Summer News and an Announcement!

Hello everyone!

Hope everyone is having a great Summer, despite the very un-Summer weather like!

Things are crazy busy at The Piggy Lounge so I wanted to update you all on a few things!

Pre-Mades and Custom Orders

When I originally started The Piggy Lounge Cosies One Woman Production I decided that I would focus on pre-mades rather than custom orders. I like the flexibility of choosing my own fleece prints and I like the fact that you can have an item soon after you order it. But the main reason I decided this was due to my schedule. I work part time with some random overtime shifts in there. I also volunteer (or try my best) with Hazelcroft Guinea Pig Rescue helping with promotion, website maintenance, fostering, etc. In addition I also have a million other hobbies. Ohh, I also have a husband who likes to spend time with me, 9 guinea pigs, 2 gerbils, 2 rats and 1 hamster. In the next 2 weeks I am also looking after an additional 18 guinea pigs for a friend.

Custom orders make me feel under pressure as I struggle to keep everything else in balance whilst keeping my lovely customers happy. At the moment I have quite a few custom orders in a queue and going through them whilst keeping up with the above is rather slow. This also means I haven’t been able to sew new stock for the shop and that makes me sad as my main aim from the start was to have a nice selection of pre-mades.

Soooo…. (and this is the announcement part of this post) I will NO longer be accepting any custom orders! If you spot a fabric you like and would like a cosy out of it just hang in there, keep checking the shop, follow me on social media as eventually one like that will be all ready made, ready to purchase and ready to send. If you have enquired about a custom order before this announcement don’t worry, I will still complete it, although with the crazy couple of months ahead it might take longer than expected. I will be messaging all of you within next few days to confirm who are happy with this (or not).

Tough Mudder Half 2016

At the moment I am crazy busy training hard as I signed up to take part in a Tough Mudder Half on the 21st August. I’m fundraising for Piggies in Need and specifically a recent rescue of +350 piggies rescued from dire conditions. Every little helps so please consider donating and sponsoring me for this event. I am not that fit or strong so slightly terrified but will plough ahead for piggies. Click on  this link to find out more and sponsor me.

TEAS (The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary) Animal Rescue Fair 17th September

I’m a big fan and supporter of TEAS and will be attending the 1st Animal Rescue Fair in September with The Piggy Lounge. I will be donation a big percentage of profits from the day to TEAS so obviously will need to build up stock for this event. It’ll be great and lovely to see some of The Piggy Lounge followers and customers there.

And that’s all for now, thank you for reading!

Itsy’s Story and Age in Guinea Pigs

One of the most common questions asked by people when they know I have guinea pigs is how long do they live for? This is a extremely difficult question to answer but the rough guide is between 4 and 8 years old, on average. There is a big diference here between 4 and 8 so why is that?

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Meet Itsy! She is part of the original piggy trio at The Piggy Lounge. As my first guinea pigs they were a purchase from a pet shop, a fact I quickly realised was wrong and vouched never to do again. Itsy was excess stock from the guinea pig showing world and I was  assured the genetic material for Itsy would be far superior than conventional pet shop guinea pig (all balls, I’m afraid). People who breed to show do it to “better” the breed and eliminate health issues, or so they say. I think it’s all to do with looks. Itsy’s white crest is not very perfect so she probably wasn’t deemed a perfect example of the breed and, therefore, became surplus to the showing world and dumped in a pet shop for a quick profit.

So let’s talk about age and health in my allegedly genetically superior health Itsy.

In June 2014 at the age of 2, I found 2 lumps on her belly. A trip to vet was followed by surgery to remove the bigger lump with a view to send to the lab to find out what it was. The results came back and it was an aggressive cancer, so surgery was booked to remove the 2nd lump. All there was left now was the uncertainty whether all cancerous tissue had been removed or not. There was no way to tell and we would just have to go with it and see how she progressed. Still to this date I don’t know.

