The Himalayan guinea pig is native to South America, not the Himalayas, more specifically the Andes.
Over time it has come into our lives and today is one of the most famous guinea pigs in the world.
Guinea pig breeds
Other guinea pigs are characterized as albino breed and therefore completely white and with red eyes, although they become pigmented on certain parts of the body such as the nose, ears and feet as the months go by.
The final appearance of this guinea pig is very similar to the Himalayan cat.
Himalayan guinea pigs have no pigment, which means these pigs are very sensitive to sunlight. Make sure to keep them in a shady spot and ensure they are always at a cool temperature.
Origin of the Himalayan guinea pig
The Himalayan guinea pig, although its name may suggest so, originated in South America, specifically the Andes, as do the Abyssinian and Peruvian guinea pig breeds.
It is suspected that the wild guinea pig, the so-called mountain guinea pig ( cavia tschudii ), is considered their ancestor, as they are close relatives.
The Himalayan guinea pig is one of the most popular among other guinea pig breeds and now found all over the world, and more and more people are interested in these rodents because of their noble, docile and friendly character and their distinctive, so distinctive appearance.
Where the name Himalayan guinea pig comes from
The name “Himalayan guinea pig” is taken from the Himalayan cat breed, as they both exhibit characteristic temperature changes depending on the temperature in certain areas of the body, as in the case of Siamese cat.
How much does a Himalayan guinea pig cost?
The price of a pet guinea pig varies. In a pet store you can find an offer from 20 to 80 dollars, sometimes up to 100 dollars. In breeding, the amount is slightly higher, about 100-300 dollars.
Although this is a more expensive option, it is worth considering.
When you buy a guinea pig from a farm, you can be sure that it is not accidentally reproduced by closely related individuals, as is often the case in a pet store.
You also get a rodent pedigree and can go to a show with it.
You can find breeding offers on Facebook (fan page) or on advertising portals (e.g. olx.pl, zoomia.pl).
The description of the ad should include information such as whether it is a pet, what is the date of birth of the rodent and what is its character.
Photos attract attention, but do not buy a pet from them.
Before making a final decision, visit the farm and take a close look at the animals’ living conditions. Are they clean? Are there too many of them in one cage? Do they have water? Do they look healthy? Are they aggressive? The pictures may not show that.
Characteristics of the Himalayan guinea pig
Himalayan guinea pig size
Adult Himalayan guinea pigs range in length from 8 to 12 inches, which is average for most guinea pig breeds.
The Himalayan guinea pig is one of the largest guinea pigs with broad shoulders, large head, long thick body and short legs. The Himalayan guinea pig can weigh up to 1.6 kg .
Himalayan guinea pig appearance
The albino guinea pig, in which the pigment appears only on the paws, nose and ears due to a spontaneous genetic mutation.
Thus, it is completely white at birth, and these areas become colored over time.
The coloration develops during the first months of the pig’s life and its intensity varies depending on the disease, temperature and environment.
For example, if the pig is in a cold place, the color will become more intense, and if you live in a warm place, the shade will be lighter.
Himalayan guinea pig colors
It is usually short, straight, and completely white, except for the feet, nose, and ears, which are chocolate or black. The eyes are red, this is due to albinism, and the pads of the paws may be pink or black.
Character of the Himalayan guinea pig
The Himalayan guinea pig is a sociable pets, they are an ideal rodent as a companion as it is very noble, calm, friendly and playful.
Himalayan guinea pig loves to get out of the corner, explore and play with her trainers, including children.
You can use guinea pigs toys that will unleash their play instincts and provide exercise, which is the best prevention for overweight.
What we mean is that in addition to having special guinea pigs toys in his cage to entertain him with, you should take him out of his habitat every day and let him run around in the room under your supervision.
Guinea pigs are herd animals very sociable and do not hesitate to ask the company of their fellow animals as a wake-up call (high noises).
These squeaks may also be made while playing, but they should not be a cause for concern as they are natural for animals and are a sign that they are feeling happy and happy playing with you or they are lacking in physical proximity.
