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The Health of PetSmart Piggies

rinlalin

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hello all, as you know I've bought two piggies from petsmart already. I took the first one, pepé, back a few days after and he died within 48 hours. my second piggie, bootsy, got sick a few days after and was taken back to see the vet. bootsy died this morning after nearly a week in their care.

this might be just this petsmart personally, but i am greatly upset with the health of their cavies.

at the store, the pigs are in groups of 5-6, in a small glass tank. nearly every single one of them every time i go in is sneezing and has eye crusties. the associates say "it's normal, the piggies will usually get over it". i believed them, until i bought caramel from a different store (one two hours away, owned by a small family). all of the pigs were sneeze and crusties free. the whole two hour ride home, caramel didn't sneeze once, where on the ride home with the previous petsmart piggies, they sneezed 3-4 times on a 30 minute drive.

does anyone else have bad experiences with petsmart guinea pigs? more than that, all of our small birds, mice, hamsters and etc have also died within a month (two at the max) from petsmart.

the only animal that has lived long from there is my ball python, who i got 2-3 years ago.

i'm just upset. i got attached to both of those piggies so quickly, and they passed away so soon. i don't think i'll be purchasing small animals from at least this petsmart ever again.

that all being said, the customer service and the whole 14 days to return-to-vet thing is remarkable. they all act extremely caring and rush sick pets to their vet as soon as they can. then they tell me that "they should pull through" before they die. somehow i feel like this is a twisted sales idea to get parents to buy multiple pigs over and over again from their store?

any similar experiences?
 

HeatherRose

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That’s terrible, I’m sorry to hear about your piggies. I know somebody posted a video from PETA about petsmart on the forum and it showed a lot of sick and mistreated animals. I’m glad you found a better option to get your piggies from.
 

anyar.dris

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I've read in the past (not sure if here or somewhere in Facebook) that says most animals returned to Petsmart that are sick are eventually put down because they (the store) can't handle the vet fees and such. Awful I know.

If you are thinking of getting guinea pigs again, I suggest contacting rescues.

Here is one I just searched from Google (you can search for more if you like): http://www.ohiopetsanctuary.com/animals-in-need.html

Here is another list: http://www.onlineguineapigcare.com/guinea-pig-rescue-shelters-ohio/
 

Merab's Slave

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So sorry for your loss.
You have had such a tough time.
Do you have animal welfare organisations like the British RSPCA?
They may be able to act if Petsmart are treating animals so poorly.
 

Freela

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I'm so sorry for your losses. Unfortunately, a lot of pet store animals come from breeders where they are kept in poor conditions and are not in the best of health. I have definitely seen animals in pet stores who were clearly sick and other animals living in close contact with them who were already exposed and may develop an illness after purchase. Returning an animal to the pet store for treatment often doesn't go well, as pet stores are profit-driven and are not going to invest much cost in the care of the animal. It's much cheaper for the shop just to get another guinea pig from the breeder than to invest money in nursing a sick animal. My cousin used to work at another major chain (not PetSmart) and she had some horror stories to tell. That said, my own pigs are from PetSmart (though in Canada, I believe our rules are stricter here- PetSmart is actually the only major chain left standing here after rules cracking down on puppy mills basically made it impossible for stores to sell puppies/cats in pet stores here. Apparently that's where most chains were making their money, PetSmart here has never sold puppies/kittens or anything larger than guinea pigs.) So some of it is going to vary by location. If there are rescues around that may be a better resource to get pigs that need a home and have already been assessed for health, but I know it's not practical in some areas (it isn't readily available for me either.)

Edited to add: My own personal rule of thumb is never to buy an animal that shows any signs of ill health (sneezing, eye crusts, lethargy, etc.), or any animal that is housed with an animal that shows these symptoms, or any animal that is housed with mis-sexed companions (the chains that have gone out of business here were notorious for not separating by gender and selling pregnant females.) It's just too much heartache and too much expense to end up with a sick or pregnant animal on day one.
 

Claire5012

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I got my piggies from pets at home. Both are healthy and showed no sign of illness or any problems at all. I had my 1st one 4 months before the 2nd and never had a problem. 2 weeks after getting the 2nd pig he came down with a fungal infection which he must have been carrying after catching it off another pig in store. I got it cleared up but he's passed it onto my other pig and got it himself again. I'm now treating both and will need to do a full on disinfection of their cages soon and a medicated bath to make sure it doesn't come back again. It's very frustrating!
 

Claire5012

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I got my piggies from pets at home. Both are healthy and showed no sign of illness or any problems at all. I had my 1st one 4 months before the 2nd and never had a problem. 2 weeks after getting the 2nd pig he came down with a fungal infection which he must have been carrying after catching it off another pig in store. I got it cleared up but he's passed it onto my other pig and got it himself again. I'm now treating both and will need to do a full on disinfection of their cages soon and a medicated bath to make sure it doesn't come back again. It's very frustrating!
 
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