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Thread: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

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    Unhappy Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    Calico (Callie) has always been a kissy nibbler. She will give kisses when she sniffs fingers and she will inevitably nibble. I wouldn't even say she has ever bitten before. Today that changed.

    I was doing the daily spot clean, and had moved them into the loft (2x2) so they were out of the way of the dust pan and broom while I cleaned up the 2x4 main level. ((They carry on and squeal what sounds like pained terror when I have tried to let them downstairs, I think they are scared of the broom to be honest, plus it is so much quicker to clean when they aren't in there because I can pick up the corners and sorta pool the poo all together in the middle.)) I got that done and while I was moving them back into the main level to be able to spot clean the loft I got the nibbles which seemed off, because I didn't even get my kisses first and as I was verbally asking her what was up with the biting (again, it wasn't really biting, it was nibbling, but I used the word "bite" with the pig), she BIT down and drew blood on my finger. Can I take this moment to say OUCH!

    So my questions become (1) why is she biting? We are always so gentle with her and most of the time she is so sweet. Callie has even gotten to the point where often, she will crawl right into my hands to be picked up. (2) Do I need to be concerned for myself in any way? I mean, I washed my hands really well with antimicrobial soap and put some neosporin and a bandaid on my finger. Any other precautions?

    Now, to answer my own question number 1 ... I THINK that as a result of this situation (add on there that my husband, unbeknownst to me returned the hay in efforts to be helpful and wasn't able to get replacement hay, so I was OUT of hay as of yesterday morning's clean out and I only had about half the amount of hay they are usually given - although they usually have plenty of excess, so while not ideal they weren't OUT of hay when I cleaned out today, just pretty darn close) and when I was doing spot clean I added fresh hay (made my husband go out and get more this morning as soon as petsmart opened because pet stores are my only right now option, online order won't be here until Wednesday) and my fingers had to have smelled like fresh yummy hay. I am thinking that her little piggy brain went "oooh that smells like fresh hay that hasn't been burrowed into YUM" and her little mouth went CHOMP. Is this out of the realm of possibility?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    No, that's perfectly possible.

    Is she showing any signs of mites? Scratching or biting herself?

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    No, no, and no.

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    Cavy Slave CaylorCavies's Avatar
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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    This was probably a fluke. She was probably just wound up from the cleaning and this was the time she bit. If it happens again, I would lay off letting her nibble you.

    As for the wound, you should be fine as long as you keep it clean. Watch for seeping or bad smells that could mean an infection.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    Good catch, @CaylorCavies. @PiggyGrandma15, why are you letting her nibble you in the first place? That's just asking for a bite

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    I didn't say I LET her nibble. I always get my fingers away from her face and verbalize something to the effect of "don't bite the hand that feeds you" I just said that she has nibbled before. She usually does it when picking her up or putting her back in the cage.

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    Today's was nibble to bite within a second or two, I was lowering her into the cage, not a moment to readjust my hands

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    If she were mine, I'd treat her for mites. It won't hurt, and may help.

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    I guess I'll be placing another amazon order

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    Out of curiosity, could it be a dominance thing and I was a casualty of the spat?

    Hammer (Callie's sister) was buried in fleece scraps in the hidey trunk, so Callie was easier to pickup earlier and was moved first. This whole weekend was a bit chaotic with 2.5 FEET of snow, and we've been spending a whole lot more time out of the house managing said snow. As a result, there hasn't been a whole lot of watching / listening to the pigs behaviors. Don't get me wrong, they've had lap time, they've been cared for, and spot cleaning and whatnot have happened, and this kind of storm isn't going to happen every week, but we haven't had the hours to just sit and listen. Tonight, I'm hearing / seeing a whole lot of dominance behavior. Rumblestrutting, nosing off, chattering, chasing,and what looks like butt nipping but upon inspecting Hammie's behind there isn't any marks upon her. I'm now wondering in hindsight, if Callie wasn't in the middle of some sort of "I'm the boss" display and I unknowingly got in the middle by moving them back to their cage. ((I admit to jealousy that hubs was having a snowball fight with our daughter while I was sweeping poop, so I was in a bit of a rush and propably not as observant as I'd otherwise be.))

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    Maybe somepig's in heat?

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    I was thinking that too. They seemed to die down Hammie's up in loft and Callie's underneath.

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    @PiggyGrandma15 my boar, Ferb, was a finger nibbled and biter when he was younger. I read somewhere that if they try and bite/nibble you hold your palm flat vertically in front of their face and say "no" or "stop" (be consistent). They can't bite your flat palm. This did work well on Ferb.

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    When cleaning the lower section of the cage did you handle any old vegetables or poo with your hand? She might have smelled something on your finger that made her think it was edible.

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    Re: Calico is biting - and broke skin on MY finger, now what?

    That is the theory with the added complication of dominance / heat.

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