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Could My Piggie Be Pregnant?

Dandypony

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I got two Guinea pigs from the local shelter about a week ago. My first pigs! The shelter knew very little about the pigs medical history, and they thought one of the pigs has a vitiam C deficiency because her fur is very coarse and stands up weirdly, and she has bald spots behind her ears. But she is a bit tubby, and freaks out if I try to touch her belly or her rear end, so I'm worried she may be pregnant. She's normally very friendly, and likes having her ears and nose rubbed. But if I touch her belly/hindquarters, she chatters and teeth at me and bucks like a mustang. I don't know if she has been around a male before I got her or not. My mom (who is a vet) told me that Guinea pigs can't give birth naturally unless they've had a liter before they were 3 months old. So I'm worried about her health. She does have pretty elongated nipples, so she might have had a litter before. Help?

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Jesse's pigs

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Have you seen a vet? And is the other piggy definitely female also?You can treat her like she's pregnant if you want to be on the safe side but be aware that it might be ovarian cysts- seeing a vet would help determine this. She's beautiful by the way.
I'll tag @Wiebke who has more knowledge then me though :)
 

Wiebke

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I got two Guinea pigs from the local shelter about a week ago. My first pigs! The shelter knew very little about the pigs medical history, and they thought one of the pigs has a vitiam C deficiency because her fur is very coarse and stands up weirdly, and she has bald spots behind her ears. But she is a bit tubby, and freaks out if I try to touch her belly or her rear end, so I'm worried she may be pregnant. She's normally very friendly, and likes having her ears and nose rubbed. But if I touch her belly/hindquarters, she chatters and teeth at me and bucks like a mustang. I don't know if she has been around a male before I got her or not. My mom (who is a vet) told me that Guinea pigs can't give birth naturally unless they've had a liter before they were 3 months old. So I'm worried about her health. She does have pretty elongated nipples, so she might have had a litter before. Help?

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Hi and welcome!

Thankfully for you, things are not quite as dire as your mum thinks! She may find the information in these guides here helpful. The ligaments between the pelvis bones start contracting from about 8 months onwards, but it is a slow and gradual process. In our 10 years experience on this forum, sows of up to about 18 months still have a normal chance of giving birth; after that the risk of complications is starting to increase.
On average about every 5th birth ends with the death of babies and/or mums despite good care (you will find ample proof at that in this section), but the older the mum, the higher the risk that miscarries or loses the whole litter at birth. She is also increasingly likely to end up with either one or two tiny babies in a larger litter or with just one large baby because the other foetuses have not thrived and are usually reabsorbed. Even though cesarian sections have gone from nearly always fatal to more successful in the last 5 years, they are still an operation that should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, especially when the operating vet is not experienced with small furries.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/pregnancy-guide.109375/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/pelvic-bones-in-female-guineas.37379/

Your girl looks like a rex or teddy piggy (or a cross with being mostly on the teddy side) which is a coarse haired fuzzy breed with a broad head and a compact body. Rex-type piggies also have characteristically a rather round bum end.
Because of the dense fur and the resulting lack of aeration, they are somewhat more prone to fungal complaints, so it worth checking for mange mites or fungal, which could explain the discomfort of being touched - although some piggies with traumatic experiencies can also hate touching.
Most guinea pigs have bald patches behind the ears because they regulate the body temperature via the blood flow through the ears whereas we humans sweat and dogs pant.
Crusty nipples are usually a sign of hormone overproduction and not necessarily as sign of pregnancy. the length of nipples is very individual. Hormones can also cause them to elongate without a guinea pig being pregnant.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/what-breed-is-my-guinea-pig-picture-guide-to-common-pet-breeds.121399/
Here is a guide for new owners to learn what is normal so they can then spot what is not: Guinea pig body quirks

Your gorgeous girl doesn't look pregnant or very old to me, but it is always wise to put any new sows you do not know the background of on a 10 weeks pregnancy watch starting from the last date they could have possibly been with boar.
The best preparation you can actually give a pregnant guinea pig is a good, vitamin C rich nutritionally balanced diet with a wide range of nutrients, so mum and through her any babies are as healthy as can be and have much more improved chance of everbody making it. It is much more important to feed a good general diet and than to overdo the in fact very small extras that are needed for a highly pregnant sow.
You can also influence the largest birthing risk by NOT being tempted to overfeed, especially on pellets. you are aiming at babies of an ideal weight for a smooth and problem-free birth, and not whoppers that can get stuck during labour.
The good thing is that aiming for a fit and healthy piggy is not hurting it one bit even if it turns out ot be not pregnant at all! ;)
I would recommend to start out with our sample diet and take it from there: Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet
This guide tells you which small changes to the general diet you can make. Be aware that with a good general diet you are already covering most of the needs: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/pregnancy-and-nursing-diet.109377/

Please take the time to carefully read through our pregnancy guides. They have been specifically written for new owners finding themselves with an unplanned pregnancy and combine the most often asked questions with some vital need-to-know information, so you know what to look out for and act promptly and properly. I have also made them as practical and precise as possible under the circumstances and disposed of all the information which is usually more confusing than helpful or in some cases completely wrong.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/pregnancy-guide.109375/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/labor-and-birth.109382/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/after-birth-and-baby-care.109389/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/sexing-separating-baby-boars-and-rehoming-babies.109391/
(please also double check the sex of your new piggies!)

