Meet Fred, George, Victor and Hugo. These are the first guinea pigs I’ve ever had and I’m really happy with them, they make great pets.
Fred and George came from the Sprowston Rescue (which has since closed down) in July 2007. They were 6 weeks old (born on June 13th), so they’ve grown up with me – and taught me all I know! Fred is a slate tan self-crested and George a slate tan smooth, although they both look very ginger and are getting paler with age.
George suffered from a condition called dental malocclusion which meant his lower molars grew at an angle and werent properly ground down by the upper set, causing painful spurs which hurt his tongue and stopped him eating. He had three serious events of overgrowth in his four years of life, and passed away from complications following the last one on 17th May 2011. Fred had an adverse reaction to an anaesthetic and died on 18th November 2011, but I think he was grieving too much for George to really stay around without him.
Victor and Hugo came to me from the Norwich GP rescue in November 2008. Hugo was a year old and Victor 9 months. Victor had been born in the rescue but been adopted to live with Hugo – Hugo had been bought in a pet shop, but their owners could no longer keep them. Hugo is a chocolate and white mismarked crested Dutch and Victor is an agouti lemon and white Abyssinian cross.
Hugo started to suffer from some sort of problem in the spring of 2010 and despite all sorts of tests and xrays we couldn’t find what was wrong. Sometimes he’d be better, sometimes he’d be squeaking again. Then he started to lose weight, just drop a few grammes, then stabilise for months. Eventually we found out he’d got bladder stones, and possibly kidney stones as well, and we managed to relieve that with medication but not before he’d lost more weight. He had a wonderful month of looking and acting pain-free and back to his old cheeky self before he contracted pneumonia and died a few days later on 29th July 2011. He is much missed.
Victor carried on to be a grand old man of six years and three months. He had problems with impaction and with arthritis, and also had an occasional fit in his last six months. He was an exceptional guinea pig, got on with everyone, mentored Dylan and Dougall and rehabilitated Humphrey.
Read more about Fred, George, Victor and Hugo in “Guinea Pigging”
George developed his own blog! George’s Guinea Pig World After he left Fred kept it going, then Dylan stepped up to the mark when Victor decided he had too much else to do. Kevin now looks after the Facebook page and Dylan the blog.
Hector and Humphrey were abandoned in a council house and only found when the new tenants moved in. They came to me after two months at the rescue and they were very timid, but have settled in well, partly because of the example set by Hugo, who went and chatted to them through the bars of their run when he did his tour of the kitchen every morning. Hector is a dark brown/black crested shorthair with a few tan markings, and Humphrey is a black and white Sheltie type (longhaired) with a few bits of tan on his tummy. They were probably two years old and 6-9 months old when I got them in November 2010.
Humphrey and Hector fell out around the time that Dylan and Dougall needed a cage of their own, so Victor moved in with Humphrey and they lived together for about two years. Victor died on May 29th 2014, and Humphrey turned out to have a tumour, which grew so fast he died only a few days after we first discovered it, on 1st October 2014.
Hector has been living on his own since he fell out with everyone, although he gets plenty of opportunity to speak to the others. He’s stopped biting me, and since he started having teeth trouble like George had, he’s become very cuddly and has changed his mind about me. He’s nearly 5 years old now.
I’ve mentioned Dylan and Dougall, two extremely hairy mistakes that were born to a sow recently sold to a lady who just wanted two female pigs. Dylan is as cheeky as they come, and bossed his uncles around, although the four of them, Dylan, Dougall, Humphrey and Victor got on splendidly (Dylan is daggers drawn with Hector). Dylan has been quite down since Humphrey died and I think he misses his uncles a lot. He’s discovered that being the leader isn’t as much fun as it used to be! Dougall is a sweetie pie, although he stands his ground if anyone tries to push him around!
Colman and Kevin arrived after their mum had to give up her home and life on Jersey. The members of Rodents With Attitude pulled together to rehome around 16 guinea pigs, and Colman and Kevin were specially chosen to come to me. Colman, at between 3 & 4 years old, found this very traumatic and would bite me freely until about nine months later after we’d had a special Valentine’s Day photoshoot (he won the competition, too). Since then he’s been as loving as his former mum said he was. Kevin is a sweetie, although he’d like to be a bit more important in the scale of things here. He’s one of the few pigs I’ve had who comes to the side of the run to ask for a head scratch (Hugo was the only other one who did this).
All was quiet till the changes in 2014, and after Humphrey died I took in two lovely rex-breed piggies, Oscar and Midge, both just four months old, because their Mum wasn’t well enough to keep up with the numbers she had. I\m afraid I made a mistake with the speed of introductions, and there was a lot of fighting before the boys settled down again. Dylan will tolerate Oscar for a few seconds, but not long; Dougall will run around with him ok; Oscar and Midge can’t stand the sight of each other, but Midge now gets on tolerably well with Hector, provided Hector has somewhere he can get away from Midge’s over-enthusiastic attention.
2015 was a sad year, as we lost Hector (age 5) after a long struggle with his teeth, Colman, from old age after his seventh birthday, and a real shock was the loss of Dougall in December (age 4), from a wasting disease, since all we know is that he lost weight, didn’t want to eat, and we couldn’t find anything wrong with him other than symptoms of an empty tummy and starvation. He was a darling boy, and we miss him loads. We miss them all loads, but we brought home Mr Percy in November, reputed to be five years old, but looks more like two. He’s a cutie, and very wheeky!