Himalayan guinea pig care
A Himalayan guinea pig should be in a secure cage in a quiet area of the home with minimal room to maneuver and comfort.
The minimum size of a guinea pig cage is 40 cm wide and 80 cm long, not too tall. It is important that it is smooth and has no rods on it, as they can injure the pig. The cage should have enough space to sleep and rest.
As with all guinea pigs, if you want to provide the best care for your Himalayan, keep in mind that you need to spend time outside the cage and not lock yourself in it for more than a full day without going outside, as this can lead to serious problems.
The Himalayan guinea pigs breed especially likes to explore and play, so it’s basic care.
Likewise, it is more than advisable to offer Himalayan guinea pig different games and, of course, play with him part of the day because we have already seen him as a pig that needs attention from his people.
The basic care of Himalayan guinea pigs, like other breeds, is brushing and periodic dental and ear examinations for early detection and prevention of dental diseases such as a bad bite or ear infection.
Nails should be trimmed when they are long, usually every month or month and a half.
The coat should be brushed once or twice a week and washed when dirty with a special rodent shampoo.
Being albinos, the coat gets dirty quickly, and especially during the coldest months of the year it can be effective to wipe off wet clothes instead of bathing.
However, the results will not be as good.
Regular veterinary checkups are important to keep the guinea pigs healthy.
Himalayan guinea pig diet
Digestive problems are one of the biggest problems with these animals, and the best way to avoid them is through proper nutrition.
Himalayan guinea pig feeding should be based on:
It should make up 65-70% of the entire diet. It is a staple food and is essential.
Fruits and vegetables
20-25% of the total diet. Good sources of vitamins and trace elements. Celery, peppers, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, chard, cherries and strawberries are available safely. Discover the complete list of fruits and fresh vegetables for guinea pigs in this other article.
Guinea pig food
5-10% of the total diet. Feed is necessary to achieve a fully balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients. It must be specially formulated for guinea pigs, usually with added vitamin C, which is essential for these rodents, since it cannot be synthesized and must be obtained from fruits, vegetables and feeds.
Water should always be available to the himalayan piggy, and it is better to put it in a rodent drinker than in a container in the cage, as it is more likely to stay still there longer and you may lose interest in drinking old water.
Himalayan guinea pig health
Himalayan guinea pigs have a lifespan of 5-7 years with adequate quality of life and no diseases. Some of the common diseases of Himalayan guinea pigs :
It consists of vitamin C deficiency. These animals are at risk of developing this disease because they cannot synthesize the vitamin on their own and must get it daily with food.
With an unbalanced or inadequate diet, this disease can develop and the piglet shows symptoms such as immunosuppression, internal bleeding, respiratory disorders, hypersalivation, pododermatitis, anorexia, hair and skin problems, weakness or difficulty walking.
Fleas, lice, mites, ticks. In addition to physical damage to the guinea pigs skin, they can also be carriers of disease. Therefore, appropriate guinea pig deworming is necessary.
Such as stool dysbiosis: consists of an exchange of flora (commensal bacteria) in the colon for various bacteria or pathogens.
Factors that may predispose this pathology to decreased colon motility include consumption of excessive fermentable carbohydrates, a low-fiber diet, or infections caused by Clostridium piriform.
Usually in cold weather, after a cold bath, in the wrong place in the cage or in a draft. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, fever, shortness of breath, sneezing and noises when breathing.
Occurs when teeth do not fit together because they have not grown properly and have lost their fit. This affects proper food intake and can lead to injuries and infections.
The vast majority of guinea pigs illnesses are preventable with proper treatment, so it is very important, before we take in an exotic animal whose care we don’t really know, to inform the experts in the field about how to ensure their quality of life. They deserve it.
Are Himalayan guinea pigs rare?
It is one of the rarer guinea pis breeds, so one would be forgiven for thinking that it comes from Asia because of its name.
However, this is not the case, as the Himalayan guinea pigs is native to South America.