WW- What Is That In Our Guinea Pig's Boy Parts?

Today ma took the guinea pigs outside. It was 62 degrees and the sun was shining. Yep, it is December and we have 60 degree weather, here in western Kentucky. We try to get them outside any time the temps are above 60 degrees and even if it is only 15 or 20 minutes, they still get fresh air and sunshine. Mostly they get some exercise that they can't get in the house. 
2 guinea pigs out in the yard
They are male and female so they have to be separate
On Wednesday, the guinea pigs and I will be going to a local college to help out with de-stressing the students during finals week. The guinea pigs will be petted and held by many students and I will be there to help too. 

Ma took us out for 30 minutes to get some sunshine and to let the piggies nibble some grass. Ma was preparing to give them both a bath so they will be clean tomorrow. Since they were getting a bath, they could get as dirty as they wanted while foraging in the grass. 
Guinea pig nibbling the young grass
Cinnamon
After ma brought them in, she gave Cookie a bath first. It was Cookie's first bath ever. She did amazingly well. She didn't seem to be bothered by the water and enjoyed sitting in the warm water. After ma dried her off and gave her some mint, she put her in the cage and rounded up Cinnamon. He had been playing in the back room in the boxes ma had set up. Cinnamon gets to run around freely in the house. 

Ma had been saying that she was thinking about taking him to the vet to have a check up. She couldn't figure out why he had been peeing on himself and constantly stayed wet on his belly. Why he had all of a sudden been doing that concerned her. He stunk. He stunk bad. Ma had been changing his cage more often in hopes that would help. She cleaned their cages every 3 days but it really wasn't a dirty cage. She had changed to aspen bedding because it was a little cheaper than the recycled paper bedding. Since she changed it so often it was really no sense in having a paper that controlled odors for 10 days. 
Guinea pig taking a bath
Cinnamon loves his baths. 
While he was sitting in the soapy water soaking his grease gland, ma was singing to him and washing his back. She rinsed him off and filled the sink up again to let him soak a little longer. When she picked him up to spray off his tummy , she noticed something white on his boy parts. 

Little boy guinea pigs need to have their privates washed and a sanitary clean often. Their little grease gland can really get gunky too. We have no idea what that grease gland is for but we suspect it is so they can leave their scents around. Maybe it makes girl piggies fall in love with them. After ma got his grease gland clean, she scrubbed between his toes and under his chin. 

When she moved his privates around so she could get all the soap off of his testicles, she put pressure on his privates to push out any gunk. Yes that sounds gross but it is a necessary thing for little boy piggies. All of a sudden that little white piece she had seen the tip of came out.
piece of paper bedding lodged in guinea pig penis
Piece of paper bedding had lodged in Cinnamon's penis! 
She was HORRIFIED! It was a piece of the recycled paper bedding!! It had lodged itself inside his boy part!!!!!! She hadn't used paper bedding in 5 WEEKS! There is no telling how long that had been inside him since he only gets a bath every few months but she wipes him down and brushes him weekly. THAT IS WHY HE HAD BEEN PEEING ON HIMSELF! 

Talk about a guinea pig mom feeling like she had neglected him. She kept telling him how sorry she was and she felt really really bad. She knew that had to be uncomfortable and even painful for him. She couldn't believe how hard that piece of paper was.  Now she is afraid he will be super sore down there and will be keeping a eye on it. She hopes that it doesn't get infected. Poor guy! 

Ma has vowed never to use the name or store brand paper bedding again. Everything we have read about it was good and said it was safe for guinea pigs but apparently not. At least not for male guinea pigs. The aspen bedding is just too messy. It gets everywhere when ma takes the guinea pigs out of the cage. Since they get handled everyday, it can get messy. 

Many people use fleece for guinea pigs bedding but ma just can't see cleaning bedding every single day. Guinea pigs pee and poop A LOT, especially males. Females seem to be neater that males. This is just our observance and others may disagree with us. It depends on the individual guinea pigs. 

Chopped straw for guinea pig bedding


When we were at Tractor Supply a few weeks ago, we were picking up bedding for the guinea pigs. Ma came across some chopped straw in a bag that expands to 10 cu. ft. It was $10. a bag and expanded twice the size of the largest bag of bedding that she usually buys. The bag said it was safe for guinea pigs and ma googled the straw to see if it was really safe. It was. The guinea pigs LOVE it. Ma can fill the cages up and it doesn't take as much as the other products we have used. She can actually use a scoop to take out the wet part and its easily replaced. It is much neater than any other bedding she has used. You can tell by the way the piggies lay that they are much more comfortable on it. It also doesn't get in their food like the other stuff did. 

It packs down nicely and they don't have it stuck on their feet. I also know she doesn't have to change the cages now as often. She scoops it and replaces what she took out. It doesn't smell bad and the guinea pigs don't smell bad like their bedding. 

We will keep a extra close eye on Cinnamon to make sure it isn't gettin in his private parts. 

Many companies say their products are safe for guinea pigs 
but bedding such as the following should be avoided

  •  cedar or pine should never be used. This type bedding can give guinea pigs upper respiratory infections from breathing in the scents and it has also been known to cause liver damage.  
  • corn cob bedding can mold quickly and is rough on their feet. Corn cob bedding will swell when wet and some guinea pigs will eat it causing problems with digestion.
  • Regular straw can also be hard on the feet,may cause eye injuries and molds quickly. 

The chopped straw we have been using is only 4" long and is more shredded then chopped. It is very soft to the touch. So far we have not had any problems but will definitely keep a eye on things. 

Do you have small animals? 
What type of bedding do you use? 

3 comments:

  1. Awwww... poor Cinnamon. I can only imagine how horrified your Ma was and how bad she felt about it. Give her a big ole' hug from me and tell her that Cinnamon is truly lucky to have her caring for him. She is one special Ma and you are each blessed to have her in your lives. I am sure that the students will enjoy having lots of furry love to de-stress them today! <3

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  2. OMD Carma! That is so scary. Thank goodness your mom knows how to take such good care of guinea pigs or dog only knows how long that would have been lodged "there" in Cinnamon.

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    1. I know! She had to allow him to soak two times to loosen it up enough to come out. She feels just awful knowing that had to really be hurting him. She will definitely keep a closer eye on him manly parts but in her defense, it was lodge so far up there that it couldn't be seen with the nakey eye.

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