Princess Piggy Poo’s summer stay-cation

Princess Piggy Poo Stay-cationPrincess Piggy Poo enjoys the confines of her castle. She looks forward to her daily routine and thinks the only change of scenery that’s worthwhile is the one that appears on the television. Imagine her joy, when I decided to stay home this summer.

I don’t know if all cavies are creatures of habit, but Princess Piggy Poo seems to know she has it good and likes to keep it that way. When I travel, my guinea pig is relegated to her smaller bedroom cage in a friend’s home for a few days. While I’m out having fun, Princess Piggy Poo’s getaway is more of a monk’s retreat with no TV and sparse living quarters — definitely not suitable for a royal cavy.

Princess Piggy Poo is a big proponent of the stay-cation. She is happy to have me popping in and out of the house while she chills in the comfort of home. For a guinea pig that’s supposed to be having adventures, Princess Piggy Poo would rather dream about what’s happening in the world than go out in it.

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Princess Piggy Poo’s air-conditioned comfort

Princess Piggy Poo Air ConditionPrincess Piggy Poo is blissfully unaware that Southern California is having a heat wave. She is a pampered guinea pig living in her temperature-controlled cavy castle. For Princess Piggy Poo, every day is springtime or fall.

It’s my job to keep Princess Piggy Poo comfortable. Someone asked me if guinea pigs sweat when it gets hot outside, and only thinking of my own cavy, I answered, “No.” It seems, however, that may be the truth for all guinea pigs. Similarly to how dogs pant to relieve heat instead of sweating, guinea pigs only have sweat glands on the bottom of their feet. Cavies can also regulate their body heat with their blood flow. If Princess Piggy Poo gets warm, her pink ears will redden. Supposedly, she may lay down with her legs stretched and feet out so the sweat glands can get air.

Some guinea pigs live outdoors and have to deal with the heat. To help keep outdoor cavies cool, it’s recommended to freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place it in their cages. Then if a guinea pig gets hot, it can get near the frozen bottle to cool off.

The best thing though is to keep the temperature regulated for your guinea pigs. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor space for your guinea pig, always make sure there is fresh water available.

Princess Piggy Poo seems to enjoy having the air conditioner set to 78 degrees in the summer. And, conveniently, that works for me, too.

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Princess Piggy Poo crazy from the white noise

Princess Piggy Poo White NoisePrincess Piggy Poo is a TV-holic. From the time we wake up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night, the TV is on. A few years ago, a friend who had guinea pigs suggested I keep a television or radio on for Princess Piggy Poo and I’ve done that ever since. I’m not watching it, so it’s totally for her cavy-vision enjoyment. Even when I leave the house, the TV stays on for my guinea pig.

For outings that I know I’ll be away for more than three hours, I turn off the TV and turn on the radio, because for some reason, the television’s converter box automatically shuts off after three to four hours. Unfortunately, when the cable goes off, the television stays on, so without the cable feed, the television is static.

When I’m home, the white noise alerts me to turn the converter box back on to restore programming, but when I accidentally stay away too long, Princess Piggy Poo is serenaded by the mind-numbing chronic shhhh and bouncing, flickering black and white dots. Sometimes, I come home and the TV is off completely. I wonder how long it takes before that happens. I don’t want my cavy going crazy while I’m away.

So far I haven’t noticed any ill effects from Princess Piggy Poo having to deal with this scene from Poltergeist. And, I sure am glad she stays away from the light.

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Velvety Princess Piggy Poo

Princess Piggy Poo VelvetyPrincess Piggy Poo is so soft that sometimes — even after all this time — it still takes me by surprise. You might think that all guinea pig fur feels the same but from my limited experience there are a range of textures even when the appearance is similar.

My friend Doug had a cavy named Mr. Cucoloris that had coarse fur. The rest of the Cucoloris guinea pig family had average fur. Until I met Princess Piggy Poo, I never knew a cavy could feel so velvety. Initially, I thought it was her baby fur; the way human babies have soft skin. I prepared myself for the day she would outgrow her silky hair, but to my delight that never happened.

Princess Piggy Poo still has the loveliest, softest cavy fur. It’s addictive and relaxing to pat a guinea pig that feels like velvet. Cuddling Princess Piggy Poo is better than a glass of wine after a stressful day — and no calories.

 

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Princess Piggy Poo has a cold

Princess Piggy Poo ColdGuinea pigs have sensitive respiratory systems. Although, cavies don’t really get colds, they get URIs. Even so, I’m not sure how Princess Piggy Poo caught an upper respiratory infection (URI) without going out in the cold, getting caught in the rain or being around another sick cavy.

Princess Piggy Poo started making hooting noises when eating her hay. At first, it sounded like she had rubber or wooden teeth, which sounded comical to me. I decided to check online to see if other guinea pigs made the sound. The web search scared the hell out of me because, after consulting Dr. Google, I was certain she had a heart condition.

After rushing Princess Piggy Poo to her exotic veterinarian, I was told she had a URI. How did the vet know? There was moisture in her right nostril. Her cavy lungs were clear, so we were given antibiotics, probiotics, care instructions and sent on our merry way.

Thank goodness I am able to spend so much time with Princess Piggy Poo to witness little changes in her behavior and know when something is amiss. Hopefully, Princess Piggy Poo is on the mend and there will be no more hooting sounds coming from my cavy. I had no idea Princess Piggy Poo would be such a delicate guinea pig. Never name your pet after royalty, they really live up to the title.

 

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Princess Piggy Poo heaving hiccups

Pricess Piggy Poo HiccupsPrincess Piggy Poo was calmly sitting on my lap one second and the next it looked as if she was trying to cough up a hairball. Her small undulating body was so sad to see. She kept lurching forward in waves. It was quite traumatic to witness, especially not knowing if Princess Piggy Poo was trying to regurgitate her last meal, having a stroke or being possessed by a demon.

A quick web search stated that guinea pigs don’t throw up. This was dismaying because I thought that would be the least problematic issue. I noticed hiccups were mentioned as a diagnosis, but I was thinking about human hiccups, not knowing there was a cavy version of hiccups called heaving hiccups, which, by the way, is perfectly descriptive of the event.

Once I realized heaving hiccups were the culprit, Princess Piggy Poo settled down and I breathed a sigh of relief. Thankfully there would be no need to visit the vet or track down holy water.

I hope Princess Piggy Poo never has hiccups again. She may be a sturdy little guinea pig, but it was too much for her delicate momma to witness.

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Princess Piggy Poo’s one black hair

Princess Piggy Poo Black Hair

Princess Piggy Poo is white as virgin snow, white as cotton on the flower, white as fluffy cumulus clouds, except for one black hair. On the right side of Princess Piggy Poo’s hip is a single dark hair. I wonder if she would be as appalled at that little black hair, as I would be to see a white one on my head of dark hair.

Being on the vain side, Princess Piggy Poo may consider that sole black hair a blemish on her otherwise perfectly white fur. Actually, she probably doesn’t even know it’s there. It isn’t easy to find that hidden gem. From time to time I check to see if it’s still there. Thinking maybe the black hair appeared as a fluke and will fall out, never to return. However, every time I go searching, it eventually turns up.

On the other hand, Princess Piggy Poo may be proud of her single dark strand. While she looks identical to her guinea pig mother, her father was a dark-haired cavy. That lone black thread is part of Princess Piggy Poo’s paternal lineage.

Thank goodness I resisted my first urge to pull that unique hair. Being flawless is fine but then I wouldn’t have so much fun searching for the black needle in the white haystack.

 

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