Pica?

dabel101

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Sorry not quite sure where to place this thread but i’ve just read a thread where an owner is worrying about pica? I’ve never hear of it before and cant quite find enough information about it. So if anyone could answer my question to better my understanding of it i would be ever so greatful :)
What is pica?
What are the symptoms if there are any?
What causes it?
Thanks again ☺️
 

Julie M

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Ive never heard of pica in guinea pigs. Ive only heard of the human illness where people feel the need to eat all sorts of non food items.
 

Sweet Potato

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I work with children with special needs, and I have worked with a fair few children and young adults with pika. It is usually associated with some sort of deficiency which is why it's more common in pregnancy but it can offen be attributed to obsessive behaviour, PTSD and anxiety especially in people with a poor understanding of the negative impact of taking lollipop sticks out of the bin snapping them in half and swallowing them before anyone can stop them. But in general it is just a word used for eating non-food items, often one particular item such as foam from soda cushions, but it's more of a symptom than a cause of anything.

That said all that I know relates to pika in humans. I can't imagine it being relevant to piggies as chewing none food items such as wood and plastics is just seen as natural behaviour and not a disorder.
 

dabel101

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I work with children with special needs, and I have worked with a fair few children and young adults with pika. It is usually associated with some sort of deficiency which is why it's more common in pregnancy but it can offen be attributed to obsessive behaviour, PTSD and anxiety especially in people with a poor understanding of the negative impact of taking lollipop sticks out of the bin snapping them in half and swallowing them before anyone can stop them. But in general it is just a word used for eating non-food items, often one particular item such as foam from soda cushions, but it's more of a symptom than a cause of anything.

That said all that I know relates to pika in humans. I can't imagine it being relevant to piggies as chewing none food items such as wood and plastics is just seen as natural behaviour and not a disorder.
Thanks! This sounds very similar to the thread that i read where someones piggie was chewing on things they should’nt! Thanks for all your help! x
 

Wiebke

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I mean, if you don't chew on things you shouldn't are you even a guinea pig 🤷‍♀️

True!

Any scrap of plastic, wallpaper, radiator insulation thread, toilet brushes - my Minx found them all, and usually before me; especially after she figured out to jump up the stairs (preferably behind my back) and extend her raids to the upstairs rooms as well...
 

Free Ranger

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Remember the 1980s 'SuperFresco' Wallpaper advert? (I love a good jingle) It went
"What goes up, must come down,
SuperFresco makes it easy, it's by Graham and Brown..."

The wallpaper's big selling point was that when you were removing it you didn't have to soak and scrape with the little scraper any more, you could just pick at the bottom corners and pull - the whole strip just peeled up right off the wall. Fantastic stuff - we covered the living room in it.

My childhood guinea-pigs loved a run round the room but their favorite place was hiding behind the settee so we used to slide a bit of newspaper back there to catch any accidents and we would hear them tearing it up.

It was months before anyone pulled the settee away from the wall to re-paint the skirting. That was when we realised they'd been nibbling at the bottom of the SuperFresco to get a grip and then giving it a massive yank so a strip would tear up the wall about 2 or 3 feet. It was like a huge paper fringe! They hadn't seemed to eat any - it was just fun! So we just pushed that settee right back and ignored it until we repapered.

(NB: we went for a blown vinyl which had lots of nice soft cushiony bits of pattern in. The pigs left it alone - this time the cat stropped it to bits :roll: )
 
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