Pictures from Metis's Pregnancy
Cavies have a long gestation period for a rodent: between 59 and 72 days. This is because the pups are born precocious: the have teeth, claws, hair, and open eyes at birth. Within a few hours of birth, they're playing and running about. Within about a day they can eat solid foods. But the poor dams have to carry the pups for longer than other rodents, which can't be good for them.
Below are pictures of Metis's pregnancy. (Note that she was already pregnant when I bought her. So all previous pictures of her are also part of her pregnancy.) These date from about a week and a half before delivery to the night before she farrowed. For the last week of her pregnancy, I had her seperated from Tea in the auxiliary back-up cage. This was done mainly to reduce any stress Metis might feel and to make sure that Tea did accidently trample the newborns.
|Nearly two weeks before delivery. This is about when I could tell she was really pregnant.||Another view of a roly-poly Metis|
|Metis in her confinement, with extra oranges for vitamin C||Metis spent most of her time lying around. Which seems fair, given her state.|
|Metis going into a tunnel, the night before she delivered.||Big round belly|
Note: Yes, Metis would be embarassed to know that these are here. Luckily, she lacks opposable thumbs to get online and her paws are too small to work the trackball, anyway. So just don't tell her, and she'll never know.
As I got out of bed at around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, 20 September 2003, Metis started making hiccupping motions. (Luckily I knew the signs of labor, and was able to hurry getting dressed, just in case. Happily, there was no need to rush her to the vet.) Within a few minutes, Metis delivered a single pup, and set about licking it clean. Despite being a very young dam, Metis performed perfectly. Within a few minutes, the pup was wobbling around the cage and getting food from Metis.
When I got back home from my office a few hours later, the pup was dry and playing in the cage, dashing towards its mother when it got frightened. For the record: birth-mass is 175 grams, approximately. I'm planning on naming the pup "Pallas", and big bonus point will go to anyone who can spot all three reasons I've chosen that name.
|The new baby, peeking around Metis||Baby, hiding under Metis|
|Metis and baby huddled together. Baby is about 5 hours old.||Metis and baby eating Timothy hay a few hours after birth.|
|Following mommy around the cage.||Pallas is giving me a Look|
|Pallas's other side||5 hours old and already scratching at the itches|
|Meeting Auntie Tea for the first time||Generally getting to know each other.|
|Pallas is either hiding behind Metis or having diner. Possibly both.||Look at those big, cute ears.|
|Metis is very patient when its dinner time||And very affectionate over Pallas|
Weiss John Last modified: Wed Nov 26 09:08:55 MST 2003