Sue, our homeopathy expert, gives her advice on alternative remedies for guinea pigs:
I have had an interest in homeopathy for about 11 years and have used it on guinea pigs ever since. I came across April Lodge in February 2006 when I adopted two guinea pigs from them named Pickle and Folly.
The basic principal of homeopathy is to treat ‘like with like’. This means that you are treating the ailment with the substance that, in its raw form, would actually cause the problem. Instead it stimulates the body to fight the problem itself.
The remedies are diluted many times making them very safe to use and can be obtained from health food shops and chemists.
Some of the remedies are:-
Nux Vom – can be used for constipation
Cantheris – for urinary tract problems
Rhus Tox – for stiff joints and arthritis
Arnica – for bruising
Apis Mel – for bee stings and burning/stinging pains
Hepar Sulph – for abscesses
Merc Sol – for tooth abscesses
These are just a few of the more common ones but there are many more. Some of the remedies must not be mixed together as they would cancel the effectiveness of each other. The tablets or pillules can be crushed and then either mixed with a little water and syringed into the guinea pig’s mouth or sprinkled dry onto the food. Matching the treatment with the symptoms is vital ton ensure success, and close observation is a must.
Rescue remedy and other flower remedies can also be used on guinea pigs as well as the homeopathic remedies. I have used Hydrangea root tincture on one which had cystitis and a bladder stone. The treatment was very effective and he made a full recovery
There are times when conventional veterinary medicine needs to be used, but homeopathic treatments can be used along side these quite safely to aid recovery.
Work with April Lodge
Since adopting Pickle and Folly I have become more involved with April Lodge by taking in guinea pigs that are either poorly or pregnant or have just had babies. I have hand-reared a baby and helped older piggies which sometimes appear to have no hope of survival, but have managed to pull them through with the help of homeopathy. I hand fed with Slippery Elm mixed with their usual food, resulting in a healthy guinea pig which was returned to April Lodge for rehoming.
Last year I had ‘Anya’ who came to me with her three babies. She was lethargic, had stopped eating and her stomach was hard. I treated her for constipation with liquid paraffin and Nux Vom. She had perked up within half an hour. I noticed her babies were feeding from her constantly. She seemed depressed and in shock as she was only a baby herself. I gave her rescue remedy and she turned the corner. I fed the babies with Slippery Elm, and Anya also had Arsen Alb to improve her appetite. Both mother and babies began eating well and putting on weight, and were returned to April Lodge for rehoming.
“Hammer” was a seemingly hopeless case. He had recently undergone an operation to remove a huge growth on his nose. He had chronic diarrhoea and was paralysed in both back legs. I gave him Phosphorus and Arsen Alb and his droppings returned to normal After giving him Rhus Tox he could stand on his back legs and with daily massage began to walk around slowly. Though he only lived a few more months he regained a good quality of life to the end.
I continue to take in ailing guinea pigs with the ultimate aim of returning a fit, feisty animal to April Lodge so they can find their forever home.