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Itsy sporting her mammary tumour scar

A few weeks later Itsy started losing weight and the first thing to cross my mind was that  the cancer playing up. I started syringe feeding but then one day I noticed a huge swelling on her right back cheek. Abscesses grow in size very quickly but the start of the infection can go unnoticeable for a while. Itsy found it hard to chew on that side of her mouth so her teeth started growing and, therefore, she lost weight. Off to the vets we went and she had an op to open and drain the abscess. And then a long process of syringe feeding and abscess flushing a few times a day started. Abscesses should be left open and flushed/ cleaned daily as the aim is for the wound to heal from the inside so as not to trap any source of infection inside, which can perpetuate the problem. Wound healed, vet happy and a month later the dreaded abscess is back. Off to vets again to open and start the above process again, this time with meds for longer and guess what? It came back a 3rd time. This was Itsy 5th op under general anaesthetic in 6 months. The infection, found deep in muscular tissue, and all these re-0currances changed the bone structure of her jaw and her teeth started growing in funny shapes. It’s been over a year and to this date the abscess hasn’t returned but Itsy is on long term medication to manage this and still needs dental work done every 3 weeks.

 

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Spot the big cheek

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Itsy sporting her new shaved abscess look with Bitsy (RIP) behind.

A couple of weeks ago, after noticing Itsy sitting on her heels I asked the vet to feel for arthritis. Spot on! Itsy not only has arthritis on both her back paws, it’s quite severe  on her back left paw and hip and has a very limited range of movement on that leg. All we can do is manage this and she is on metacam 2x daily for it and also for mandibular pain (to help her chew and wear those teeth out). I also give her Joint Support Oxbow supplement, it contains glucosamine which is beneficial.

Itsy has also developed fatty eye, a harmless condition which the vet associates with age (some younger pigs have it as it can be genetic and overweight piggies can develop it as well). Over time she has also had fur loss issues that improved on their own. Vet has indicated she might have the start of ovarian cysts but due to her fragile health we’re not doing anything unless they increase or symptoms develop.

Even though she is a fragile girl she is a happy girl and with all her conditions managed leads a happy life. She also has the most high pitched week imaginable!IMG_0723So, here we have a “genetically healthier purposefully bred” guinea pig who at 4 yrs old the vet reckons has the body, health and immune system of a 8 year old guinea pig and sadly will most likely not live to that age. Although I hope she does as she is a very special girly for me! Age is relative!

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Guinea Pigs For Adoption

A round up of some of the lovely guinea pigs looking for a home in various rescue centres in the UK this week. Check the rescues own site to see other guinea pigs up for adoption and ways to support the rescues.

Hertfordshire/Milton Keynes – Hazelcroft Rescue

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Carrie and Suki are two beautiful young girls who have been waiting for a home for a while now. We think they are stunning!

Devon – Little Pip’s Guinea Pig Rehoming

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Heather and May are a happy bonded pair of young girls who have been waiting for their home for a while. The girls are a bit shy but will no doubt make someone a very happy piggy owner! We love a shy pig!

South WalesGlynneath Guinea Pig Rescue

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Brett and Randall are a awesome pair of friendly boys looking for their happy ever after. We love the cheeky faces!

A Excellent Day at TEAS

The Piggy Lounge was happy to be present at the 3rd TEAS Open Day last Saturday! TEAS, The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary (for guinea pigs with extra needs) “enables guinea pigs who have ongoing medical issues to live a normal, happy life, whilst they receive the veterinary care they need. The Sanctuary specialises in the management of dental issues and the results achieved have been amazing!” 

The Sun was shining and The Piggy Lounge goodies were successful and contributed to the ongoing costs of running the sanctuary as a donation from proceeds was proudly given at the end of the day!

Cuddly Pig handmade at The Piggy Lounge

I had so much fun and cuddled lots of piggies and will definitely look to be there again next year.

With Astro from The Caravanning Cavies (who feature on The Guinea Pig Magazine)

Rosie Posie

Meet Rosie, a beautiful 5 year old girl now living at The Piggy Lounge!

