Concern for a Facebook group

anyar.dris

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
3,660
Reaction score
14,230
Points
1,775
Location
North Wales, UK
I also avoid FB groups now. The only groups I have are books group. I had experience in the past of linking this forum to a post for advice, and an admin removed my post saying no outside links allowed and was warned. So I left that group. Another group was a poster kept on posting her small guinea pig cage and being defensive about it. Loads are saying that her cage was fine since she gives them floor times anyways. I left that group as well. I stopped responding to a rescue's FB group coz even there, loads are giving misinformation. I'm only active in this forum now.

My hubby has been keeping guinea pigs for years and he used to house 2 boars in Ferplast 100. During the day though, he used to put them in the green house where the piggies have another enclosure. When I arrived in the UK in 2011, we bought our newly adopted sows a 2-floor hutch after living a couple of months in the small cage, thinking the hutch was better and bigger. Then I started letting them run in a small area of our living room. Eventually I started attaching a C&C cage at the bottom of the hutch and using the fleece you can buy from shops as bedding. When I joined the forum, I read about how piggies needed a bigger cage and that there are loads of ways I can use C&C and fleece. From then, our current setup evolved. My piggies were free roaming already though before I joined here, so at least it gave me relief that I was doing a good thing giving them maximum space, even if hubby refused at first. I stopped him putting the piggies in the green house because it's so tedious cleaning the piggy area there and I can't see the piggies during the day.
 

Nooberdog

New Born Pup
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
69
Reaction score
119
Points
210
Location
Canada
Animal groups on Facebook are the absolute worst. I joined a group for the Atlantic provinces which had a few thousand members. Most people had their pigs in horribly small, store-bought cages. If anybody mentioned that the cages were too small, a bunch of people would comment essentially “well my guinea pig lived until 8 and he lived in a small cage his whole life and he was happy!”. Trying to provide logic or reason was always fruitless. I also remember one user who fed her lone guinea pig apples every day and as a result, it got what I assumed were acidic burns on its mouth. Some people recommended going to the vet but most of the responses were natural home remedies which didn’t make much sense. I do not participate in these settings any longer!
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
4,241
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
The problem with social media is that anyone can say anything and it's often impossible to say what's useful information and what's garbage. I haven't tried joining any Facebook animal groups, but I've perused a couple and seen a lot of terrible advice. Some of it's outdated, some of it's nonsense. I'm in Canada and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that small animals are easily replaceable toys for children that aren't worth the money for vet care and as someone who has had rodents and small animals my whole life, that infuriates me. Once on a Facebook friend's post about her child's hamster dying, a friend of hers (not mutual, thank God!) commented on how they got their kid a hamster with the promise that the child would feed it and give it water, and when the child didn't keep up with feeding and watering the animal, they let it die to teach the kid to be more responsible! Like... you let an animal die horribly! I didn't respond to this stranger, but I actually cried... I have hamsters too and the thought of either of them starving to death and dehydrating in misery breaks my heart.
 

Pigwhisperer

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,511
Points
915
Location
Norwich UK
The problem with social media is that anyone can say anything and it's often impossible to say what's useful information and what's garbage. I haven't tried joining any Facebook animal groups, but I've perused a couple and seen a lot of terrible advice. Some of it's outdated, some of it's nonsense. I'm in Canada and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that small animals are easily replaceable toys for children that aren't worth the money for vet care and as someone who has had rodents and small animals my whole life, that infuriates me. Once on a Facebook friend's post about her child's hamster dying, a friend of hers (not mutual, thank God!) commented on how they got their kid a hamster with the promise that the child would feed it and give it water, and when the child didn't keep up with feeding and watering the animal, they let it die to teach the kid to be more responsible! Like... you let an animal die horribly! I didn't respond to this stranger, but I actually cried... I have hamsters too and the thought of either of them starving to death and dehydrating in misery breaks my heart.
That's horrific. I've had 5 hamsters and each had as much personality and individuality as any other animal - I mean can you imagine doing that to a cat or a dog?!
 

