Sunday, February 1, 2009


Meet Maddie
from the NC rescue

All Creatures Rescue and Sanctuary!
Maddie puts the special in special needs. She is an adorable, lovable guinea pig who has won hearts all over the internet. Not only is she just that cute, but she is a medically demanding type of pig known as a "lethal" pig. Maddie is a very characteristic lethal pig-she has small, deformed eyes (a condition called micropthalmia), she is blind, deaf, and has severe dental issues, including absent incisors, overgrowing teeth, and a malformed jaw.

Maddie requires monthly dental trims because of her special needs. These cost $70 ($50 for the trim, $20 for the anesthesia). We'd like to raise enough for two months of trims ($140), as well as pay for a three month supply of metacam ($30), a three month supply of critical care ($20), and a one month supply of veggies ($40)! In total we'd like to fundraise $230.

Maddie was surrendered to a Virginia shelter with no explanation by her owner. At the shelter Maddie was terrified, and ran around her cage crashing into the walls and her pigloo, screaming. She was completely panicked, and as her cage was on the shelter floor she was vulnerable to all of the action and vibrations of the building. She was rescued by an ACR&S volunteer, and Maddie became calmer immediately once in her car.

Maddie has received the best of care since being rescued-in the most literal sense of the word. Now Maddie is an incredibly sweet and friendly pig who enjoys being held and petted. She is the loudest wheeker of her herd, and brings a smile to faces as she begs shamelessly for treats. She tends to beg to the wall since she can't see where the veggies are. Although she has a heightened sense of smell, she is easily confused and often stands in the middle of her cage and wheeks as loud as she can until someone shows her where the food is-then she dives right in!

What is so sad about Maddie, and lethals, is that despite even the best of care they generally will have reduced lifespans because of their medical issues and genetic compositions. Unfortunately, lethals are a result are of accidental, ignorant, or dangerous breeding practices. Sadly many breeders continue these practices even knowing the medical disabilities they may inflict on a fraction of the litter.

Maddie with her Valentine, Wesley:

Guinea pigs are social animals, and so always do better in pairs, but lethals like Maddie have difficulty communicating with other guinea pigs (and vice versa). This complicated her foster mom Andrea's search for a friend for her. When Andrea finally found a potential buddy (after a long quest) there was one problem-he was a boy! Luckily All Creatures Rescue and Sanctuary has a cavy savvy vet experienced with neuters. Now Maddie is spending this Valentine's Day safe in her forever home surrounded by the ones she loves.

Or to avoid Pay Pal fees, send a check to:

PO Box 1231
Apex, NC 27502
(919) 249-7758

1 comment:

Sponsor A Guinea Pig said...

Sponsor a Guinea Pig Public Service Announcement:

Lethal pigs are the result of breeding two specific types of pigs together (either roans x roans, or dalmations with dalmations). Unfortunately, these genes are recessive (can be hidden) in both guinea pigs. This means whenever you breed a guinea pig, there is a chance that a pig who would have expensive medical issues like Maddie might be born--except most lethals don't live beyond their first day. It's a terribly sad thing for everyone involved, and I hope you will consider the risk before breeding. If you would like a guinea pig, or babies, please contact your local rescue or shelter-or leave a comment here :)