a loving home when they see one and repay you hundredfold!

Use our whispering tips to make friends with them more quickly and to reassure them that they have come to a safe place where they are welcome and part of your herd. give them the space to come round at their own speed and use enrichment to grow into their own and grow the roots for the trust that need to dig deep before the tender plant can shoot up and flourish. If they can be confident to tell you what they like or not and when they have had enough, then you are giving them a precious gift - and get a precious gift back because guinea pigs are soo much more than just the animated cuddly toys they are reduced to on social media because they are entirely human and not cavy driven and are all too often not a realistic depiction of life with piggies.

PS: You can always ask the rescue whether they can narrow the age down a little bit more but it is difficult to narrow it down after teenage and old age.
 

PigglePuggle

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Great advice there as always from @Wiebke and I too would have thought that if both girls successfully gave birth to live babies with no complications so soon after arriving at the RSPCA they are unlikely to be older than 2 or 3.
Sometimes piggies that seem a bit haggard after a background of neglect really regain their youthful vigour in a better home, when we brought home Clover and Jezzy they were obese after a life of overfeeding in a tiny hamster cage, they were supposedly 2 years old but seemed much older... couldnt waddle 6 ft without getting out of breath and needing a rest, too fat to clean themselves, no muscle tone, awful feet as they didnt have space to lie down in the hamster cage... now 2 years later they must be at least 4 years old but are lively and healthy and zoom about the place just as much as the younger piggies half their age!
I think if these girls were really obviously seniors or had any health worries they would have stayed in foster care rather than being up for rehoming. Best of luck!
 
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