Have you come across a tiny Guinea Pig that also happens to have a thick coat of fur in two different colors? It is your time to check them out because they are too cute to resist. While Sheba Guinea pigs are loved and adored by everyone for their cute appearance and gentle nature, they are also great pets. Having them as pets is a great experience because of how unique they look and carry a quirky personality.
Sheba Guinea Pigs are a particular breed of guinea pig with a distinctive coat pattern resembling a “tuxedo” or “panda” pattern, which is made up of bands of solid and white fur and looks very unique. It is said that these guinea pigs have a distinctive appearance and are well-known for having adorable personalities. In this article, we are going to discuss Sheba Guinea Pig behavior, reflecting more on their unique personalities-
History of Sheba Guinea Pig
The Sheba Guinea Pig is also known as the “Sheba Mini Yak,” because of its similarity to that animal, and is sometimes referred to as the “bad hair day” guinea because of its messy hair.
Originating in Australia during the 1960s, Sheba Guinea Pigs were bred by crossing the Peruvian Guinea Pig, renowned for its long and exquisite coat often seen in guinea pig shows, with the short-haired Abyssinian guinea pig, one of the oldest recognized breeds. Despite not having achieved formal recognition by breed registries such as the ACBA, Sheba Guinea Pigs have gained considerable popularity and have become a sought-after breed due to their lovable and playful nature.
Characteristics of Sheba Guinea Pig
Sheba Guinea Pigs possess unique characteristics that make them a fascinating and manageable breed, standing out from both short-haired and long-haired guinea pig varieties.
- Unique Name: Contrary to their name, guinea pigs actually have their origins in the Andes region of South America, rather than Guinea. However, the Sheba Guinea Pig breed, which we are discussing here, has an interesting history originating in Australia. This unique breed was created by Wynne Eecen, the founder of the NSW Cavy Club, through a crossbreeding of the long-haired Peruvian and the short-haired Abyssinian guinea pigs.
- They chew their own coat: One intriguing behavior displayed by some Sheba Guinea Pigs is their tendency to chew not only their own coats but also the coats of their companions. This chewing habit may persist regardless of the amount of hay provided. However, engaging these guinea pigs in interactive play can help alleviate their boredom and reduce excessive chewing.
- Their Coats are ever-growing: While the coats of short-haired guinea pigs have a limited growth rate and some long-haired guinea pigs’ coats can grow up to 2.5cm per month, Sheba Guinea Pigs fall somewhere in between. Although they are not officially classified as long-haired, their coats do continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace. This characteristic sets them apart from long-haired guinea pigs, as Sheba Guinea Pigs require less frequent maintenance and grooming.
These guinea pigs are highly curious and sensitive, and they are very social and enjoy receiving attention. Guinea pigs, in general, are pack animals that enjoy each other’s company and thrive much better when they have friends around! It stimulates their brains and encourages activity. Of course, guinea pigs have distinct personalities that are influenced by their surroundings, so each piggy is unique!
Feeding and Nutrition
As they are quite sensitive animals in general, Guinea pigs need a steady supply of hay and water, pellets, and approximately one cup of fruits and vegetables to cover for other nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, and others. Younger guinea pigs require more calcium than older guinea pigs, whereas older guinea pigs require more vitamin C. It’s critical to feed your guinea pig a varied diet that doesn’t rely too much on any one food.
Just like any other animal, Guinea Pigs can also suffer from various health issues despite looking healthy. It is crucial for owners to be more conscious of these common symptoms in order to seek treatment promptly for their Sheba Guinea Pigs. Here are some of the common health issues observed in Sheba Guinea Pigs:
- Respiratory Infections: Guinea pigs are at risk for respiratory illnesses, especially pneumonia. They can become asymptomatic carriers of microorganisms that cause pneumonia. Those symptoms are- difficulty eating, eye and/or nose drainage, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. Veterinary consultation is required, and cultures of eye and nose discharge can aid in determining the cause.
- Diarrhea: Guinea pigs’ digestive tracts are sensitive, causing them prone to diarrhea. If they face imbalances in their diet, such as too much water or fiber, it can interfere with appropriate digestion. If they lose appetite, have dehydration, have weight loss, and drop body temperature, they most certainly have Diarrhea.
- Scurvy: Like humans, guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C and they are an external source. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to increased susceptibility to diseases and infections. Symptoms of scurvy are rough hair, loss of appetite, diarrhea, decreased mobility, and swollen feet or joints.
- Urinary problems: Guinea pigs are prone to the production of bladder stones in the bladder, kidneys, or ureters. Bladder stones can clog the ureter or urethra, potentially causing death. Regular veterinary check-ups can aid in the detection and prevention of crises, although stone removal may necessitate surgery.
As cute as Sheba Guinea Pigs are, it is not easy and simple to have them as pets. Understanding the distinct personalities of Sheba Guinea Pigs is vital for giving appropriate care and building a deep bond with them. These endearing creatures exhibit a variety of behaviors that differ from one another. Owners can learn about their unique characteristics and preferences by observing and interacting with them.
Some Sheba Guinea Pigs are more gregarious and social, while others are more reserved or timid. Patience, kind handling, and positive reinforcement can all aid in the development of trust and the encouragement of desirable actions. Owners can foster a supportive and fulfilling environment that supports the well-being and happiness of Sheba Guinea Pigs by recognizing and valuing their individuality.