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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

2017-01-05 Adam's Dip:

It's a good idea to wear gloves, especially if you have any cuts or broken skin on your hands. The Adams Dip is the safest thing I have found because it is made from Pyrethrins, which is a food product

2016-12-29 Guinea pigs:

If your pig has lice you would not be able to see them. They are almost clear in color and typically stay around the back of the pig where they cannot reach to chew them off.  If you are able, could you

2016-12-27 Our Skinny pig losing weight and not drinking:

This is a confusing situation. Frankly I've never heard of a guinea pig having arthritis.  That's not to say they don't, I've just never heard of it.     Skinny pigs have issues that other pigs may not

2016-11-29 small rough reoccuring bump on guinea pig's back:

What you are seeing is a sebaceous cyst. The white, thick stuff is made of oils and its purpose is to lubricate the skin. Sometimes the gland plugs up and the sebaceous material cannot be excreted out

2016-11-23 Eye infection:

I'm assuming you're talking about the black boar with the eye infection?  That was a few years back, but not the only eye infection I've dealt with. If possible, please send a picture of her eye so I can


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