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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29013
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I just came home from Work and Paisley (Guinea Pig) had given

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I just came home from Work and Paisley (Guinea Pig) had given birth. This is her second litter. The first litter was 5 and all were, and are healthy. This time...... VERY Different. Let me explain. I walked up to the C&C cage and in the hut were 9 guinea pigs - AND NO MOTHER !!! I panicked!! I found the mother hiding, covered in blood on the other side of the cage and in a different house. I swooped her up and talked softly to her as I walked quickly to the bathroom to rinse her off. After I got her under control I went to the Pile of fur, blood, sacs, and utter chaos. After carefully sifting through the babies. I found 5 alive and four that were stiff, cold, and not alive anymore. I separated the living from the deceased and transferred mommy and the breathing babies to another clean quiet cage that is covered on three sides to see if mommy instincts would kick in. They have and the babies are all corralled up and mommy appears to be a little calmer. For me - I'm a wreck, not to mention my daughter and I were walking down the stairs talking about how cool it would be if Paisley would just have those babies already - Imagine the look on both our faces when we walked up on that.... Shes eight years old and I'm a 38 year old construction worker, I never though something like this would happen or upset me like it has. Either way, I quickly told my daughter to go sit down until I could asses the situation, and then proceeded to explain to her that sometimes this happens in life, and that even though it looked bad, not to let it upset her to much or not to blame herself, because neither of us had done anything wrong. Anyway, I'm rambling, that's what I do when I'm nervous, I also misspell a lot because I type too fast. Is there anything else I should do or be on the look out for??? Jesus....I feel like my hearts beating 100 mph's. That was just so much information to process at one time..
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Please rest (the operative word) assured that "you done good". Guinea pigs are more predisposed to dystocia (difficult birth) than other rodents or rabbits probably due to the large size of their pups, narrow pelvic canals, or fusion of the pubic symphysis. Other causes suggested are uterine torsion, obesity, nutritional (including vitamin C) deficiencies, and uterine inertia (delayed contractions). The majority of sows bred after 1 year of age have some difficulty with parturition and these sows need to be monitored closely and may require cesarean section if contractions and straining produce a bloody or green discharge but no pups.

At this time, you only need to provide the most nutritious feed - pellets + fresh greens and vitamin-mineral supplementation. I would, however, remove Paisley from your breeding program lest she have problems delivering down the road.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Please disregard the info request.