Listed below are the 3 books I couldn't live without. I refer to these veterinary manuals constantly when dealing with my cavies. Many exotic veterinarians have the first 2 books on their own bookshelves. The 3rd book is written by a British vet, so is not found as often at our clinics. All of these books are written by veterinarians specializing in "exotics" such as cavies.

Vets that don't specialize in exotics but do see them, should also have these books handy. If you own cavies and don't have access to veterinarian who is knowledgeable and experienced with cavies, owning at least one of these books is an especially good idea. Bring it with you when having your sick cavy examined by your vet. The book may help a vet with little cavy experience to diagnose and treat your cavy safely and effectively. It could help determine what medicine and dose is used. Hopefully the vet would be impressed enough to order his own copy.

All of the books below are available through Barnes & Noble book stores ( or (

The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents, by J. Harkness and J. Wagner

This book has been out the longest, and is currently in its 4th edition (1995). It has been updated every 6 years or so. This book contains valuable medical information on rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice and rats. It has a list of medications and doses that can be used for these animals. Charts and sketches, no photos. $35.95 at B & N.

Note: When I checked 7/2004, new copies of this book are no longer available. You may be able to buy used copies through either of these book stores.

Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents - Clinical Medicine and Surgery, by K. Quesenberry and J. Carpenter (2003).
The second edition was published December 2003. This book has medical information from many exotic veterinarians and experts on ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, sugar gliders and hedgehogs. Lots of helpful pictures and a great list of drugs and doses used in each animal. $57.95 at B & N.


Diseases of Domestic Guinea Pigs, by V.C.G. Richardson (2000).

The second edition was published June 2000. This is a smaller book, but well written and detailed. A little easier to understand on some points than the first 2 books listed. Richardson is not only a vet, but also a cavy breeder for many years. Richardson is a British vet, some of his treatments and medications may not be available or as appropriate in the US. The reproduction chapter is much more detailed than the other 2 books. $42.99 at B & N.

If you don't have much of a medical background you may have trouble understanding some of what you are reading in these books. A medical dictionary or medical encyclopedia may prove helpful. These books are NOT like the fun to read pet shop books with beautiful colored photos. These are for people who want serious biology and medical information on their cavies.

The fourth book on my list is one I feel every guinea pig owner should have. It is written expressly for guinea pig owners, to help them take better care of their pets.


Cavy Health Record Book

The first edition of this book came out early 2004. Regular updates are planned. I love this book! I am now including a copy with every JPGPR adoption package because I feel so strongly that every guinea pig owner and their guinea pig(s) will benefit from it. This book was put together by the gal that runs the Guinea Lynx - Cavy Health Care Online! web site and messageboard. It is sold for a very affordable $7.50 plus shipping at the Guinea Lynx site. This little book is packed with common sense tips, as well as helpful and important information on guinea pig care and health topics. There are also pages where owners can record specific information about each pet guinea pig. For a more detailed description of this book or to order it, go to

On an added note, the Guinea Lynx site has always been a staunch supporter of rescues. This summer (2004) Guinea Lynx held an auction to raise money so that many of these wonderful books could be given to various guinea pig rescues around the country, and even overseas. Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue was extremely pleased to receive some of these donated books and put them to very good use.

This article and the logo are © 1993-2004 Vicki Palmer Nielsen - Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue. No copyright is asserted herein regarding the illustrations accompanying the article; copyrights, if any, of the illustrations are retained by the original holders. If you would like to reproduce anything from the website, please first e-mail Vicki for permission at :

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