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Thread: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eating

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    Cavy Slave boopy's Avatar
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    8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eating

    So on Wednesday, my guinea pig, Patty, passed away at only a year old. It was nothing contagious, a complication from antibiotics she had been put on a few weeks earlier (we had stopped it after 2 days because she had a severe reaction.) Her cagemate, Lucy, was lonely and after speaking to the vet and the previous owner we decided that she would do really well with a baby guinea pig. Since she's on quarantine (just to be on the safe side) for two weeks, we decided now would be a good time because the baby would have to be in quarantine as well.

    We looked at all the shelters, I tried to find a rescue, but unfortunately, none of the ones had any guinea pigs under a year old, so we went with the pet store option (I know, I was not very happy either :( unfortunately, I am autistic and have a limited area that I can drive, and my mom has similar limitations. My dad works and so could not help.) The piggy we went with is a gorgeous little girl we named Autumn. We chose her because she seemed to like to climb and we wanted an adventurous piggy. I was told this was normal, but she is very scared and has stayed in her hidey most of the time (going between her hidey and a little tunnel thing). I have her in my bedroom and last night I could hear her moving around, and saw that she did eat a little bit of the hay (we have Oxbow alfalfa hay mixed with a little Timothy, and the Cavy Cuisine young Cavy pellets but I only put them in there during the day because I'm afraid she might choke on them).

    Other than that, her poops are very dry (but she is pooping!), and I'm worried she's not getting enough water. I have shallow dish put down with water and she has a water bottle. I gave her some green bell pepper last night as that is what I was told she had been eating as far as fresh veggies are concerned (and a little bit of orange but I have never fed any of my piggies oranges before so I'm not so sure about that).

    She's so young and scared, and I'm wondering if anyone else has experience quarantining such a young and scared piggy and getting them to eat, drink, and be more comfortable. She has a vet appointment on Friday and I'm afraid that might be very stressful for her....

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    It really sounds as though you are doing everything right! So sorry for the loss of Patty. I've had a few cavies pass on and I know that each of them takes a piece of your heart when they go. My boys are a bit jealous of each other and compete for my attention during lap time. I often tell one or the other, "Mom has a big heart and there's plenty of love to go around".

    Young, lonely piggies are pathetic! If you can afford vet bills for two, I'd introduce them as soon as it's safe. The new young one will learn by watching what Lucy does. And to quote our esteemed moderator, "the most desirable food is what is in the other pig's mouth". The new one needs some time to become familiar with her new home. Are you holding her a lot? She needs that kind of interaction in order to become accustomed to your smell, voice, and touch.Cavies are more resilient than we give them credit for. If Lucy and the baby had already been introduced, I'd say to take them both when the baby has an appointment which will make it less stressful. I usually make a vet trip alone and strap the carrier into the right front passenger seat. That way I can reach inside for a reassuring pat while driving. Be sure to add a familiar cozy or blanket to the carrier.

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    Cavy Slave boopy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    It really sounds as though you are doing everything right! So sorry for the loss of Patty. I've had a few cavies pass on and I know that each of them takes a piece of your heart when they go. My boys are a bit jealous of each other and compete for my attention during lap time. I often tell one or the other, "Mom has a big heart and there's plenty of love to go around".

