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Thread: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

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    Cavy Slave
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    new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    i just bought a 4 month old female guinea pig from another owner. it seemed quiet at first, but starting making some noise by the end of the first night. didnt seem to mind me being there so much as when it first came in the morning

    i read that it's good to raise cavies in pairs, so i decided to go out and buy another young female guinea pig (6 months old) from my friend who was raising 3.

    on the day after i bought the first, i bought the 2nd cavy and decided the cage (they're going to share the old one's) needed cleaning. i didnt think the old owner cleaned it recently. i had to get the old cavy out, so i carried it the way i read about. that wasnt a very good idea, but i dont think i had any other way of getting her out. after i cleaned the cage, i put the 2 cavies in the cage. the new one went into her new igloo, but the old one went off to the side and held the cage. then it preceded to gnaw on the cage a bit, then became VERY skittish. it would jump up holding the side of the cage, and dart around like it wanted to get out. also started to wheek VERY loudly (the type u hear when they know you're going to give them treats, except very very loud) and twitch/dart around to avoid me. I had a guinea pig before, but this wheeking was louder than anything i heard.

    i'm worried that my premature handling terrified the guinea pig and she's going to become depressed ]:

    this literally happened 5 minutes ago. i dont want to frighten her by going near to check, but right now i hear the old cavy squeaking quietly on and off and the new one (i think?) making a sort of hooting noise

    what should i do?


    thanks for reading and sorry for the long post.. im so worried

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    It was making high pitched squealing just now... which means either it's in pain or is very afraid? It's still not in its igloo

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    Cavy Slave idramaxx0's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    Hello, welcome to the forum! I have a few questions. What kind of cage are they in? What kind of bedding are you using? How large is the cage?

    Chewing on the cage is typically a sign of cage boredom. Do you have lots of toys/beds/hidies/hay for them to entertain themselves with? The wheeking may not be a bad thing either, my boys wheek whenever they want something. And the darting around the cage- guinea pigs LOVE to run laps. Mine do it all night long (of course while I'm trying to sleep ). Are you familiar with the term "popcorning?" It's a little "twitch" guinea pigs do when their happy. If you youtube it you can see videos. That may be the twitch your guinea pig is doing.

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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    Thanks for answering. They're in a typical cage sold by pet shops that is small for even 1 pig. it has wired top/sides with plastic bottom. a medium sized igloo takes up a bit less than half the cage. with 2 igloos, there's not a lot of room for the feeding area. I realize this is way too small, and was planning to go out and get materials to build a c&c cage tomorrow. I use aspen wood shaving as I read that's one of the better ones to use. I don't know what kind of bedding was on the cage when I got it first, since it's from he old owner.

    I got it a small belled twig dumbbell and stuffed timothy hay in a toilet paper roll.
    Yesterday it was loving the hay roll thing, but not right now.

    I know from my old guinea pig how wheeking sounds when they expect something, but the noise level was off the charts. The darting/jumping/climbing looked very unhealthy. I read about popcorning and just saw some Youtube videos of it, but this seems different. It was going as fast as it can and looked to be extremely afraid of my hands (which it wasn't the night before). Also around 10 minutes after I posted it started wheeking somewhat loudly again, but this time it changed into a high pitched squeak/chirp (which I read is a sign of pain/fright). I don't want to go near it but now I'm afraid it hurt its claws from the very rough/fast climbing it did on the cage wires.

    PS It's still not in its igloo and didn't look like it was going in anytime soon when I went near it last time (which is different from last day)
    PPS I'm not so sure about the C&C cage now as the climbing I saw it do earlier would easily allow her to escape the C&C.

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    Cavy Slave idramaxx0's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    As long as there is food, water and hay in the cage leave them be. I'm sorry but you keep saying "it", what is the sex of your piggies? While I'm mentioning it, making sure both of your piggies are the same sex! You don't want any little piggies running around unexpectedly.
    You may have startled your pig by handling them so much so soon. Where wee they kept while you cleaned the cage? Piggies take a long time to bond with each other and their owners. I've had a pig for over 6 months that still won't come near me.

    Now that I'm thinking of it, one of my pigs did the same thing when I brought him home. He was in a cage with about 10 other pigs and came home to my 3 pigs. He must have missed his friend or something because he did not stop with his high pitched squeaking for days! It eventually stopped once he bonded with his new cagemates.

    Of course, this could be a different scenario. Unless he stops eating/drinking and becomes lethargic I don't think he's hurt. If you know you may have handled him improperly in a way that may have hurt him, then maybe you should have a vet look at him. Considering you just got both of them, a trip to a cavy savvy vet may not be a bad idea anyways. Typically when getting new pigs you should quarantine them for 3 weeks, to make sure they are not sick, and then introduce.

    I hope some of this is helping!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    Sorry I keep alternating between it and she. Not used to writing about guinea pigs yet. They're both female.

