GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
(Twix, what are you hiding behind you in the corner?)
It's official...I am a Guinea-pig granny! But I am also a walking zombie. Why? I had very little sleep last night having been appointed the official caregiver for a teeny-tiny little ball of fluff.
Yes, Twix's pup has arrived - a little girl piggy with a mop of black, white and caramel hair, delivered via caesarian section yesterday afternoon - thanks to to Dr Goosen and Dr van Rensberg at Radiokop animal clinic. I am so grateful for their professionalism and dedication to these small animals. Without them, neither Twix nor her pup would be alive. What would we do without our skilled vets?
Here's what happened...
As Twix's pregnancy progressed it was obvious that she was growing more and more restless. Our numerous cuddles together suggested that whatever was inside her belly was big, really big! I could feel it kicking madly and I began to worry that Twix may be too small in stature to deliver her baby/ies safely. If you recall, this poor little guinea pig was rescued on the 15 July in appalling condition - under-nourished, bitten severely and terrified. We brought her home with the resolve to nurse her back to health and provide the best a home could offer. I didn't realise, at the time, that she was already pregnant - obviously by the males who were in the cage with her at the pet shop. She was so small and we reckoned that she was under a month old. With careful nurturing, Twix blossomed. So did her belly - which was skimming off nutrients from her already depleted little body.
With some luck, I discovered the Radiokop animal clinic - a practice which welcomes exotic animals. They have some amazing vets. Dr van Rensberg saw Twix first, took an Xray and discovered that there was only ONE pup inside her belly. However, this pup was huge and confirmed the doubt as to Twix's ability to deliver. We agreed to wait until Thursday morning to make any serious decisions.
But little Twix went into labour yesterday afternoon. I knew that I had to get her to the clinic fast. She was becoming more and more distressed. Dr Goosen took over and performed the c-section. Within half and hour Twix was relieved of her labouring. It is a serious operation and takes its toll on both mom and the pup. After administering oxygen and adrenalin, the pup revived and the doctor brought the little thing to show me... It was a tearful moment - Dr Goosen had effectively saved two little lives. We are very grateful indeed.
The problem with C-sections on Guineapigs, however, is that the pups usually have difficulty nursing from their mother. You guessed it - "Granny" had to step in last night - every two hours - carefully measuring the formula and giving it to the little pup via a syringe. Twix was totally "out of it" - medicated to the hilt, so she wasn't much help.
This morning, mom and baby are much better. I'm seriously sleep-deprived though. The little one (name still to be finalised) is robust and drinking from the syringe. Twix enjoys the company of her little one, but is nervous of nursing it. It's quite persistent, so the new "Mommy" has resorted to hiding under the grass in her cage. Hopefully she'll feel better soon and take over some of her motherly responsibilities. It appears that I am in for the long haul of hand-rearing this pup.
I would like, once again, to thank the doctors and staff at Radiokop animal clinic. You guys have been angels - thank you so much for your care!
Isn't the little one adorable? We still need to choose a name for her. Initially I thought we'd call her 'Chomp', but in retrospect it seems rather harsh. So, now we are looking for suggestions - from you, my readers. If you have any contributions, I'd love to hear them! ???
The excitement of the household has left me ignoring Toby and Aunt Tam again. They're not fussed, but hover around my ankles or play together in the garden. Life is always happy from a Golden Retriever's perspective.
My flowers too are blooming.
Sending lotsaluv to all my friends around the world. Now I'm off to sleep....