Homechecks - I need reasurance

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carrot_tit

My cage has finally arrived and I'm starting to consider where to get my piggies from. But I'm really nervous about homechecks. I guess I'm worried i won't come up to scratch. I've never had a home check before, even though we once adopted a dog from RSPCA (home checker never turned up). Plus my parents are intensely private people and don't like strangers coming round, which is obviously gonna happen if i want to adopt from a rescue.

Do you think I'm being daft?
 
K

karenrgpr

:) To be honest it probably depends on the rescue. Why not contact them beforehand ask them what they expect as you would like the check to go smoothly. Ask what size cage they consider acceptable, etc.

If it helps I have a shopping list for exactly this reason on www.readingguineapigrescue.co.uk

For the record, we're very nice ;) But the guinea's welfare comes first. We just tell people about any changes they need to make :)
 

Abnoba

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heh, I just realised you wouldnt rehome your piggies with me, as I am against bathing piggies apart from emergencies, and use woodshavings.. :-\

do people have to get everything on this list right before they get a piggy from you, or do they just have to get most things right?
 
K

karenrgpr

Hiya, Most of the pigs that come in have a fungal infection to some degree- so I need to be happy that the Humans will bath and oil soak the pigs regularly so the pigs don't get another fungal flare up.

I don't rehome to anyone who uses woodshavings because this is a major contributor to skin problems and is likely to make them rear their ugly head again.

I'm happy to suggest alternatives and I give out suppliers but if you want to use woodshavings and don't intend bathing you should go elsewhere :) :) :)

You need to get it all right, I'm fussy about where my guineas go :) and believe in quality as opposed to quanity of rehoming. These pigs have had a bad start to life as it is.

Someone who ignored our advice was faced with a vet bill over £100 for skin problems (x2 guineas) at a vet that hadn't been recommended by ourselves, the vet couldn't sort the skin problem out so the guineas were returned and £10 worth of Gorgeous Guineas products did the trick- they were fungal, the pigs hadn't been bathed and were kept on shavings. It doesn't happen everytime but I wouldn't risk it... :)
 
C

chinakit

Some rescues are their own worst enemies. I once offered to take some piggies from a rescue that was closing down, and was refused because I fed Supa Guinea Excel - the rescue told me that this was NOT RECOMMENDED!

A friend of mine offered to take some guineas from the same rescue and she was refused because she mentioned that although she didn't breed or show guineas herself, she knew someone who did ...

Rescues like this turn people against all rescue centres! I think the people involved in rescues like this feel they have a little bit of power and want to enjoy it by turning people down, and making them feel small.

I'm NOT saying all rescues are like this, and I have some wonderful pets (rabbits, dogs and cats as well as guineas) from rescues, but (hopefully a small percentage) of people running rescues have real attitude problems.
 
M

maxthepig

Dont worry Carrot, I'm sure it'll go fine :)

I've helped out a local rescue a few times homechecking for rabbits and if the homechecker is not entirely happy with something they'll most likely just ask you to make some changes- it doesnt mean you wont get the piggies. For example some people hadnt vaccinated their rabbits, so i explained why this was important and advised them to get it done.

Things to think about- Are you happy the cage is the right size? Do you understand the importance of hay for piggies? What food and veg do you feed?

Do you have any other pets?
How much time out of the cage will they get?
What vet do you use? (ie. have you already sorted this?)
What will you do with them when you go on holiday?
Who will be responsible for their care?

Obviously there's lots more but gives you an idea.
They just want to make sure you are going to look after the piggies properly and not stick them in a hutch at the bottom of the garden for the rest of their lives. It'll be fine!

Incidently is Excel thought of as a rubbish food then? I deliberately swapped from a mix, Wagg, because I thought a pelleted food would be better, as it is for rabbits.
 
C

chinakit

Well the 'rescue' who told me that Excel was not recommended suggested I change to Russel Rabbit! Eh? Guinea Pigs are not rabbits! I think Russel is a great food, but for bunnies, not guineas >:(
 
M

maxthepig

chinakit said:
Well the 'rescue' who told me that Excel was not recommended suggested I change to Russel Rabbit! Eh? Guinea Pigs are not rabbits! I think Russel is a great food, but for bunnies, not guineas >:(
Just had a look on the review section and it seems it is too high in protein. I did know this about Excel rabbit, so I feed allen and page pellets for my rabbit, but had assumed it wouldnt be the same for pigs.

I will stick with it for now, as the pigs seem to prefer it to Wagg anyway.
 
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cavykind

Karen's advice is spot on, have a chat first with the rescue first and ask what they recommend. They'll be pleased that you do so as it shows someone who is happy to learn and has the welfare of guineas genuinely at heart :)

Barbara
 
C

carrot_tit

I know i'm probably worrying over nothing, i do tend to do that. I think that's probably why i end up at the vets so often!

I understand why rescues do home checks and if your not happy with someone you shouldn't re-home an animal with them. Think i'll nip round my local rescues and see whats what.
 
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sgprescue

I have just had a look at Karens shopping list on her site and have to say it is just about identical to the type of things I look for when doing a homecheck for my guineas. From experience we have found that guineas do so much better when not bedded on shavings or sawdust, a combination of that and bathing regularly keeps their skin in tip top conditio. Just this morning someone brought a young guinea pig to me with a nasty fungal infection, he had been housed on sawdust :-\. . I also will not rehome to anyone keeping them on shavings and not bathing regularly. Usually if people have done that in the past, once you explain why they shouldnt be doing it they are willing to change.
 