    I read about the quarantine, but the owners assured me they were okay and I also read it's not uncommon to just let them share a cage right away.

    I'm pretty sure I didn't hurt her during the handling, although probably terrified her to death.

    I think I'm going to wait a day to see if this alarming behaviour continues.
    Thanks

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    You just stuck two unfamiliar pigs in a cage without a 3 week quarantine at all. Not a good move. Pigs coming from different sources always, always, always need to be quarantined.

    I imagine one or both are scared or it could be dominance related.

  8. "Thank you, Ly&Pigs, for this useful post," say these 2 members:

    foggycreekcavy (01-27-11), sdpiggylvr (01-27-11)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    I didn't realize quarantine was so important. When I was cleaning, I put them in a box with aspen shavings and gave a bit of cabbage. They seemed to get along fine in there. They didn't fight over the food or made any hostile moves. They were cuddling together (probably from fright?) when I came to put them in their cage.
    I also got the impression from reading guinea lynx that quarantine was only for medical purposes. I guess I was wrong. It's just that when I saw her she seemed to be scared of only me.

    What should I do about tonight then? I can't just conjure up a spare cage out of thin air, and buying tonight is out of the question because of circumstances. Also is there an alternative to buying another $100+ cage for just 3 weeks?

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    Cavy Slave Rnd210's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    You already put them together which defeats the point in quarentining so at this point just leave them together unless there is blood shed.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    I read more about quarantine and introducing a new cavy at cavyspirit. They really do make it sound like quarantine is for medical purposes, in which case I really didn't think there would be a reason since I got them from trustworthy people and they've been raised for a few months by caring owners. I guess that's a bit presumptuous but that was my thought process. Maybe it was my lazy subconscious convincing me to skip the process.

    However based on what I read I should have introduced them on neutral ground, and never on another's cage. I guess I screwed up there. All it talks about is aggression towards each other and nothing on both being afraid. I wish there was a more comprehensive site about this.

    Thank you everyone. I feel so stupid

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    Cavy Slave Thor-Loki's mom's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    We all make mistakes, this website is a wealth of information. Keep digging around and you will find tons of tips.

    I also noticed you said you aren't so sure about the C & C cage due to the climbing ? You need to take a look at the "closed cages" section (under photo galleries) here if you are concerned about that. You can make a fantastic C & C cage and have a lid on it.

    I would say that you need to get cracking on that cage asap. Those lil piggers need as much room as they can. They need to be able to get away from each other as well as be companions. Now that they are together, you shouldn't separate them unless there is blood shed going on. Hopefully she will calm down and they will get used to one another quickly for their sake and for your own sanity sake. You shouldn't feel stupid, but now you know and please please utilize this site, it is amazing

    And Welcome to the site

    Edit:Spelling bleh

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    I'm a bit confused--you only have the one cage? Where did you keep the new one before you put her in with the other? I think it would be better to have them in two separate small cages than both crowded together in one small cage. Then get busy on making an appropriate sized cage.

    It sounds like it would be helpful for you to read up on guinea pig care, both here at this site and the Care Guide over at www.guinealynx.info .

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    Cavy Slave idramaxx0's Avatar
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    My two cents, since their introduction went so well I wouldn't separate them now. Medically it makes no sense to since if one is sick, the other would probably have caught it by now anyways. Is there a way you could just slightly expand the cage just until you can set up your c&c? Perhaps if you find the grids before you find the coro, you could set up an "addition" and attach it to the pet store cage? Just a thought, since it really isn't best to keep them crammed in a very small environment.

  15. #14
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: new guinea pig weird after cleaning cage

    I read most of the stuff from guinea lynx and some other sites before getting the guinea pigs (nutritional/medical needs, grooming, housing, taming, and handling), and read the companion page in detail before getting the 2nd pet. Everywhere I looked it talked about the importance of raising guinea pigs in group and how they may first decide the pecking order when first introduced. Nothing like what I experienced though. Also from lynx is that if your pet seems to be lonely, it's not a bad idea to just put the new guinea pig together right away if the pet seller was trustworthy. That's what I followed in ignorance. Just trying to say that I didn't just go in blind hoping everything works out. I also had a single guinea pig some years ago (wouldn't have thought of using the internet for something like this back then and I just followed the pet breeder's instructions).

    The new guinea pig belonged to a friend who was raising her with 2 others.
    I know guinea pigs need space so this cage was just a temporary measure for only 1 night.

    I managed to get together a larger area. I'm still going to gather supplies and build the c&c cage first thing tomorrow.

    The situation right now is a lot better than when I first posted. My first guinea pig calmed down A LOT and both managed to eat with me watching after I bribed them with a little bit of romaine lettuce, which both seem to love. They're not fighting over the food, at least not that I've seen. The second one keeps hiding behind the first one when she gets scared by me. I don't know if that's a good sign.

    Thanks for all your input.

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