You also may find the information in our new owners information guide bundle very helpful and informative. We have included a wide range of subjects from care to interaction and understanding guinea pig behaviour (including a spot of piggy whispering) as well as important health information.
New Owners' Online Starter " Booklet" For Helpful Advice

Please keep all questions and updates to this specially monitored support thread so we can keep all information together and can refer back whenever necessary.

Since we have members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can always adapt any advice and recommendations straight away to what is available and relevant where you are (including your climate where that can play a role). Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. If you are a minor, please do not give any more specific data and never give out your age - this is for your own protection. But it makes your general appear with every post you make underneath your avatar picture and your username. Thank you!
 
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your piggie is so beautiful! :love:and that fur does not look "ill". I also heard something about the first pregnancy which should come within the 5^month for breaking a sort of cartilago they have (I don't know much about that), but I don't know if it is true.
You have mentioned the long nipples, but also my sows have long nipples... not crusted but only long and they had never had any litter before.
Also one of my sows used to scream and jump when someone touched her belly and the other sow, too, does not like it at all.
About vit C deficiency I would add some drops of supplement for human newborns and in the meanwhile I would teach the piggie the correct style of eating. It is strange that at the rescue they did not give any supplement if they had some suspicion; 2 drops are so cheap and cost less than a bell pepper...
My piggies are healthy and eat correctly, but I give them a little supplement (as I also do with myself and my daughters).
You will have a lot of satisfactions with your piggies, they are wonderful pets and it is a great luck for them to live with a vet always available... You mother will have also a lot of cavy savvy collegues to ask for when necessary. Lucky piggies to have her and you as a loving owner!
I hope to see new pics of your gorgeous piggies!:luv:
 

Freela

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Her fur texture is quite normal for a teddy or rex and has nothing to do with a vitamin C deficiency. Bald spots behind the ears are also part of a normal hair distribution pattern for guinea pigs (it's more apparent on some than others, but is totally normal.) A lot of pigs dislike having their hind ends touched (though it varies with the pig... some don't mind, others hate it!) As to whether she is pregnant or not, it doesn't sound like the spot you got her from has much knowledge about pigs and it's possible that she has been with males. Are you sure they are both female? Double check to be sure. If she is pregnant, it will become more apparent with time, but even non-pregnant pigs can be 'bottom heavy' and kind of pear shaped. Hope this helps a bit! Congrats on the new pigs!
 

Dandypony

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Thanks for all the replies, and I'm sorry I'm so late replying to these! My pig was thankfully not pregnant! She did have a mild fungal infection, which caused her ears to be flakey, and had pretty heavy dandruff. My mom (who is a vet) put her on a monthly prescription shampoo and cleared both of these issues up! both pigs are female, and I don't think my pig had vitamin C deficiency. I think the shelter blamed the flackery skin and ears on that, but I think it was just the fungal infection.

The only other concern I have, that my mom doesn't understand either, is that the pig in question has very red paws. They've been like that since I got her. I clean her cage weekly, I've tried different detergents for washing their fleece blankets, but nothing changes. Her paws don't seem painful, but she's a fairly spastic pigs compared to my other one, and it hard be hard to tell. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

Reenie

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I'm so glad that your little one turned out to be okay. A couple of mine have redder paws than the others, but the vet could see nothing wrong. As your mum's a vet, and can't see a problem, it's probably ok, but if your both worried, could she ask a colleague who specialises in wee furries or piggies perhaps?
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for all the replies, and I'm sorry I'm so late replying to these! My pig was thankfully not pregnant! She did have a mild fungal infection, which caused her ears to be flakey, and had pretty heavy dandruff. My mom (who is a vet) put her on a monthly prescription shampoo and cleared both of these issues up! both pigs are female, and I don't think my pig had vitamin C deficiency. I think the shelter blamed the flackery skin and ears on that, but I think it was just the fungal infection.

The only other concern I have, that my mom doesn't understand either, is that the pig in question has very red paws. They've been like that since I got her. I clean her cage weekly, I've tried different detergents for washing their fleece blankets, but nothing changes. Her paws don't seem painful, but she's a fairly spastic pigs compared to my other one, and it hard be hard to tell. Does anyone have any ideas?
As long as the red is fairly even and stable, I would not worry. Piggy savvy vets recommend not to overtreat soles as that can lead to a vicious circle with softened soles being much more prone for bugs to get in and cause infections.
 
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