M

maxthepig

sgprescue said:
I have just had a look at Karens shopping list on her site and have to say it is just about identical to the type of things I look for when doing a homecheck for my guineas. From experience we have found that guineas do so much better when not bedded on shavings or sawdust, a combination of that and bathing regularly keeps their skin in tip top conditio. Just this morning someone brought a young guinea pig to me with a nasty fungal infection, he had been housed on sawdust :-\. . I also will not rehome to anyone keeping them on shavings and not bathing regularly. Usually if people have done that in the past, once you explain why they shouldnt be doing it they are willing to change.
what food do you reccomend please?
 
S

sgprescue

maxthepig said:
sgprescue said:
I have just had a look at Karens shopping list on her site and have to say it is just about identical to the type of things I look for when doing a homecheck for my guineas. From experience we have found that guineas do so much better when not bedded on shavings or sawdust, a combination of that and bathing regularly keeps their skin in tip top conditio. Just this morning someone brought a young guinea pig to me with a nasty fungal infection, he had been housed on sawdust :-\. . I also will not rehome to anyone keeping them on shavings and not bathing regularly. Usually if people have done that in the past, once you explain why they shouldnt be doing it they are willing to change.
what food do you reccomend please?
I use Wagg optimum pellets and ask that people adopting pigs from me keep them on it. I personally think Oxbow cavy cuisine is better but none of the shops round here sell it.
 
K

karenrgpr

All my pigs, my own and rescue, are on either Oxbow Cavy Cuisine, Oxbow Performance (Satins) or the young oneshave Supreme Selective. I don't use Burgess Excel because its high in Protein for a maintenance diet.

As far as food goes I advise Oxbow CC first (if thats what they've been on ) its readily available online, www.sphsupplies.co.uk , or any food without colourings. As Cheryl says once you explain your reasoning people are happy to change.

Excel is made, it seems, with show pigs in mind. I wouldn't refuse a home because they fed Excel Pellets or because they 'knew a breeder'. Some of my friends are breeders! :)

Karen
 

Abnoba

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Hm... I have tried without dry food, to be honest.. I was told that really, they dont need it... if they have plenty of hay for fibre, fresh water, and lots of fresh fruit and veg for vitamin c.

Is that wrong then? the people who told me said that their piggies are healthy and a good weight without, and that most foods they use are really just for cases where a pig needs to gain weight? ?

I give Vitakraft Special Regular as a treat from time to time, they are meant as a proper full meal, but because they are only bite size balls, I find them ideal as treats..

Sorry for going off topic, but I just wondered... so many people here seem to take such care in picking just the right dry foods, and other people tell me they dont really need it at all, because they get all they need out of a good variety of fresh fruit, and the rest from hay? O_o; *confused*
 
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sgprescue

karenrgpr said:
All my pigs, my own and rescue, are on either Oxbow Cavy Cuisine, Oxbow Performance (Satins) or the young oneshave Supreme Selective. I don't use Burgess Excel because its high in Protein for a maintenance diet.

As far as food goes I advise Oxbow CC first (if thats what they've been on ) its readily available online, www.sphsupplies.co.uk , or any food without colourings. As Cheryl says once you explain your reasoning people are happy to change.

Excel is made, it seems, with show pigs in mind. I wouldn't refuse a home because they fed Excel Pellets or because they 'knew a breeder'. Some of my friends are breeders! :)

Karen
Karen - Many of my resident pigs are on CC including the satins. Unfortunatly with the volume of pigs I take in I would not be able to afford to feed the other rescues on it aswell. Do you feed all your satins on CP then? Presumably this is because of the risk of OD but I thought extra calcium didnt make a difference and that they would still get it? Just curious on your thoughts on this 8)
 

linda.b

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abnoba- for a well balanced diet i would still offer a bowl of dry food as then you are sure that they are getting the correct vitamins and minerals needed. My opinion only. One of the pelleted foods so they can't pick and choose are best. I must say I use carefresh for bedding more because he is long-haired and it does'nt get stuck in his fur. I would only bathe if he had a skin infection.(or got really whiffy!)
 
K

karenrgpr

Cheryl, to be honest we don't know, but it seems to be that Satins may be able to metabolise Calcium as long as they don't have OD. Its when they actually have OD that giving Calcium is no use. This is a hunch going on a Satin with Osteoperosis (diagnosed by x-ray). She improved when given Calcium. Whether or not this was a coincidence (this was told to me I haven't seen it) or something I don't know. Giving Calcium to a 'non OD' Satin may prolong the onset of OD, but I have absolutely no proof whatsoever :)

So little is known about the metabolism of Calcium (and there are different schools of thought from those who do know!) that its a minefield out there :)

After lots of discussion it was decided the Satins would be better off on CP and where possible a diet of grass. :)
 
S

sgprescue

karenrgpr said:
Cheryl, to be honest we don't know, but it seems to be that Satins may be able to metabolise Calcium as long as they don't have OD. Its when they actually have OD that giving Calcium is no use. This is a hunch going on a Satin with Osteoperosis (diagnosed by x-ray). She improved when given Calcium. Whether or not this was a coincidence (this was told to me I haven't seen it) or something I don't know. Giving Calcium to a 'non OD' Satin may prolong the onset of OD, but I have absolutely no proof whatsoever :)

So little is known about the metabolism of Calcium (and there are different schools of thought from those who do know!) that its a minefield out there :)

After lots of discussion it was decided the Satins would be better off on CP and where possible a diet of grass. :)
Thanks for clearing that up. Makes interesting reading. With 10 resident satins here I am always looking to learn more about them. I will pop a bag of CP on my next sph order 8)
 
C

carrot_tit

This is what i love about forums. The advice is brilliant. Still haven't rung round any where yet. I'm out for two days just after christmas for my brothers wedding and i don't know if there will be anyone who can take them for those two days so i might have to wait till after christmas to get a couple.
 
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