With a new month comes a new piggy – our very own MADDIE!
Maddie was found in a shelter in Lynchburg, VA. She had been surrendered by her owner with no reason or explanation. When our volunteer arrived to pick her up, she was panicked. She was screaming at the top of her lungs and smashing into her pigloo and the walls of the cage. In short, she was hysterical. The shelter didn’t realize anything was wrong with her, but our volunteer quickly did.
Maddie is a “lethal” guinea pig. A lethal is a genetic deformity caused when irresponsible breeders or ignorant owners allow dalmatian or roan guinea pigs to breed with each other. In a dalmatian or roan pig, they have one copy of the gene which makes their unusual color. When a guinea pig has two of those genes, they’re a lethal, and they have severe congenital problems from birth. More disturbing is that some breeders even purposefully breed this combination in order to have a higher chance of producing the pretty pigs with the markings they so highly prize.
In Maddie’s case, this means a variety of things:
- she has small, deformed eyes (a condition called micropthalmia)
- she is blind due to her undersized eyes
- she is deaf
- she is missing several teeth
- her remaining teeth are constantly overgrowing and coming out alignment due to jaw malformation issues.
She may also have internal digestive issues. Other lethals, upon necropsy, have shown a variety of deformities and abnormalities in their digestive tract which contribute to a shortened lifespan, even with a doting and caring parent.
Despite her medical issues, Maddie has become a special friend to many. She is unusually friendly, and enjoys being held and petted. She is the loudest wheeker in her sanctuary mom, Andrea’s, household, and brings a smile to faces as she begs shamelessly for treats.
Maddie requires monthly trips to see her favorite vet, Dr. Powers, in Charlotte for tooth trims. These cost $70 ($50 for the trim, $20 for the anesthesia). We’d like to raise enough for two months of trims ($140), as well as pay for a three month supply of metacam ($30), a three month supply of critical care ($20), and a one month supply of veggies ($40)! In total we’d like to fundraise $230.