Ask the Cavies Back Issues

Ask the Cavies
February - March 1996

Inaugural Edition

Question: Do cavies like baths?

Sundae's Bath select GIF file, 70KB.

Sundae: Personally, I love baths. The warm water ... the fragrance of the shampoo ... the attention I get during and after the bath. The only thing I do not like about bath day is that bath day is also nail clipping day. So, what is your answer, Wheeker?

Wheeker: Well ... I do not really like baths ... but I do not really hate them either. I hate getting my hair rubbed the wrong direction ... but I do not mind the nail clipping.

Question: How do you bathe cavies?
Sundae: Well, I think this is a question for one of my humans ... since I have never bathed myself. Perhaps we should have a "Ask the Humans" page. Well, just this once I will let my mama write on this page. So, take the keyboard, mama.

Mama: Thanks Sundae for letting me contribute to your page. I begin by selecting a bowl to bathe the cavy in. It should be large enough so the cavy does not jump out, but not so large that the cavy feels uncomfortable. I usually fill the bowl an inch or two and then lower the cavy in the water back end first. Thoroughly soak their hair, but be careful not to get water on their heads and definitely not their ears. Soap them up (I use a whitening shampoo on Sundae's beautiful white hair ... which is now yellow in most places ... and Johnson's baby shampoo). Then thoroughly rinse off the soap (if your cavy likes getting a shower ... use one of those sprayers). Put the cavy in a towel and dry off thoroughly. A tip: A nice clean cage with fresh hay helps grumpy cavies forgive you for putting them through such an ordeal.

Question: How often do you bathe cavies?
Sundae: My mama bathes us once a week during summer and much less often during the winter. It has been cold and rainy (by San Diego standards), so we have not gotten a bath in quite awhile. We will probably get another bath when the temperature gets out of the 50s and 60s and back into the 70s.

Editor's Note: For a related feature, see Ben Fisher's story about "The Great Guinea Pig Bath"


Second Edition

15 Mar 96

Selena Simonetti ( asks, "Wheeker and Sundae, what are your favorite vegetables besides what was mentioned on the list?"

Sundae: Aha! One of my most favorite subjects. If I am not actually eating, the next best thing is talking about foods. In my introduction, I said that romaine lettuce, sunflower seeds, and timothy hay are my favorites. I also absolutely adore carrots. That reminds me, I have not had a single carrot for several days. Anyone reading this, please remind my mama that this is one of my favorite foods. I think she has forgotten about them. I also like parsley, spinach, radicchio, and endive. So, Wheeker, what do you like?

carrotWheeker: Huh? Crunch, crunch, crunch!

Sundae: What do you like to eat?

Wheeker: Crunch, crunch, crunch!

Sundae: Sorry, folks! Wheeker is finishing her carrot. Carrot!!! Mama, you had better get me one when I finish writing this article! She pretty much likes the same veggies that I do. She does not try anything unless I eat it first ... actually, she always wants the piece that I am eating, even when she has her own piece. She likes to steal my food and put it into her pile of food.

Question: What vegetables do you not like to eat?

Sundae: I absolutely hate kale, and so does Wheeker. Mama says that there are many cavies that love kale, but I do not like it. When mama puts it in front of me, I put myself into reverse and get out of the way. There are a few other veggies I do not like, but I do not know what they are called.

Selena Simonetti ( asks, "For the owners of Wheeker and Sundae: Did you buy your little piglets at a store or a breeder?"

Sundae: Mama, you really need to have your own "Ask the Humans" page. So, where did we come from?

Mama: Well, Sundae, both you and Wheeker came from pet stores. You came from a store called Parkway Pets. You lived on the floor of a tall bird cage. Do you remember that?

Sundae: No. What was it like?

Mama: The birds were very loud and screeched often. For the longest time, you sounded like a bird. You also had a sister at the store, but I was only looking for one cavy at the time. So I chose you. I also told the store owners that it was not a good idea to put cavies at the bottom of a bird cage, even if the birds never landed on the floor. Wheeker came from a store called Pet Metro. She was in a cage with eight other little girls.

Sundae: Why did you choose Wheeker?

Mama: I thought she would make a good friend for you. Remember how I was out of the house more often and you were home alone and very lonely?

Sundae: Yeah, but sometimes I wish I had my own room again. I guess I am glad that I have Wheeker when you are gone during the day. Anyway, keep those questions coming. Wheeker and I will answer your questions ... when we are not eating or sleeping.

updatedGing Lowe ( would like to add that many good guinea pigs are for sale at guinea pig specialty shows. You will be able to meet the owner/breeder and even get pedigree papers. The guinea pigs may be of show or pet quality, and the prices are competitive with prices at many pet stores or in the classified ads. The ACBA and the GSCBA both list under the calendar of events when shows are. Besides purchasing a GPig, you get to see many different breeds of GPigs and learn how to take care of them by talking to the many owners there.

Thank you Ging for your input!


Third Edition

30 Mar 96

Ann Marbourg ( writes: "My one year old guinea pig, Posy, likes to chew on the bars of his cage, and I saw him this morning chewing on them. Suddenly, he squeaked and ran back. I then noticed his tooth had fallen out! I was wondering if this is all right."

Sundae: I have never had any problems with my teeth, but then I do not chew on cage bars. I used to, but papa would squirt me with water and mama would say "NO" every time I tried, so I stopped. They think it is a bad habit and not very pleasant looking. Mama has never had a cavy that lost a tooth, but they will grow back eventually. Just keep watching the teeth and file down the one that is still growing if it gets too long. If you feel uncomfortable with doing this, you can have a doctor do it. Mama says there are special doctors for cavies and you should look for one who knows us, not just dogs and cats.

Samantha ( writes: "I have a piggie named Pepe whose stomach seems to be big. It's not like her sister's tummy. I'm afraid she may be pregnant. I've heard of stories about stupid pet stores who don't know male from female and sometimes end up with a pregnant cavy. I'd like to know if you knew anything about pregnant piggies and how I would know Pepe is pregnant. I don't want to go to the vet next week and find out she's not getting everything she needs because I've had her for a month already. Anything you could tell me would be appreciated."

Sundae: I have never been pregnant and neither has Wheeker. Mama says it is true that some pet stores do not know very much about cavies and brothers and sisters are left together and make babies together. Babies usually are born after nine or ten weeks. Whether or not Pepe is pregnant, she should be getting lots of yummy food high in vitamin C. You already know my favorite foods. Other foods that some cavies like that are good for them are kale and dandelion leaves. The important thing is variety. Sometimes mama forgets about that and we get bored of having the same thing every day.

The important thing to remember is that if you are worried about your cavy because he seems different (he is not as active as usual, he is losing weight, he does not eat or drink as much as normal, etc.), you should take him to the doctor. Although I do not like to go to the doctor and have him poke and prod at me, he really is a nice human and I usually feel better after I see him. Last time I saw him, he gave Wheeker and me a handful of yummy meadow grass because we were munching on our records and he wanted them back.

Copyright 1996 M. E. Barr.


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