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Thread: Recent Loss- should I adopt a new companion?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Recent Loss- should I adopt a new companion?

    Hi everybody,

    I just lost my 4 month old Monkey. He had surgery on 5/23 for lumps with lymph node involvement, the surgery was a success and we were very pleased. But he didn't recover well and he quickly went downhill, stopped eating, didn't poop at all. We brought him to the vet the day after surgery and they prescribed pain meds and Reglan for suspected GI stasis. It didn't work, and yesterday morning i found him on his side, breathing heavily and screeching. I rushed him to the emergency vet and it was too late, he had to be put to sleep. I bought Monkey and his brother Toaster at a pet store back in February, so now his brother is alone. He is only 4 months old, and I don't want him to be alone for the rest of his life.

    I've been in contact with the local rescue and they talked with me about my options for adopting. I am planning on letting Toaster have a few weeks of bereavement before we get another pig. Has anybody had success with bonding two YOUNG males, who aren't from the same litter? Toaster was the submissive one in the relationship with his brother, so the rescue said its likely he will be the dominant one in a new relationship. I wonder if I should wait until he's a little older so that he isn't such a hormonal teenager. Any advice is appreciated.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Recent Loss- should I adopt a new companion?

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Now is as good a time as any, especially if he's still young. He hasn't hit puberty yet, so you've not really dealt with those squabbles yet. He won't understand a few weeks bereavement. All he knows now is that his buddy is gone, and that he's lonely. I would go ahead and do what you're planning on doing.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Recent Loss- should I adopt a new companion?

    I'm sorry about Monkey.

    Toaster really doesn't need weeks of bereavement. Time means nothing to them, and all he knows is that he's now alone. I'd definitely get him a buddy from a rescue.

    Whether they're from the same litter or not has little or nothing to do with whether they'll get along, and there's absolutely no way to predict whether Toaster will be submissive or dominant in any new relationship. I'd take anything else that person told me with a sizeable serving of salt!

    Two males, whether related or not, will need a LOT of space, and no cage from a pet store will be large enough. They'll need at least 10 square feet, and more would be better. There are photo galleries on this site, and there are plenty of ideas for inspiration. You can build your own, or enlarge a pet store cage.

    And I would definitely take Toaster to a rescue for a meet-and-greet. They're not a guarantee of success, but you will be able to tell whether they hate each other immediately, thereby saving yourself some time and effort in trying to get them to get along.

    An older male who's already through the throes of puberty might be a good pairing, and so would a spayed sow. If you get another boar about the same age, they'll go through puberty together, and that could be interesting. Or worse.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Recent Loss- should I adopt a new companion?

    I absolutely agree with getting Toaster a buddy ASAP. No matter how much attention you give him, it just isn't the same as having one of his own kind. And, anytime you attempt to pair two cavies, there is just no way of predicting the dynamics between them.

    I'm struggling with a similar issue at present in the my 3.5 y.o. Sparky (neutered) recently lost his cagemate with whom he had lived for most of his life. Sparky is SO bonded to his two hoomans that he's coping with the loss pretty well. That being said, it is obvious that he is lonely as he sleeps more, is less active, and is obviously lonely and bored. We've struggled with whether or not to get a young boar that Sparky can teach how to be a guinea pig and who will enliven the 'ol boy. OTOH, a young boar may want to challenge him as he goes through puberty. If that becomes a problem, then we will have get the little one neutered. We also have thought about a female near Sparky's age, but I just don't like dealing with the hormonal issues. I have previously had a neutered male and intact female pairing and they were the loveliest couple, but I just don't think I want to repeat the combination.

    @bpatters has given you good advice (as she usually does) with regard to finding a companion for Toaster. I would start the search sooner rather than later.

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