On 18.02.02 we decided to buy a guinea pig for our daughter. She loves animals and desired one for a long time now.

So on 19.02.02 we bought a cage and the rest of the accessoires. Unfortunately the store had no animals and it was getting late, so we postponed the purchase of the animal to the next day.

Flecki Susi

On 20.02.02 after hours of searching, we finally found one pet shop that had matching guinea pigs. It shouldn't be too old be a female and have a smooth, relatively short fur. And, indeed, we found one - Flecki, about 7 weeks old (left image). She is colorfully spotted, with silky soft fur.

We also bought a book about guinea pigs. Well, and in it we read that these animals are very sociable and you should give them, if possible, a partner. So a second one was needed.

After we bought a bigger cage and all the accessoires, we again drove to the pet shop and bought a second animal - Susi, also 7 weeks old, female (right image). She is reddish-brown with white spots (bicolor)and initially had a wiry fur. Apparently Susi was kept outdoors.

Unfortunately, Susi got a fungus on her nose and we separated the two for this reason. After the treatment, however, they no longer tolerated each other and we had to keep them separate from then on. And to everyone's amazement, Flecki gained weight. We soon discovered why - she was pregnant.


Purzel Schnuppi

Then, finally, it was time. On 31.03.02 around 6:00 p.m. Flecki got two puppies, Purzel (left image) and Schnuppi (right image), both females. We were very happy about the babys. Since newborn guinea pigs discover the world ready and with open eyes, they are really cute to look at! Purzel also has a silky coat and is tortoiseshell with white mixed in. Similar to Susi, Schnuppi is reddish with white bands and spots and partly white paws.

But now it was difficult for Susi. Every day she sat on her little house and looked longingly into the other cage, where Flecki raised children and Purzel and Schnuppi played happily together.

Since the two children of a sister-in-law, each wanted to have a guinea pig too, we gave her two of them with a heavy heart (one of the two brawlers and a pup). Franzi absolutely wanted to keep Susi, and I really wanted to keep Purzel. So we gave Schnuppi together with her Mother Flecki away.

Susi and Purzel got used to each other relatively quick. Purzel learned immediately who the boss pig is. The two then understood each other quite well and played happily together.

Back from the summer vacation, however, we found that the children of my Sister-in-law no longer wanted the pigs. Also we noticed how Flecki and Schnuppi were disturbed and scared. Petra and I immediately agreed to take both back (I would have preferably none of them given away if possible).

Well, now (on 19.08.02) we had two small groups of two animals each. And any attempt to get the two alpha females used to each other failed - they were at each others throats! So what to do?

Then I found out from the internet that there was a German association for guinea pigs - the MFD (Meerschweinchenfreunde Deutschlands). At a visit to an exhibition of the Berlin regional association, we learned that it is best to give a (castrated) male to the four females. He would bring the ladys to their senses. Soon the opportunity to do so arised.



On 23.11.02 Anselm (left image) entered the lives of our guinea pigs. He (english crested, white, castrated, weighing almost 1500 g) was about two years old at that time and had ample breeding experience.

After an adjustment phase, we put him together with Purzel (in one area where the animals have space to run). Anselm had an easy game, Purzel accepted him from the start as a higher ranking pig.

Inspired by the success, we added Schnuppi to the two of them the next day. That went just as smoothly as the day before with Purzel. Well we wanted that Anselm has a few days to get used to it, and used that as a confidence-building measure in his own strength.

But, from the time Purzel was with Anselm, Susi sat day and night with ever dimming eyes on her cottage, stared longingly over to Purzel and ate no more. She was losing weight. Because we saw how Susi was suffering, we decided to set her a lot sooner to the three (Anselm, Purzel, Schnuppi) than we originally intended.

We classified her as the strongest willed animal of them all, and therefore didn't believe that this meeting would be peaceful. But we didn't expect the following. She was hardly with the three, she attacked Anselm, followed by a ten and a half hour battle. During this time we observed the animals constantly and were always ready to intervene immediately if the battle should get too heated. Our nerves were on the edge and we were so glad when Susi finally gave in.

After a few days, Flecki was the last to follow. But against our expectation, there were no arguments between her and Anselm. They got along really well from the start.

