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Checking heft on a pig who dislikes being touched

Eddie & Elvis

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Hi everyone πŸ‘‹
I'm looking for some advice on checking the heft of one of my piggies, Elvis. I weigh him and his brother every week and they both are a steady weigh with only the usual weekly fluctuations.
It's easy to feel for Eddie's spine and hips as he is fine being stroked but Elvis not so much. Occasionally he tolerates a quick stroke of his head but that's about it. If I go down his back or sides he does a little jump to get out of the way of my hand. On the rare occasion I am allowed a quick stroke it's obvious he is chunkier around the back of his head than Eddie though Eddie is a slimmer piggy at around 900g. Elvis is just over 1000g usually around 1030g or something like that.
I've read the weight and heft guinea and looking at him from the top his body is the correct shape ie slimmer at the front than his bum.
Is there any way I can feel for his spine and hips and ribs? I don't want to make him uncomfortable due to his dislike of being touched. Is it best to just leave him be and just keep weighing him weekly as normal?

Thanks πŸ™‚
 

Betsy

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Have you tried the piggy whispering techniques? This talks to your piggy in a language they understand in a non-threatening way. You do feel silly doing some of them as you don't usually speak piggy. Make sure no one is around when you do some of them. They really work. I have used them. The most useful one I found was to talk as you approach them as a predator is silent.
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
 

Eddie & Elvis

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I talk to them a lot too, saying hi as I go by and when I'm sat with them. They've started coming up to me when I say hi it's so sweet πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
 

Eddie & Elvis

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On a bit of a side note is it normal for Elvis to jump when I touch his back?
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone πŸ‘‹
I'm looking for some advice on checking the heft of one of my piggies, Elvis. I weigh him and his brother every week and they both are a steady weigh with only the usual weekly fluctuations.
It's easy to feel for Eddie's spine and hips as he is fine being stroked but Elvis not so much. Occasionally he tolerates a quick stroke of his head but that's about it. If I go down his back or sides he does a little jump to get out of the way of my hand. On the rare occasion I am allowed a quick stroke it's obvious he is chunkier around the back of his head than Eddie though Eddie is a slimmer piggy at around 900g. Elvis is just over 1000g usually around 1030g or something like that.
I've read the weight and heft guinea and looking at him from the top his body is the correct shape ie slimmer at the front than his bum.
Is there any way I can feel for his spine and hips and ribs? I don't want to make him uncomfortable due to his dislike of being touched. Is it best to just leave him be and just keep weighing him weekly as normal?

Thanks πŸ™‚

Hi!

"Piggy whispering" can help you in that respect as you are using guinea pig social behaviour and group dynamics to communicate
in a way and social frame that your guinea pigs will totally understand. That is why it is really effective.
You will also need them in order to regularly check the boar bits, the body and weight as part of life-long health monitoring anyway.
Please be aware that you check the heft (individual weight/size ratio) around the ribcage.

Please take the time to read these two guides about piggy whispering and applied uses:
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
Who is the boss - your guinea pig or you?

Weekly weight and health monitoring:
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
Weight - Monitoring and Management (includes how to check for the heft)
Guinea pig body quirks - What is normal and what not?
Boar Care: Bits, Bums & Baths
 

Eddie & Elvis

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Elvis isn't so bad with being touched when I'm holding him. Maybe it because he knows I'm there? He doesn't do the jumping thing as much when I'm holding him either. I'll try holding him or getting someone else to hold him so I can try and feel his ribs.
 

Eddie & Elvis

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I got my mum to hold Elvis while I felt for his ribs and you can feel them nicely but not see them which I believe is what you want.
I also checked his bottom and Eddie's too while I was there. I'll start doing that weekly from now on. I have a habit of checking Elvis's since he had an abscess there but not so much Eddie's but that will change now
 
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