Friday, October 1, 2010


Here is their story: A healthy pair of guinea pigs was brought to the rescue in May of 2010 with their five babies from three litters. All of the babies were white, had strange looking eyes, pronounced overbites and behaved oddly. I had heard the term "lethal white" and seen some photos on the internet but had never seen examples of this genetic defect in person.

The next day, we got them to the vet and confirmed they all had this condition. Most are blind or have very limited vision. All have abnormal teeth, either deformed or growing improperly. Some have teeth missing completely on the lower jaw.

There were two males: Biscuit, who is now 13 months old and Ivory, who is 8 months old.

There were three females: Maria, and Rosa who are both 8 months old and little China, who passed away shortly after she arrived here at the age of 5 weeks. No matter how much we fed her, she just couldn't seem to metabolize the food. What she lacked in physical strength, she more than made up for with her outgoing personality and big voice.

We can't put these guys up for adoption. They require an investment of time and money to care for them and provide veterinary care to keep the teeth trimmed so they
can eat. They all go to the vet about two/three times a month at a cost of $28 per piggie for the tooth exam and trim. As time goes on, we expect that lab tests and supplemental syringe feedings will be necessary.

As they age, we expect metabolic problems to occur. The normal life span will probably be significantly shortened although we will do everything possible to keep them comfortable and happy as long as they live.

The remaining four are doing fine at the moment, although we are watching Rosa very closely. She is small for her age and while the others are continuing to gain weight, she is just maintaining her weight. We are concerned that she is starting to develop internal problems although she is acting fine otherwise.

Our goal is to fundraise $336--for three vet visits at $28 each for each of the four pigs. Good luck Lethals!

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