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Thread: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    Hello.

    My concern is I adopted a boy skinny pig from a family who has had him for all his life and after being with me after a month has lost a lot of weight and idk what to do. Here's the background on my situation;

    For almost 2yrs, I have been an owner of two girls that are both 2 1/2years old and have been together since they were babies, both of them are Abyssinian.

    Just last month on the first week of September I had gotten a skinny pig boy name Randy who will be 2yrs old in December. After two weeks of having him, got him neutered and after a week introduced him to my two girls.

    The bonding took place in the living room and I had enclosed them in a neutral area with fleece bedding that neither guinea pigs have used and a pile of hay in the middle. After 1-3 hours, they exhibited teeth chattering and really nothing else so I figure they were fine to live with each other this happen last week of September.

    After I had placed them in the same/new cage 4X4 C&C Cage and moved them from the dining/kitchen area into my bedroom. I've noticed a few days later Randy looked a little thinner. Along with the whole bonding situation going on I had been super busy with moving and packing that I didn't really think anything was wrong with him. The cage was big and everyone had their own hidey so I assumed everyone was just chilling in their spot whenever I came into the room.

    I've just recently moved into my new place and had taken Randy two days ago to the vet to get his medical staples off from a cyst that was removed when he got neutered. The vet confirmed my suspension that he did lose 1LB (originally 2.3LB now 1.3LB).

    With suggestion from the vet and my own thoughts I decided to remove Randy from the girls and have him in a separate cage currently.

    Randy had other cage mate from what the previous owners had told me but for the most part has always been alone. The mom used to only work part time and had plenty of time to play with him. Now she doesn't have the time and one of the main reason why they gave him up. I agreed to adopt Randy because he came from a friend's family and to give my girls another playmate. Being a young active person, me being home during day time varies so I am glad my girls have each other. However, Randy doesn't have anyone if I keep him in the separate cage and it really defeats the purpose of giving my girls another playmate.

    So is there any suggestion of how to get him to gain back the weight, also should I try the bonding again to see if the girls will accept him or how to get the girls to accept him? I am not interested in getting another guinea pig, 3 is the max I am willing to handle.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I'm just curious, on what basis did the vet recommend separating them? If there was no fighting or bloodshed and they're getting along fine, I don't understand why he would recommend separation.

    Is Randy ill? Is he exhibiting symptoms of some other illness? 1lb is a HUGE amount of weight for a pig to lose. Is he eating, drinking and pooping normally?

    It's recommended to keep them separate for awhile, both to let sperm die off and to let Randy's wound heal.

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    Just so you know, it can take a lot longer than one week for sperm to die. I think the recommended waiting period for introduction to females is over 2 weeks.

    If the vet didn't think anything was medically wrong with him, maybe the girls have been bullying and preventing him from eating? Another member with more piggy experience will probably help you more than I!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    The recommended waiting time for putting a neutered male with females is four weeks. I certainly hope you don't have pregnant females.

    I'd want an evaluation of his teeth to see if there's some reason he's not eating. If the girls aren't actively chasing and pestering him, the fact that he's with them is not likely at all to be the cause of his weight loss.

    Have you been seeing an exotic vet? If your vet OK'ed your putting him with females after a week, and if he recommended separation when there's no active fighting going on, I'd worry about how much he really knows about guinea pigs.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    Just to clarify the vet did want me to give it more time to before introducing them but I wanted to bond them before I moved because my current living space is much smaller compare to my old place.

    Even though they all weighed the same when I first took them to the vet (everyone weighed 2.3LB) my girls are definitely bigger than him and more dominant as I've noticed during the bonding process. Whenever they confronted each other they both just chattered their teeth and than moved away from each other and explore the area or eat the hay provided.

    I had a feeling they might have been fighting with each other or the girls bullying him when I was away for the day after moving into the apartment because he did have two small scratches on his side that looked like someone might have scratched him. It wasn't a deep cut but made me concern and I bought it up to my vet who suggested to keep them separate until he gets his weight back.

    I thought maybe the girls were preventing him from eating but even in his own cage he still stays in his hidey and barely eats. Every morning I give them lettuce and he sort of nimble on it but doesn't eat much.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I forgot to mention the previous owners never took Randy to the vet after purchasing him from the pet store and told me multiple times he is healthy. When I got him, I took all the guinea pigs to the vet and when he had his neutering, the vet also did a skin scraping because he had scratches on his nose area when I got him. The previous owners told me it was nothing just him scratching himself too much. The result came out negative for mites and the vet gave me some antibiotics which is Trimethop-Sulfa Susp. (240mg/5ml) and he was taking it fine but after 3 days he stopped taking it but still acting normally.

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I think I'd want to get a second opinion from an exotic veterinarian who is experienced in treating rodents. If you've followed your own vet's suggestion of separating him to alleviate any possible bullying and you can see that he still doesn't have much appetite, I think there's some underlying medical problem going on with your boy. 1 lb is an enormous amount of weight loss, and I've never heard of a pig that refused food who wasn't sick. The teeth should definitely be a prime suspect; the vet needs to be able to examine the back molars.

    3 days doesn't sound like a very long time to be on antibiotics. Did the vet say to give the antibiotics for only 3 days? Have you tried giving a probiotic such as BeneBac or a fresh stool from one of the girls along with the antibiotics?

