BOARS IN RESCUE: Alternatively titled, “Lady Edith’s Desires!”

Join us as we revisit a rescue story from Issue 71, shedding light on the challenges of boars in rescue. Lady Edith’s fun storytelling has left a lasting impression on us, and we’re really excited to be sharing her story with you here on the blog today for the last day of GPAW2023 (Rescue & Rehome). We just know you’ll enjoy the read and let’s hear it for the boars!

Article by: Lady Edith of Gertie’s Guinea Pig Rescue (Issue 71, 2022)

When Gertie’s Lonely Guinea Pig Rescue featured a rescue story a year ago, it was by my cousin, Miss Edith, who ran the rescue with a paw of steel. Alas, she passed, leaving a gaping leadership role here at the rescue. As it happens, I was born in rescue at that very same time and bore an uncanny resemblance to Miss Edith. So, I was plucked from being a tiny homeless whippersnapper and thrust straight into the role of an instant Pup Star… Pin-up… Global Icon… Well known for her originality, my mum named me after Miss Edith; but to avoid confusion (or create it?), she called me Lady Edith. The title is fitting (although I am not quite sure she has the authority to be giving titles to guinea pigs—a point I will take up with our new King).

Since the pandemic took off, things here at Gertie’s Guinea Pig Rescue have gone a little crazy. With over 90 piggies in rescue, mum and Karen (my humans) wondered if life would ever get back to normal. We had cages stacked everywhere, and I was getting more than fed up; the daily marathon workout with my refreshment trolley, keeping everyone entertained, and the continual revving up of the paw-held vacuum cleaner… poops just get everywhere, don’t they? I can fire mine across the room with precision. Not the nutritious ones, obviously; I save those to snack on.

Cedric & Cassius

Fast forward to surviving the pandemic, and then we are hit with 2022, where things have gotten a whole lot worse. The financial squeeze has meant adoptions have just dropped away, like a full cava glass shattering on the floor. We still have a waiting list for sows – but now we have one for BOARS too.

There used to be a few new home offers among the daily emails; I’d gaze at the setups and imagine if I could see myself living there – carefree with a bottomless salad bar, being hand-fed grapes… We now get very few new home offers. It is these that every rescue needs to keep things moving. There is only so much space in any one rescue, after all. Without adoptions, we cannot rescue. So, I work through all the emails (tagging all the boars that need a rescue space (in order of my own preference – I add little notes to help my PA Karen to sort them correctly – you know, things like, “Hot to Trot” or, “Kissable Lips”, or “Love the cut of his jib”). Obviously, my hints have no sway. We keep squeezing in those at most risk… How boring is that for an eligible sow of title?

The saddest thing is that boars are an issue for all guinea pig rescues. The truth is that they are a lot harder to find new homes for.

The problem runs through both sides of the rescue, the sanctuary pigs and the adoptable pigs. We have the sanctuary pens where we give a retirement home to those who are too old or have long-term medical problems that render them unable for adoption. Gossip Central for the rescue, and my Wisdom Corner for life skills when I had to grow into Miss Edith’s size nine Crocs. Obviously, adding an older female to a herd is not usually a major issue; it all fits into one large pen. But taking in an older single boar is much more of an issue – as you can only have one neutered male in each herd of sows. And not many boars that arrive here are neutered. This then means we can only try and pair them up with another older boar. But to get matches, you need to have two separate spaces to allow this to happen and are not guaranteed to get a successful match every time. The sheer logistics of the constant shuffle for space gives me a headache just thinking about it all. Anyway, that’s what I have the human staff for!

Sirius & Bobby Dazzler

New owners usually ask us whether sows or boars are better. I look all serious and pretend I’m mulling it over in my mind when I’m actually thinking: Are you BONKERS – who wouldn’t want a pair of handsome, loving boars in their life? (I once overdid my mulling impression, and mum thought I looked in pain and almost took me to the vet.)

Obviously, the politically correct answer to new owners is that it is your choice. We are all unique and enchanting, after all, with some of us – like me – a bit more perhaps! But I’d still rather adopt a well-matched pair of boars. Unlike us sows, they are not stressing around with three agendas on the go, and they have the leisure to give you their full attention!

