Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two little lives...saved!

MAXMOM here...
(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.
(Dr Goosen with the pup, minutes after it was born)

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.
 Of these two nursing positions (above and below) the one above is the better one!

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.  

Apparently there is new life everywhere.

Sending lotsaluv to all my friends around the world.  Now I'm off to sleep....


Angel Ginger Jasper said...

How lovely and this brought back so many memories for me. Many years ago, over 30 when living in Germany with the army we got a sweet guinea pig for the children. It was really friendly and loved being handled. One morning early she was making a lot of squeaky noises and when we looked she had just given birth to a baby the exact colour of your baby and we never knew she was pregnant . I am so glad your mum and baby are doing ok and hope that mum will start to fees soon and give you some rest. Thanks for showing us all the great pictures. Hugs Carol and GJ x

H and Flo said...

Hee hee. :)

Given that it looks from one of those photos as though you are feeding it Hunters, perhaps you should call it Cider!

Congratulations on your new 'Granny' status!

Millie and Walter said...

So glad Twix and her little one are okay. Good luck to you with the hand feeding of the baby. You are a saint for your efforts.


How Sam Sees It said...

She's so cute! Is it normal for Guinea's to only have one baby?


Furry Bottoms said...

I am truly amazed. I never heard of a C-section on so small an animal before. This is awesome!!! I am so glad both Mom and Pup are doing okay. She looks like a Snufflepuss to me.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh my goodness so adorable. We never had no pet like that
Benny & Lily

kks said...

what a lovely "pig" story!!

Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

What a sweet pup! Congratulations!

NanaNor's said...

Dear Caryl, Congrat's on your new addition. Twix's baby is so beautiful, I'm surprised at it is so big and so covered with hair(I didn't remember this from when we had a g.p.). What fun but I'm sure you'll love it when Twix can nurse.
Love your flower collages and of course seeing Toby & Aunt Tam play.
Hugs today.

sprinkles said...

Congrats on the addition, what a cutie!

WFT Nobby said...

Well done Dr Goosen. We think that the wee one should have a name that honours you. Gander perhaps?
Toodle pip!
PS from Gail - I do hope MaxMom is getting some sleep...

Scout and Freyja said...

I would dare to guess that there aren't many little piggies who have had their birth welcomed and celebrated by dozens and dozens of people all over the world!

Whatever you decide to name Twix's baby - bottom line, she's adorable!

Suka said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes! Such amazing work by your Vets. And such dedication on your part staying up all night and feeding the wee one. Glad that Twix is o.k. and recovering, and what an adorable little sweetpea her baby is!! Such cute coloring. Congratulations to all! Always love the happy endings!

The photos of Toby and Aunt Tam are beautiful! And I always love to see them playing.

Gorgeous flowers! You certainly have a green thumb! Hope you get caught up on your sleep!

K and Suka

Molly the Airedale said...

Congratulations, MaxMom! We are so excited for you and we are so happy that Twix and her baby are okay!
Your flowers are just beautiful!

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Great post, thanks MaxMom

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Oh gosh- what an ordeal. We hope you are getting a little sleep.
So much excitement going on in your world.
We are glad Twix and baby are doing good!
It must be spring time in Africa- what beautiful flowers.

Kate said...


We have missed all the recent tales of these little critters and found out from our pals at Team Husky that there were some little critters making an appearance with the lovely Maxmom!

We hope you have had time to take a nap and that the little one and Twix are doing extraordinarily well under your care!

Welldone Maxmom!


STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Aww we want a guinea pig so bad. What a beautiful post. We loved all your photos and we think Twix's bub should be called Twinkle cause she's a little star hehe. Thanks for the smiles today. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory (and Carol)