Housing Advice

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naomi.davies7

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Hi just looking for some advice. I've always had piggies but they've been in my family home and they were either kept outside or inside in store bought runs using hay and sawdust as bedding. I rescued 2 boars in my new house last November and to start with they were in a store bought cage, but since doing more research I have moved them into a C&C cage where they have 10sq foot of space. They are on a vet bed under layer with fleece on top, the vet bed gets changed every 4 days and the fleece every other day but is swept twice a day. I have done this based on all the advice I have read on what's best for the piggies but I'm having issues with it. The pigs seems to smell so much worse in themselves so when having cuddle time they stink, Burt my short haired pig has white fur and it is stained yellow where he seems to be getting stained from urine. Ted who is a large Rex got rushed to the vet last week with a chest infection and has been on a weeks course of antibiotics. It just seems like they're damp and getting smelly. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong but I'm close to moving back to sawdust because I don't want them uncomfortable and I am worried about them attracting fly strike if they smell! Any help would be so appreciated, I get so worried about them!
 

Swissgreys

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If i read this correctly you have 2 layers in your cage - vet bed and fleece?

If so the problem is that you have 2 layers which should keep the pigs dry by allowing moisture (urine) to drain through and be held in an absorbent layer.

It is the absorbent layer that you are missing.

Remove one of your top layers (either the vet bed or fleece).
Put an absorbent layer underneath the remaining top layer.
This can be towels, zorb, or puppy pads.

This should help a lot n absorbing both the small and the urine.

Also if you have 2 boars, as strange as it may seem, try not to do a full cage clean too often. This makes them re scent mark everything constantly and can actually be more smelly than with less cage cleaning.
Try to use smaller pee pads for the worst areas, and change those more frequently whilst leaving the main cage liner for longer.
 

naomi.davies7

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Thank you so much for your advice! I knew I must have been going wrong somewhere as it just didn't seem right that they were getting so soaked in urine on their bellies!

Ive always thought of piggies as such easy pets but I've never known so much worry until I bought these two home, would never say they weren't worth it though :)

Just wondering if you could try and answer one more thing as you sound like you know what you're talking about :) I revently changed them onto the brown pellet type food as the vet said this was the best way for them to get their nutrients instead of the museli which they were picky over. Recently they have been drinking so much more water than they used to, but it has been in line with the change of cage and the new food which they are eating more of, so I was wondering if that seems normal? As soon as I google it it comes up talking about urinary infections and diabetes but they seem alert, eating well and generally healthy other than Ted's chest infection recently!
 

madguinealady

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Have you wicked the fleece-Lined you choose to use fleece as a top layer you need to wash it three times with non-biological detergent so the wee soaks straight through into the absorbent layer .I also use litter trays with aubiouse and hay in .They get changed every day.Most of their wees and lots of their poops are done in this.
 

naomi.davies7

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Have you wicked the fleece-Lined you choose to use fleece as a top layer you need to wash it three times with non-biological detergent so the wee soaks straight through into the absorbent layer .I also use litter trays with aubiouse and hay in .They get changed every day.Most of their wees and lots of their poops are done in this.
Hi thanks, no I haven't ! I only got the vet bed last week thinking it was an alternative to puppy pads not the fleece ! I'd been using puppy pads, but seeing as I'm picking up my puppy next week I will need hundreds if I'm using them for the pigs and the pup ! Mine won't take notice of a litter tray other than to turn it upside down and eat the contents hah !
 

naomi.davies7

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If i read this correctly you have 2 layers in your cage - vet bed and fleece?

If so the problem is that you have 2 layers which should keep the pigs dry by allowing moisture (urine) to drain through and be held in an absorbent layer.

It is the absorbent layer that you are missing.

Remove one of your top layers (either the vet bed or fleece).
Put an absorbent layer underneath the remaining top layer.
This can be towels, zorb, or puppy pads.

This should help a lot n absorbing both the small and the urine.

Also if you have 2 boars, as strange as it may seem, try not to do a full cage clean too often. This makes them re scent mark everything constantly and can actually be more smelly than with less cage cleaning.
Try to use smaller pee pads for the worst areas, and change those more frequently whilst leaving the main cage liner for longer.
Thank you so much for your advice! I knew I must have been going wrong somewhere as it just didn't seem right that they were getting so soaked in urine on their bellies!

Ive always thought of piggies as such easy pets but I've never known so much worry until I bought these two home, would never say they weren't worth it though :)

Just wondering if you could try and answer one more thing as you sound like you know what you're talking about :) I revently changed them onto the brown pellet type food as the vet said this was the best way for them to get their nutrients instead of the museli which they were picky over. Recently they have been drinking so much more water than they used to, but it has been in line with the change of cage and the new food which they are eating more of, so I was wondering if that seems normal? As soon as I google it it comes up talking about urinary infections and diabetes but they seem alert, eating well and generally healthy other than Ted's chest infection recently!
 

