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Thread: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

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    Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Hello, before continuing I'd just like to let you know I'm new here so if anything is unclear please let me know, I'm just figuring things out.

    Now, without further ado, I really need help with my guinea pigs. I have two cavies (Hippo & Pumpkin) I had Pumpkin and a different cavy first and they were very close. After her friend passed away suddenly Pumpkin was stuck alone, fearing she may get depressed I purchased another guinea pig later that year (Hippo) however things did not go as planned. Pumpkin attacked Hippo every chance she got so I had to separate them. I recently obtained a very large enclosure for them but seeing as I can't keep them together without worrying for Hippo (it's very bad, Hippo is so terrified of Pumpkin that she screams every time Pumpkin even approaches her) I can't give them both what would be a better enclosure. I have tried finding ways to make them get along, I've read that eventually they would figure out the alpha and such but no matter how much time they spend together in new places that aren't marker as either of their territory, they still fight. I don't know what to do anymore. Should I just separate them permanently? I have also considered getting a third guinea pig and seeing if that guinea pig could help out. Please leave advice!

    Edit: there is also a lot of one - sidedness, Pumpkin will attack but Hippo does not fight back. Even when Pumpkin is not bitting her there is a lot of teeth chattering going on.

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    Cavy Slave ChubbyMonroe's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    From my previous experience, I have purchased another guinea and it has not gone well due to dominance and Hierarchy. Maybe it would be best for them to be spayed? It's up to you whether your willing for them to be separated permanently or spay and see how that goes on inductions.

    Hope this helps��

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    I personally would not add a third guinea pig to the mix when the two you already have don't get along. Has there been blood drawn yet? Most people seperate their pigs once that occurs.

    As for spaying, it probably won't help with aggression. Some users swear that desexing their pigs reduce aggression or fighting, but for the most part, it won't. When I first got my Hippo and Michael, they were fighting and I asked my vet (who is in charge of desexing guinea pigs and the only one who is able to spay) if neutering would help. She said no, neutering is only if you want to prevent pregnancy, nothing more, unless there is a medical reason for doing so.
    http://www.cavyspirit.com/neutering.htm

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Snugglybutt View Post
    Some users swear that desexing their pigs reduce aggression or fighting, but for the most part, it won't.
    That may be true with sows, but definitely not true for boars. Folks who say that neutering does nothing to reduce aggression (and sexual behavior) in boars are ignoring a fundamental principle of biology. The testicles manufacture testosterone which is the hormone of aggression and desire in both human males and in animals. If the testicles are removed, the production factory shuts down. Neutering male cavies WILL reduce aggression toward other boars. As an aside, one Vet expert tells me that yes, it will reduce aggression toward other cavies, but will not reduce aggression toward humans.

    If you are putting Hippo and Pumpkin together and then separating them again repeatedly, then you are causing more conflict than is necessary. Cavies are hard-wired to establish dominance and will do this any time they are reintroduced. That's why play-dates don't work for cavies. There is a lot of information here on the forum regarding cavy introductions. Use the "search" function (top right, red magnifying glass) and you will find information regarding just about any topic you wish to learn more about.

    I wish you the best. I unfortunately have little experience with sows and don't have much experience to offer.

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    @spy9doc looks like we will have to agree to disagree! I have read countless threads about the topic, as I wanted to neuter my aggressive pig, and the general concensus seems to be that it doesn't seem to be a 100% fix to aggression. Some pigs have no personality change. I also trust my vet, and you are free to trust yours as well

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    @KavyKisser, how did you introduce them? In a neutral area? And then put them back into a thoroughly cleaned cage that smelled nothing like either pig? If not, you may need to separate for a while and try again. Read this: http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

    And please don't get a third guinea pig. Not only will it not help, it may make things worse.

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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    @KavyKisser, how did you introduce them? In a neutral area? And then put them back into a thoroughly cleaned cage that smelled nothing like either pig?
    I was actually away (due to some complications the day before) when they first arrived and the person that ended up in charge did not introduce them in a neutral area. However, I returned back home the day after they were introduced and decided to try it again, I separated them for a few days and then took them out, bathed them both and set them down in neutral territory in my backyard and then put them back in a spot that smelled nothing like either pig (a brand new cage) I don't know if it's just a series of unfortunate events due to that first introduction or not but I did my best to reintroduce them afterwards.
    Also, thanks for the article, I'll definitely look into it

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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    If you are putting Hippo and Pumpkin together and then separating them again repeatedly, then you are causing more conflict than is necessary. Cavies are hard-wired to establish dominance and will do this any time they are reintroduced. That's why play-dates don't work for cavies. There is a lot of information here on the forum regarding cavy introductions. Use the "search" function (top right, red magnifying glass) and you will find information regarding just about any topic you wish to learn more about
    I was separating them often. I'd try not to, I'd try to keep them together for multiple days but the longer I kept them together the more I'd hear Hippo screaming and I just couldn't listen to that without doing anything. However, thank you for telling me that I was causing more harm than good because I did not know that; and thank you for informing me on how to find introduction threads, I will read through those

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Snugglybutt View Post
    looks like we will have to agree to disagree! I have read countless threads about the topic. I also trust my vet, and you are free to trust yours as well
    Agree-to-disagree is certainly o.k. with me. But, I will tell you that I don't have to depend on my Vet for information. I'm a doctor and a college professor......and I teach biology. I don't claim to be an expert in all things cavy and thus sometimes seek advice from those more knowledgeable than I.

    I stand my ground. If you can provide good scientific evidence that I'm wrong, I'm always happy to learn something new.

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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by KavyKisser View Post
    I'd hear Hippo screaming and I just couldn't listen to that without doing anything
    And, i know that was tearing your heart out! Hippo may be so fearful of Pumpkin that she may never be able to live with her. You may have to continue with a divided cage so that they can socialize with each other, but where Pumpkin can't physically get to Hippo.......... or else get a couple more cavies so that each of them has a new roommate.

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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    I would not add a third pig if those two aren?t getting along. Maybe two seperate cages or a divder? And if you want you could even get each of them a roommate.

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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Blood was just drawn a few hours ago (for the first time) so I decided to separate them both permanently. If fixing the cavies is not helpful I think I will just keep them separated.
    thank you to everyone who offered advice though

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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    You may have to continue with a divided cage so that they can socialize with each other, but where Pumpkin can't physically get to Hippo
    I have decided to do just that. They seem to do fine when separated (no teeth chattering and they aren't trying to get each other through cage bars)

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pigs fighting, please help!

    Aw that sucks how they won't get along From my understanding, as long as piggies can hear and talk to each other, they can still live a happy life when seperated.

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