Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

  1. #1
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2019
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    In March of this year, I brought home my then soon to be third pair of boars — Sonic, who was approx. 3-4 months old, & Ash, who was approx. 2-3 months old. Both had been made adoptable due to their respective health/behavioral issues. Ash was a runt who had been bullied so severely he refused to eat & had to be syringe-fed for over 2 weeks. Sonic was still regrowing hair on half his body from a case of ringworm & had ears that looked like they’d been shredded from bites. Sonic was sweet & timid/a little aloof but considerably less so than Ash, who I barely even saw the first two weeks. I quarantined/nursed them back to health once home, got the green light on both from the vet, buddy bathed & introduced them per the guidelines here & they got along almost immediately. Though to my surprise, younger & much smaller Ash quickly established himself as boss pig & Sonic just seemed elated for the company. For months, they were a dream. Loved their c&c 2x8 cage — fleece bedding, unlimited Timothy & orchard grass hay distributed in multiple places, 3 food bowls, 2 water bottles, at least 3 hides (all with 2 entrances) & two tunnels, at all times. About 3 months in, I noticed an uptick in aggression caused in part by Sonic’s apparent decision to challenge Ash... more strutting, some snorting & snipping, hackles up, yawning, bouts of increasingly sustained teeth chattering & squaring up staring at one another here and there that really worried me — but I’d had similar issues with my other pubescent boys, & no blood was drawn, so I didn’t separate & decided to see whether the addition of a 2x2 loft would diffuse the aggression a bit.


    For a while, it did. The loft always had hay, a food bowl, & a hide or hammock. They didn’t trap/corner one another in it like I feared they would, & it seemed to be a nice refuge up top/extra cover below that they both loved. But the spats resumed & intensified.


    In the last two months, two triggers seem to have been breaking points. The first was Ash winding up at the vet for GI Stasis. Sonic took full advantage of Ash’s incapacitation & bothered him relentlessly, so the vet strongly recommended separating them with a grid for the course of Ash’s treatment. I did. When I reintroduced them (with a buddy bath, neutral space, & lots of hay) upon ash’s return to health, everything went smoothly & they fell right back in sync. Deep cleaned their cage but rubbed their blanket on their hides so their scent would hopefully eliminate the need to re-establish dominance as if it were new space. For two weeks, they were a happy healthy popcorning pair until the fighting again resumed.


    Then I had to have my carpets cleaned, which required me to move everything into either my kitchen or bathroom. Their cage remained intact, but there were a few days that week that were tremendously stressful/loud for all involved. The day my carpets had been cleaned, I took them out of their cage to clean as usual & they were fine in their playpen, but when I put them back — again in a clean cage that still had their scent — they started chattering immediately, Sonic chased Ash one lap, they squared up, lunged and I sprinted across the room just in time to break up flying ball of fur before they flew very far.


    But Sonic was bleeding on his shoulder — not a deep bite wound, but still enough to make me concerned about infections/abscesses. So I took him to the vet & she recommended separation via grid again while Sonic’s shoulder healed. Sonic, however, figured how to jump over the grids despite all my efforts to use spare Coroplast like a wall over the top of the grid without obstructing eyesight down below. So now their cages are separate & I doubt they can really see one another but Sonic chews at the bars in a constant frenzy & I haven’t been able to ease his distress. I know the continued separation and reintroduction is extremely stressful for them, & I guess I’m wondering if I’ve reached the point of separation being permanent. I have enough grids to keep them both in 2x5 c&c cages shorterm but would like to get them each in cavy company & back in much bigger enclosures as soon as possible. I have two other pairs I could potentially introduce them to, but my other pairs each have their own aggression issues as well. I know it’s wishful thinking but is it possible that reintroducing them one last time once they’re out of puberty might stand chance at success?

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,399
    Thanks
    169
    Thanks
    7,191 Rec'd/5,727 Posts
    Mentioned
    2020 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3764 Post(s)

    Re: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    I'd try again, once the shoulder has healed. And I wouldn't risk breaking up other pairs just in order to separate these two.

    When you try again, try a buddy bath (both pigs at the same time) and end with a tiny drop of vanilla on each nose. Repeat the vanilla the next day if you need to, and see if that helps.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 09, 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,508
    Thanks
    71
    Thanks
    1,536 Rec'd/1,266 Posts
    Mentioned
    583 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1141 Post(s)

    Re: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    try a buddy bath (both pigs at the same time) and end with a tiny drop of vanilla on each nose
    Putting a drop of vanilla on each nose makes sense. However, since I have almost always had boars, my method is to put the vanilla on each bum. When I have to do introductions again, I think that I would put the vanilla on the nose AND the bum to cover my bases (pun intended). That way everyone smells the same. It's certainly worth a try.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    4
    Thanks
    493 Rec'd/415 Posts
    Mentioned
    155 Post(s)
    Quoted
    231 Post(s)

    Re: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    I have both successfully and unsuccessfully reintroduced a boar pair after a flying ball of fury ending in a period of separation.