So, I thought for my first article, I would finish with The Lady Edith’s Hard-Hitting Facts on Boars in Rescue.

Fact 1: Boys are always stuck in rescue for far longer and can become so desperate that they are climbing the cage bars because they’d rather climb up a human owner for a treat or a cuddle. Personally, I am all for equal adoption quotas for boars!

Fact 2: It’s always the boys and not the girl babies who end up in rescue or elsewhere (from the sale of mis-sexed or already pregnant piggies). Girls are usually allowed to stay with their mummy. That is not quite fair…

Fact 3: Who wants to adopt all those fallen-out boars, from unmatched bought pairs or groups, that nobody has the room or the nerves for?

Fact 4: The most natural way of living for us girls is with a neutered boar. We do it instinctively (tingles all over my body). And we don’t fall out with them even though it can be tough to keep up the illusion that they are Sexpots in Charge, pin-up King Pins, you know what I mean!

Fact 5: A good rescue will carefully match up their adoptable boar pairs or cross-gender groups. You can avoid sleepless nights neatly by not emailing me or any other rescue once you are already in deep poops. Think rescue and recycling first before you get any guinea pigs!

Boomer (Object of Lady Edith’s Desire)

In short, good rescues know their stuff… You should see the paw-scratched and nibbled job manual I have been left by Miss Edith! Adoption is not quite as quick as buying, but it offers greater support. And no headaches and a clear conscience are well worth it! Plus, you’ll allow rescues to be able to rescue again. Anyway, I must dash. All this writing is eating into my social media time.

Nothing is better than my evenings spent swiping through the posts in Gertie’s Lonely Guinea Pigs friendly and fun Facebook group, catching up with those adopted and associated boars (girlie giggle) and the latest sow fashions in fleece couture and portrait accessories.

As a prominent influencer, I take giving unsolicited advice and comedy quips very seriously indeed. (wink) And, If anyone is a personal friend of the King of England, can you please put in a word about getting my Lady Edith title confirmed as soon as possible?

*Popping the head back through the door* Just forgot – if you can’t adopt, please help with my slashed ‘cava allowance’ by ordering our new rescue calendar. All those boars stuck in rescue EAT LOADS!

A huge thanks you to Lady Edith and Gertie’s Lonely Guinea Pig Rescue for sharing this story with our readers!

Do you have a story to share?

If you have a rescue story you’d like to share with our readers, please get in touch with us at:

Get Ready for the Cavy Corner Fun Show on 26th November 2023!

For over 13 years now, Cavy Corner has been holding their Small and Furry Fun Shows for everyone to attend, twice a year – usually in Spring and Autumn.

This year, the excitement is building as the 26th November approaches and guinea pig lovers from all around get ready for this fun event.

Who Attends?

The Cavy Corner Fun Show is a show for everyone. It’s a place where regular attendees meet with newcomers, pet owners arrive with their furry companions in tow, and some simply come to soak in the fun atmosphere. This event is for everyone – families with children, adults, singles, and couples alike. The best part? It’s £1 per person on the door, and for those who want to enter their pets into a show class, it’s just £1.50.

What to Expect

The moment you step through the doors of the Cavy Corner Fun Show, you’re greeted with a friendly welcome. There’s plenty of fun, guineas galore and a great bunch of pet-people. You’ll receive advice, get lots of information.

Here’s a glimpse:

  • 13 Exciting Show Categories: From “Fastest Eater” to “Rescue Pet of the Year” and “Cutest Couple,” – all with beautiful Rosettes!
  • Crafts and Gifts
  • Pet Bedding
  • Nail Clipping Tutorials
  • Homemade Cakes and Refreshment
  • The Guinea Pig Vet: Ellie Whitehead

Pet Safety and Welfare

Animal welfare paramount. Owners are to bring pets in travel cages or spacious carriers, or even bring up Pop-ups. While at the event, pets remain in these secure setups until it’s time for their class to be called. Food and water accessibility for the pets are non-negotiable. Owners are the best judges of their pets’ comfort, so they make the decision on which pets to bring along and which should stay home. The top priority is ensuring that all pets are safe and comfortable throughout the event.

