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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11540
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Anna, Is there any risk of deformity/mutation with breeding

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Is there any risk of deformity/mutation with breeding siblings in Cavy? Basically when I think about breeding the youngest female I would most likely breed her with her brother instead of the alpha male just because he is sooo much larger than her. (she is about 1/4th of his size)

Any time animals of any species are inbred, there is a greater risk of deformities. That is just because there is a greater chance of combining recessive genes that cause problems. Brothers an d sisters share the most genetic material (even more than father/daughter or mother/son), and so, there is the greatest chance of a problem. Deformities that have appeared in inbred cavies include minor ones, such as too many toes, but also some major ones, including cleft pallets, deformed feet, undershot jaws, dental abnormalities, and weak immune systems (which means they get sick easily and often). Inbreeding also results in more stillborn babies. Inbred babies may also ahve shorter lifespans. You can read more on these sites:

Breeders of show cavies do sometimes use inbreeding to 'set' certain traits in their bloodlines. However, they are prepared to cull (euthanize) any deformed or sickly babies. And of course, not every case of inbreeding results in problems. Many of them proceed with no complications at all. It's just that the risk of such abnormalities is greater with inbreeding than it is when breeding non related males. You'll have to consider the information, and then decide what to do.

As always, if you have more questions, let me know.

Anna and 4 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Paul,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Selina. How is everything going?