Sunday, March 18, 2018

Guinea pigs, cancer, and surgery: Lola's very rough week

The humans went out of town for a week last week, and boarded us at the vet. Near the end of our visit, the vet noticed a bit of sludgy, pink-tinged urine (likely from blood) in the cage. As our readers know, I've been having a few issues lately, so their first thought is that it came from me. They examined me and found nothing that would explain the blood--although they did find I was due for another molar trim, had a weepy eye, and some nasal discharge, and prescribed some medicine for each condition. They then moved on to checking Lola, and noticed that she had a bloated belly.

Lola, is your belly bloated because you take so much of my food?
They took some x-rays of her, and noticed a large mass that was pushing on her other organs. The "primary concerns" on her discharge statement said:
  1. "Abdominal Mass: Possible uterine cancer, bladder cancer, or other cancer
  2. Lytic (moth-eaten) Pelvis: Possible bone cancer, bone infection, degenerative changes, other"
The humans then had to schedule surgery for Friday, where her life hung in the balance. There wouldn't be much they could do if it was advanced bladder cancer, but if it was uterine cancer, they thought they could remove her reproductive tract to bring it under control.

Lola before being dropped off at the vet for surgery. Good luck!
The humans got good news from the vet on Friday: Lola made it out of surgery okay. She's in observation until Monday, which is common after a guinea pig surgery. The cancer was in her uterus but unfortunately it also did spread to her bladder. The vet thinks if she makes it to Monday, she will probably live many more months pain free. Since the cancer was made worse by hormones, they fact that they spayed her will keep it from growing fast.

Poor Lola! I can't wait to get my cage-mate back tomorrow. It's been so lonely in the cage all by myself. I hope she's able to continue keeping me company for a long time!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Guinea Pig Product Review: Small Pet Select Loofah rolls

While Valentine's Day is still a couple weeks away, there's never a wrong time to show love for your guinea pig! Whether it's a nice pet on our heads, or a new chew toy to sink our teeth into, gestures of affection are almost always appreciated.

Today, we're reviewing another toy from Small Pet Select to let you know if its a good way to show your piggy appreciation: the Loofah roll! They describe this toy as follows: "Loofah is nature's floss for rabbits and piggies!  Terrific for giving those teeth a great workout, loofah also provides a totally different and interesting chew texture for the buns and the guinea piggies."

Will we find it as interesting to chew on as they claim?

We got to say that this was a pretty cool texture, and it was in fact fun to chew on! But what exactly is a loofah (also spelled "luffa")? According to Wikipedia, it is the fruit of a vine plant which "may be allowed to mature and used as a bath or kitchen sponge after being processed to remove everything but the network of xylem fibers." The family of plants that it belongs to includes many foods that guinea pigs can eat, including squash, watermelon, and cucumber. In addition, no safety concerns were mentioned on the guinea pig forums that we saw, and we have a generally favorable view of Small Pet Select as a company. Therefore, we're pretty sure loofah (or "luffa") is safe.

We also looked at other reviews for this product, and wanted to note a couple things that others mentioned:
  1. "I've used it to stuff healthy treats... into. This keeps him working to get to the treats, which he can smell through the loofah!"--Nice idea which could make this toy even more fun.
  2. "This is a massive hair magnet! My bunnies like them, but I find I toss them out because they get all gross with bunny hair. I've yet to find a good way to remove bunny hair from a loofah!"--We haven't experienced this with ours, but wanted to note this as a possible problem anyway. (Maybe it's a long-hair vs. short-hair issue?)

We give Small Pet Select Loofah rolls 5/5 stars!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cavy Savvy 2018 Guinea Pig Books Giveaway Lightning Round Winner Announcement!

Good news, readers! We now have enough entries in the lighting round of our book giveaway contest to select a winner using a random number generator. And the winner is...


Congrats, Ryan! You just won some cool guinea pig books:
Happy reading!
Please email us your current mailing address to within 7 days and we will send mail you your prize. (If left unclaimed, we may choose another winner, so don't delay!)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lightning Round for the Cavy Savvy 2018 Guinea Pig Books Giveaway!

We are excited to announce that we have extended our recent book giveaway! Comment on this post expressing your interest in winning two books about guinea pigs, below:

Imagine the fun you'll have reading to your guinea pigs about a topic they're sure to appreciate. good luck!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Guinea Pig Tooth, Jaw and Ear Issues

Hi there, Cavy Savvy folks. Before getting into the topic I'd like to discuss today, I'd just like to say again how saddened we are to hear about the passing of Arwen, one of our loyal piggy readers, a few weeks back.  Big hugs to Eowyn and their human.

