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GUINEA PIGS

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eggshaped
101045.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:14 am Reply with quote

I wonder if anyone has contributed to as many nobel prizes as the Guinea Pig? 23 medicine prizes have been won thanks to the furry little buggers, leading to the discovery of Vitamin C, the tuberculosis bacterium and adrenaline.

Guinea Pigs also lead to the development of vaccines for diphtheria and tuberculosis, replacement heart valves, blood transfusion, kidney dialysis, antibiotics, anticoagulants and asthma medicines.

Source which gives more examples of the great work animal testing has done over the years.

 
Ameena
101082.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:46 am Reply with quote

Guinea pigs are also known as cavies. Like us, they can't produce their own Vitamin-C so if they don't get enough of it in their diet, they can get scurvy. They're social so they like to live in groups. Umm...I can't remember what country they originate from but I'm pretty sure it's not Guinea (is there a Guinea? There's a New Guinea, after all). And they're not pigs, of course, being rodents. So their incisors are permanently growing and they need stuff to gnaw. They have a wide variety of noises they can make, one of which is a kind of high-pitched squealy-type noise known as "wheeting". I've read somewhere, ages ago, that they only make this noise to humans when they're waiting to be fed - they don't wheet among each other.
We used to have a guinea pig who was really sweet. When you put your hands around under his tummy to pick him up, he'd raise his midsection off the ground a bit to let you do so. Then after being plonked in your lap and stroked for a while he'd start wheeting quietly, getting progressively louder and only actually making sound as you were stroking him.
So anyway, yeah...piggies are cuuute ;).

 
grizzly
101095.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:17 am Reply with quote

Ameena wrote:
Umm...I can't remember what country they originate from but I'm pretty sure it's not Guinea (is there a Guinea? There's a New Guinea, after all).

They have a wide variety of noises they can make, one of which is a kind of high-pitched squealy-type noise known as "wheeting". I've read somewhere, ages ago, that they only make this noise to humans when they're waiting to be fed - they don't wheet among each other.


Guinea Pigs come from South America where they were first domesticated over 4000 years ago in the Andean regions (Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia).

There are 3 countries with Guinea in the title (The Republic of Guinea (Africa), The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Africa) and The Independent State of Papau New Guinea (Australasia/South East Asia, where ever you want to put it really).

I'm not sure about what you say about the sounds. There are supposedly more than 100 different squeaks but I'm not totally sure on just how many and I don't have an original source.

 
Ameena
101099.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:21 am Reply with quote

I don't know about over 100 but there are certainly quite a lot. I think I heard there were 20-something but I might be getting confuzzled with cats. Bear in mind that a fair few piggy noises are probably beyond our hearing.
I really should start a thread on (brown) rats since I know more about them...

 
grizzly
101114.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:33 am Reply with quote

I forgot Guinea-Bissau :-)

 
Long Haired Hippy
101141.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:02 am Reply with quote

Well here's a good example of why one must always check one's facts. I was told recently, that if the practice of testing drugs on animals had been quite so prevalent in the past, then the wonder drug penicillin could well have been discarded as it is fatal to guinea pigs.

After searching for a suitable reference to this supposedly QI factoid it turns out that I may have been mislead by animal rights propaganda.

http://www.rds-online.org.uk/pages/page.asp?i_ToolbarID=2&i_PageID=1069

I spot a possible wheeze to deduct a further ten points from a noted mop headed vegetarian who's perhaps as likely to have been infected with the same inaccurate meme as my informant. Sorry Alan - love you really

Edit:

Looking further into the issue

http://www.guinealynx.com/dangerous_medications.html and other sites offering advice to carers of guinea pigs advise strongly against penicillin based drugs which can apparently affect the intestinal flora leading to fatal diarrhoea. It appears as if the vivisectionists may be the ones guilty of propaganda. Though it appears that this is unknown to many vets. Apparently (by second hand evidence) the Exotic Animal Formulary third edition advises that injected penicillin is fine but it should not be administered orally. Technically (since they are not harmed by injection) it seems that penicillin is not toxic to guinea pigs. However oral administration can be fatal.

 
did you know....
101247.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:02 pm Reply with quote

has anyone ever died from a guinea pig attack?

 
Ejob
101252.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:07 pm Reply with quote

Guinea pig meat is common food in South America. According to Wikipedia Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million Guinea pigs each year...

 
did you know....
101256.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:11 pm Reply with quote

but has anyone died from a guinea pig attack

 
Gray
101283.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:24 pm Reply with quote

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to find this fact out yourself, and report back here and tell us all.

A prize will be forthcoming, but not materially so.

 
cabs
101285.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:25 pm Reply with quote

A really big prize for the guinea pigs if they make him the first...

Extra hay and, oh, I don't know, a big cinema-style bag of maltesers.

Do guinea pigs like maltesers? We ought to know.

 
Gray
101287.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:26 pm Reply with quote

Guinea pig features front-center in Spanish paintings of The Last Supper.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/tv_and_radio/50eats35.shtml

 
did you know....
101288.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:27 pm Reply with quote

i can't find anyone that has been killed by a guinea pig. And cabs, that was uncalled for.

 
cabs
101294.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:37 pm Reply with quote

Qui? Moi?

 
Not a Number
101326.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:35 pm Reply with quote

I wonder if the Guinea Pig would also be an acceptable meal choice for a Catholic during Lent. After all, they are closely related to the capybara. Any thoughts?

 

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