Just when you thought that a Teddy guinea pig couldn’t get any cuter, they surprise you! Teddy Satin guinea pigs are similar to regular Teddy guinea pigs, but they’ve got some very key differences that set them apart from each other.
Unfortunately, what makes them Satin is satin syndrome, which comes from a gene that they carry. Because of this, Teddy Satin guinea pigs require some special care in order to live happy and comfortable lives. If you’re thinking about getting one as a pet, make sure you’re prepared for the special needs that these piggies need and are ready to make the commitment.
Teddy guinea pigs originally were from South American and were bred as livestock or as offerings to the gods by the people living there at the time. However, Teddy Satin guinea pigs came about when some of the piggies carried the satin gene, which was then passed on whenever they had babies.
Breeding satin guinea pig breeds of any kind is discouraged, because they pass down the gene, and it becomes a cycle of health issues for the guinea pigs that come after.
Physical Characteristics of Teddy Guinea Pigs
Teddy guinea pigs can usually grow to be 10-12 inches, which is around the general guinea pig average. They also weigh anywhere from 1-3.5 lbs. These piggies can come in black, cream, gold, lilac, beige, and brindle. Because of the satin gene, their hair looks glossy, especially in sunlight, and especially on their nose and feet. This is because the satin gene makes their hair follicles hollow, making them appear translucent. Because of satin syndrome, Teddy Satin guinea pigs can also have bone deformities that come from the decalcification of their bones.
In general, guinea pigs need a constant supply of hay and water, pellets, and around a cup of fruits and vegetables to supplement other nutrients they need, such as vitamin C, calcium, and others. Younger guinea pigs need more calcium than older ones, but older ones need more vitamin C. It’s important to make sure that your guinea pig has a balanced diet that doesn’t consist too much of any one thing.
Of course because of the satin syndrome, it makes it difficult for them to fully absorb calcium, no matter how much of it they consume. Sunlight exposure can help with this, since it helps with making vitamin D, which in turn helps absorb calcium. Syringe feeding can help when they have dental and jaw problems from bone decalcification, which is when their bones become thinner.
Teddy Satin Guinea Pig Grooming
When it comes to grooming, different guinea pigs need different routines! When it comes to the Teddy Satin breed, they don’t require as much maintenance as their long-haired siblings. Because their hair is naturally short, they don’t need daily brushing and will rarely experience matting or tangles. We recommend an occasional bath only when it's necessary for removing lingering traces of urine or excrement.
Common health issues in Teddy Satin Guinea Pigs
Aside from the normal health issues that most guinea pigs face, such as scurvy, urinary issues, respiratory infections, bumblefoot, etc., Teddy Satin guinea pigs have their own set of ailments they suffer from because of the satin syndrome. Satin syndrome is the name of the health complications that come with carrying the satin gene. This puts the piggies at higher risk of developing kidney disease, which in turn affects their heart, bones and other areas of their organ systems.
There are some visible signs of carrying the satin gene, including abnormal walking. This sometimes causes them to walk with a leg raised or laying down. They also tend to have some bone deformities because of the declining health of their bones.
Teddy Satin guinea pigs often have difficulty eating, especially when it comes to chewing harder foods because of the decalcification that affects their teeth and jaw. Because of this, they will also go through some weight loss.
These piggies will also have an increased breath rate, which can also lead to lethargy since breathing takes so much effort for their bodies. They also will have a higher intake of water and fluids in general, which means their urination will increase as well.
There’s no cure for satin syndrome, but routine vet visits and vet care can help ease some of their suffering. Pain medication from your vet could help, and as mentioned before, sun exposure can do a lot of good for you guinea pigs when it comes to being able to increase their calcium absorption.
When it comes to putting less pressure on your guinea pigs bones and joints, our GuineaDad Liner and GuineaDad Premium Liner are the best for their fragile bodies. It’s soft and gentle on them, and can help ease some of the pain they suffer from moving around.
According to the Humane Society, guinea pigs need a minimum of 7.5 square feet of space, but in general, a guinea pig needs companionship to thrive, so it's best to have two guinea pigs. This would mean they need a minimum of 10.5 square feet. You want to give them as much space as possible so they can roam around freely and be active, therefore staying healthy and youthful.
Where to find your own Teddy Satin Guinea Pigs
It's most ethical to adopt your guinea pigs from a shelter if possible. It’s common for new guinea pig owners to give them up for adoption quickly after acquiring them when they’re not prepared for the amount of care their guinea pig needs—especially if they’re higher maintenance and have special care needs.
Some guinea pigs in the shelters have been mistreated and not properly cared for in the past, prior to their arrival at the shelter. Shelters do the best they can, but many have limited resources in helping hands and funds, and they take in and care for as many guinea pigs as they can. When we adopt from the shelter, guinea pig parents not only provide better customized care for each guinea pig, but also help free up rescue centers' capacity to help more animals in need.
If guinea pigs aren’t available at your local shelter, you can “rescue” them from a pet shop, since some pet shops may not be able to put as much of their time and resources towards specialized care for the guinea pigs, because they have so many other types of animals to look after as well. This can especially be the case when it comes to piggies that have special needs.
What’s left to know?
Once you’ve done thorough research on Teddy Satin guinea pigs, it’s important to realize that these piggies need a lot of specialized care that you’re going to need to be prepared to provide for them. These piggies go through quite a bit of suffering, and they need their parents to do their best in easing that!
Once you’ve determined that you’re ready for this level of time and commitment, then you’re all good and ready to give a Teddy Satin guinea pig all the love and support they need to live full and comfortable lives.