With that sad news out of the way, I'd like to give everyone a health update on Broccoli. As you may recall, Broccoli broke a tooth in July 2016 from biting the bars of his cage, and then he needed a molar trim in January of this year due to malocclusion. Last month, the humans noticed that he would stop eating food after attempting to chew it a couple times, and the humans noticed his weight was down. This meant another immediate vet visit (you don't want to wait when you've got significant weight loss and/or other notable symptoms). This resulted in another molar trim, a prescription for Meloxicam, and some Oxbow Critical Care to get his weight back up. This time, they scheduled a follow-up in a month, which happened earlier this week. At that visit, they did another molar trim, but they also observed a thickening of the jaw.

The vet isn't exactly sure what's causing the tooth issues, but she noted that these kind of problems can be common in older pigs. Broccoli is over six years old now, so this seems to fit. The good news is that monthly molar trims do seem to be helping. The vet puts him under anesthesia and gently trims the back molars so that they don't grow over his tongue, which would make it hard for him to eat. After each visit, Broccoli is noticeably happier and hungrier, so he will continue on this path unless something changes.

In addition, Broccoli is currently on antibiotics after the humans recently noticed a head tilt, and the vet diagnosed him with an ear infection. It turns out ear infections are especially hard to treat (something to do with less blood flow to the ears than other body parts), so a very strong antibiotic was prescribed (Zithromax/Azithromycin) to do the job. His appetite has been reduced, so the humans started supplementing his diet with Critical Care again. It's hard to determine how much of the reduced appetite is due to the antibiotic and how much is due to his ongoing teeth and jaw issues. In addition, he's been more antisocial since going on it; he just wants to sit in the little cage and be left alone for most of the day. Fortunately, the 14 days he's supposed to take the antibiotic are almost up, which means hopefully he'll go back to normal soon!

It's been a rough time!
By the way, just a reminder, you can still enter our latest giveaway until January 20th, 2018.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Cavy Savvy 2018 Guinea Pig Books Giveaway

Happy 2018, Cavy Savvy readers! Now is the time when humans make all kind of  resolutions, like going to the gym more, or being more careful with that money stuff that humans love so much. If you haven't picked a resolution yet, how about a resolution to read more guinea pig book?

To encourage you to be successful, we're announcing our Cavy Savvy 2018 Read More Resolution Giveaway! We've got two books in our library we're prepared to give away to one lucky blog reader:
Here are the books you can win!
One of these books, Guinea Pig Pride and Prejudice, we've previously reviewed. The other one, Cavy Crusades by Paula York, a fantastic tale of nine guinea pigs who go on an epic journey to discover a new life through a forest.

Here are the rules:
  • You must be a resident of the continental United States.
  • You have to be a follower of this blog. To follow us, just click the "Follow" button on the right.
  • To enter, leave a comment on this blog post expressing your interest in participating in the contest.
  • All entries must be received by January 20th, 2018 at 12:00 pm (US Eastern time) to be eligible.
  • One winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries and announced on this blog on January 20st, 2018 sometime after the giveaway closes.
  • The winner will be instructed to email us to provide us with a mailing address to send the prize to. Winners must provide us with a mailing address within 5 days to receive their prize. If we do not receive a response in time, we will randomly select another winner from the eligible responses. 

Good luck!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Guinea Pig Product Review: Small Pet Select Meadow Ball

'Tis the season to buy cool stuff for your loved ones! And yes, that should include your guinea pigs. We are part of your family, after all, and if you get us the right gift, you'll see as much excitement on our faces as a human child when they rip open their gifts on whichever holiday you celebrate. But how will you know what the right gift is? Fear not, because we have guinea pig product reviews going back years now, and we're about to add yet another one!

Today, we're reviewing another toy from Small Pet Select's toy sampler: the Meadow Ball. Small Pet Select describes the Meadow Ball as: "Lucious meadow grass, all twisted and wrapped into a ball of fun goodness. What is better than a treat you can eat and play with too? Healthy high fiber, totally safe. This toy is great for chewing and tossing, and you might even see more than one cavy playing with it at a time." Sounds great from the description, but will this toy be a holiday-do or a holiday don't?

Do I want to chew on this?
I think I do want to chew on this.
And give it a little toss! Wow, the description was right.
Similar to the Honeysuckle Ring, I was interested in playing with this toy, but Lola wouldn't even come near it. (Come on, Lola. Live a little!) However, I didn't play with it as long as the ring. Something about the ring was just more fun to chew on, and your neck muscles get tired pretty quickly trying to toss this thing around.

So what's the verdict? We give it 3.5/5 stars--it's a holiday-maybe!