FINALLY - we made it! We now had five cute guinea pigs, which all lived in a group together, peacefully and happily.


In the meantime, they jump around playfully while being in there outlet. Anselm too. Hard to believe how he changed. From an initially sluggish, clumsy animal to a, from joy galloping guinea pig.



So - the joy didn't last too long, because on 21.06.03 Petra fulfilled her wish and bought Hermine (left image), a female, approximately half a year old. Hermine is also a full-bred guinea pig, a US-Teddy in red, white and chocolate. At first she was severely underweight, but that changed soon enough.

The commotion in the cage was incredible. It was a every man for himself situation (even Anselm got some pinches), and all the women together bit Hermine whenever they could. Anselm had his hands full trying to get the situation under control. Luckily for Hermione, she's incredibly fast. I have never seen a guinea pig that is as fast and has the jumping power as she has. But all that passed and Hermine now found her place in the group.

Sissi1 Sissi

And finally I was able to fulfill my wish, too. After we contacted a nice breeder, we were able to buy the newly born Sissi (right and left image) from her, also a female. She was born on 08.07.03 and we picked her up on 22.08.03.

Sissi is also a full-bred guinea pig, an American Crested in black, a truly beautiful animal with a white crown.

Contrary to our fears, it remained relatively quiet in the cage. But Anselm is now reaching the limit of his capabilities. The 6 women are apparently a bit too much for him, he is probably slowly losing track. Well - then it should stay at 7 animals, we won't enlarge the group anymore.

The photo below shows how well everyone gets along now, and how cute our little rascals looks like.


Everyone is happy and content. Not only the specially built cage with two floors contributes to this, but also the daily, intensive care and the loving togetherness of us and the animals, and of course, a balanced diet with daily green fodder and enough hay.

We can no longer imagine a life without the piggies.


In general, the morning feeding is THE event of the day. The joy and the high-spirited jumping around is hard to describe. It already starts when they hear Petra in the morning in the apartment: everyone starts squeaking loudly and running from floor to floor in the cage. When Petra then approaches with the green fodder, everyone is lined up, one next to the other, in the upper tier at the edge of the cage, paws resting on the grid, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the food bowl. When it's placed inside then, they all rush towards the food as if they already hadn't eaten for three weeks now. Yet their weight already reaches the upper end of the scale.

You could watch them for hours and hours, what they do and how they deal with each other.

Schoss Franzi-Purzel

Our guinea pigs are generally very trusting. Purzel and Susi for example can walk freely in the apartment - if I call them, they come to me and then let me pick them up (if they haven't already tried to jump on me on their own). The photos in th margin show a few moments living together with the sweet piggies.

In the right image we see Purzel checking to see if Franzi hasn't possibly something to snack on (salad or similar) in her mouth. And as you can see they are not at all afraid of crawling around on us (left image). By the way, the photo isn't posed, they just climbed all by themselves up on me.

Cheeky and curious as they are, they come to us immediately if they hear certain noises, such as crackling, rustling, etc. Even if we walk around between them, they are not afraid of us. On the contrary actually, you have to be careful they don't climb up on your feet.

Our daughter learned a lot from dealing with the animals. Not only expertise, but also a sense of duty, diligence, prudence and above all respect and love for animals in general.



On 31.03.05 we noticed that Purzel had a big knot near the throat. the vet says she probably has an abscess on her neck and she should have an operation.

On 04.04.05 around 10:30 a.m. we got Purzel to the vet and can pick her up at around 05:00 p.m. We were at the vet's office shortly before 5:00 p.m. Purzel is still very lightheaded from the anesthetic, she can barely walk and is very frightened. It turns out that it wasn't an abscess, but an Inflammation/suppuration of a lymph gland. The vet can't tell if Purzel will survive and whether the inflammation does return or not.

At home Purzel is totally scared, shocked even, but at least eats something. After the anesthesia wears off, Purzel is in great pain. She cries for hours, cannot sleep, moves from one leg to the other. We put her cage next the other piggies - and hope.

The next day we see Purzel is alive - what a joy. But she just sits in her cage all day with her head in a corner, eats hardly and is completely apathetic. We try to feed her, unfortunately with moderate success. And since the wound on her neck prevents her head from lying down, she can't even get a proper rest.

