Purchasing a Cavy Pet Or PedigreeThings to look for...
HOW TO CHOOSE A HEALTHY GUINEA PIG
Here are some BASIC things to look for to assit you in choosing a healthy guinea pig for your family.
1. Look at the overall body condition - a guinea pig should not be skinny, with no swellings or lumps and bumps. An ideal weight of a 4 to 6 week old cavy is between 350 & 500 grams. (Size and weight can depend on genetics ask to view the parents)
2. Guinea pigs should be bright and curious, and never lethargic.
3. The guinea pig's coat should be full, fluffy and smooth looking (Depending on breed, coat spacifics may differ), with no bare patches (all cavies have small bare patched behind the ears, this is more noticeable on some breeds more then others). Avoid guinea pigs with bald patches, red or flakey skin. Also check for soiling around the rear end, as this may indicate a problem with diarrhea (Diarrhea could be signs of serious ill health that could be contagious to other guinea pigs you have at home).
4. The eyes, nose and ears should be clean and free from discharge. Observe the guinea pig's breathing, which should be quiet and not labored, with no gurgling noises.
5. Look at the teeth, they should not be overgrown and should be well-aligned.
6. Watch the guinea pig move around - it should have no signs of lameness, hopping like a bunny, stiffness, shaking or reluctance to move around (This could be signs or injury or Vitamin C Deficiancey or Scurvy)
Hints & Tips:
1. If any of the guinea pigs in the same cage (or same shelter, breeder, or store) seem ill, resist the temptation to purchase/adopt from there (This could be contagious your guinea pig may be next).
2. Make sure males and females available for sale are separated. Familiarise yourself with the differences between males and females. It is best to avoid the possibility of surprise litters, especially in very young guinea pigs.
3. If you go to a breeder, make sure they are breeding for specific goals (for pedigree - meeting breed standard and aiming to improve) even basic goals such as temperament and health. Remember papers do not mean your cavy is a show stopper or even just show quality... Do your research (ensuring you research Australian sites) both on the breed and the person you wish to purchase from.
There are also more specific things to be looking for when purchasing a pedigree cavy for both show or your breeding program. Please do not breed unnecessarily as there are so many cavies in shelters that need forever homes.
PURCHASING A PEDIGREE CAVY
You must take responsibility as the purchaser that ALL purchases are made as a BUYER BEWARE situation... Ask judges and breeders with experience in that particular breed for an opinion BEFORE agreeing to or purchasing the cavy. The seller needs to insure they are selling you a fit and healthy animal and should offer some information and some sort of health guarantee It is you as the purchaser to decide if the animal is right for you as a pet or pedigree.