    The successful pair were brothers, they went into a flying ball when they were around 2 years old and had been together from the day they were born. They had never had a major disagreement until this time but they went into a flying ball that ended with the more submissive boar having a pretty nasty looking injury to his stomach (it was very superficial, but was big) and the more dominant boar had a couple bites to his nose and mouth. After a few weeks, to allow their wounds to heal, I attempted a re-introduction and everything went very smoothly and they both fell back into their previous hierarchy and they never had another issue for the next several years they lived together (until the more submissive boy passed).

    The unsuccessful boar pair were a newly introduced pair that had only been together for 2 weeks. They had been having a rocky time figuring out who was boss the whole two weeks. Once again they had a major disagreement that resulted in a flying ball of fury. This one ended with both boys having facial injuries, both are very lucky because if their wounds had been a few millimeters different one could have lost an eye and the other nearly lost half of his bottom lip. Of course they were separated and allowed to heal, then I attempted reintroduction's, this went horribly and began with very loud teeth chattering the second they saw each other, and within seconds of ending the buddy bath they lunged at each other and were about to go into another flying ball. I called it quits there. I tried again one week later to almost identical results so I just settled on re-pairing each of the boys with different boars. The introductions to the two other boars I got to be each of their cage mates went off without a hitch and both never had any issues with their new cage mates.

  5. #5
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2019
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    I have both successfully and unsuccessfully reintroduced a boar pair after a flying ball of fury ending in a period of separation.

    The successful pair were brothers, they went into a flying ball when they were around 2 years old and had been together from the day they were born. They had never had a major disagreement until this time but they went into a flying ball that ended with the more submissive boar having a pretty nasty looking injury to his stomach (it was very superficial, but was big) and the more dominant boar had a couple bites to his nose and mouth. After a few weeks, to allow their wounds to heal, I attempted a re-introduction and everything went very smoothly and they both fell back into their previous hierarchy and they never had another issue for the next several years they lived together (until the more submissive boy passed).

    The unsuccessful boar pair were a newly introduced pair that had only been together for 2 weeks. They had been having a rocky time figuring out who was boss the whole two weeks. Once again they had a major disagreement that resulted in a flying ball of fury. This one ended with both boys having facial injuries, both are very lucky because if their wounds had been a few millimeters different one could have lost an eye and the other nearly lost half of his bottom lip. Of course they were separated and allowed to heal, then I attempted reintroduction's, this went horribly and began with very loud teeth chattering the second they saw each other, and within seconds of ending the buddy bath they lunged at each other and were about to go into another flying ball. I called it quits there. I tried again one week later to almost identical results so I just settled on re-pairing each of the boys with different boars. The introductions to the two other boars I got to be each of their cage mates went off without a hitch and both never had any issues with their new cage mates.
    Apologies that I haven’t figured out how to reply to everyone yet, but this is all very welcome advice — these two have been so distressed alone, & I definitely think their bond is all worth another shot. Thank you!!! Not just for this particular advice, but for this whole forum, for the guinea pig c&c cages (I have 4), for everything y’all do & the community you’ve created. Sincerely. <3

  6. #6
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2019
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I'd try again, once the shoulder has healed. And I wouldn't risk breaking up other pairs just in order to separate these two.

    When you try again, try a buddy bath (both pigs at the same time) and end with a tiny drop of vanilla on each nose. Repeat the vanilla the next day if you need to, and see if that helps.
    Thank you! I’m all for vanilla scented piggies. Provided the buddy bath & reintroduction go smoothly: when I put them back in their cage, should I use new/clean everything to neutralize their previous scent altogether, or should I use things that were in their cage when they were together that they’ve already scent-marked? And in terms of diffusing aggression via cage setup, it is better to include multiple things to distract them, or to start with just the essentials — 3 identical hides (one on each side & one in loft) , one long tunnel, 3 food bowls, 2 water bottles, willow chews, & hay on each side of the cage & in loft with one big pile in the middle so they have more open space & room to run? In the past, extra tunnels, beds, toys, fleece forests, etc. have both discouraged & encouraged aggression but I want to minimize things they can fight over.

  7. #7
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,399
    Thanks
    169
    Thanks
    7,191 Rec'd/5,727 Posts
    Mentioned
    2020 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3764 Post(s)

    Re: Once blood drawn & separated, reintroduction possible or separation permanent?

    The cage should be totally, completely clean with nothing that smells like either pig. No hideys with only one door, no single hidey in the loft. I'd take everything out except some strategically-placed fleece forests that break up the lines of sight in the cage so that no pig is instantly visible if he pokes his head out. In fact, if the cage is large enough, I'd even block off the loft so the ramp is not an invitation to squabble.

User Tag List

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •