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Thread: Scared Pig?

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    Cavy Slave Slave to the Rose's Avatar
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    Scared Pig?

    I currently have two pigs. My first I bought from Petsmart(bad idea) and the second I bought from a small family owned petshop(I know I'll probably get called on for this but I bought both before I knew about adoption). Anyway, the petsmart pig (Rose) is VERY friendly and loves attention. She is quiet but thats just her personality. This post has nothing to do with Rose.

    My second pig, Hotaru(meaning firefly in Japanese), is a little fireball. When I first brought her home she was newly weaned and understandably frighted. She and Rose took to eachother like sisters with no fights at all. Hotaru was inseparable from Rose which resulted in many pig trains. My main concern is, after 5 month living at the house, she is still terrified of human contact. She shrieks when you pick her up and will try desperately to run. The only person she will let handle her is my fiance Robert and even then its with much complaint at the start. Every time I have to get her out of the cage it becomes a game of chase. What can I do to help her become more friendly?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    I had the same problem with Rosie, as she was so young (App 6 weeks) she took to the girls excellently however whenever I went to pick her up she shrieked and shrieked, once she was safely in my arms she seemed to settle down. I kept persisting however, she is really good now and will talk as I pick her up as a pose to shrieking.

    I found that in the beginning she was quieter and calmer if she could burrow in a towel.

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    When I raised my little lady Pearl from babyhood, she was terrified of everything- seriously. If she lost sight of her mom she would cry and cry, and if I so much as reached towards her she freaked out completely. I would hold her every day nevertheless, and for well over a month she still cried and trembled. I was devastated and I thought that she hated me. Fast forward many months, and now she is the most cuddly piggy in the world. Just be patient.

    I've found that giving her something to hide under and a few treats to distract her make the process a lot easier. Pearl likes to be right under my chin, my cupped hand, or a blanket to feel secure. She likes to be petted, but only in certain places and ways- try to figure out what she likes best. My girl likes being scratched behind the ears and under her chin the best, but hates having her back touched. With some piggies it's helpful to hold back on the petting for a while so the experience isn't overwhelming, and just let her smell your hand and get used to your presence. Just keep up the same routine every day and make sure that everything about the experience is calming- no distracting sounds or smells, just quiet and peaceful. Instead of chasing her around the cage, try to corner her into a dark box and carefully lift her out of the cage so the process isn't long and frightening for her. Let her cuddle with you for ten or fifteen minutes at most, then return her safely to her cage. Trust me, with time she will relax, some piggies just take longer than others.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    I would also find a safe way for Rose and Hotaru to do lap time together in the same "lap". Hotaru will feel more secure if she can be right next to or under Rose. Rose will also be able to "teach" her that lap time is okay. After a few times doing this, do lap time with you and your fiance sitting right next to each other and with each of you holding one GP. This will allow Hotaru to still be able to see, hear and smell Rose. Don't be discouraged if Hotaru keeps trying to climb in the same lap with Rose. Keep trying and add some veggies incentives.

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    Cavy Slave Slave to the Rose's Avatar
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    Thank you all for your encouraging advice!
    I probably should have included but Hotaru always has a towel to burrow in when she is on Robert or my lap. She is ok once out of the cage. I will try and make a carrier type thing for her to safely remove her from the cage.
    One large problem we have with her is she is semi-long hair and so she gets matted butt fur that I have to clip off. I do this with her sitting all for paws on the ground but when I cut it she shrieks like I'm hurting her. Any ideas? I'm using a good sharp pair of scissors and not coming in contact with her body at all.

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    Cavy Slave I<3MyBabies's Avatar
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    My girl Sukki sounds very much like yours.

    She has some hearing problems,it's not been vet confirmed but after much observation...mama knows best. So, I try to be very slow moving, and say her name loudly so she knows I'm there. I sometimes just tap on the cage (the cubes) to let her know I'm coming.

    She also has long hair. And I too have to trim her bum hair. She HATES it. I can touch anywhere else and shes fine, but I touch her bum and she yelps. There is not huge mat, nothing causing pain, she just thoroughly hates being touched there. I comb her out once a week, and she usually needes a bath about that often too. I know that's not the best, but her pee gets in her fur and I don't want her to get a fungus infection.

    So, I guess lots of patience, and sometimes certain piggies just really dislike certain things. Is she really loud and easily startled? Does she wheek louder than the other piggie? Sukki does and these are the things that led me to beleive she has a hearing problem, along with the fact that I know her sister is a lethal with serious hearing,seeing, and teeth problems.

    Hope this helps, and good luck
    Heidi

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    Cavy Star envisionary333's Avatar
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    I have the same problem with my Peruvian, and I keep a very close eye on it since she had a fungal infection when I adopted her from matted, dirty bum hair. The first few times I would use scissors and trim her myself, but I was scared that I would cut her since she was so squirmy and upset. Now I take her to the vet and have them do a close buzz-cut to her entire behind. They do a much better job then I do, and the cut is close enough the she doesn't need another trim for at least a month. It's not always the most attractive thing, but it's very functional! Plus, you don't have to keep putting your girl through a traumatic process that she begins to associate with you. Just let the vet deal with it! You can trim the rest of her hair as needed, but the bum hair is really the most important as far as cleanliness goes. My girl is part abby and her bum is wild, it's covered in rosettes! It's a jungle back there!

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    Cavy Slave Slave to the Rose's Avatar
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    Re: Scared Pig?

    Thanks again for the advice.
    Regarding noise and possible hearing problems: I know for a fact that Hotaru has NO problems with her hearing. Since everytime I stand in the pig room she runs for cover I always tell her I'm getting up before I do. This has become her 'run and hide' cue which helps her alittle I think.

    Regarding her hair, she and her sister get weekly baths (without soap). I would do it with just Hotaru but she is so scared I never want to scare her more than I need to. Whenever we have to trim nails or cut butt fuzz I let Robert hold her while I do whatever needs done. Is that best or should I hold her so she doesn't associate me with it as much? Thanks for the help!

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