The guinea pig, unlike other representatives of the order of rodents, has some features. So, there are only 20 teeth, which are already available in newborns. Of these, four incisors — two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. Canine teeth are missing. Four premolars and twelve molars. The chewing surface of molars — molars and premolars is covered with tubercles.
The body of guinea pigs is cylindrical. The front legs are shorter than the hind ones and have four toes, while the hind legs have only three.
A female guinea pig has one pair of mammary glands in the back of the abdomen.
The guinea pig, in comparison with other rodents, is born with the most developed brain. By the time of birth, the morphological development of the structures of the cerebral cortex ends in her. The nervous system of newborns is able to provide adaptability to independent life.
The heart of an adult guinea pig weighs 2.0–2.5 g. The average heart rate is 250–355 per minute. The heart beat is weak, spilled. The morphological composition of the blood is as follows: 5 million erythrocytes per 1 mm3, hemoglobin — 2%, 8–10 thousand leukocytes per 1 mm3.
The lungs of guinea pigs are sensitive to mechanical stress and the action of infectious agents (viruses, bacteria). Respiratory rate is normally 80–130 times per minute.
Characteristic Meaning Birth weight 50–110 g Body weight of an adult animal 700–1000 (1800) g Sexual maturity of females 30 days Sexual maturity of males 60 days Cycle time 16 days Duration of pregnancy (60) -65- (70) days Number of cubs 1–5 Maturity for reproduction 3 months Age at weaning 14–21 days (weight 160 g) Body length 24–30 cm Life expectancy 4–8 years old Internal body temperature 37–39 ° C Breath 100–150 / min Pulse 300 rpm
Index Meaning Blood volume 5–7 ml / 100 g weight Erythrocytes 4.5–7×106 / 1 cub. mm Hemoglobin 11–15 g / 100 ml Hematocrit 40–50% Leukocytes 5–12×103 / 1 cub. mm
The content of leukocytes in the blood increases with age. ROE in one hour — 2 mm in two hours — 2.5 mm. It is useful for owners to know these averages of the main parameters of the blood of guinea pigs.
Differential blood picture (hemogram)
Index Meaning Lymphocytes 45–80% Monocytes 8–12% Neutrophils 20–40, 35% Eosinophils 1–5% Basophils 1–2% Bilirubin 0.24–0.30 mg / dL Glucose 50–120 mg / 100 ml
The gastrointestinal tract is well developed and, like other herbivores, is relatively large. The volume of the stomach is 20–30 cm3. It is always full of food. The intestine reaches a length of 2.3 m and is 10–12 times the length of the body. Guinea pigs have a well-developed excretory system. An adult animal excretes 50 ml of urine containing 3.5% uric acid.
Index Meaning Feces per day up to 0.1 kg Feces water content 70% The amount of urine per day 0.006–0.03 l Relative density of urine 1.010–1.030 Ash content 2.0% Urine reaction alkaline Milk composition (%) Dry matter 15.8 Protein 8.1 Fat 3.9 Casein 6.0 Lactose 3.0 Ash 0.82
Guinea pigs have good hearing and smell. When kept indoors, guinea pigs behave calmly, are easy to train, quickly get used to and recognize the owner. They can be taken in hand. With good hearing, guinea pigs get used to the owner’s voice, so you need to talk to them more often. However, when exposed to external stimuli unfamiliar to the animal, they are easily aroused and shy.
If necessary, take a good look at the guinea pig, take it with the left hand behind the back and under the chest so that the thumb and forefinger cover the neck, and the other fingers immobilize the front limbs and restrict head movements. Hold the back of the body with the right hand.
Guinea pig temperature
The normal body temperature of guinea pigs is in the range of 37.5–39.5 ° C.
An increase in temperature above 39.5 ° C indicates that your pet is sick.
To measure the temperature, the animal is held with its belly up on the left hand. The thumb of the left hand is pressed on the groin so that the anus is better visible, and a thermometer, disinfected and lubricated with petroleum jelly, is inserted into the rectum with the right. Enter it in two steps. At first it is held almost vertically and then lowered to a horizontal position. The thermometer is used by a conventional medical or veterinary mercury.
With good care and maintenance, a guinea pig can live up to eight to ten years.
However, like any living creature, the guinea pig is susceptible to infectious and invasive diseases. It is necessary to create good sanitary and hygienic conditions of detention, good nutrition, and avoid overcrowding of animals. It must be remembered that the guinea pig is afraid of dampness and drafts.
Having discovered the unusual behavior of the animal — reduced motor activity, the absence of characteristic sounds usually emitted by healthy animals, one should take a closer look at the guinea pig. If the animal is lethargic, trembling, the coat is tousled, or it has rapid breathing, decreased appetite, loose stools, then it must be shown to the veterinarian. The same should be done if an abortion occurred in a pregnant female.
Guinea pigs are less likely to be affected by helminths than other animals.