Saturday, October 6, 2018

Bath Time

Various stages of unhappiness
Guinea pigs are generally self cleaning - like cats.  I've had to do the occasional rump-dunk for a sick or arthritic pig that couldn't groom all their fur.  I've been lucky enough not to deal with long-haired guinea pigs.  In all the years I've had guinea pigs, I've given only a full bath to a pair of pigs (before I discovered permethrin shampoo is not a good way to treat for mites).  My bath-avoiding streak has come to an end with Mabel as my unwilling victim.

Mabel's fur hasn't felt quite right since she came home with us.  It felt a little dirty or greasy.  I dug up the bottle of bunny bath a few weeks ago and decided I couldn't ignore it any longer.  Mabel needed a bath.

None of my pigs have wanted to be near running water.  Eclair and Teddi nearly hurt themselves trying to leap out of the kitchen sink.  So I decided to bathe Mabel in the shower, since it would give her room to move, have better traction than the stainless steel basin and there was no risk of her leaping any distance to hurt herself.

I picked a warm sunny day to bathe her, so she wouldn't get chilled as she dried off (and I had the option of sitting with her in the sunshine to help dry out).  I gave her a few minutes to acclimate to the shower stall before I started the process.  Mabel was quite happy to explore the stall and was good with the confusion and noise right up until she started getting wet.  She was clearly unhappy with the bathing process and tried bailing several times.  But through it all, there was no over-dramatics, loud tales of woe nor attempts to nip me (which I would have understood!).

Reviewing this video, I bet a small tub with standing water may have been less stressful, although I'm not sure how I'd have rinsed off the soap.  Sitting in the shower was certainly easier and it was nice to have her steady on the tiles (even as she took off).  I had wrapped her in a towel (not shown) in between shampooing her and rinsing her off.  I figured that would keep her warmer and feeling more secure as I adjusted the water temperature.

She was so glad when it was over.  I skipped drying her off with a hair dryer - I thought that would cause additional stress.  Mabel didn't want sit with me for long, so once she was simply damp, I put her back in the cage (which had been cleaned that morning).  It took a few hours for her to dry completely.  I checked on her every hour or so to be sure she comfortable, warm, and drying out.

Mabel feels wonderful.  Her fur was always very soft, so no change there, but it has lost the grubby feeling.  She didn't have a distinct scent before the bath, but I swear she smells cleaner now, too.

I'm hoping this is her only bath (I bet she does as well) and that the grubbiness was a leftover from her prior home.  It's been a few weeks and her fur still feels great.

Who's a pretty piggy?


  1. Very nice video. I have only bathed boars with 'stinky butt' and usually just their back end. Most tolerated it well. Good treats afterward.

    Dee with Josie and Callie

  2. Mabel handled her bath fairly well. How sweet she looks snuggled in her towel. I bet her fur is lovely and soft now.

  3. we have to go thru this with Milo today... oy... and he's 55 lbs. Good for you to bathe her, she probably feels better now too. "who's a good rodent" cracked me up!

  4. Good girl Mabel! I had the trauma of bathing 6 piggies in quick succession before a bonding session with our new addition Evie - Oh my goodness, that was 2 hour of hard labour :D I'm using Gorgeous Guinea 'Lice 'n' Easy', so I'll have to repeat the affair this weekend...wish me luck ;-)


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