HOT WEATHER INFORMATION
Signs of heatstroke include dribbling, lethargy, panting, convulsions and weakness. Guinea pigs cannot sweat and so heatstroke takes hold very quickly. Follow the below HOT WEATHER ADVICE to minimize the risk of heatstroke occurring.
Should you suspect heatstroke ACT QUICKLY and follow the below steps:
• Immediately move the piggy out of the sun and into the coolest room you have, preferable on a cool surface like a worktop or table rather than a towel or bedding etc.
• Wipe over the pig with a towel soaked in cool water, repeat regularly.
• Have a fan oscillating in the room to blow cool air about. If you have no fan, use a paper or similar to waft air at the pig constantly.
• Provide a bowl of water and fruit/veg direct from the fridge.
• If piggy cannot drink for themselves, try to syringe a very small amount of water into their mouth – do this VERY slowly to avoid aspiration.
• Contact a vet IMMEDIATLEY!! Delay can mean death! Even if you are unsure whether your piggy has heatstroke, seek veterinary advice immediately!
HOT WEATHER ADVICE
• Fill a 2l pop bottle 2/3 full with water, freeze and wrap in a towel. Pigs can lie against it to cool down.
• Invest in small animal ice packs such as the Scratch'n'Newton Ice Pod.
• Put old tiles in the fridge or freezer, then give them to your piggies – they can lie on them to stay cool. If you haven't got any tiles, you can use a ceramic plate or bowl.
• Add ice cubes to water bottles.
• Leave all doors and windows around you're piggies open to allow fresh air through.
• If the temperature is too hot outside, move piggies indoor into a cool room.
• Keep outdoor piggies in the shade at all times, even if this means moving them multiple times a day.
• Provide a fan to create a breeze.
• Wipe over piggies with a damp cloth.
• Regularly refresh water bottles with cold, fresh water.
Flystrike is when flies, attracted to the hutch by the smell of faeces and urine, lay their eggs on any areas of a pig which are wet or dirty. The eggs then hatch into maggots which eat their way into the flesh of the guinea. The condition is usually fatal.
How to avoid flystrike:
• Regularly trim and brush them to ensure their hair doesn't get dirty or wet.
• Spot clean the hutch every day and fully disinfect and empty it weekly.
• Use a flystrike protection spray (available from Pets At Home).
• Cover the front of the hutch and any gaps with fly netting to stop flies getting into the hutch (a cheap snap-shut fly curtain cut to size will do).
• Check piggies every day around the bum to ensure they are clean and there are no signs of flystrike.
• Use fly paper at doors and windows, or spray citronella around your door and window frames – but not directly at piggies!