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Thread: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't tell

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    I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't tell

    Hello,

    I got two guinea pigs from Petco a week ago. I was told they have both been in the same cage for a while and get along great which was true for the most part until recently.

    I have two females and they are both really sweet but sometimes they do not get along (I think). What one would do (piggy A) is come up to the other one and start vibrating and growling at it. The second (piggy B) would start squeaking and run off. A would then start to follow B and repeat the pattern for a while. It does not seem like friendly behavior to me as B seems scared. A would also take B's food away when she does this. Only one time did B pee on A to get her to go away and that is as far as it escalated so far.

    Whenever I would put both of them on my bed to explore around, A and B would both burrow under my blanket I set up for them. Maybe a minute in and some squirming later, A would repeat this act to B and B would just sit there and squeak like it is scared or something. No violence has come so far.

    Then, both A and B would cuddle up in the same large igloo house for a nap like nothing happened, but once nap time is over the process would repeat itself. I think A is bullying B but I do not know for sure because these are my first piggies and whenever I would try to google this problem, nothing would come up.

    Is this normal? Should I separate them? Please help.

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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    are you sure they are both female? pet shops aren't known for correctly sexing any small animals.. a lot of people think they are getting 2 males or 2 females and get 1 male and 1 female or a pregnant guinea pig.
    http://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm
    check it out and let us know if its for sure 2 females. (im new to guinea pigs so im not too sure about behavior but im sure someone will have a idea whats going on.
    if its a male and female separate them

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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    possibly in heat?? mine both take turns in doing this at random times of the month then they settle down again - they are both girls too, ive had them checked by 2 different vets just to be sure!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    You definitely should turn them over and make sure the pertinent parts look alike.

    The vibrating and growling is called rumbling, and if it's accompanied by a slow walking or side to side motion of the back legs, it's rumblestrutting. It's totally normal.

    And no, do not separate (unless they're different sexes -- if they are, separate ASAP). They have to work it out, and everything you describe is totally normal.

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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    I agree with the others - try to get a second opinion on the sexes and take them to a vet for a once over exam. It's a good idea to find an animal hospital that will see small animals. When I first got my guinea pigs not long ago I was really surprised to find out that many hospitals close to me wouldn't see them. You don't want to be in a situation later on scrambling to find a phone number and vet in an emergency or illness.

    With regards to the behaviour, I have seen the same (sans peeing on each other) in my guinea pigs. They are establishing their ranking and dominance. Even in two or more guinea pigs you may see this happen for a while as it takes time for relationships to build. Give them time to work things out. Notice the behaviour of the one who was peed on - if it annoyed the aggressor.

    If you remove them or separate them, they will have to establish this ranking all over again when you re-introduce them again. I would not recommend this. If you see blood or scratches, think about separating. If not, don't.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    It's a good idea to find an animal hospital that will see small animals.
    I just want to point out that a "small animal" hospital generally means dogs and cats, NOT exotic pets. What you want is an exotic vet. You may find one in a small animal practice, but likely will not. As @Sunrise says, call around and find one before you need one -- it may be too late in an emergency.

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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    Ok thank you very much. I looked up videos of the rumblestrutting and it looked similar but other people's guinea pigs would sway side to side while mine did not do that so I thought it was different. Back at the pet store, I had the employee check and had him let me check while I had a guide out and both were definitely female (had the Y shape).

    I will let them do their thing and update to the thread later if everything goes right (and hopefully not wrong)

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    Re: I don't understand my guinea pigs behavior. It looks like aggression but I can't

    Never trust a pet store employee to be able to tell the difference between male and female guinea pigs. Not a week goes by here that we don't see a pregnant female because some idiot at the pet store couldn't tell the difference between the two even with the pigs right in front of them. Many people on here have bought what they thought were same-sex pairs only to wind up with a male and female and unwanted pups.

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