In no way is Rosie a replacement for my beautiful Piggy Boy, who I lost last month. She came to me from the fantastic Hazelcroft Rescue as a companion for Alexander, a beautiful boy who I adopted earlier this year after a fostering period and who waited over 6 months to have a friend. As soon as I knew the foster would be a fail, I booked Alexander in for a castrate and started looking for a girlie to bond with him. Rosie is my favourite type of pig to adopt, the wonky type. Older and with some health issues, majority of adopters out there would just overlook her. But despite this Rosie is a very active girl, who still popcorns and runs about excited about her new life and some yummy veggies on the way. I should add that technically Rosie is not mine, she is a long term foster due to her health issues but in my eyes she is as mine as my other piggies. For Hazelcroft to manage her complicated health issues she will be available to sponsor from the rescues website in the next few days.

Do you foster “complicated” piggies?

RIP Beautiful Piggy Boy

We are all very sad at The Piggy Lounge as our beloved Piggy Boy Bradley travelled to the Rainbow Bridge on Sunday 14th June 2015. Piggy Boy had been struggling with unexplained weight loss in the last 6 month, numerous vet trips and tests couldn’t pinpoint was was causing this weight loss. He loved his food and in last months liked to chase me to the kitchen and stare at me or the fridge.

Love you, my one and only Piggy Boy, till we meet again!

PotW: Looking for a home, Pepe and Pax (Devon)

Welcome to out newest feature: PotW! Piggies of the Week feature lovely guinea pigs who are currently at a fab rescue waiting patiently for their forever home. Even if you don’t live close consider sharing this post on your social networks to help spread the message and find these lovelies a fab home!

Pepe (black and white) and Pax (ginger & white) are young boys who have had a really tough start in life when Pepe’s brother got killed by a dog and Pax survived a second dog attack where he was picked up by the dog but thankfully not injured. These boys need a really experienced guinea pig home and lots of love. They are shy at the moment and need to learn to trust again.

Pepe has the most amazing long hair and Pax is a very handsome ridgeback. Do you have room in your life for these special boys?

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Aren’t they the most scrumptious boys you’ve seen in a while? They really deserve to find their forever home after their ordeal.

The boys are being rehomed by Little Pip’s Guinea Pig Rehoming, a fantastic small guinea pig rescue in Devon.

The Guinea Pig Den: Win a product of your choice from The Piggy Lounge!

Yes, you read it right! It’s giveaway time! You can win one product of your choice from The Piggy Lounge Shop. From a super luxurious cushion to a lovely mug for your morning latte the choice is vast.

The Piggy Lounge feels privileged to have been asked to be involved with a new guinea pig forum and I think there cannot be enough guinea pig themed forums, blog, websites, pages, etc, out there!

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One of the great things about The Guinea Pig Den is its pro-rescue stance in which reputable rescues have their own sections to share stories and promote piggies, and pro-rescue shops (like yours truly) also have their own sections. I plan to use it to advertise new products, fundraising drives, etc. It is quite new and needs more and more awesome members to make it happen. Please consider joining in and starting a discussion…you will be heard 🙂

To enter the giveaway and have the chance to win a fab Piggy Lounge product simply:

The Guinea Pig Den is the only forum where I am planning to hold general competitions so keep active, keep engaging.

Good luck

Suzy

Re-Opening of The Piggy Lounge Shop

Thank you very much for all your patience in the last couple of months. We have now successfully moved the shop to a new provider and I hope you like it.

Big News: We now ship to Europe, USA and Canada!

 

We will be back soon with news from The Piggy Lounge!

Happy New Year!

We piggies and humans at The Piggy Lounge want to wish all our likers, followers and fans a very Happy New Year!

The Piggy Lounge is currently undergoing massive website renovations and this blog will be at the centre of the new Piggy Lounge, bringing you cute photos, serious discussions and sharing piggies throughout the UK that are looking for their forever home.

The Piggy Lounge shop will continue to be active although it will change to a new site and see a facelift in the first couple of months of the year. The product range will be streamlined but there will be additions for the piggies in your life. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget you can also follow The Piggy Lounge ramblings on Twitter and Facebook.

I hope you will stay with us in the great new year and don’t forget: Opt to adopt, not buy!

Happy New Year