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Thread: Urgent! Need advice on how to handle aggressive piggies! Am I doing the right thing?

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    Exclamation Urgent! Need advice on how to handle aggressive piggies! Am I doing the right thing?

    Hello everybody! I've come to this website many times but have just decided to register, mostly because I have a specific situation at hand that I can't find a thread on. (If I'm wrong, please do correct me and link me to whatever thread you believe may be helpful for me).

    I own two female piggies. Pookie is a two year old abyssinian and the first one I have ever owned. Yoko is, by my estimation, a 4 month old classic American who I recently took in.

    I have owned Pookie for the longest and she is THE sweetest guinea pig you would ever meet. Yoko, on the other hand, is a bit different.

    I took in Yoko about a month ago from a friend who was neglecting her. She had bought Yoko from a pet store out of impulse without doing any prior research on caring for guinea pigs. After a week of owning Yoko she decided she didn't want her and gave up caring for her entirely. Meaning no socialization, no regular cage cleanings, no hay, etc. When I picked up Yoko from my friend's house, she was given to me in a hamster cage with no food or water and kitty litter instead of proper bedding along with a hamster wheel, which I warned her about and she blatantly ignored. She had Yoko for about a month before I picked her up.

    Fast forward to now, I had the two living together in the same cage, which may have been my first mistake by housing them together so soon. I will admit I was impatient and ambitious. I wanted to get her a new cage to live in for a while before housing them together but I didn't want to wait and leave her in the tiny hamster cage. I thought that since Pookie was sweet and already very social that it might not be that big of a deal. I was very wrong. After one of the last cage cleanings I did, I put them back in the cage and within minutes they were fighting. I immediately separated them and had my dad build an emergency cage to keep Yoko in. Today I cleaned the cages again. When I clean my rodent cages, I take them all out and have my brother watch them while they play on the floor until I'm done. I had my two piggies and 8 month old dutch mix rabbit playing on the floor together. I left the room for a moment and when I came back my brother said that the piggies were "clicking their teeth together" and asked me what it meant. As he spoke they did it again, this "teeth clicking" he described was actually their teeth scratching together (I'm pretty sure that's what it is, haha). I've only known this to be a negative sound and a warning for other animals to back off. Before I could even think, Yoko reached out and nipped Pookie right in the face.

    I quickly finished up the cleanings and returned them to their cages.

    I'm sorry this is such a long post, I just wanted to give as much detail as I possibly could.

    My questions are, am I doing the right thing by keeping them separated? Should I be trying to socialize them more often? Did my friend's neglect and lack of human socialization mentally damage this poor baby? Or is Yoko naturally aggressive? I did see signs of her trying to be dominating over Pookie, but I had read on another forum that it was normal and okay as long as they weren't fighting. I notice that the nipping and aggression only happened when Pookie got too close in an attempt to play with or sniff Yoko. At this point, I really don't know what to do. At the moment they are in their separate cages, one on top of the other. They can hear and smell each other, but I don't know if this is enough. I really need advice.

    Thanks to any and all replies!!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Urgent! Need advice on how to handle aggressive piggies! Am I doing the right thi

    You should read up on guinea pig introductions: http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

    How large is the cage you want to put them in? If it's not large enough, nothing is going to work.

    You should reintroduce them in a large neutral area, with no hideys, but with lots of food and hay piles, and at a time when you've got hours to devote to it. Keep them separated until you get ready to reintroduce them. You only separate them if it turns into all-out war.

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    Re: Urgent! Need advice on how to handle aggressive piggies! Am I doing the right thi

    I just wanted to give an update to anybody that viewed. I did a proper introduction and now have them living peacefully together in a 2x4 cage that my dad and I built together.

  4. "Thank you, xpiggiexmommax, for this useful post," says:


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