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Thread: Worried about my three pigs after their sister passed away

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave RubysMama's Avatar
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    Worried about my three pigs after their sister passed away

    Our Ruby crossed The Bridge early this week, on Monday evening.
    It's now Thursday and I'm a bit concerned about my three surviving pigs. Ruby was gentle and loving to them, but she was most definitely the Boss. They loved her, and seemed mostly fine with her being in charge. The occasional rumble or mounting but Ruby would very quickly shut that down and life would get back to normal pretty quick.

    They don't seem to be drinking as much, and don't get very excited about their hay or sometimes even their veggies. They are drinking and eating and pooping and otherwise being themselves. I feel like I should do something to help them through this. They kind of just walk around, and I think they are wondering when Ruby is going to come blasting out of a hidey to herd them where she wants them to go.

    They're always pretty quiet, and don't come out for attention and snuggles (Ruby was quite an unusual cavy, and she would beg for backrubs and come running to us to get picked up and loved on, but these other three aren't like that at all). Tomorrow is cage-cleaning day, I was wondering if maybe they'll feel better when the fleece is swapped and cleaned and maybe we'll change their C&C layout or make it new somehow for them.

    My own heart is breaking, and I find it quite...odd...without our big-personality Rubes around, so I imagine they're feeling that hole in their herd too.
    What can I do to help? Or will they perk back up in time?

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Worried about my three pigs after their sister passed away

    This article in guinealynx has some helpful tips. It's more directed towards helping a lone pig who is left alone without a cagemate, but hopefully it could still be useful to you:

    http://www.guinealynx.info/alone.html

    As long as everyone's eating/drinking/pooping, I don't think there's any immediate cause for concern. They're probably going to grieve some and go through an adjustment period now that they've lost the boss pig of their herd, and that'll just take time. Certainly changing out the bedding and re-arranging the cage environment can help distract them from Ruby's absence. I feel like leaving the deceased pig's scent in the cage for too long after they've passed confuses the other animals, as they can smell their friend around but they are nowhere to be found. I would be prepared for some potential squabbling too as the new social dynamics in the herd become established.

    I'm very sorry you lost your girl. I used to have a big-personality, attention-seeking pig too, who would follow me around the house, climb into my hands to be picked up, and trot up to meet strangers sitting around my living room. I lost him over a year ago now, but it's still profoundly quiet in my house without him here.

  3. "Thank you, LittleSqueakers, for this useful post," says:


  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Worried about my three pigs after their sister passed away

    It will take them a little time to adjust and you will probably see one of the three step up and take charge. I would be conservative with introducing too many changes, maybe relocating hideys spots and fresh fleece. My girls liked variety, but would get very wary if big changes were made. When one of my girl Mumu passed away it took Bella sometime to adjust. Even though Mumu was smaller she was the Alpha. In time Bella's personality grew and she loved attention, being talked to, petted, hand fed, held, ect....

    Be gentle and reassuring to your piggies. While you have all experienced a big loss, they will need that extra assurance from you as they sort things out.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Worried about my three pigs after their sister passed away

    They DO know something is different. The boss pig is gone, and none of them are sure how to react, or what to do. It's normal, and it'll take time to sort out a new hierachy in the girls pen.

    When we lost Poopy, I introduced a pair of baby boars to Sly in the hopes that they would grow into each other, and my little trio would work. Sly was a senior at the time (5) and I wanted babies, so that when it was Sly's time to cross the Bridge the wee lads would still have each other. It worked beautifully, for 5 months. Then my boar trio, as expected, fell apart. Sly was housed by himself in half the cage and pen, and the young fellas in the other half. They could still interact, talk, smell, and be around each other but Sly couldn't be hurt any more.

    And then, Sly passed. The young lads didn't get to say goodbye to him, and I couldn't bear to see Sly's side of the cage empty. It absolutely broke my heart, so I cleaned everything, changed everything, and the entire cage and pen belonged to the boys. Punkin thought it was cool to have new digs, but initially Scooter refused to go into the new cage. He knew it was Sly's, and he sat at the entrance and looked left and right, left and right waiting for Sly to tell him it was ok. It took a couple of days, but eventually he knew it was ok.

    To make a long story short, your girls will figure it out. They'll find solace in each other, and hopefully you will find it in them.

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