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    Definitely, find an exotics vet. Small animal vets know little to nothing about guinea pigs. Although I agree about getting his teeth checked, since he was JUST neutered and is now off his food and is lethargic, I'd start wondering about complications from the surgery especially if this vet doesn't specialize in exotics. A neutering is unfortunately very easy to botch from a vet who doesn't specialize in guinea pigs.

    Skin scrapings are also virtually useless. They are both painful for the pig, and miss the mites most of the time anyway. If you suspect mites, the easiest solution is to simply treat for it.

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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    If he has lost almost half his body weight I would strongly urge you to start with supplementary force feedings. That is a very alarming amount of weight for him to have lost, and if he still doesn't have much appetite I fear that if you don't start getting food into him you could lose him. Here is a page with a bit more information about force feeding http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

  10. "Thank you, Soecara, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I want to say first off thank you for the advice and I really will keep it to heart.

    To clarify I did go to an exotic vet to get the neutering done as a friend of mine who also own guinea pigs suggested to me. When I got my girls, I visited the vet in town who did wellness examination but when I got Randy I took all of them to get a wellness examination from the vet my friend suggested (20mins drive away). The vet had done neutering for many years and was kind to not charge me for my girls rather just Randy for our visit. The girls are completely healthy but since I was taking Randy to the vet might as well have everyone get check too.

    That being said yesterday morning when I woke up, I found Randy in his cage motionless, he had passed away in his sleep. Although our time spent together was short I am heartbroken that I should've done more for him. I got a necropsy done on him today and the vet told me he had a stomach infection. They found a hole in his stomach which is the cause of why he passed away, thankfully it wasn't the neutering like I fear it was.

    I have never owned a pet before and the guinea pigs would be considered my first pets. Although I did a lot of research in preparation for when I got my girls, I admit I fail to do more for Randy than I should. I don't plan on getting another guinea pig as my girls are enough for me but I will take this as a learning experience to do better.

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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I am so very sorry you lost Randy. Losing them is so unbelievably heartbreaking, short time with them or not.

    Rest in peace, Randy. You will be very much missed.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I'm sorry you lost him.

    That's what happens when guinea pigs don't eat on a regular basis. Unlike many other mammals, who only secrete stomach acid at mealtimes, guinea pigs secrete it all the time. If food isn't kept moving through their systems at all times, the acid eats holes in the stomach and gut. It's the basis of the saying that a guinea pig that isn't eating is a guinea pig that's dying, and is the reason that force feeding is so necessary when they're not eating normally.

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    Wow, I am so sorry that you lost Randy, I really thought he would have pulled through this

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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I'm very sorry to hear that you lost Randy. Unfortunately, guinea pigs are just not robust creatures in terms of health, and they hide symptoms so well that often by the time you can tell that something's wrong, they're already very sick. It's even harder to tell when it's a brand new pig who you're just getting to know. It's a continual learning experience, and all you can do is accept that making mistakes is part of the process and try to do better with any pigs that come along in the future. Many of us here have been through this process many, many times and it's always heartbreaking.

    Rest in peace, Randy. You were lucky to have an owner who cared about you so much.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    I would like to ask something now that my head is a little more clear, I'm still sad about the lose and don't remember much from the vet conversation after the necropsy was done. However, I do remember her telling me poor dieting may have played a factor into the death and have some questions to learn more.

    I am not on good terms with the previous owners (a friend of mine from my home town whose mom and sister were Randy primary caretaker) as they blame me for neutering him which they wholeheartedly believe lead to his death. They've had guinea pigs prior to Randy too, so I understand they're upset but at the same time I wonder what he was eating was fine.

    Due to the bad terms I don't know much about his dieting but I believe they had feed always feed him Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet Pellets. The reason I believe that is because I got the 4LB box of the stuff when adopting him. I knew right away it was bad because of so much seeds in the mix, they feed him an orange a week (I think because the pellet had vitamin c in it they thought it was fine), and thankfully feed him the Oxbow Botanical Hay.

    Ever since I got my girls I ONLY buy Oxbow - Timothy Hay, Essential Cavy Cuisine Pellets, and Vitamin C Tablets. Once I had Randy I switched him over to my girls diet. However, after his death I wonder could the pellet been a factor? The Wild Harvest already looked bad but actually researching everyone is saying it is a poor choice of pellet.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    The pellets probably weren't the cause.

    He undoubtedly died because his stomach perforated, and that happened because he wasn't eating enough at that point. So the reason he wasn't eating, whatever that was, is what started the downhill slide that led to his death.

    If he was given antibiotics after the neuter, they would have affected his appetite. The sows may have been bullying him. He may have had tooth problems, or a sore in his mouth that made him unwilling to chew the hay. At this point, there's really no way to know.

    Just to file away for future reference, any time pig has any medical issue, whether illness or surgical, it really should be weighed daily. Weight loss is often the first indicator that something is going wrong, and the sooner you catch it, the better the pig's chances of survival are. It would have taken several days for him to lose a pound, and if you'd been able to know that when he'd lost two ounces, not sixteen, things might well be different now.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Boar Losing Weight After Bonding

    Thank you for the information and I will keep that in mind for future reference.

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