So mark your calendars for the 26th of November, 2023, and head to Cavy Corner for a day filled with guinea pig cuteness, fun competitions, and a community of piggy lovers – you’ll have a fantastic time while supporting this great rescue!

Guinea Pig Magazine will

see you there!

Armthorpe Community Centre, Church Street, Doncaster, DN3 3AG, UK

There is ample free parking and disabled access.

Sunday 26th November 2023

@ 12 – 4pm

This fun event brings together animal lovers of all ages while raising funds for a busy rescue.

No show experience needed!

For more details on this event and Cavy Corner, head to

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The Crucial Role of Vitamin C for Guinea Pigs’ Health

Ladies Who Lunch! From Finley, Age 9, Essex (for the GPM Guinea Gallery)

When it comes to the well-being of our piggies, few things are as important as providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet. One key nutrient that plays a vital role in their overall health is vitamin C. Just like in us, vitamin C is essential for guinea pigs, and understanding its significance can greatly contribute to their happiness and longevity.

Picture of 4 guinea pigs eating fresh veg and salad on the grass from a guinea pig magazine reader
Ladies Who Lunch! From Finley, Age 9, Essex (for the GPM Guinea Gallery)

The Vitamin C Connection

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that cannot be synthesised by guinea pigs’ bodies (interesting fact – this is the same as us). This means that they must obtain it from their diet. Without a sufficient intake of this vital vitamin, guinea pigs can develop a well-known condition called scurvy, which can lead to a range of health issues and discomfort.

Why is Vitamin C Vital for Guinea Pigs?

Collagen Production
Vitamin C is a key player in the production of collagen, a protein that helps maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and other connective tissues in guinea pigs. It supports wound healing and keeps their little bodies strong and resilient.

Immune System Support
Vitamin C is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. In guinea pigs, a strong immune system is essential for fighting off infections and staying healthy. Adequate vitamin C intake can help ensure that your guinea pig’s immune system is up to the task.

Antioxidant Defence
Again, just like us humans, guinea pigs’ bodies face oxidative stress from various factors. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralise harmful free radicals and protecting their cells from damage.

Bone Health
Vitamin C plays a role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. For guinea pigs, this is particularly important as their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, and strong bones support their overall well-being.

Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency

Detecting a deficiency in your guinea pig early is crucial. Some common deficiency signs include:

• Lethargy and weakness
• Reduced appetite
• Weight loss
• Rough and dry coat
• Swollen or painful joints
• Bleeding gums
• Reluctance to move or play

How You Can Help!

Offer a Nutritious Diet!
Ensure that your guinea pig’s diet is rich in vitamin C. Offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers, lettuce and courgette. Kale, spinach, cabbages, apples and strawberries are also wonderful sources of vitamin C but should be portion-controlled! Take a look in your garden and check for dandelions – guinea pigs love these.

Head over to the HayPigs! blog and have a read of What vegetables and fruit can a guinea pig eat for a more in-depth look at what fruit and vegetables are good for your piggies and a very handy feeding guide.

Good Quality Guinea Pig Pellets
Many of the commercially available guinea pig pellets are fortified with vitamin C. However, these can lose their potency over time due to exposure to light and air, so opt for fresh pellets and store them properly.

If your guinea pig’s diet isn’t providing enough vitamin C, you might consider supplements. Do your research properly or consult your veterinarian before adding any supplements to their diet.

Consult a Vet
Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor your guinea pig’s health. A vet can help identify any potential issues and provide guidance on their dietary needs.

Hygiene & Comfort
A clean and stress-free environment contributes to your guinea pig’s overall health. Make sure they have proper bedding, a comfortable living space, and plenty of opportunities for exercise!

Remember – Vitamin C isn’t just a nutrient for human health – it’s a crucial element for the well-being of our adorable guinea pig companions as well.

You can read Expert Vet Kim Halford’s article on Vitamin C and why it’s so important in issue 56. Available here:

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A RESCUE STORY: Pink & White Sugar Babies

Rescues are the vibrant heartbeat of our piggy community. They generously provide shelter, unsolicited love, expert care and advice, all driven by the dedication of a team of volunteers. We really do owe them an immense debt of gratitude.

