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Could I ask your advice please

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sandra turpin

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Hi all

I'm new to guinea pigs so still not sure what is ok or not ok. My question is regarding Basil. He eat veggies, hay and pellets without problem and drinks plenty of water. He doesn't mind his front half getting petted once we manage to catch him but he seems very jumpy when you touch his hind quarters. Can guinea pigs have tickly or sensitive spots or is this something I should worry about?

Also, while writing. Do guinea pigs get closer to you as they grow older? Easier to pick up? Once we have them they are ok but what a job we have in trying to get them. That's only from the cage or ELC ball pit. They are between 5 and 6 months.
 

Gems

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Some piggies just don't like their back end stroked. Some of our piggies don't mind, others will burrr at you once you get mid way down their back. It can sometimes be a sign that they don't like their skin touched because of discomfort caused by mites etc but I would think they just don't like their back end stroked.

As for whether they get closer to you they definitely do as long as you put the effort in and give them cuddles regularly so they get used to being handled. Once we have caught our piggies they generally love their cuddles, though it's still a nightmare to catch them, and one of mine I've had 3 years!
 

sandra turpin

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Thanks Gems

I feel better now, they are happy enough when we have them. The area that seems sensitive is more under the left hind leg closer to the lower stomach so maybe its more the front than the hind quarters. I'm **** not explaining it too well.
 

Gems

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Do they flinch, or jump, or try to nip your hand when your stroking them there? If so then that could indicate they're a bit sore there and you may need to have a closer look to see if there's any bite marks/sores etc or as I said it could be mites or fungal ( though there's generally other signs if it is those )

If it's just a "burrring" noise they make then it's probably they just don't like being stroked there!
 

flips

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Flumpet and Minx both dislike their backs being stroked but Delilah doesn't mind. I still make sure that when I have them out for lap time that I give them a good feel all over with my hands as a general health check. They seem more comfortable with it if I am quite firm with my hands. I do this first before moving onto the preferred nose and chin rubs.
A sensitive back can also be a sign of mites but you are also likely to notice intense itching/ scratching (sometimes causing sores to open up) and flaky/ scurfy skin.
My girls really don't like being picked up by hand (Flumpet screams in protest) but most of the time I get them to jump in the cosy and pick them up like that. It's far less stressful for all of us. You can use a pigloo or box as well. To start I had to herd them into the corner until the cosy was the only place left to go. I always use the same words 'in you pop' and tell them they are good girls when they're in. Very soon Flumpet was jumping in without any problems. Delilah and Minx often have to be herded into a smaller space but they will get without any stress.

:)
 

sandra turpin

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That's what we usually try to do too, get them into their cosy and lift them up and put them back that way. Regarding the other matter, if Basil is touched in the "sensitive" area, he actually jumps and turns with a squeek. It's almost like a popcorn but not. I would liken it to someone who has really tickly feet getting tickled and kicking out their feet, if that makes sense lol.
 

Salt n Peppers mum

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I dont pick my piggies up with my hands I have 'trained' them to walk into a snuggle sac and transfer them that way. Once they know what its all about there no chasing round their cage to pick them up and frighten them, they quite happily go in, turn around and wait for me to pick them up. My foster piggies have quickly learnt to walk into a carry box I put in front of their cage, I find it much less stressful for the piggies.

My two hate been touch down their back too. Every Guinea pig is different and of course you must rule out any medical reason why they dont like it.
One of mine will stand and close his eyes while his head and chin gets rubbed but will soon jump away if you start going down his back. My other one, who is the calmer of the two hates been touched full stop. Although he's happy to potter around and comes to me but if my hand goes in to stroke he jumps away too. :) Mine are nearly 2 years old.
 

sandra turpin

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I suppose having Snowball who although resists getting caught is calm and settled when being held, made me a bit worried because Basil is totally different. Thinking I might get him a going over by the vet when we come home from being down south. I posted a thread asking if anyone knew of a good guinea pig vet in the Grangemouth/Falkirk area but have had no replies.
 

Romily

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We have a right mix of piggies in relation to being caught and handled and I would certainly never take it personally lol! Some of ours will stand happily waiting to be picked up and others even thought they were born here will race away when you try and catch them. In general a lot calm down with age and handling but some will always be wigglers!
 

mikulinek

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Our two boys are very differnet when it comes to picking them up and petting them.

Caramel is really hard work to catch and pick up, but once you've got him he'll sit there content and docile. Sometimes he'll purr but not too often.

Biscuit now even climbs on to my arm when I go to pick him up. He'll purr constantly but he's very fidgety and he'll try and shoot off at any moment.

I think all piggies have different views on being picked up.

At first, Caramel really didn't like anyone touching his hind quarters (boars have sensitive grease glands back there) but now he quite likes it. I suppose when you get tickled for the first time, you're not sure if it's nice or horrible and it takes some getting used to.
 

Pebble

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The twitching/sensitivity around the hind leg area needs investigating.

It has funnily enough, been recorded as a symptom of ear mites (different from mange mites) .....which could also explain why they don;t like their backs touched...although as other posters have already stated, lots of piggies don;t like their backs touched. Even if not ear mites your piggie could have a very waxy/dirty ear that might need drops.

It can also be a symptom of gut isues (normally the gut isn;t moving properly and sometimes there can be a build up of poos or gas....and maybe even some inflammation as a result....and/or sometimes the piggie is impacted in the anal sac - normally older piggies but Beechie developed this at the age of 2 after a neuterng and lengthy course of antibioitics )

I would get them checked out by a cavy savvy vet and specifically ask them to rule out ear mites, mange mites and gut motility issues/impaction....(be warned though, my firt vet ruled out earmites but the second vet found them on a more detailed exam!)

HTH
x
 
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