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Cataract guinea pigs

Brackenwolf1

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I have just been told that my male rescued guinea pig has advanced cataract in both eyes and I was wondering if the vets could do anything about it as he is only about 3 years old.
Also, he is on his own at present and I was wondering if I should get him a companion as he has a really chilled personality?
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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@Wiebke @furryfriends (TEAS)

I dont know for sure. But i do know guinea pigs can live a good life without any vision atall.

Def get him a companion. It will help alot with your bad vision pig to get around and feel safe. But dont just buy and hope for the best at a petshop. Go to a rescue that does guinea pig boar dating.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Sadly there is nothing that can be done for cataracts but please don’t let him miss out on having a friend. My late Emma had cataracts too and lived a perfectly normal and happy life with her friends
My old boar pip had a cataract in one eye. He lived fine like it too
 

Wiebke

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I have just been told that my male rescued guinea pig has advanced cataract in both eyes and I was wondering if the vets could do anything about it as he is only about 3 years old.
Also, he is on his own at present and I was wondering if I should get him a companion as he has a really chilled personality?
Hi!

Unfortunately, cataracts are not treatable in guinea pigs, but sight is thankfully the weakest of the guinea pig senses and they adopt well to the loss of it after a transition period. There are two kinds of cataract. the more common ones are old age cataracts, but some guinea pigs are also born with the disposition of developing cataracts at a young age (congenital cataracts); this generally happens during their second year of life but at the extreme a guinea pig can already be born with cataracts.

Just treat him like normal, but emphasise interaction and stimulation that appeals to the other senses - hearing, smell, touch etc.
Please give your boy an audio cue if you are touching him, picking him up and taking him somewhere; ideally create a little phrase with a special cadence for regular actions and also picture them in your mind. In my own experience with a number of cataract piggies, that helps a lot.
He has learned to compensate with his other senses by now and will orient himself by scent and touch. changing the layout is not a problem, as long as you do not wipe any furnishings clean. My cataract piggies were able to use shallow ramps as long as they were covered in a good scent holding material like a carpet offcut and had a little side rail. All my cataract ladies were up and down to the mezzanine and never had a dodgy moment.
My Mischief even learned to rebuild her mental map of the garden, did free-roam (under my supervision of course) and even learned to walk herself back into the run under her own steam as long as I was standing next to the flap and kept a steady stream of vocal feedback going as to whether she was going right or wrong. Occasionally she would suddenly veer off. If she got confused and could not reorient herself, I would go and pick her up, but more often than not, she could come to me over the distance of several yards. Of course, this didn't happen overnight and was a process that took several months. It also required a high level of trust from both sides.


Company would be great! If at all possible, I would recommend to rescue date your boy at a good standard rescue for a suitable gentle companion boar; not necessarily a baby.
In my own time, I had a dedicated cataract sow group from bereaved cataract sows that failed to integrate with the residential herd of not adoptable sows but bonded at my house over their shared disability. I never forget watching kind second-in-command Taffy, nearly blind with cataracts herself and on the brink of losing her position in the large Tribe group coming up to fear-agressive new arrival Tegyd and licking her badly affected cataract eye - that is one of the key moments I ever witnessed in with all my piggies. From that moment on, Tegyd was her best friend. When Tegyd struggled to cope with the big group, I split her and Taffy off and dated them with a gentle neutered boar at a local rescue. Unlike with the dominant Tribe boar, Tegyd clicked with the new boy instantly and they three because a very firmly bonded trio, later joined by another bereaved and 'unbondable' cataract sow in need of an emergency space due to a large multi-rescue action underway where every free rescue space was needed. As soon as Mali realised that the other two girls had the same disability as she had, she just fitted in and wanted to belong! Terfel devoted his life to looking after them all; he followed them to the Rainbow Bridge only three weeks after the last of wives had passed away.
A good rescue will be willing to help you find the perfect partner for your boy.

You can find pictures and videos of my cataract group and of their bonding in my singles guide: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
And also pictures with cataract piggies in my enrichment guide: Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

Here are our boar and bonding guides, which you also may find helpful:
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

You can find links to recommended vetted good standard rescues from several countries that allow you bring your boy for dating in several of the guides.
 

Brackenwolf1

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Hi!

Unfortunately, cataracts are not treatable in guinea pigs, but sight is thankfully the weakest of the guinea pig senses and they adopt well to the loss of it after a transition period. There are two kinds of cataract. the more common ones are old age cataracts, but some guinea pigs are also born with the disposition of developing cataracts at a young age (congenital cataracts); this generally happens during their second year of life but at the extreme a guinea pig can already be born with cataracts.

Just treat him like normal, but emphasise interaction and stimulation that appeals to the other senses - hearing, smell, touch etc.
Please give your boy an audio cue if you are touching him, picking him up and taking him somewhere; ideally create a little phrase with a special cadence for regular actions and also picture them in your mind. In my own experience with a number of cataract piggies, that helps a lot.
He has learned to compensate with his other senses by now and will orient himself by scent and touch. changing the layout is not a problem, as long as you do not wipe any furnishings clean. My cataract piggies were able to use shallow ramps as long as they were covered in a good scent holding material like a carpet offcut and had a little side rail. All my cataract ladies were up and down to the mezzanine and never had a dodgy moment.
My Mischief even learned to rebuild her mental map of the garden, did free-roam (under my supervision of course) and even learned to walk herself back into the run under her own steam as long as I was standing next to the flap and kept a steady stream of vocal feedback going as to whether she was going right or wrong. Occasionally she would suddenly veer off. If she got confused and could not reorient herself, I would go and pick her up, but more often than not, she could come to me over the distance of several yards. Of course, this didn't happen overnight and was a process that took several months. It also required a high level of trust from both sides.