For today’s highlight, we’re sharing the touching rescue story of Momma Sugar and her adorable babies, Pink & White. Thank you to Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue for sharing their story with our readers.

Article & photographs by Becky Wilson from Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, Washington DC, USA and first published for Guinea Pig Magazine, Issue 70.

Every day, you wake up with certain expectations like anyone else, but when you rescue, you know that each phone call, each email, and each message can be a major disruption—some big, some small, some that will consume every moment for weeks to come.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, was my birthday, and it was destined to be one of those days – the day the Sugar Babies came into my life.

A shelter had contacted us on Monday after they had opened that morning to find a guinea pig on their premises that had given birth overnight to three pups. We agreed to take in the little family. So, we arranged transport for Thursday. However, on Wednesday morning, we received a second call from the shelter, this one frantic. Mom and the three babies were in “serious medical trouble,” and the shelter’s veterinarian felt he could do no more. My husband and I left immediately for the shelter, which was over an hour away. When we arrived, they took the carrier from me and went to collect the little family. Unfortunately, I was informed that one of the babies had died in the meantime.

They handed me the pet carrier but then tried to take it back! They said they could not decide if they should euthanize mom or not!? Fortunately, my grip on the piggy carrier was stronger than theirs. So we left with momma Sugar and the two babies.

The original plan had been to take the little family home and evaluate them there. However, we realized how desperately poorly the piggies were, so I started calling vet clinics we work with straight away from the car while my husband drove. While starting with the closest vet, I told my husband to head towards the one I knew would not turn us away, which was a further 90-minute journey. All along the way, I kept calling, but office after office refused to see us as a result of the veterinary business having been decimated by Covid in the US.

Finally, one of them said yes, they would see me. At that point, I still had not properly seen the guinea pigs. I didn’t pause to look at them either when I took the carrier straight into the clinic, handed it to the secretary, and then sat down to wait. A few minutes later, they called me into a treatment room, and a young veterinarian I had never met came in. She asked how much I was willing to invest in the guinea pig. I smiled, told her how much the rescue had in the bank and said every penny of it.

She did not reply; in fact, she didn’t speak at all, and there followed a strange silence. I informed her that I had not seen Sugar and her babies yet in our rush to get them here as quickly as possible. She turned and left the room to return with them. When I picked Sugar up, she was limp, her legs totally splayed out, unable to lift her head – she was clearly dying and beyond any help. It seems she had developed a rare toxaemia (blood poisoning) complication; it was also highly likely she had never been able to produce any milk for the pups because of it. A course of antibiotics may have saved her on Monday or perhaps even still on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, her body had shut down. I kissed her and promised to try my very best to save her babies.

I was given the name of a kitten formula to purchase on my way home and set off with the tiny Sugar Babies. Because they looked so similar, I put a pink mark on one of the babies’ heads, so we could distinguish who was who quickly and correctly. So we called them Pink and White!

Once home, I finally met the little girls. They were so weak and so tiny. The shelter had tried to feed them corn syrup. It had hardened like rock around their mouths and on their faces, making a difficult situation even trickier.

I realized that I needed some more help right away, so I put the babies on a heated gel pad and called on my good friend Julene, the director at Wheek Care Guinea Pig Rescue. She had experience with orphans, which I did not. She taught me about the anal stimulation to help kick-start the digestive tract and that there was a powdered colostrum (antibody-rich first milk) formula that we could get to boost the babes a bit. She also shared her care protocols, which meant feeding every two hours around the clock. As anyone with a sick pig knows, it isn’t easy – but I was up for it.

It was a week of highs and lows. On Thursday, it looked like the babies had declined further, but by Friday, they rallied. By then, got an appointment with my most trusted vet. He thought Pink might make it but only gave poorly White a 50/50 chance. He gave me some additional instruction but not much hope. Over the weekend, things started to turn around. Pink began to gain a bit of weight, and White stopped losing weight. They were both still weak, but they were enjoying their feedings. The first week was hard, but by Wednesday, they were both taking their formula quickly and begging for more. It was not at all easy to refrain from giving them too much at once, but I had been warned about trouble from overfeeding, and I managed to resist the temptation.