In the days that followed, she kept losing weight, even though we force-feed her with a special porridge. We have a feeling she wants to die. So that the animals do not lose contact with each other and to help Purzel, I am building a cage within the cage for her.

On 17.04.05 Purzel lost weight: from 1000g down to 818g. We are nearly at the end of our nerves. Since she still doesn't want to eat, we decide to bring her together with the others without a separating grid. And - indeed, it works, she's finally eating again.

On 01.05.05 Purzel weighs 914g, she seems to have survived. She gets better and she's making progress every day, gradually recovering. Our joy is great - Purzel is getting well again.


Unfortunately, the joy doesn't last long. In the afternoon of 28.05.05 I realize that Purzel is breathing raggedly, but yet we don't think something could be wrong. It's a very hot day and we attribute that to the heat. At the next day, it's Sunday and still very hot, but she's panting still. Also, she doesn't eat anymore. It seems unusual.

On monday we are immediatly taking her to the vet. He finds out that it is probably pulmonary edema. She gets 2 injections, but the vet doesn't give us any hope. As of Tuesday, her condition still hasn't improved. She gets 2 injections again.

On Wednesday, it is 01.06.05, Purzel is getting worse and worse. Every breathe is a torture for her. She always looks at me carefully while sitting on my lap. She can no longer lie down, only stands on her front legs, can hardly hold up her head. When I'm sitting down in front of the cage, she sits down in the cage very close to me. When i go away she climbs on a little house and looks after me, and when I sit down again, she immediately comes back to me and sits down next to me. She seeks for my closeness. Her condition is getting worse from hour to hour. We know that we'll need relieve Purzel from her suffering, but it breaks our hearts.

Around 3:30 p.m. we go to the vet. We put daisies in Purzels basket (she always loved to eat them). She can hardly breathe, fighting against drowning from the inside. It's awful to watch something like this. At around 3:45 p.m., Purzel is given an anesthetic and doesn't even squeak at the injection. She has pressed against me and is falling asleep in my hands. The doctor takes her into an adjoining room and puts her to an endless sleep there. It is unbelievable, torn from life.

Our PURZELCHEN is dead! :-(((

I don't know how we got home. From a small box, which Franzi donated, I'm building a coffin. Then we bury her.

In the following days we notice that Susi and Schnuppi seem to miss Purzel. They run around the cage searching, looking into every corner, in every hut. Their behaviour is different than usual. A look at the table with their weights shows that in the subsequent 6 weeks all animals have lost quite a bit of weight. I think they noticed Purzels disappearance and were therefore also sad.

As we found out, Purzel was the animal we all loved most. She was so open minded, curious, always on for having adventures and wasn't afraid of us at all - yes she liked us downright. In addition, she was born and raised here with us. She was part of the family and since we lost her, we are all suffering.



Since April 2005, Anselm has continuously lost weight. At first we thought that's not so bad, especially since Anselm became more and more agile with the decreasing weight. The vet then diagnosed a similar swelling on his neck like Purzel had. Considering his age, and the experience with Purzel, we didn't want him to undergo such a serious surgery. He should spend his last days in peace, as far as possible.

On 09.02.06 he only weighed 755g. Anselm is feeling very bad now. The hind legs buckle when walking, the nose is crusted, the Lump on the neck has become huge and the throat is full of herpes. He hardly eats anymore, most of the time he lies there apathetically. At 11:30 a.m. we bring Anselm to the vet. With the anesthetic he drifts away peacefully on Petras arm, the doctor takes him to the back and keeps him there to put him to sleep.

We console ourselves with the thought that he had a happy, fulfilling life with us and the rest of the piggies.


Because Sissi is eating very badly, we take her to the vet on 23.02.06. He finds a thickening on her right lower jaw, probably an abscess. So we're supposed to go with her to get x-ray and go to a veterinary clinic for further treatment.

X-rays in the veterinary clinic on 28.02.06 show that she really has an abscess on the lower right jaw. Consequence - the bottom right incisor has to be extracted. That's why we leave her there overnight (the surgery is supposed to be done early next day).

On 01.03.06 we will pick up Sissi at around 3:00 p.m. She survived the surgery well, the bottom right incisor was removed, but a hole was left in the fur to be able to rinse the wound for a few more days. She also got a hormone injection because cysts were found on her ovaries.

At home she is put with Schnuppi in the upper cage (so that she is not completely alone), the others have to stay below. On the advice of the doctor, we line Sissi's area with newspaper only.

On 02.03.06 we took Sissi to the vet for a flush. Back home she is bitten by everyone else; that's why she stays at the upper floor alone now. But she doesn't seem unhappy about it. So she is getting better and heavier by the day as she eats like a glutton.

On 11.03.06 the pigs can use both floors again. Sissi is happy over the litter - jumps around a little, but she is attacked by Susi and Schnuppi and is very aggressive herself, she attacks every other pig.

During a last visit to the veterinary clinic on 14.03.06, Sissi got a hazelnut-sized urinary stone removed. She also gets another hormone injection.

In the following weeks and months, more and more hair fell out, and the remaining ones grow unnaturally long. One hormone injection would have probably been enough (so too said our veterinarian). Also the change of fur in winter unfortunately did not show improvement. We'll wait and see how it will develope.

As of APR 2007, Sissi is losing weight. On 18.08.07, during our vacation, the holiday supervisor finds Sissi dead at the foot of the ramp in the cage, 2 days before our return. We mourn the little pig. She really was not doing good the last time and we think it was a salvation for her.


On 29.11.07 we take Susi to the vet because her breath rattles harder for a while now. The vet diagnoses an infection in the lungs. she gets an injection of antibiotics. As this is contagious and dangerous we take all animals to the doctor on 01.12.07. Hermine and Flecki are OK. But Schnuppi has the same illness as Susi, who is doing a little better now - praised be the modern medicine! Schnuppi and Susi get an injection again. On 03.12.07 once more both get an injection. Both recover in the next days. But Susi has to take a dose of medicine now every day until forever for dehydration. Luckily we can reduce the dosage to 2 x per week from mid-JAN 2008 on.

A video of the last 4 piggies from christmas 2007


On 25.03.08 trichodectidae (a family of louse; it's species are parasites of mammals) were found on our piggies. All animals therefore need to be treated. Luckily, that's not a problem. And so far we have been spared such things.


Flecki1 Susi-Schnuppi

On 20.05.08 we take Schnuppi to the vet because she is apathetic and hardly eats. The vet finds that she has cysts on her ovaries and has blood in her urine. We give her antibiotics and a restorative every day. After 3 days she is feeling visibly better.

Flecki has to go to the vet on 25.08.08. Her left eye is watering and her left cheek is swollen. Diagnosis: tumor on the upper left incisor. It has to be removed. The next day, Franzi takes Flecki to the doctor, who removes the tooth surgically. After 2 hours we can pick her up again. The operation has gone well, but she is still very apathetic and weak.

In the weeks that followed, Schnuppi got worse and worse. The cysts are become huge, the upper lip is scabbed, the ears on the edge are as if nibbled on, the fur has disappeared around her eyes, the whole animal is shaggy, and she is so weak that she can no longer lift her hind legs when walking. Petra takes her to the vet on 18.09.08. With the anesthesia she falls asleep peacefully in her arms. Then it's around 05:00 p.m. when she is euthanized.

Schnuppchen, our BABYFACE SCHNUPPI, is dead :-(((

The doctor thinks it's lucky that there didn't burst any vein in the cysts, because then Schnuppi would have died in great agony. Next day we bury her in the garden.

Then on 24.10.08 the next blow. After Flecki's incisor was removed, she felt better at first. But the doctor said the inflammation could come back, and now it has. Fleckis left cheek is very swollen, pus comes out of the nose, she has trouble eating and is obviously in great pain. On her behavior (she seeks the closeness of the other pigs, always pushes herself to Susi or Hermine in the little house) you can observe that she feels very sick. I'm taking her to the vet. The vet tells me that there is no point to subject Flecki to a serious operation at that age. We agree with that. I take Flecki home with me so that we can say our goodbyes to her.

On 27.10.08 - Flecki is very weak and she hardly eats anymore. We think we shouldn't wait any longer. Petra and I go with Flecki to the vet. At 11:00 a.m. she gets an anesthetic. She drifts to sleep peacefully in Petra's arm. We say goodbye to her. Then the doctor takes her to the back to put her to sleep and then brings her in a small box to us. I'm dazed.

Flecki, our MAMA FLECK, is also dead :-(((

We bury her the next day in the garden next to her daughter Schnuppi.

So many tragedies in such a short time. It is exasperatingly! But unfortunately, our animals have now reached an age where it is normal that they leave us. We console ourselves with the thought that they all had a nice, happy life with us.

I hope that Susi will still stay with us for a long while . After Purzel she is now my absolute favorite guinea pig. It's not that the others don't mean anything to me, but Susi is uniquely kind, strong in character, affectionate and not afraid of people. Because of these properties she has grown particularly dear to me.


On 26.02.09 we go to the vet with Susi and Hermine, their fur is falling out. They have mange mites, and they both get injections against it. Susi bleeds profusely because she only consists almost entirely of skin and bones, the doctor can hardly stop the bleeding.

3 weeks later the mites are gone and the fur grows back.

08.06.09 - Susi has become weaker and weaker lately. And she has constant diarrhea. The cage and she herself smell very unpleasant. For this reason, the two only get a little fresh food in the morning. This improves Susi's condition significantly. Hermine must have had mites again because the fur on hind paws and belly fell out again. Susi is also looking worse and worse, her fur is not shiny anymore and it's pretty shaggy. Petra and I suspect that Susi will die soon.


17.06.09 - Today I'm sitting on the balcony with Susi so that she can experience the sun and the fresh air once again. She sniffs interested on the flowers and herbs.

19.06.09 - Susi is getting weaker and weaker. I pick her up and bring her to the flowers and herbs on the balcony, but she's not interested in her surroundings anymore.

20.06.09 - Susi is completely apathetic today. At the morning feeding she can hardly lift her head and doesn't eat anything. Petra takes her in her arms because she is so weak. After a while, Susi squeaks a few times, then she got very quiet and lies on her side. She is still breathing but soon the breathing stops. At 08:40 a.m. Susi leaves us. I hold her for quite a while in my my arms and caress her. I can not believe it, although I've been expecting it for some time.

My Susilein, our AUNT SUSI, is dead! :-(((

We wrap her in her brown towel and put her on the balcony. I get her a small box that fits, and we drive to our Garden. There we bury Susi right next to Flecki and Schnuppi. I plant 3 brought daisies on her grave.

May the good god give as much love to this little guinea pig soul as we did.



On 22.06.09 and 29.06.09 Hermine gets injections against mange mites, since her fur is falling out. I tear the cage apart with a heavy heart. It was the home for our piggies over all those years. Hermine is now placed in the large plastic and metal cage.

Since the beginning of July 2010, Hermine has had skin problems. Her fur looks like it's torn out. And since her front paws are sore and the soles are swollen, Petra takes her to the vet. She gets an injection in one paw. But that only brings temporary relief. Since August 23.08.10, Hermine found it harder and harder to walk. She obviously has pain. On 30.08.10 Hermine can walk very badly, she drags her hind paws when she runs. This is painfully reminiscent of Anselm.

On 01.09.10 around midnight, I pet Hermine before going to bed once, as I feel her end approaching. She throws herself around to me and seems to like it very much. The next day, 02.09.10, Petra finds Hermine dead in the cage around 06:25 a.m. in the morning. I pet her one last time. Then we put her in a little box, wrapped in her towel. Later we bury her next to the other pigs in the garden. She gets a daisy on her grave, too.



But then there was:

CARACAS - It was ten feet long, looked like a giant guinea pig, and weighed 700 kilos.

In Venezuela, German and American researchers found the fossils of the largest rodent on earth.

The biologists were able to draw conclusions from the well-preserved skeleton and skull about the way of life of the primordial animal. It roamed the earth eight million years ago, through the swampy jungle, had always regrowing teeth and ate seaweed and crocodiles.

The fact that the giant rodent died out is explained by the scientists this way: the giant guinea pig was too slow thanks to its size. It probably couldn't defend itself in the long run against the attacks of immigrant predators.


Copyright (c) 2002 - 2023 Juergen Kaesmann.
Last edited: 28.01.23