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Thread: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Unhappy Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    I got a Craigslist surrender that was just going to go the pound if I hadn't taken it in. The owners said she lived with a rabbit up until about a week ago (the guinea pig is 9 months old), and was super scared and lonely when the rabbit got sent to live with another rabbit friend. I asked if the rabbit ever injured or bullied the guinea pig, but they said they even ate from the same dish together. The other thing is they never really handled her in all these months, but...I don't see how the following could become an issue of this magnitude. I was looking for an older female guinea pig to keep my 2 month old female company, but this older female is traumatized. I've never seen a guinea pig act this way before. I have two 1 year old males, and of course they flee from hands, but always are super relaxed when held. It's even gotten to the point where they'll let me pet their heads in their cage.
    However, this female screams bloody murder, and teeth chatters. It's so bad, she will rip through your clothes putting holes all in them and wedge in the most impossible of tight spaces to try to hide/escape. I'm not chasing her. I barely brush up against her, or clean around the cage and she goes into this panic. Her heart feels like it's racing. My little female has been making the concerned sounds nonstop since I put them together over 24 hours ago, and the older one kinda bullies the baby from food. Some hair was pulled out from the baby. I really don't have a good feeling about keeping the older piggie. It's more than I can handle, and there is a local rescue here, the LAGPR. Unfortunately, their surrender list is full, so I had to go on a waiting list. I've been crying over it, cause I don't understand what could have happened to her to make her this way. All I wanted was to give my baby piggie a friend, and honestly feels like a tragedy instead of a happy ending.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Separate them. If you've just gotten her, it's too soon to introduce her to another pig. She needs time to calm down and get used to a new home, and to figure out that you're not trying to kill her. You can put the baby right next to her so she knows there's another guinea pig around, just not in the same cage.

    Be patient, be gentle, and give her some time to calm down. When you do get ready to introduce them again, see http://guinealynx.info/introductions.html for how to do it.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    This is unusual panic from a guinea pig. Never even seen such a thing online, not at this level.
    I don't have another cage. Usually the LAGPR puts piggies in a neutral territory with c&c walls on top of a blanket for both males and females and monitors their interaction for an hour.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    All I can tell you is, it can take MUCH longer than an hour for some pigs to settle down in a neutral area. I once kept a trio in a neutral area for 11 hours before I thought it was safe to put them in the cage.

    Rescues tend to do quick intros, because they're in the business of moving pigs through the premises. You've already got this pig at home, so you've got time to let her adjust.

    You can come up with a temporary cage -- bathtub, huge plastic bin, kiddie wading pool, whatever. It's not fair to this pig to stress her out, or to let the baby be stressed out.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Ah, a storage bin ain't a bad idea.
    No, I know it isn't. Why I figured it'd be best to surrender to the rescue, because deep down their personalities seem to clash.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    The only guinea pig I have had that displayed similar behavior was a girl rescued from atrocious conditions. Severely overcrowded housing, every guinea pig in with her attacking her constantly. She was covered in scabs and had lost half of her ears, and she was still just a tiny baby. She was terrified of being touched, and would lash out when cornered and scared.

    At first her reactions to anything including other guinea pig was to run in a blind panic or attack, she couldn't stand anything at all touching her. It took a lot of patience and work but she learnt that not everything was out to hurt her, and she was eventually okay with other guinea pigs and even me to an extent. In the end she would still lash out when i startled her, but if she saw me coming to pick her up she wouldn't lose her mind anymore. She quite enjoyed lap time and turned out to be quite a sassy girl.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    That's so sad. This girl was supposedly from ok conditions (not a fan of being housed with a rabbit, but I GUESS it could be worse...), but my fiance thinks when the parent wasn't looking a kid probably was rough with her, and that was her only experience with being handled. I couldn't even find online the sound she makes, but it truly sounds like a guinea pig's version of screaming. I accidentally brush against her fur, or even try to rub the top of her head, and it's immediate chaos.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    If she was housed with a rabbit there’s also the risk of bordatella. Rabbits can carry this and guinea pigs are very susceptible to it. And rabbits are so much larger, even if they don’t bully they can still injure a guinea pig. So she may have had to fight for food or protection and could have have a tough time learning to live with another guinea pig.

    It does sound like she was mishandled and she is terrified. Possibly chased because she was difficult to pick up. Poor thing had a bad start in life.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    She seems in tip top shape physically, just not mentally. I don't believe she was properly held either. She is especially sensitive about even your fingernail poking the top of her back fur. She jolts in her skin.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    I would do a treatment for mites, just on the small chance she may have mites making anything touching her so much worse. If you treat for mites and no one has them it doesn't do any harm. Treat both your baby and the new girl.

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...mites-and-lice

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Just a reminder, the baby has to weigh at least 340 grams to be treated with ivermectin. I believe kitten Revolution can be used before then.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Trust me, neither have mites. It's not the baby who is new, it's the skittish 9 month old who was housed with a rabbit. I gave her ivermetin day 1, along with mite preventative bath shampoo, and trimmed her very long nails.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    I'm still not very comfortable with this 9 month old in with the baby. I noticed all the coroplast has been chewed up, and anything near where the baby tries to hide. Of course where she tries to hide, the older one does too cause she's always in a panicked state from her last home. Nothing I've tried has helped her. She won't even eat from my hand when out of her cage or in her cage when I'm in the same room. She bullies the baby to the point where the baby starts squealing and trying to chew her way out of the situation. Hell, the baby used to come up to me for pets and treats, but ever since I put the older piggie in, she hides and runs from me. I don't know what to do now, besides trying to see if they're even really bonded at the LAGPR soon and try a different pairing.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Guinea pig "bond" trying to escape each other by chewing through fleece (never seen piggies interested in fleece in my life):

    I have never seen this happen before, and I need help. I adopted a 9 month old female (craigslist) that seems traumatized from her previous home (look at another thread for her backstory...) to try to bond with my 2 month old rescue female (letgo) who was malnourished at the time. However, the baby is constantly squealing whenever the older one gets close to her, and it's been two months now. On top of that, all the coroplast has been chewed up. I had a kitchen section set up in a midwest cage. I removed it thinking they wanted more space, but then I come to discover the unheard of for me: they had started to chew up the fleece! I have never had a guinea pig even care about fleece and they usually nibble then leave it alone, but I swear both of these females act like they're wanting to escape each other and get out any way they can. Should I surrender the older one to the rescue and wait for a better pairing from the LAGPR, or is this common? I don't want everything shredded and ruined. I am not made of money in the least.

    Fyi there is plenty of hay, pellets, veggies, and chews.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    For what it's worth, pigs often chew on fleece because they're in pain. Have they been checked by a vet to make sure there's nothing that could cause any pain?

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    The baby had a full check up within a week of getting her. The older one hasn't been to a vet.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Is the baby chewing the fleece, or just the older one? If it's just the older one, I'd have her seen by a good exotic vet. If she's in pain, that could explain a lot of her behavior.

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    Both of them have been caught destroying the fleece, coroplast, etc.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    How large is their cage?

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    Cavy Slave Rynn21's Avatar
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    Re: Craigslist Adoption Terrified

    It's the Midwest. The baby seems terrified of the older one though, always squealing and trying to get away. I'm used to having males so it's odd to see this reaction. Older female screams if you get close to her with your hand, tries to dig, etc. It's sad. I was hoping she'd relax a bit, but just when I think I'm making progress like her eating out of my hand after five scared minutes, or goes up to sniff my hand for a second, she reverts a moment later.
    Last edited by Rynn21; 09-05-20 at 11:35 pm.

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