Siikibam

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
15,957
Reaction score
19,447
Points
2,125
Location
Kent
The problem with social media is that anyone can say anything and it's often impossible to say what's useful information and what's garbage. I haven't tried joining any Facebook animal groups, but I've perused a couple and seen a lot of terrible advice. Some of it's outdated, some of it's nonsense. I'm in Canada and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that small animals are easily replaceable toys for children that aren't worth the money for vet care and as someone who has had rodents and small animals my whole life, that infuriates me. Once on a Facebook friend's post about her child's hamster dying, a friend of hers (not mutual, thank God!) commented on how they got their kid a hamster with the promise that the child would feed it and give it water, and when the child didn't keep up with feeding and watering the animal, they let it die to teach the kid to be more responsible! Like... you let an animal die horribly! I didn't respond to this stranger, but I actually cried... I have hamsters too and the thought of either of them starving to death and dehydrating in misery breaks my heart.
Some people shouldn’t have pets! 🤬
 

AMMAH

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
154
Reaction score
236
Points
330
Location
West Yorkshire
The problem with social media is that anyone can say anything and it's often impossible to say what's useful information and what's garbage. I haven't tried joining any Facebook animal groups, but I've perused a couple and seen a lot of terrible advice. Some of it's outdated, some of it's nonsense. I'm in Canada and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that small animals are easily replaceable toys for children that aren't worth the money for vet care and as someone who has had rodents and small animals my whole life, that infuriates me. Once on a Facebook friend's post about her child's hamster dying, a friend of hers (not mutual, thank God!) commented on how they got their kid a hamster with the promise that the child would feed it and give it water, and when the child didn't keep up with feeding and watering the animal, they let it die to teach the kid to be more responsible! Like... you let an animal die horribly! I didn't respond to this stranger, but I actually cried... I have hamsters too and the thought of either of them starving to death and dehydrating in misery breaks my heart.
OMG that is so awful!
Someone at my work told us that her children had lost the school guinea pig and she thought a fox had taken it. She said "I told them there were foxes around and they still left it out on the grass". I was horrified thinking that she knew the danger but left her primary school children responsible for the guinea pig because she'd warned them! So irresponsible.
 

VeeAngel

New Born Pup
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
52
Points
155
Location
Vancouver, Canada
The problem with social media is that anyone can say anything and it's often impossible to say what's useful information and what's garbage. I haven't tried joining any Facebook animal groups, but I've perused a couple and seen a lot of terrible advice. Some of it's outdated, some of it's nonsense. I'm in Canada also and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that small animals are easily replaceable toys for children that aren't worth the money for vet care and as someone who has had rodents and small animals my whole life, that infuriates me. Once on a Facebook friend's post about her child's hamster dying, a friend of hers (not mutual, thank God!) commented on how they got their kid a hamster with the promise that the child would feed it and give it water, and when the child didn't keep up with feeding and watering the animal, they let it die to teach the kid to be more responsible! Like... you let an animal die horribly! I didn't respond to this stranger, but I actually cried... I have hamsters too and the thought of either of them starving to death and dehydrating in misery breaks my heart.
I totally agree! Also in Canada, and the myth that guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice etc are “children’s pets” that don’t require adult supervision and intervention is very concerning.
One of my coworkers has the two most destructive and badly behaved young kids I’ve ever seen in my life. When I rescued my first two piggies boys, he asked me if he should get guinea pigs for his kids and I was like “please please no”. They require more work, care and attention than adults here will acknowledge...and that only means suffering and possibly death for our small friends. (He ended up getting two kittens...which is probably a better plan as they actually require less daily upkeep, can entertain each other and the parents more understand the need for vet treatment and supervision of the animal care. I still “pray” for these kitties!)
Finding proper medical care and information for small pets here is not easy (nor is it cheap, and lots of parents don’t want to put $100s to medical bills for their “disposable” child’s pet).
 

Hath

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
605
Reaction score
1,010
Points
625
Location
Birmingham. UK
I sometimes wonder what grows out of children after they've seen their parents neglecting and abusing animals... I mean, you can be banned from keeping animals, but you can continue having children... UK's animal laws are very basic and to be prosecuted you have to do something evil, most of the time kids see it.

