Friday, May 1, 2009


Meet Opie
from the CA rescue

Orange County Cavy Haven!

Opie is an absolutely adorable guinea pig who has a rather stigmatized problem. But unfortunately stigmatized. It's a a really, really painful and dangerous problem. During May we're going to try and raise the money to treat Opie's severe impaction (and we're not talking teeth). Please read on for this adorable guy's story and how you can potentially help save his life.

We are trying to fundraise $246 for Opie's neuter: broken down as
$68 for the neuter, $15 for pain meds, $100 for Isofluorane, $12 nursing care, $15 fluids, and $36 exam, as well as some painkillers and antibiotics to take home.


Orange County Cavy Haven had an 8 year old pig named Dusty who had recently lost a companion, but no one to pair him with. They contacted Wee Companions who had recently rescued Opie from an animal rescue in terrible condition. Opie arrived at the rescue, to the rescue! Unfortunately, the match was unsuccessful. The rescue thinks that poor Opie has never had a friend to live with, as although he can tolerate having other pigs nearby, when another pig is in his immediate presence he becomes incredibly fearful.

Opie didn't just arrive with emotional baggage. When Wee Companions transfered Opie to Cavy Haven they told them that his anal sac needed to be cleaned out every day. This can happen when a pig lives a lifetime of poor low-fiber diet and no exercise-the male's sac sags over time as muscle tone is lost. However Opie (at age 3 or 4) was too young for the severity of his condition.

While many pigs' conditions will improve with good diet and exercise, in some extreme cases the male has to be neutered, which removes the excess skin. It also prevents a dangerous condition from forming--unrelieved gas in a guinea pig can lead to gastric torsion, a situation that is almost always quick and fatal. Opie is already suffering from a repeated bacterial infection called enteritis, for which he has to take medication. His entire medication regimine (Metacam for pain, Reglan for G.I. motility, Charcoal for the gas, and Flagyl for the bacterial infection) costs $60 a month, but could be largely eliminated after Opie's neuter. Opie's neuter will also leave him much more comfortable, as he'll be able to pass his fecal pellets without aid.

Still, Opie's impaction issues aren't even the extent of it. His diarrhea kept returning, he was always bloated, and he strained when urinating. An x-ray at the vet revealed that Opie had two bladder stones! His neuter was put on the back burner for the stones to be surgically removed. Between the tests and the bladder stone surgery Opie's bills were $800 just in his first month at the rescue. He also suffers from arthritis (probably from being in such a small cage his whole life), and was initally overweight. Opie is a piggy who can't catch a break-aside from the enormous gain of being in the care of Orange County Cavy Haven!

Opie is just a sweetheart pig. He loves to have head petted, and will just stand there transfixed while you pet him. And he even tolerates his daily cleanings like a champ--he really gets along great with people if he's willing to put up with this! One of the largest benefits of the neuter would be that this poor pig, who has never had a guinea friend, would now be able to try living with a female. Opie could move from never having a friend to having a wife!

Thank you to all of you who help Opie find better health and possibly even love through funding his neuter!


*Orange County Cavy Haven
2052 Newport Blvd. 6-189
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

memo "Opie" or "SAGP." Thank you for your generosity!

No comments: