When any guinea pigs arrive, we give them a general health check. We decide who needs what treatments and where the priorities are.
For many, they have been living in such disgusting conditions, the first thing we do is give them a BATH. We also establish what sex they are! If there are mums and babies we try to establish which babies belong to whom, and make sure they're reunited as soon as possible, if that's appropriate. We treat them as necessary for mites, lice, fungal etc.
Males are paired up together. We try to match their personalities but it takes a few trial and errors to see who gets on with whom. Seemingly healthy females will join the main herd on the ladies shed floor. Guinea pigs that need more medical attention are put into various cages and treated as necessary.
Pregnant guinea pigs and new mums are given cages that are out of the way and given the attention they need. Guinea pigs are very good at supporting each other through the tough time of pregnancy and childbirth (it is not unusual for orphans to be happily adopted by other new mums).
If necessary, medical treatment (such as lancing and cleaning infected wounds, giving painkillers and antibiotics), extra vitamins, nutrients and special food (to help them gain weight) are provided. Some guinea pigs are quarantined if necessary, but we try to keep them in at least pairs, as guinea pigs are social animals and need their friends.
We do what we can for all the guinea pigs. Unfortunately and inevitably many of the guinea pigs we meet don't survive and it is ALWAYS heart-breaking. We take comfort in knowing they experienced love in the end and we try to make them as comfortable as possible until they leave us.