It soon became apparent that, unlike normal baby guinea pigs, these two had no interest in eating any solid food. By that time, I had also been in contact with Wiebke from Guinea Pig Magazine. The two things she helped me with were: Firstly, I did not have to stimulate the babies for a whole month. Once there were plenty of little poops around the cage, I could stop. Secondly – she suggested introducing an older ‘nanny pig’ to teach them how to be guinea pigs. So, I would put my old girl Favor in with them from time to time, and that brought significant improvements in both babies. Favor would not adopt the Sugar babies fully, though.

At the time of writing this, the Sugar Babies are 12 weeks old. They are happy and healthy youngsters and now well past the critical stage. They will remain in my living room until they are big enough to be neutered according to our rescue policy and then adopted out as a pair. They have a lot of fans, and I suspect there will be lots of applications coming in for our little miracle girls.

I will be forever grateful for the international community that came together to support and advise me on how to save the tiny Sugar Babies.

The Piggy Pocket Guide

You can find trusted rescues in GPM’s Piggy Pocket Guide. All the rescues featured here come highly recommended by our dedicated readers.

If you have a rescue story to share, please get in touch with us at

Making a Pawsitive Impact! How to Support Your Local Guinea Pig Rescue

Making a Pawsitive Impact! How to Support Your Local Guinea Pig Rescue - Image of a Guinea Pig in a box of goodies from Cavy Corner

Guinea Pig Rescues and Sanctuaries (along with all animal shelters) are truly incredible places. They’re often run by teams of volunteers, or even from people’s homes, with limited resources and funds – all driven by their deep love and commitment to the welfare of our animals.

These dedicated places are frequently overwhelmed with surrenders and always appreciate any additional support you can give. So, what can you do to assist your local guinea pig rescue? There are various ways to express your gratitude and contribute to the community. Here are just a few ideas to get you started…

Adopt (Don’t Shop!)

When you’re thinking about guinea pigs, or expanding your furry family, consider adoption from a reputable rescue. Your local rescue will be run by dedicated guinea pig experts and lovers who will team you up with the most suitable pair (or more!) of piggies for you and your family.


Guinea Pig Rescues consistently require essential supplies to keep going, ranging from food and blankets to cleaning materials and enrichment toys. Some of them maintain an Amazon Wishlist for supply donations, in addition to accepting essential financial contributions through platforms like PayPal. You can find all these details on the rescue’s websites, Instagram profiles, or via our Piggy Pocket Guide links, which are listed in each issue of our magazine (for the rescues that are listed).

Making a Pawsitive Impact! How to Support Your Local Guinea Pig Rescue - Image of a Guinea Pig in a box of goodies from Cavy Corner
Image from Cavy Corner Sanctuary – thank you

Say Thanks & Spread the Word

Have you ever adopted a piggy from a rescue? Maybe you’ve even benefited from their invaluable advice or been touched by a rescue story. You can show your appreciation by giving them a shout-out on your social media and join in on praising the fantastic work they do. The more people who become aware of their efforts, the greater the support they’ll receive!

Get Involved

Many rescues host fundraising events and fun days like fun shows, open days, and even charity runs. Pop along to these events and show your support. You’ll often find piggy groomers, craft stalls, delicious cake stalls and advice from local experts. It’s a great day out for piggy lovers, plus you get to chat and meet other like-minded piggy folk while supporting your favourite rescue! It’s a win-win all round!  

Share Your Talents

Do you have a skill that could benefit the rescue? Perhaps you’re crafty, or great with a camera? Or maybe you could lend a hand from time to time with maintenance at the rescue? Check with the rescue and see if any of your skills could be of use to them.


Rescues are often in need of dedicated individuals to help with volunteering tasks. This is a great opportunity for work experience and you’ll help with everything from care and cage cleaning to washing water bottles to home visits, feeding, educational visits and even fundraising! Check-in with the rescue to see what opportunities are available.  

Remember though, supporting your local rescue doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Every small act of kindness makes a pawsitive change!

Piggy Pocket Guide Snap Guinea Pig Magazine

Find a list of reputable rescues recommended by our readers in
each issue!