It's very shocking to hear that Canada is like that. I've considered it to be modern country with resources to provide for their pets. Guessing they've moved to the "consumer stage" use and replace? Very sad...
 

VeeAngel

New Born Pup
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
52
Points
155
Location
Vancouver, Canada
I sometimes wonder what grows out of children after they've seen their parents neglecting and abusing animals... I mean, you can be banned from keeping animals, but you can continue having children... UK's animal laws are very basic and to be prosecuted you have to do something evil, most of the time kids see it.

It's very shocking to hear that Canada is like that. I've considered it to be modern country with resources to provide for their pets. Guessing they've moved to the "consumer stage" use and replace? Very sad...
It’s just a mindset that needs to change. Small pets have long been cheap pet store purchases and classroom teaching animals. I think it is changing...and seems much better now than when I was growing up. We just need to keep reinforcing that animals are not toys or disposable. It would help to have better information at pet stores and rescues about care...and more experienced vets. There are only a handful in Vancouver and it took dedicated effort to find them. I can only imagine in rural locations, it’s basically impossible to find a vet with extensive knowledge of small animal care.
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
4,241
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
I sometimes wonder what grows out of children after they've seen their parents neglecting and abusing animals... I mean, you can be banned from keeping animals, but you can continue having children... UK's animal laws are very basic and to be prosecuted you have to do something evil, most of the time kids see it.

It's very shocking to hear that Canada is like that. I've considered it to be modern country with resources to provide for their pets. Guessing they've moved to the "consumer stage" use and replace? Very sad...
I don't think it's a lack of resources, at least not in urban areas. In rural areas, finding a vet that treats anything but dogs and cats is extremely hard. I think it's more of a societal view that dogs and cats are part of the family, but rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc. are starter pets for kids. Very few houses without small children have these kinds of pets. People buy animals like hamsters for their kids BECAUSE it's a short time investment. There's also a lack of knowledge... I'm in my early 40s, when I was a kid pets here really did not treat exotics. Thing have improved a lot since then... and I know that because, unlike 99% of the people here, I keep keeping small animals as pets even in adulthood. But all the parents of my generation going to a pet store and buying a hamster or guinea pig for their kid probably don't have a clue that they are even able to be treated like a dog or cat would be. I rabbit sat for my friend before the pandemic and asked for her vet info in case there was an emergency, and she said she didn't have one and even if the rabbit got sick, she didn't want to spend more than the price of the rabbit. Apparently she got the rabbit for 40 dollars... a small animal consult at an affordable vet is over 60 dollars, so she was basically telling me that if the rabbit got sick, she did not even want to pay for an assessment (luckily the rabbit was fine.) This same woman would DEFINITELY pay for vet care for her dog. In her mind, the rabbit and the dog are not on the same tier. Trust me, as an adult with older kids (mine are all teenagers), the fact that I have rodents for pets is considered really weird here! I don't even have a more traditional cat/dog pet, rodents is all I've got and believe me, people are surprised that my guinea pigs and hamsters get vet care!
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
4,241
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
It’s just a mindset that needs to change. Small pets have long been cheap pet store purchases and classroom teaching animals. I think it is changing...and seems much better now than when I was growing up. We just need to keep reinforcing that animals are not toys or disposable. It would help to have better information at pet stores and rescues about care...and more experienced vets. There are only a handful in Vancouver and it took dedicated effort to find them. I can only imagine in rural locations, it’s basically impossible to find a vet with extensive knowledge of small animal care.
Just to add, I'm in Ontario rather than BC and it's possible to find exotic pets in the cities/burbs here if you look, but in rural areas- forget about it. If it's not a dog, cat, or livestock, they won't even see it. I also think that vets here are expensive and a lot of people see it as a cost problem- if a new hamster costs 14.99 and a vet consult costs 50 dollars, plus the cost of treatment, it's way cheaper to get a new hamster after the old one dies. Most small animals come from pet stores and most owners get awful information about how to care for them- they go in not thinking that this animal will need medical care, or that there are vets who will see them, and because of that the animals never receive it. Education and attitudes are getting better but still have a way to go!
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
4,241
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
I totally agree! Also in Canada, and the myth that guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice etc are “children’s pets” that don’t require adult supervision and intervention is very concerning.
One of my coworkers has the two most destructive and badly behaved young kids I’ve ever seen in my life. When I rescued my first two piggies boys, he asked me if he should get guinea pigs for his kids and I was like “please please no”. They require more work, care and attention than adults here will acknowledge...and that only means suffering and possibly death for our small friends. (He ended up getting two kittens...which is probably a better plan as they actually require less daily upkeep, can entertain each other and the parents more understand the need for vet treatment and supervision of the animal care. I still “pray” for these kitties!)
Finding proper medical care and information for small pets here is not easy (nor is it cheap, and lots of parents don’t want to put $100s to medical bills for their “disposable” child’s pet).
People are SHOCKED that I pay vet money for the hamsters and guinea pigs. They think I'm crazy. I had one piggie, Sundae, who had ongoing dental/bladder issues and I paid quite a lot in vet bills over the years and people never understood. My daughter's hamster, Carmen, had dental issues in old age and had to get her teeth burred every month or two in her old age... we paid for that until she passed of old age. It was worth it, it gave them more time and a better, more comfortable life. I feel like if I'm bringing a pet into the house (or allowing the kids to bring one in), that's the commitment I'm making to them. I know that most people around me feel that way about dogs and cats, but not about anything smaller than that.
 

