Guinea Pigs/Expert Profile

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As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience in the area

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.


Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.


Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

It is not my intention nor wish to offer criticism, but to extend the hand of friendship to those reaching out for help, in the hope that I can help make a difference. My responses and replies are sincere and my advice is given from both experience and from the heart. I feel a genuine sense of responsibility to each of my guests who trust in me for the health and welfare of their animals.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

The 2009 Disney movie G-Force used guinea pigs from our club located in So.Calif. Mine was the 'leading lady' Juarez whose voice was that of Penelope Cruz. It was a pleasure and a delight to have been part of that production.

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Recent Answers from Pat VanAllen

2016-10-21 Unknown sex, displaying signs of pregnancy:

If you have two boys and a girl there is no doubt the sow is already pregnant. Cavies are very precocious and develop into sexual maturity very young.  A baby sow can get pregnant as young as 2 1/2 weeks

2016-10-16 Guinea pig:

First let's address the 'jumping and flipping.'  This is a behavior that is common in younger pigs but is sometimes seen in older pigs as well.  It is called popcorning, and it's a sign of pure glee and

2016-09-23 Guinea pig eye:

That's a choice you have to make. For many cavy owners the cost of veterinary care is high for a guinea pig. That doesn't mean you should NOT.  It's simply a choice you must make.    If you are not comfortable

2016-09-23 Guinea pig eye:

The cloudy pupil and surrounding redness is a sign of an injury. He may have poked himself with a piece of hay if he has hay available, or a piece of shavings or bedding. Eye injuries, although not terribly

2016-08-22 Guniea pig overgrown molar problem:

I'm sorry to hear you've had such a hard time with your pig's teeth.  To answer your last question about pulling grass out with their mouth, this is not at all uncommon.    You've obviously spent a great


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