GUINEA PIG \ CAVY
Ross in his Hutch Hello, cavy lovers, wherever you are!

So, you are thinking about getting a guinea pig.

LIFE SPAN - A guinea pig can live up to 8 years but the average life span is usually 4 - 5 years.
ADVANTAGES
Lovely little creatures with many verbal noises which they use to communicate with you.
DISADVANTAGES
They must have vitamin C everyday as they cannot store it, so a daily supply of fresh vegetables is a must.
CARE
A large wooden rabbit hutch (120cm x 60cm x 50cm high - at least) will make a suitable home for up to three cavies.  The hutch should be sited to protect them from the heat in the summer and, preferably, housed in a shed or lean-to in the winter.  Obviously, an outdoor run connected to the hutch would also be an advantage as they need space and freedom.  If you have a well fenced garden, they will willing share it with friendly rabbits and tortoises, and, unlike a rabbit, they will not attempt to burrow.
The hutch should have an enclosed 'private' area where they cavy can sleep and hide.  Suitable bedding is straw and hay.  The rest of the hutch should have a layer of sawdust or similar.
The hutch may require daily cleaning if the cavies are confined to it for long periods, less frequently if they spend time in an out-door run or the garden.
All varieties should be groomed at least once a week with a small brush, from the head downwards.
COMPANION Cavy Family
Cavies are social little animals and preferably should have a companion.  However, if confined, two males might fight, so it may be advisable to keep two females.
VACCINATIONS
None known
FEEDING
Cavies are entirely herbivorous, absolutely love eating and have two particular dietary needs.  One is for a daily intake of Vitamin C as they cannot store if, and the other is for a daily supply of meadow hay.  Hay is to important to them that it is a false economy to buy any but the best.
A satisfactory diet consists of fresh vegetables, hay, guinea pig mix and water.  The most natural way to feed a cavy is to let it graze in the garden, together with fresh vegetables including carrots, turnips, swede, cabbage, kale and lettuce; prunings of ash, elm and fruit trees; fruit as available including apple and pear; and cooked vegetables and vegetable peelings, preferably mixed with bran. 
It is advisable to provide water in a drip-feed bottle.
All food and water dishes should be cleaned daily.
Cavy EatingCavy Eating Cavy DrinkingCavy Drinking
AILMENTS
Cavies lose condition so rapidly that an owner's failure to act swiftly in response to any ailment may have fatal results - if in doubt - see your vet.
OVERGROWN INCISORS
These result if the cavy has nothing to gnaw on and need to be trimmed by a vet.  Check teeth if cavy has difficulty eating.  Provide a bark covered log for it to gnaw on.
OVERGROWN CLAWS
If not worn down naturally on a hard surface they may become too long and can be clipped by a vet.
DROPPINGS
When cavies get older they may having difficulty expelling their droppings.  These can easily be helped along manually by yourself using a piece of tissue.
SCURVY
Scurvy can develop when insufficient vitamin C is provided in their diet or their incisors are overgrown making feeding difficult.
LICE \ FLEAS
Bathe the cavy in tepid water, supporting the body with one hand and applying a medicated shampoo.  Rinse and towel dry then spray with a pyrethrum aerosol - if in doubt, check with your vet.
BRONCHITIS AND PNEUMONIA
These are usually the result of damp or draughts to which cavies are particularly susceptible.  Prompt veterinary help is essential.
LINKS
A brill website showing you how to build your own indoor guinea pig cage to give it a super, big, space.
GUINEA PIGS CLUB - Click Here. Has a Links Page with links to lots of Guinea Pig Sites.