Pigwhisperer

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,511
Points
915
Location
Norwich UK
Might be a good place to bring this up -admin, I hope this is ok to do? - if you follow Guinea Pig Zone on Facebook you'll have seen this - someone is doing a vet nurse degree, and wants to know whether people get their info about feeding, bedding, housing etc from social media, books or vets - and is doing a survey, the link is below to join in.

My tip is to sneak the Forum into one of the free-text answers eg "I use a c&c cage which I found out about on the Guinea Pig Forum which I recommend to anyone because it's a great source of reliable, tried and tested information on all things piggy"!

Guinea pig Owner's Advice Seeking Behaviour and Influences on Guinea pig Care
 

Sweet Potato

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
4,258
Points
1,105
Location
Cheshire, England
I don't think it's a lack of resources, at least not in urban areas. In rural areas, finding a vet that treats anything but dogs and cats is extremely hard. I think it's more of a societal view that dogs and cats are part of the family, but rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc. are starter pets for kids. Very few houses without small children have these kinds of pets. People buy animals like hamsters for their kids BECAUSE it's a short time investment. There's also a lack of knowledge... I'm in my early 40s, when I was a kid pets here really did not treat exotics. Thing have improved a lot since then... and I know that because, unlike 99% of the people here, I keep keeping small animals as pets even in adulthood. But all the parents of my generation going to a pet store and buying a hamster or guinea pig for their kid probably don't have a clue that they are even able to be treated like a dog or cat would be. I rabbit sat for my friend before the pandemic and asked for her vet info in case there was an emergency, and she said she didn't have one and even if the rabbit got sick, she didn't want to spend more than the price of the rabbit. Apparently she got the rabbit for 40 dollars... a small animal consult at an affordable vet is over 60 dollars, so she was basically telling me that if the rabbit got sick, she did not even want to pay for an assessment (luckily the rabbit was fine.) This same woman would DEFINITELY pay for vet care for her dog. In her mind, the rabbit and the dog are not on the same tier. Trust me, as an adult with older kids (mine are all teenagers), the fact that I have rodents for pets is considered really weird here! I don't even have a more traditional cat/dog pet, rodents is all I've got and believe me, people are surprised that my guinea pigs and hamsters get vet care!
My dad's family are farmers and not necessarily good farmers with the welfare or the animals at the heart of what they do. The whole family only view animals as livestock and don't understand paying for vet treatment for any animal other than a dog or horse. In one branch of the family even there cattle only see a vet to be put down often for minor things that can't be treated by home remedies. When I paid £100 for a haypoke treatment earlier this year my dad just responded "you could buy 4 for that". And the biggest family secret is that I spent £35 on a stick for my sisters turtles. Dad:"it's a stick, you find them outside, why would you pay for that" me:"oh it wasn't much it was in the sale don't worry about it"
 

