Animals / Rodents

Long-haired Guinea Pigs

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Классификация

Order: rodentia

Family: cavidae

Genus: cavia

Species: cavia porcellus

Ареал

All guinea pigs, including the long-haired ones, originated in South America, from wild guinea pigs that can be found there. They arrived in Europe in the 16th century and then active selective breeding started.  Long-haired guinea pigs were brought to France from Peru. Today there are Scottish, Peruvian and Angora long-haired guinea pigs. Angora breeds are most high-maintenance ones.

Guinea pigs are very popular pets, and in many countries there are clubs that regularly organize international exhibitions of various breeds. Most of these clubs are in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.  In Russia there are very few such clubs, but they are developing now. 

Внешний вид

The main characteristic of the long-haired guinea pig is of course its long coat. It can have different texture. The coloration varies; mostly they are unicolor, but sometimes they have pattern. The most common coloration is reddish, although black, brown and albino guinea pigs also occur. They have similar size and body type as short-haired guinea pigs: they have short compact bodies, big noses, black eyes and ears in the shape of rose petals. 

Характер

Guinea pigs are sociable animals who feel best in company of their specimens. If you have several of these small cute rodents, you will be able to watch their behavior in a group which can only be seen when a cavy feels safe in a circle of mates. If a guinea pig lives alone, it can only communicate with people, so the owner will have to give it a lot of time and attention.

Содержание и уход

Generally guinea pigs are low-maintenance animals, however long-haired cavies require good care of their coat that tends to get dirty and spill. Therefore you will have to comb its coat with soft brush. If it got mats, first you need to cut them off and then to comb the fur. Experienced breeders recommend to brush the long-haired guinea pig daily and you should start doing it from a very early age so that your pet gets used to this process. It is not recommended to wash the long-haired guinea pig. But if it its coat gets especially dirty, you can try to clean them separately with the help of special shampoo for long-haired cavies and then dry with a hair-dryer.

It is best to use a cage with a bar on the bottom, so that its droppings fall down and not get its long coat dirty. Long fur tends to collect all the rubbish, so it is important to clean the cage carefully and regularly. 

Кормление

The long-haired guinea pigs need the same food as all other guinea pig breeds: grass, hay, vegetables and fruit, grain and commercial dry mixes. If you want to give your cavy a treat, offer it a carrot, a cucumber or an apple. They adore this food.

Of course, the menu of your pet has to be balanced. Pay attention to your cavy’s behavior and appearance. If it is active and playful, has bright eyes and glossy coat, it means that your pet is in good health. If any of those characteristics is compromised, it means that your pet is ill or maybe lacks vitamins.  You may want to buy special mineral blocks for rodents so that your English self fulfills its lack of nutrients.

Clean fresh water has to be at the cage at all times.

Особенности

Guinea pigs, like all rodents, tend to gnaw on furniture and other objects. Males usually fight with each other. They get very stressed because of temperature swings.

Болезни

The most common diseases of guinea pigs are rachitis, conjunctivitis, parasites, tapeworms, diarrhea, viral and bacterial infections, hair loss, respiratory diseases, digestive system disorders, pasteurellosis, pseudotuberculosis.

Average life span under good care can be up to 10 years. 

Разведение
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