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Thread: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

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    Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Hey guys! My name is Jesse and I'm 19 years old, about 2 months ago I purchased an all white piggie from my local PetSmart (I know now that this is bad) and I have so many questions that have yet to be answered. His name is Lord Snow, after the late John Snow from Game of Thrones. He's all white, with pink/red eyes. He's grown very large in the last few months and is becoming more comfortable in my presence. He is currently living alone, which brings me to my first question: how do I proceed about getting him a friend? I've been debating on whether I get a male or a female and if I get a female do I need to get her fixed? I don't want 2 males to fight for dominance, I just want a pig that Snow is going to get along with. Secondly, where is the proper place to adopt a friend for Snow? I haven't the slightest idea on where to find a location or how to go about doing so! I have so many more questions but this is the first piggie community I have been on so I'm not sure if I'll get any responses...

    I would appreciate any and all advice you can give me!
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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Neutering a male is an easier, safer, cheaper operation than spaying a female. So if you decide to go with a female, I'd look for one that's already spayed (probably hard to find), or I'd get Lord Snow neutered.

    There's no guarantee that two males will fight, or that every male and female pair will get along. If you can find a reputable guinea pig rescue near you, they'll probably let you bring your pig in and pick out his own buddy. But, if you got him at a pet store two months ago, the worst months of puberty are still ahead of you. Just so you know.

    A pet store cage is not really large enough for one pig, and it's certainly not large enough for two boars. Look at the About Cages thread for information on how to build a C&C cage, or look at the Photo Galleries for examples of all kinds of cages.

    Since you're a new pet owner, here's some suggested reading for you: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners and https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ur-guinea-pigs!

    Where are you? City/state, not your actual address. Maybe we can find some places to look for guinea pigs.

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Welcome to the forums!

    I definitely think you should check out those links bpatters shared first and read everything thoroughly before doing anything else, there's a lot of misinformation out there. They cover a wide range of topics and invaluable information, definitely a must read.

    As for two males getting along, they should do fine as long as their cage is large enough. Most of the time whether pigs can get along is more dependent on their personality than their gender although male pigs do tend to be more likely to be aggressive with insufficient space. All pet store cages are too small. You can see cage sizes here (keep in mind that males need one extra grid added to this size):

    http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/about-candccages

    I would suggest avoiding surgery if at all possible and to instead try to find another male first or an already fixed female before looking at other options. It can be hard to find a good cavy savvy exotic vet whose experienced with these surgeries and they always carry risks. That said as bpatters said, neutering would be less invasive than spaying. You can read more about surgery and post-op information in one of the links bpatters linked. Again, try to avoid this option if you can unless the other options don't work out.

    Once you've read all the links bpatters shared and you've prepared the cage. You can try to find a suitable pig at rescues near you or you can check personal ads on Craigslist. You could also check http://guineapigfinder.com/guineapigs or https://www.petfinder.com/ - some places might let you do piggy dates but some might not, this is especially uncommon with personal ads but it doesn't hurt to ask. Once you find a pig you will first want to double check both of the pigs gender to make absolutely sure no accidents can happen because pregnancy can be very hard on the sow and can result in fatalities. Then do introductions (and observe quarantine if necessary). You can read about those here and what kind of behaviors to expect during introduction as well as instructions on how to check gender:

    http://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm
    http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-a...inea-pigs.html
    http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/2989334.html
    http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html

    I know this is a lot of information to take in but I hope it helps, if you have any more questions don't be afraid to ask! We're happy to help!

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    What do you mean exactly when you say "the worst months of puberty are still ahead"? Should I be concerned for his health? I purchased the cage online, and while I don't remember the exact dimensions it is quite large. I can upload a photo if you're interested, but regardless, I do agree that I need to make some housing changes (especially when his roommate moves in). I'm in Glendale, Arizona.

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Even though I have no basis for which to judge his personality, Snow doesn't come off as aggressive in anyway. Do you recommend getting a pig his age or a younger pig? Also, I didn't mention that the first week or so after purchase, I had him taken to a vet to be treated for mange mites. Luckily I caught it very early, and the treatment was a piece of cake, but should I be concerned about other pigs bringing contaminants into his home?

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    I meant just what I said. Male guinea pigs go through an extended period of puberty when they challenge every other pig in the vicinity for dominance. It can start as early as three months, and last as long as two years. It has nothing to do with health.

    Two sows need at least 10 square feet of flat cage space, and boars need even more.

    The age of the pig you get for a buddy doesn't matter nearly as much as the personality of the pigs. If you can find a rescue near you, they might let you bring him in and pick out his own buddy.

    You can treat for mites yourself much cheaper than taking him to the vet. Look around at the stickies at the top of these forums, as well as the links I gave you earlier, and you'll find some good information.

    Petfinder has a bunch of males for adoption close to Glendale. Choose "small and furry" for the type, and "guinea pig" for the breed.

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    I second, third and forth everything above. I'm only chiming in because I haven't seen a response to your concern about another piggie bringing something in to cross contaminate Lord Snow. With any introduction process, the first step is a 3 week quarantine period. This needs to happen in another room so that anything airborne doesn't cross infect, which can absolutely happen from across the room.

    From what I've gathered here, most reputable rescues won't adopt out until the quarantine has happened. If you adopt person to person through petfinder, I wouldn't not quarantine before intros happened.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Thank you guys so much, I apologize for not responding in a respectable time frame, I've been busy these last few days. I have had some other concerns arise however while I've been away. Recently, Snow has begun to sit/lay in this own waste. I've tried searching the forums and found nothing aside from possible illness and recommendations on how to change his hideaways. I've tried to block him off from it, and he manages to move whatever I put in his way. Should I make an immediate change to fleece? I'm currently using All Things Living paper bedding.


    Secondly, something curious happened yesterday. My girlfriend was holding Snow (he is familiar with her), and brought him into the bathroom when I was brushing my teeth. The faucet was running and the lights were on when he let out a series of squeals, almost as if he was in pain or was afraid of something. I asked her to put him away, and he's been fine ever since. Is this something random? Or is there a natural fear to running water (It sounds silly, I know)?

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Additionally, I went onto Pet Finder and followed your instruction only to find that they adopt out pairs of guinea pigs that have already bonded, I'm currently attempting to inquire about a small female that was posted as a single. Is there any other sites anyone knows of where I can check my area for single boars?

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    Re: Hello everyone! New piggie owner, need advice!

    Try contacting the places that have posted up only pairs, it is quite common for shelters and rescues to have singles but not post them up for adoption on websites as they will only adopt out singles if the person already has another guinea pig to house with it.

    I'm not sure about his reaction to being taken into the bathroom, it could be something about the room spooked him or it could just be a coincidence. My guinea pigs don't like being bathed but have never shown any kind of reaction to water, running or otherwise, unless they are acutally in the water.

    Also when you say you tried to block him off, do you mean from the area where he is lying in his own waste or from the hidey, if it is from the hidey is there any reason you can't just take it out and replace it with something else.

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