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View Full Version : Hello, I am new to this site and I need some advice.



Moonwillow
03-15-15, 01:43 am
Hello, my name is Carole.
I've had piggies for two years now, both males, Puck and Hayden. Sadly, one of them died recently. My mum wanted to get a new one, so we did. We chose a female that we named Sunshine, as she was like a ray of sunshine after Puck's death. For the last few days since we got her, she's been all right, just skittish which I know is normal. We've been sitting near the cages, talking softly to her and letting her sniff our hands from time to time. However, today she's been acting a little....hyper. She's running around the cage and biting the bars, shaking the cage. Do you think that maybe she is trying to get into Hayden's cage, which is right next to hers? She had a cage mate at the pet shop (no guinea pigs in pet rescues here, just dogs and cats).
The first time we tried to introduce them, she chased him around and Hayden was shrieking and running away from her. I think she was in heat though, because once they were back in their respective cages, Hayden started rumblestrutting. We were going to try to introduce them again today, but she is way too agitated. What do you think is causing this behavior and what can I do to help her?

Also, another question. Should we neuter Hayden? They do not live in the same cage, it would be too small for two piggies (no c&c here either). They would only be together during lap and floor time under supervision.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you :)

Aertyn
03-15-15, 05:09 am
It takes only moments for a male to impregnate a female, they should never be allowed together, even for supervised floor time. Where abouts do you live that you don't have C+C cages? Also, C+C doesn't mean you need the grids and corflute...it simply means a space large enough for them to live in, be it using closet shelving or a puppy play pen. If you plan on them spending any time together, he should be fixed, however it's not fair on them to keep introducing them and then separating them. They aren't like dogs who enjoy playdates and 'remember' other dogs. Every time you put them down together they will want to assert dominance (fixed or no) and it's very stressful on them.

Moonwillow
03-15-15, 08:48 am
Thank you for the tips. I live on a small island and unfortunately, we do not have that kind of thing here, not even the puppy playpen you mentioned. I am doing my best with what I have, which is not a lot. And I do not put them together and then separate them just for the fun of it. I separate because Hayden gets really scared and it becomes obvious that this just isn't working. I wanted to wait before she gets more used to the new environment and is more relaxed before trying again so as not to stress either of them too much. And I had already decided to neuter him, I just wanted to make sure it was necessary.
However, I note that you have not answered my question, which is why I came here. But don't worry about it, I will find a solution to my problem.

bpatters
03-15-15, 09:20 am
What she's saying is that you shouldn't introduce them at all, and you did ask that question. You could sneeze, or turn away to answer the phone, and she could already be pregnant -- it literally takes two seconds or less for the male to impregnate a female. Guinea pig pregnancies are VERY hard on the sows and the pups, and the death rate is high for both. Additionally, guinea pigs are susceptible to several genetic diseases, one of which causes a painful bone condition that cannot be cured, and another causes blindness, deafness, missing or crooked teeth, and digestive problems.

If you want them to live together, then yes, you should neuter Hayden. But you should not trust a small animal vet to do that -- you need an exotic vet. Guinea pigs do not respond well to anesthesia, and it requires special training to be able to safely operate on them.

Moonwillow
03-15-15, 09:51 am
Okay, yes I know that. I know all about the theory of Guinea pig pregnancies; I've read a ton of articles and testimonials. I have no intention whatsoever to allow a pregnancy. Like I mentioned, I had already decided to neuter him. I was just asking that on behalf of my mum who fears that neutering him would take something away from him and wanted to make sure that it was absolutely necessary. Also, I never allow any of my pigs unattended when they are outside of their cage. Someone always has an eye on them, specially the only time we tried to introduce them. But I will not introduce them again until Hayden has been neutered. Thankfully, I do know a vet that knows quite a bit about Guinea pigs and he's my mum's friend.
I meant the first question about Sunshine, which I would like really like advice about as I want her to be as happy and comfortable as possible.

Soecara
03-15-15, 08:15 pm
Neutering male guinea pigs usually does not change their behaviour at all. You may find this webpage helpful in answering any questions you have about neutering http://www.cavyspirit.com/neutering.htm

As for a bigger cage even if options like puppy play pens, wire closet shelving or cubes are not available it is still possible for you to make a larger cage you just need to be a bit more creative about it. There are cages that have been made by converting furniture such as bookshelves, coffee tables or single sized bedframes (a google search or a look through the alternative cages gallery will turn up some images for inspiration). Just make sure anything you make meats the size requirements posted on the main page of this website, doesn't have gaps big enough for them to get injured, and that any wood is protected from moisture and their teeth.

4cavies
03-15-15, 08:37 pm
I see your main question was about Sunshine's new behavior. Running around the cage is totally normal behavior and is great exercise for her. The chewing may be that she is just a chewer, some pigs are, or that she may be trying to communicate with Hayden. Are you absolutely sure Sunshine is female? I have never experienced a female displaying dominance, which is what it sounds like she is doing.

Moonwillow
03-17-15, 06:03 am
Thanks for the link. For some reason, I haven't read this one.

Yes, I am already looking into this. The cage I have right now is just a temporary thing, I will fix a new bigger cage for them soon that will meet the requirements.

Moonwillow
03-17-15, 06:09 am
I see your main question was about Sunshine's new behavior. Running around the cage is totally normal behavior and is great exercise for her. The chewing may be that she is just a chewer, some pigs are, or that she may be trying to communicate with Hayden. Are you absolutely sure Sunshine is female? I have never experienced a female displaying dominance, which is what it sounds like she is doing.

Haha yes, I noticed right away that she was a chewer as the first thing she did was try to chew on my mum's shirt. I just got a little worried because she was shaking the cage quite violently. Yes, I am positive that she is female. It did seem like a dominance thing, but maybe she's just a very playful piggy.
It seems that she has calmed down now, she no longer shakes the cage, she just chews the bars. Thanks for your answer. :)