Swissgreys

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Thank you so much for your advice! I knew I must have been going wrong somewhere as it just didn't seem right that they were getting so soaked in urine on their bellies!

Ive always thought of piggies as such easy pets but I've never known so much worry until I bought these two home, would never say they weren't worth it though :)

Just wondering if you could try and answer one more thing as you sound like you know what you're talking about :) I revently changed them onto the brown pellet type food as the vet said this was the best way for them to get their nutrients instead of the museli which they were picky over. Recently they have been drinking so much more water than they used to, but it has been in line with the change of cage and the new food which they are eating more of, so I was wondering if that seems normal? As soon as I google it it comes up talking about urinary infections and diabetes but they seem alert, eating well and generally healthy other than Ted's chest infection recently!
Ha - I know what you mean about thinking of piggies as easy pets.
My own experiences from many (many) years ago had them down as a 'bottom of the garden in a hutch' type of pet - oh how times have changed!
But I also realized just how much I missed out on not having them around all the time.

The vet is right - a complete nugget style food is better for them than a muesli.
They could be drinking more because they are growing and need more water, or it could be because it is Summer and the weather is warmer and the general environment is dryer.
I also find my lot drink a minimal amount when they get a lot of fresh veggies and time out on the lawn and drink more when they are insdier and their diet consists predominantly of dry food and hay (which makes sense of course).

It sounds like you are a great owner and doing a fantastic job with your new piggies.
 

naomi.davies7

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Ha - I know what you mean about thinking of piggies as easy pets.
My own experiences from many (many) years ago had them down as a 'bottom of the garden in a hutch' type of pet - oh how times have changed!
But I also realized just how much I missed out on not having them around all the time.

The vet is right - a complete nugget style food is better for them than a muesli.
They could be drinking more because they are growing and need more water, or it could be because it is Summer and the weather is warmer and the general environment is dryer.
I also find my lot drink a minimal amount when they get a lot of fresh veggies and time out on the lawn and drink more when they are insdier and their diet consists predominantly of dry food and hay (which makes sense of course).

It sounds like you are a great owner and doing a fantastic job with your new piggies.
Yep I'm exactly the same I feel so sad now about how much more time I could have spent with all of my garden piggies over the years !

Thanks so much, I know all we can do is our best and I just want to make them as happy as possible! I think I focus so much on one thing I assume the worst so just need to allow for normal changes as they grow and as I learn more :)

I hope you are your piggies are well. Thanks again for the advice! X
 

GPcrazy

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Just a quick question and bit of info about the pellet foods - how much are you feeding?
Are you aware that you should only feed at most 20g per guinea pig per day? That usually amounts to about 2 tablespoons. Don't give unlimited pellets.
Also, pellets absorb a lot of water - they are very dry. So that could also be a reason your piggies are drinking more.

And lastly, are you giving them any fresh veg? Fresh veg is not only very good for them and full of vitamins and minerals, it has a fairly decent water content as well so will help with their hydration. They should get roughly 1 cup of fresh veg per guinea pig per day.
[and don't forget unlimited good quality hay which is always most important]

Another option for an absorbant layer under the fleece/vetbed is towels. If you don't want to pay a fortune in puppy pads just throw some towels down and put the fleece or vetbed on top. Someone mentioned wicking - take the fleece and drop a little water on it. If the water immediately goes through then it's good to use. If it pools on top you need to wash it a few more times.
 

naomi.davies7

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Just a quick question and bit of info about the pellet foods - how much are you feeding?
Are you aware that you should only feed at most 20g per guinea pig per day? That usually amounts to about 2 tablespoons. Don't give unlimited pellets.
Also, pellets absorb a lot of water - they are very dry. So that could also be a reason your piggies are drinking more.

And lastly, are you giving them any fresh veg? Fresh veg is not only very good for them and full of vitamins and minerals, it has a fairly decent water content as well so will help with their hydration. They should get roughly 1 cup of fresh veg per guinea pig per day.
[and don't forget unlimited good quality hay which is always most important]

Another option for an absorbant layer under the fleece/vetbed is towels. If you don't want to pay a fortune in puppy pads just throw some towels down and put the fleece or vetbed on top. Someone mentioned wicking - take the fleece and drop a little water on it. If the water immediately goes through then it's good to use. If it pools on top you need to wash it a few more times.
I just give them some in a pet bowl, they never eat the whole thing in one day and I tend to leave it until they've finished which takes a couple of days at least. I didn't know that actually so I'll pay more attention to how much I give them.

Yeah they get a good mixture of fresh veg twice a day, and then any choppings from any cooking we do in between, and we never let them run out of hay :)

I think I am going to try towels first as with a puppy on the way the puppy pads will become an expensive option!

Thank you so much for replying with your advice :)
 
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