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Cher
Cher, Pet Caregiver 40+yrs
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21259
Experience:  Specialist in Pet Healthcare and Behavior
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When is it safe to separate/weening baby guinea pigs from the

Customer Question

When is it safe to separate/weening baby guinea pigs from the mother?
Additionally: If the mother gets pregnant before the weening time is completed, will her milk stop? If so, what can be done to save the babies?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Cher replied 3 years ago.

Hello, Paul and welcome back to Just Answer!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Pups can be weaned between 2-3 weeks of age.

At three weeks of age, the male pups (boars) should be separated from the female pups (sows) and the mom, to avoid pregnancy. A male guinea pig can become sexually mature as young as 3 weeks of age and a female, as early as 4 weeks of age and you would definitely want to prevent any back to back pregnancies if a sexually mature boar were to be housed with a sow who just gave birth, or after this 3 week time period, when her own male babies are maturing.

If the mother sow were to become pregnant again while nursing, no, her milk will not stop, but the nursing and the back to back pregnancies will put a very big strain on her body and is not healthy for her or the next litter.

Guinea pigs over 8 months of age should not become pregnant unless they have had previous litters. Breeding of guinea pigs is not recommended, as it can be very dangerous for the sow and her babies, but many times, you could be sold a pair of guinea pigs at a pet store and they have been sexed incorrectly, by accident.

The way to know if you have male or female pups is shown here: Sexing Guinea Pigs
It's usually difficult to tell the sex until they're about 3 weeks old, but the sooner you know which are male and which are female, the better, as then you can separate them at 3 weeks, to avoid pregnancies.

I hope all will be well with Rosie and her babies!

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back before rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions. If my response has satisfied all your concerns, a positive rating and positive feedback on the survey would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher" and I will respond as soon as possible.

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Warmest regards,
Cher
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When will/should the pups begin on solids? I ask because Rosie is being a bit skittish on letting them nurse and they are only a week old.

Expert:  Cher replied 3 years ago.
Hi again, Paul and thanks for your reply.

They can begin on solids as early as 3 days of age, and mom will show them how, but they must continue nursing for at least 3 weeks, to get the proper nutrition. I don't know how many pups there are, but guinea pigs have only two nipples, meaning only two pups can feed at one time, so try to encourage Rosie to nurse by sitting with her and speaking gently to her and placing the pups at the nipples. She should also be cleaning them thoroughly, including their bottoms, as this stimulates them to urinate and defecate. Scroll about halfway down on this page, for more information: CLICK

If she's becoming skittish, make sure she doesn't have sores on her nipples or her mammary area is not hard or very warm to the touch or appears blue-ish in color, as this may indicate an infection/inflammation of the breast tissue called matitis, which is painful and will need a vet's attention, immediately. Only use a vet who specializes in 'pocket pets'.
http://animals.pawnation.com/mastitis-guinea-pigs-2099.html

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back before rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions. If my response has satisfied all your concerns, a positive rating and positive feedback on the survey would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher" and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you for entrusting your important question to Just Answer!

Warmest regards,
Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 3 years ago.

Hi again, Paul.

I hope all is going well with Rosie and her babies and she seems less skittish today; I also wanted to add some information to my previous answer, about nursing.

If there are more than 2 pups, you will have to see to it that all are getting equal time to nurse. It's also important to weigh them every day to make sure they are gaining weight (keep a chart) and if you find one pup is smaller and/or not gaining weight as the others, encourage it to nurse without the other pups vying for a nipple, so it is not excluded/pushed out and not nursing enough.

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back before rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions.
If my response has satisfied all your concerns, a positive rating and positive feedback on the survey would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher" and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you for entrusting your important question to Just Answer!

Warmest regards,
Cher