Company would be great! If at all possible, I would recommend to rescue date your boy at a good standard rescue for a suitable gentle companion boar; not necessarily a baby.
In my own time, I had a dedicated cataract sow group from bereaved cataract sows that failed to integrate with the residential herd of not adoptable sows but bonded at my house over their shared disability. I never forget watching kind second-in-command Taffy, nearly blind with cataracts herself and on the brink of losing her position in the large Tribe group coming up to fear-agressive new arrival Tegyd and licking her badly affected cataract eye - that is one of the key moments I ever witnessed in with all my piggies. From that moment on, Tegyd was her best friend. When Tegyd struggled to cope with the big group, I split her and Taffy off and dated them with a gentle neutered boar at a local rescue. Unlike with the dominant Tribe boar, Tegyd clicked with the new boy instantly and they three because a very firmly bonded trio, later joined by another bereaved and 'unbondable' cataract sow in need of an emergency space due to a large multi-rescue action underway where every free rescue space was needed. As soon as Mali realised that the other two girls had the same disability as she had, she just fitted in and wanted to belong! Terfel devoted his life to looking after them all; he followed them to the Rainbow Bridge only three weeks after the last of wives had passed away.
A good rescue will be willing to help you find the perfect partner for your boy.

You can find pictures and videos of my cataract group and of their bonding in my singles guide: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
And also pictures with cataract piggies in my enrichment guide: Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

Here are our boar and bonding guides, which you also may find helpful:
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

You can find links to recommended vetted good standard rescues from several countries that allow you bring your boy for dating in several of the guides.
Thanks, I do give verbal cues when I pick him up, feed him, come into his cage or start cleaning him out. He has just been moved into a bigger cage and it hasn’t taken him long to pick up a mental map of the new environment.
I think I will contact the rspca this week to see if hey have any pigs that might be suitable. He is adapting well but I am worried about him being put in another new place environment while pairing with another pig as I have had to show him where his water was after he looked for it for about 30 mins. I might just ask the rescue centre to make sure he knows where his food and water is.
 

Wiebke

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Thanks, I do give verbal cues when I pick him up, feed him, come into his cage or start cleaning him out. He has just been moved into a bigger cage and it hasn’t taken him long to pick up a mental map of the new environment.
I think I will contact the rspca this week to see if hey have any pigs that might be suitable. He is adapting well but I am worried about him being put in another new place environment while pairing with another pig as I have had to show him where his water was after he looked for it for about 30 mins. I might just ask the rescue centre to make sure he knows where his food and water is.
Hi!
Please be aware that the RSPCA does NOT offer boar-boar dating as matter of policy. They only rehome neutered boars with sows, so unless your boy is neutered, no can do unfortunately. The same goes for the Blue Cross. :(

Below is our UK rescue list of good standard guinea pig rescues we can vouch for; we can't for any places not listed on it. You can find it on the top bar: Recommended Guinea Pig Rescues
All the private rescues on the list offer boar dating. In the end it is always down to mutual liking and personality compatibility long before age, so allowing your boy to choose his new friend himself is the best gift you can make him because you can never really predict that.
I have seen too many perfect matches on paper fail in reality and oddball cases work out. When taking a piggy of mine dating, I have more often come home with a different match to the one that I had a reservation on than getting my piggies' preferences right!
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Hi!
Please be aware that the RSPCA does NOT offer boar-boar dating as matter of policy. They only rehome neutered boars with sows, so unless your boy is neutered, no can do unfortunately. The same goes for the Blue Cross. :(

Below is our UK rescue list of good standard guinea pig rescues we can vouch for; we can't for any places not listed on it. You can find it on the top bar: Recommended Guinea Pig Rescues
All the private rescues on the list offer boar dating. In the end it is always down to mutual liking and personality compatibility long before age, so allowing your boy to choose his new friend himself is the best gift you can make him because you can never really predict that.
I have seen too many perfect matches on paper fail in reality and oddball cases work out. When taking a piggy of mine dating, I have more often come home with a different match to the one that I had a reservation on than getting my piggies' preferences right!
Our local RSPCA neuter all boars but will rehome them to live with another boar and offers a bonding service too.
 

Freela

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Unfortunately there is not much to be done with cataracts in pigs, but fortunately guinea pigs do not rely much on sight and will do fine with low or no vision. I've had two pigs develop cataracts and both did fine after an adjustment period, although they got more anxious about some things, like getting in and out of the cage on their own. Actually Hadley, my current cataract pig, is still the boss of Leela, even though Leela sees just fine.
Company would be great for him (and all pigs) and hopefully you can ensure a good match with another mellow pig for him to bond with. Having a sighted pig to follow may help him as well.
 
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