Many of our adopters and followers ask what it’s like to run a guinea pig rescue. While it is incredibly rewarding and something we wouldn’t trade for the world, it is not always easy. Sleepless nights, packed weekends and and messy medical care are all part of this whirlwind adventure. 

Beyond the complicated paperwork and start-up expense, the thing you will have to sacrifice most is your time. Guinea pigs require a good amount of care normally, and sick piggies are VERY high maintenance. To provide a peek into the life of rescue, here is a typical “day-in-the-life” for us and our little furry friends: 

5:15am: 

The day starts before the sun come up with a critical care feeding. I mix some dry critical care food, filtered water and vitamin c for one of our medical hold piggies Robin. Robin needs to be fed every 3-6 hours depending on his current weight gain due to chronic tooth issues. But he is such a cuddle bug! I feed him in the dark and slip back to bed for a little bit. 

 

8:30am: 

The day really begins, in earnest, 30 minutes prior to my report time for my 9-5 job. In this time I check water bottles, cut up veggies and feed all the pigs breakfast, top off everyone’s hay and weigh Robin. I also give out morning meds including vitamin c and treatment for ringworm for one of our younger pigs. This includes getting on some rubber gloves and applying fungal cream on her patches, then changing my entire outfit and scrubbing down. I also have to give AM antibiotics to our longer term medical sanctuary and again put on a fresh shirt (we do a LOT of laundry). 

 

9:00am: 

Robin gets another critical care feeding 🙂 

 

9:15am – 2:15pm: 

My day job! 

 

2:15pm: Robin gets another critical care feeding 🙂 But this time tragedy hits (j/k) and we spill critical care all over the floor and clean fleeces. Time for a clean up job! 

 

7:00pm: 

After my day job is completed, it’s time for PM laundry and cage cleaning. Guinea pigs poop a TON and sick piggies can have not so pleasant movements. We spot clean and vacuum all of the cages, changing pads and fleeces as necessary. This is also the moment I take to check a FOUL smell coming from our long term medical’s cage. Guess what?? It’s boar cleaning time! (If you know, you know) 

Also, Robin gets more critical care! 

 

8:30pm: 

It’s bath time for our piggie with ringworm. This is a PROCESS that includes giving the pig a bath with fungal shampoo, blowdrying, applying more fungal cream and yet another wardrobe change 🙂 The bathroom and tools also need to be disinfected with no-scent spray and wiped down to prevent spread. We also need to cut veggies for dinner for all the pigs at this time. 

 

11:00pm: 

It’s PM cleaning and feeding time! Pellets are topped off, hay is freshened and the bedding boxes in kitchens are turned over. We also provide more vitamin c as needed and gas drops for our bloat cases. Our long term medical also get his last antibiotic dose (and yet ANOTHER shirt change). Finally pea flakes for all as a treat 🙂 

 

12:00am: 

Robin gets his last critical care feeding, some extra veggies and some goodnight cuddles before we all go to bed! 

 

 

I don’t share this to complain, try to dissuade a future rescuer or scare prospective piggie owners. We thought, however, it was vital to show the true face of rescue! Add to this the late night transport runs, the vet visits on lunch breaks and the heartbreaking rescues and you start to get a clear picture of the experience. But…what this doesn’t show is the joy it brings into my life.

I wouldn’t trade one late night feeding, one difficult rescue or one early morning ringworm bath. The unconditional love our piggies show, even in the face of abuse and neglect, makes it all worth while. 

Want to help us care for our piggies? Donate today or sign up to foster! 

 

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