How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Anna Your Own Question

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9468
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
6012901
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I (thought that I had) bought 2 sister guinea pigs last week.

Resolved Question:

I (thought that I had) bought 2 sister guinea pigs last week. One of these sisters, I have just figured out, is actually a brother. "Lillybet" has been dancing around "Rosebud" and making purring sounds. I thought they were just playing, until a few minutes ago. "Lillybet" tried to mount "Rosebud". I don't mind this mistake in gender, but is it okay for brothers and sisters to mate in guinea-pig-land? Also, both guinea pigs are only about 4 inches long, so I assuming they are about 3 months old(?). Is it even safe for "Rosebud" to become a mother at this age?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

It's too bad this mistake occurred. Male guinea pigs reach sexual maturity at an earlier age than the females. It would be better for Rosebud not to become a mother until she is 5-6 months old. You wouldn't want to wait any longer than that, because giving birth after age 8 months is very dangerous for guinea pigs. I recommend that you separate the guinea pigs for a couple of months, even if you want babies.

Any time you mate a brother and sister, there is an increased risk of the babies having health problems or defects. That doesn't mean it happens every time, but that the risk is greater. There are other things to consider before breeding. It is estimated that about 1 of every 5 female guinea pigs dies while giving birth. Being over 8 months old increases those odds.

I'll give you some additional information on guinea pig reproduction. The gestation period is 59-73 days. Baby guinea pigs are unusual in that they are born covered with hair, eyes open, and able to run around. They're quite adorable. Because the babies are born so developed, female guinea pigs are more likely to experience birth complications than many other mammals. It would be good to find a vet ahead of time who would be willing to help if assistance is needed. Not all vets treat guinea pigs, so you may have to call a few. Chances are all would go well, but it's good to be prepared. This link will take you to a directory of guinea pig/rabbit vets:

http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html

The litter can range in size from 1-7 babies, with 2-4 being most common. The babies can be weaned between 2 and 3 weeks of age. By 3 weeks, many males are able to breed, so be sure to remove any male babies to a separate cage by that age. For more about guinea pig reproduction:

http://www.guinealynx.com/reproduction.html

If your guinea pigs are primarily pets, I wouldn't take a chance on breeding. If you have a large cage, you can use a divider to separate it into two sections. That way the two can still socialize without having physical contact. You can accomplish the same thing by setting two cages side-by-side. While rabbits are routinely spayed and neutered, guinea pigs usually are not, at least in the USA. The reason is that they have greater risks from surgery. If you'd like to look at the option, neutering the male is less risky than spaying the female. I would consult with a vet experienced with guinea pig surgery. If you have any further questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9468
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Anna and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am so upset. I have grown to love the little guy... Financially I can not afford his neutering surgery, so I guess I will have to return him. Thanks for all your help, though.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry to hear that. Are you sure you can't find a way to separate the two without spending very much money?

Please don't click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above.

If I can help you in any other way, let me know.

Anna

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist