Texel guinea pigs are one of the cutest of their kind, and no other breed looks the same as them. Their hair and curls make them look really cute, but are Texel guinea pigs great pets?
The answer is yes, they are wonderful pets; the only problem you may face with owning a Texel guinea pig is that they require more grooming than some other guinea pig breeds. Other than that, Texel guinea pigs are among the most sociable, cool, and friendly pets.
In this article, we will discuss in detail what the Texel guinea pig is, what the best diet is for them, appearance, health problems, and everything else related to them.
Texel Guinea Pig Facts
Texel guinea pigs are not like other guinea pigs; they are new to the family. They originated in the 1980s as a result of the cross between Silkie and Rex.
They received their long beautiful hair from the Silkie, but they got curls instead of straight hair. These curls give them a unique look.
In 1988, American breeder Cavy association has recognized the Texel as breed.
Texel guinea pigs are similar to other members of their family in their size. Like most guinea pigs at maturity, they are around 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) long. Male Texel guinea pigs are slightly larger and longer than females.
Mature Texel guinea pigs weigh between 700 and 1200 g. Similarly, males weigh more than females. They have a wide and compact body, so their extra weight makes it seem like they have large bones.
The entire body of the Texel guinea pig is covered in curly hairs, so it looks different from any other guinea pig. However, most people think that due to their long-haired coat, they look a lot like Silkies, even though it’s an entirely different breed.
They also have shorter cute curly hair on their faces, which increases the appeal they can have for some owners.
Texels have a dense, shiny coat and also come in a variety of colors. Typically the most common pattern you will see is black or white, along with any other color in between.
Texel guinea pigs have certain unique facts due to their unique and cute fur. Their lush, curly and long fur has earned them the nickname “Shirley Temple” of cavies.
Similarly, they are also famous as the “Long Haired Sheltie” due to their fur. They are also known as “Rexoid” due to acknowledge the gene pool they’re coming from.
How do you Groom a Texel Guinea Pig?
Grooming requirements for Texel guinea pigs are specific, as they need special care to keep their skin, coat, and orifices healthy and clean. Here are some grooming tips for your Texel guinea pigs.
We’ve compiled a couple of simple tips to make brushing your piggy the best possible experience:
- Before brushing their hair, you can run your finger thoroughly to loosen any tangled hair.
- Use a specific comb that is specially designed for grooming small pets.
- Brush Texel guinea pigs in the direction that they are normally laid from head to toe.
- Trim their fur, especially around the genital area, to prevent urine and feces from settling on the coat.
Avoid using hard bristle and metal combs because they can scratch their skin.
To avoid lumps and tangles, brush their fur every day.
If there are tangles and clumps present on their coat, you can use certain conditioning sprays that are made especially for pets, and that helps remove knots and tangles.
Texel guinea pigs have long hair over their ears; pay attention while grooming them because this area can be very sensitive. Pulling the brush too hard will cause pain, and your pet will feel uncomfortable. Try to make the grooming session as comfortable as possible.
In the early days, guinea pigs will be uncomfortable in their grooming sessions; you can use lots of treats and praise to keep them cool and calm.
These fur ball ears are covered in hair that can get tangled. Similarly, earwax is a major problem that can build up in the ear and also stick to their fur.
While cleaning the ear, also look for any signs of inflammation or injury. If some kind of foul smell comes out of their ears, it means that something is wrong. You can use a cleaner specially designed for pets to clean their ears.
You will see the tremendous hair growth as your pet reaches adulthood. In adulthood, their hair will grow up to 2.5 cm per month, which is why regular curling of the hair is necessary to keep their coat soft and silky.
You must trim their hair every month. In some areas like the groin, butt, legs, and ears, long hair can cause discomfort and dirt. The hairs around these areas need special trimming attention to avoid knots and tangles.
While trimming their hair, moisten them with lukewarm water and then run your fingers through their fur to clear out any tangles. Give your Texel guinea pig a treat to keep him calm during the trimming session.
Like the haircut, nail trimming is also necessary and should be done every month or according to the growth of your pet’s nails. Nail trimming must be done consciously to avoid any injury.
Bathing is usually not necessary for guinea pigs. However, many owners argue that a bathe once a month is necessary for your Texel guinea pig due to their long hair.
You can bathe them with lukewarm water in a sink or washtub. Use special pet shampoos to lather up your furry friend. As you rub the shampoo all over their body, make sure it gets on every part of their body, also try to avoid the ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.
When choosing shampoo and conditioner, don’t choose one that leaves an excess residue on the coat, as it will accumulate debris and dirt. After bathing them, pat dry your furry friend and keep him under your supervision.
Best Diet for Texel Guinea Pigs
The nutritional requirement of Texel guinea pigs is the same as that of other guinea pigs. The only addition to their diet is the addition of vitamin C. This extra vitamin C will help Texels keep their fur glossy and shiny.
You can provide them with vitamins in the form of granules in their food, or you can feed them vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C. But be careful not to feed your Texel those vegetables and fruits that are high in sugar content.
Like other guinea pigs, Texels need a lot of hay in their regular diet. As you know, hay makes up 70% of their diet, and they can eat in infinite amounts. You can also supplement their hay with additional nutrients to increase the nutritional value.
You can also feed them with high-quality pellets in an amount of 1/8 cup of pellets, please adjust this rule of thumb accordingly to your pet’s size and medical situation (and/or according to the amount mentioned on the bag).
This is very important because if you overfeed your pet, he will gain weight and suffer from health problems.
Water is also an essential nutrient for a healthy life. It is your duty to give your Texel guinea pig clean, fresh water 24/7 in a water container and, if the water becomes contaminated, replace it immediately.
Texel Guinea Pig Health Issues
Like all other guinea pigs, Texels also suffer from certain health problems. Due to their unique coat, they are prone to certain skin conditions. Common guinea pig health problems are discussed below. If your pet is suffering from any serious health concerns, contact your vet immediately.
Their long curly hair looks beautiful and attractive, but it will lead to certain problems when it is knotted or tangled. Failure to cut knotted hair can lead to:
- Parasitic infections
That issues can cause further irritation, itching, and pain throughout the body.
Parasitic infestation can seriously affect their health in severe conditions. They can suffer from dermatitis and anemia. Similarly, knotted hair will affect their mobility and lead to weight problems.
Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system, and even a small infection can cause serious problems. Texel guinea pigs have natural bacterial colonies in their gastrointestinal tract that can help them maintain a regular bowel moment.
If the natural microflora is damaged, the result can be potentially disastrous. Painful gas, digestion problems, toxin release, intestinal tissue damage, and severe cases of diarrhea that can lead to death.
This condition in guinea pigs is known as gastrointestinal stasis.
They may also suffer from diarrhea due to worm infection. Other signs that appear along with diarrhea are dehydration, depression, anorexia, low body temperature, and weight loss. Similarly, the overuse of certain antibiotics can also lead to the destruction of natural microflora and lead to diarrhea.
That is why it is recommended to use antibiotics only after consulting with your veterinarian. Antibiotics bought without a prescription are not good for a Texel guinea pig’s health.
Texel guinea pigs often suffer from urinary problems, mainly with urinary stones. These stones often form in the kidneys, ureters, and often in the urinary bladder. The condition becomes painful and life-threatening when these stones lodge in the urethra or ureter.
In females, a bladder infection is more common than in males, and urinary stones often develop in association with this infection.
Common signs of urinary tract infection are:
- Straining to urinate (or completely stopping in severe cases)
- Too frequent urination
- Blood in the urine
This problem can be diagnosed by X-rays, blood tests, and urinalysis. In severe cases, this problem can lead to death, so beware and consult your vet if you’re unsure.
Vitamin C deficiency
As you may know, Texel guinea pigs cannot make vitamin C themselves, so it must be provided regularly in their diet. Basically, vitamin C is essential for the maintenance of the skin, mucous surface, joints, gums, and wound healing.
Any deficiency of vitamin C in their diet will result in skin problems and other infections. The common symptom that appears as a result of vitamin C deficiency is
- Rough coat
- Swollen joints
- Pain when walking
- Ulcers on the gums
It is recommended to provide 10 to 50 mg of vitamin C in their daily diet. Vitamin C is additionally added to their regular diet, depending on what exactly you’re feeding them.
Supplementation with vitamin C is also done with caution, to avoid overdosing or losing its potency.
Are Texel Guinea Pigs Friendly?
Texel guinea pigs have a soft and gentle nature and are very friendly.
They also love interacting with humans, but you just have to train them from a young age. That is why it is recommended to accustom them to human contact, as they require extra care and grooming to maintain their shiny appearance.
Owners report that Texel guinea pigs are calmer and cooler compared to their short-haired cousins.
Another quality that Texel guinea pigs have is their agility and sharpness, which makes them a bit more mischievous and adds to their charm.
How Big Does a Texel Guinea Pig Get?
Texel guinea pigs, like other members of their family, can grow up to 8-10 inches and weigh around 700-1200 g.
Male Texel guinea pigs are larger and slightly heavier than females.
How much is a Texel Guinea Pig?
The cost depends on where you buy them. Texel guinea pigs can cost upwards of $50. If you bought a Texel guinea pig from a reputable breeder, always ask for an initial health guarantee. Also, ask for proof that this breeding line is free from any inherited disease.
Texel guinea pigs look stunning and can have an amazing character. Their long curly hair makes them beautiful and they are extremely friendly and like to be loved by their owner.
If you can afford them (including proper cages and bedding) and have time to care for them and meet their grooming needs as well as enrichment needs, the Texel guinea pig is perfect for you and your family.