alpacasqueak

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jul 21, 2013
Messages
6,331
Reaction score
15,064
Points
1,925
Location
Warwickshire
My dad's family are farmers and not necessarily good farmers with the welfare or the animals at the heart of what they do. The whole family only view animals as livestock and don't understand paying for vet treatment for any animal other than a dog or horse. In one branch of the family even there cattle only see a vet to be put down often for minor things that can't be treated by home remedies. When I paid £100 for a haypoke treatment earlier this year my dad just responded "you could buy 4 for that". And the biggest family secret is that I spent £35 on a stick for my sisters turtles. Dad:"it's a stick, you find them outside, why would you pay for that" me:"oh it wasn't much it was in the sale don't worry about it"
I had a lot of that from idiot (fairly distant by choice) friends/family/friends of family when Pedro the chin had so much treatment. Wringing neck motions and all sorts, why am I ‘wasting’ money on a 500g animal that I could buy another of! 😡
When I talked of getting an op done on Arnie the goldfish for her cauliflower disease (that I was told could possibly be done but would be in the thousands), I was told what a prat I was for even considering it when I could buy one for a quid!
You’re not spending money, they’re my babies, so keep your nose out I say!:raz::box:
 

Hath

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
605
Reaction score
1,010
Points
625
Location
Birmingham. UK
It's sad to read. I mean, they have the resources and know animal needs medical treatment, but it's not a dog so not worth it? I didn't realise vets won't treat pigs. I mean, you can find a vet who knows enough to treat a haypoke but you wouldn't trust him/her to do bladder surgery on your pig (and they refer you to exotic specialist). I actually thought vets wouldn't skip the chance to take in a patient and get paid for doing so.
To be honest you get a lot of oblivious people in the UK and lockdown was proof of how much the sales of animals gone up because parents wanted kids to have something to occupy them, or adults didn't think what will happen once everyone is back at work... Furlough isn't forever, but dog is...
 

piggieminder

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
10,238
Reaction score
16,412
Points
2,125
Location
Bristol, UK
I stay well away from facebook. I did register at one time but can't even remember the password. I hate the way a lot of places/organisations can now only be contacted via facebook.
My guinea pigs are registered at a large practise where there are exotics and general vets. I have recently had an occasion where one of my pigs needed a vet and no exotics were available for 3 weeks. I felt he needed a vet asap and we would see a general one. I did see a general vet that evening as an emergency but the receptionist told me it is becoming common for general vets to refuse to see piggies and not all of theirs will.
When one of mine needed an operation that cost £5,000 lots of friends and family were amazed I took guinea pigs to the vet. One man said I should have just dropped a brick on his head! My pigs, my money, my responsibility but I no longer discuss sick guinea pigs or vets with anyone other than my partner or on the forum.
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
4,241
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
That's horrific. I've had 5 hamsters and each had as much personality and individuality as any other animal - I mean can you imagine doing that to a cat or a dog?!
I know! They are honestly great little animals, very full of
It's sad to read. I mean, they have the resources and know animal needs medical treatment, but it's not a dog so not worth it? I didn't realise vets won't treat pigs. I mean, you can find a vet who knows enough to treat a haypoke but you wouldn't trust him/her to do bladder surgery on your pig (and they refer you to exotic specialist). I actually thought vets wouldn't skip the chance to take in a patient and get paid for doing so.
To be honest you get a lot of oblivious people in the UK and lockdown was proof of how much the sales of animals gone up because parents wanted kids to have something to occupy them, or adults didn't think what will happen once everyone is back at work... Furlough isn't forever, but dog is...
Some vets will take guinea pigs even though they plainly have no idea what they're doing... other vets will at least be honest enough to say they only see dogs and cats and will refer you to an exotic vet... though that vet might be along way away if you're in the country. Honestly, I would rather they be honest and not not take my money if they can't actually help. One of my pigs died after a vet who said he had experience treating guinea pigs treated an abscessed tooth inappropriately. He probably had been trained... about 30 years ago. Changed vets following that to an exotics vet who is a half-hour further away but knows what he's doing with small animals.
 
Top