Search more about Pets & Animals

The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
Follow Me on Twitter.. https://twitter.com/AnimalSmile

Share Friends About Animals of our Planet

Share |

About Guinea Pig or Cavy/Cuy

Posted by WishbonE at 12:26 AM

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

About Guinea Pig or Cavy/Cuy

Guinea Pigs are mammals which belong to the rodent family having large incisor teeth that are continually growing necessitating gnawing to prevent the teeth from overgrowing. The word 'rodent' is derived from the latin word 'rodere' which means 'to gnaw'.

Guinea Pigs form the Family Caviidae which is broken down into different Genera and then Species. There are 8 species of guinea pigs but only one is widely kept as a pet.

Guinea Pigs have a compact body and no tail and are native to South America where they live in burrows in mountain and grassland areas

The Guinea pig (also commonly called the cavy after its scientific name) is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common name, these animals are not pigs, nor do they come from Guinea. They are native to the Andes, and while no longer extant in the wild, they are closely related to several species that are commonly found in the grassy plains and plateaus of the region. The guinea pig plays an important role in the folk culture of many indigenous South American groups, especially as a food source, but also in folk medicine and in community religious ceremonies. Since the 1960s, efforts have been made to increase consumption of the animal outside South America.

In Western societies, the guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet since its introduction by European traders in the 16th century. Their docile nature, their responsiveness to handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them, continue to make the guinea pig a popular pet. Organizations devoted to competitive breeding of guinea pigs have been formed worldwide, and many specialized breeds of guinea pig, with varying coat colors and compositions, are cultivated by breeders.

Guinea pig is also used as a metaphor in English for a subject of experimentation; this usage became common in the first half of the 20th century. Biological experimentation on guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century; the animals were frequently used as a model organism in the 19th and 20th centuries, but have since been largely replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats. They are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.

Guinea pigs are large for rodents, weighing between 700 and 1200g (1.5-2.5 pounds), and measuring between 20 and 25cm (8–10 inches) in length. They typically live an average of four to five years, but may live as long as eight years. According to the 2006 Guinness Book of Records the longest living guinea pig survived 14 years, 10.5 months.

Food
Grass is the guinea pig's natural diet. Their molars are particularly suited for grinding plant matter, and grow continuously throughout the animal's life. Most grass-eating mammals are quite large and have a long digestive tract; while guinea pigs have much longer colons than most rodents, they must also supplement their diet by coprophagy, the eating of their own feces.
Guinea pigs benefit from feeding on fresh grass hay, such as timothy hay, in addition to food pellets which are often based from timothy. Alfalfa is also a popular food choice; most guinea pigs will eat large amounts of alfalfa when offered it, though there exists some controversy over the feeding of alfalfa to adult guinea pigs. Some pet owners and veterinary organizations have advised that, as a legume rather than a grass hay, alfalfa consumed in large amounts may lead to obesity, as well as bladder stones due to excess calcium, in any but pregnant and very young guinea pigs.

Health
Common ailments in domestic guinea pigs include respiratory infections, diarrhea, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency, typically characterized by sluggishness), abscesses due to infection (often in the neck, due to hay embedded in the throat, or from external scratches), and infections by lice, mites or fungus.
Mange mites (Trixacarus caviae) are a common cause of hair loss, and other symptoms may also include excessive scratching, unusually aggressive behavior when touched (due to pain), and, in some instances, seizures. Guinea pigs may also suffer from "running lice" (Gliricola porcelli), a small white insect which can be seen moving through the hair; the eggs of these lice, which appear as black or white specks attached to the hair, are sometimes referred to as "static lice". Giving a bath with neem oil soap is a gentle and effective way of ridding the pig of lice. Other causes of hair loss can be due to hormonal upsets caused by underlying medical conditions such as ovarian cysts.

As Pets
A guinea pig can be one of the most endearing and wonderful pets. They may live as long as 9 years (the average is 5 to 7), so the decision to bring one into your home must be made carefully.

If handled correctly early in their life, guinea pigs become amenable to being picked up and carried, and seldom bite or scratch. They are timid explorers, and rarely attempt to escape from their cages, even when an opportunity presents itself. Guinea pigs who become familiar with their owner will whistle on the owner's approach; they will also learn to whistle in response to the rustling of plastic bags or the opening of refrigerator doors, where their food is stored.
Domesticated guinea pigs come in many breeds, which have been developed since their introduction to Europe and North America. These varieties vary in hair and color composition. The most common varieties found in pet stores are the English shorthair (also known as the American), which have a short, smooth coat, and the Abyssinian, whose coat is ruffled with cowlicks, or rosettes. Also popular among breeders are the Peruvian and the Sheltie (or Silkie), both straight longhair breeds, and the Texel, a curly longhair.
Cavy Clubs and Associations dedicated to the showing and breeding of guinea pigs have been established worldwide. The American Cavy Breeders Association, an adjunct to the American Rabbit Breeders Association, is the governing body in the United States and Canada. The British Cavy Council governs cavy clubs in the United Kingdom. Similar organizations exist in Australia (Australian National Cavy Council) and New Zealand (New Zealand Cavy Club). Each club publishes its own Standard of Perfection and determines which breeds are eligible for showing.



3 comments:

needle felted dogs said...

Photo belongs to http://mysite.verizon.net/vze91fyp/

Adopt a Guinea Pig on petfinder.

Clairey said...

Hey I love the mini guinea pig at the end, the "cuddly toy" should I say.. Is there anyway I can get hold of one of these please?!

I collect minature teddies/animals and I dont have a guinea pig, yet I have a real one who looks exactly the same as this one!

Thank You.
Claire

needle felted dogs said...

Hi Clairey :) visit http://mysite.verizon.net/vze91fyp/ where the pic came from. You can buy one of those mini guinea pigs there. The artist is amazing & takes requests for customs! :)

Recent Comments

Articles and Contents Republishing Policy

This blog provides articles and information about pets and animals. Readers, publishers and visitors are allowed to share, republish or reprint articles or partial contents found in this blog and should kindly follow the following terms and conditions;
  • You should also provide free access to the articles or contents and should be sold at any manner.
  • Upon copying/re-publishing, you should also include a reference to the author and the site.
  • You should provide direct link/s to the certain page or homepage of the site.
  • When translating to other language and republishing any contents from this site, the above terms should also be observed.
  • For any other concerns about republishing, please email the author at pet.safe2@gmail.com
Here's the code for link Reference upon republication:

It should be look like this: Animal articles courtesy of http://about-animals-planet.blogspot.com.