    Young, lonely piggies are pathetic! If you can afford vet bills for two, I'd introduce them as soon as it's safe. The new young one will learn by watching what Lucy does. And to quote our esteemed moderator, "the most desirable food is what is in the other pig's mouth". The new one needs some time to become familiar with her new home. Are you holding her a lot? She needs that kind of interaction in order to become accustomed to your smell, voice, and touch.Cavies are more resilient than we give them credit for. If Lucy and the baby had already been introduced, I'd say to take them both when the baby has an appointment which will make it less stressful. I usually make a vet trip alone and strap the carrier into the right front passenger seat. That way I can reach inside for a reassuring pat while driving. Be sure to add a familiar cozy or blanket to the carrier.
    Thank you for the response! My dad has held the baby, I'm a little afraid to because she is soooo tiny and very agile, and I've read I should let her get used to her surroundings for a bit (is this true?), but he's helping me today. Since she's a pet store piggy I'm really hesitant to introduce her to Lucy right away, likewise, I am waiting on a fecal culture from Lucy to ensure she is 100% healthy (she had an exam on Thursday because I was concerned about the possibility that it might not have been complications from the antibiotics, and could have possibly been a contagious issue, though Patty's fecal revealed no parasites, I just want to make sure, you know? I don't want either of them getting sick) I did check on the baby a little bit ago and she had eaten a little hay and it looks like she drank some water because there was stuff in the water dish (I put a little plate with water out, I afraid she could drown in a bowl and didn't really know how to drink from a bottle). I do plan on ending the quarantine a little early if everything is okay (like, maybe 3 days on Thanksgiving so I can give them a nice meal to share and meet each other over). I also want to confirm her gender at the vet, considering again that she is a pet store piggy. I will say though, she was very active last night and I didn't hear any sneezing or coughing, so that's good!

    Thank you for your advice!

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    Cavy Slave boopy's Avatar
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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    It really sounds as though you are doing everything right! So sorry for the loss of Patty. I've had a few cavies pass on and I know that each of them takes a piece of your heart when they go. My boys are a bit jealous of each other and compete for my attention during lap time. I often tell one or the other, "Mom has a big heart and there's plenty of love to go around".

    Young, lonely piggies are pathetic! If you can afford vet bills for two, I'd introduce them as soon as it's safe. The new young one will learn by watching what Lucy does. And to quote our esteemed moderator, "the most desirable food is what is in the other pig's mouth". The new one needs some time to become familiar with her new home. Are you holding her a lot? She needs that kind of interaction in order to become accustomed to your smell, voice, and touch.Cavies are more resilient than we give them credit for. If Lucy and the baby had already been introduced, I'd say to take them both when the baby has an appointment which will make it less stressful. I usually make a vet trip alone and strap the carrier into the right front passenger seat. That way I can reach inside for a reassuring pat while driving. Be sure to add a familiar cozy or blanket to the carrier.
    I forgot to also ask, what do I do re: alfalfa hay and young piggy pellets when I introduce them since Lucy can't have those due to calcium content?

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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    Give them both timothy hay and take the baby out daily for a sprig or two of parsley.

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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    Just an update for those interested, she is eating now and I've spotted her drinking a few times. She likes the parsley I give her, but won't really touch the peppers. Tonight I'm giving her a tiny slice of orange since that's what the pet store said they gave the piggies. She also munches a lot on hay. Her poops are a LOT but baby-sized, and they look good and healthy. Much better than they had looked at the store, because I'm 99% certain none of the babies knew how to use a water bottle.

    She is also active and I saw her popcorn today after putting her back in the cage after cuddles. She seems to enjoy snuggles. She looks around, and then lays down and puts her head down on my chest and makes happy noises. Hopefully me doing this makes her extra-super-duper snuggly. My poor hands though, I have to wash them before handling Lucy and change my shirt just to avoid any breach in quarantine.

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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    See this: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...eat-vegetables

    And she may become a more adventurous eater when she has a cagemate. The best food is always in the other pig's mouth!

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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    Hey guys! Just an update, I got her to eat veggies today! She finally started to trust me enough to eat some hay on my lap, and take a vitamin C treat (oxbow) from me and eat it, so I tried veggies and she tried it and munched a little. I left a plate with a small leaf of spinach, half a carrot cut up, and a small piece of orange and she ate all of it in an hour. Very pleased right now! Downside is she started biting me. She didn't do that before, now she sometimes love nibbles/licks, and sometimes outright bites me. Any advice on curbing that or is that just a permanent feature of her personality?

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    Re: 8-10 week old guinea pig- need advice on helping her overcome fear and start eati

    Don't let her do it. It's much easier to prevent a bad habit from forming than it is to break it once it's established. Don't let her nibble on your fingers, arms, or anything else. If she bites, tell her "NO!" sharply, and move whatever body part she's biting.

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