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Thread: Odd new piggie

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    Cavy Slave
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    Odd new piggie

    We have a newly adopted pig who has me stumped a little.

    She is 3 years old. We got her as a cagemate for our 4 year old whose previous cage mate died a few months ago. It has been a very successful pairing-- they seem to get along cooperatively and our original piggie is clearly less bored and lonely.

    The new piggie came from another family that we found on line. Her cage mate had recently died as well. She looked to be well cared for.

    She is extremely quiet and does not move around a lot. She is very small, weighs about 775 grams. She looks healthy-- eyes are bright, coat is lovely, and she eats and poops with the best of them. But she tends to stay in one spot most of the time. If you pick her up and move her, she stays in the new spot for a weirdly long time and doesn't try to run away. I actually wondered if she has a problem with her back or legs. So I've moved her around a few times to see what she does (she doesn't run away when you try to pick her up, which is surprising). She CAN walk and she leisurely goes back to this one corner of the cage that she seems to like. But she doesn't seem to want to walk around. She moves slowly and is less active than any other pig we've ever had. She does not seem to have any pain. I've felt all around her hips and legs and abdomen and she is cooperative and doesn't complain. She is very very quiet. I don't think we've heard her make any noise yet and we've wondered if it's possible that she can't. ? She is submissive to the other pig but doesn't seem intimidated or afraid.

    Does any of this sound like a type of pig you've ever seen before? This is our 6th family pig and we find her behavior unusual.

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    Cavy Slave 4boipigs's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    How long have you had her? Maybe she isn't used to her home yet. My senior who recently passed was somewhat like this...he was also very small (I forget how many grams but around 1.5lbs). He was fairly quiet for about 8 or so months, and I just assumed that he had a weak voice. It wasn't until he learned new behavior from his brother that I found out he could actually wheek and be noisy, and louder than I ever expected.

    As for the movement, idk, but if you can't catch anything off, maybe a vet could.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    Ditto the vet suggestion.

    Is there any possibility that she's blind or deaf?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    Definitely not blind or deaf.
    We've only had her a few days. She interacts well with us. Our other pig seems delighted to have company and we're really glad she's here.
    She's just very stationary. I don't think she can jump. I'm watching her rear legs and wondering if she has an orthopedic issue. I think her rear legs splay out to the sides somewhat, different from other pigs we've had.
    Not going to take her to the vet for this. Although it's curious, it sounds like she has been this way her whole life and she is already 3 years old.
    She can get around when she needs to, including running away from our other pig.
    It's just kind of interesting, I wonder what it is.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    Is it possible she didn’t have a lot of enrichment or sensory stimulation in her previous home? Maybe she just doesn’t know what to do because there was nothing to do.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    Try increasing her vitamin C for 7-10 days, up to 100 mg. per day. She might have scurvy. If it helps, then cut back to 30-40 mg. per day after that period of time.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    Thought I'd give a little update.
    We've had the new piggie for 3-4 weeks. She's much more mobile now. She still keeps her hind leg at a strange angle sometimes, but she's going through tunnels and exploring the platform etc. She doesn't stand still in one spot all the time like she did at first.
    She's very quiet. She makes a hissing sound and doesn't really wheek. I wonder if she's figuring it out or if she can't vocalize for some reason.
    I really wonder what her old home was like. Probably boring, like someone said above.
    She remains very very skinny. She eats well. Her weight doesn't change.

    In the meantime, our other (original) pig got a case of bumblefoot! First time ever for one of our pigs. We took her to the vet. So since we are going back anyway, we made an appointment to get their opinion on the new pig.

    These little creatures are endlessly interesting, even for experienced owners like us .

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    One more update on the little piggie. She's been with us about 6 weeks. She is dying, likely tonight or tomorrow. We ended up taking her to the vet since my last post. They checked her out, agreed she was very thin, said she seemed otherwise OK, did some blood tests that were all normal, and said they couldn't find anything specific wrong with her. Just yesterday she lost interest in eating anything and is mostly sleeping. We are sad. But this seems to be how it is with piggies. They are fragile and hard to fix.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    I'm sad to hear that your new girl isn't doing well. It always makes me happy when someone takes in a new pig from a less than ideal situation. It could very well be that she is just heartbroken over losing her former cagemate.

    I am so sorry it's going this way.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    It could very well be that she is just heartbroken over losing her former cagemate.
    Thanks for the kind words. I don't think she was heartbroken. *I* am heartbroken now! She was such a good fit for our lone pig after her original cagemate died. Very energetic, friendly, enthusiastic, but also submissive (in a good way) allowing our other pig to be dominant.

    I really don't usually believe that guinea pigs have the same feelings and consciousness as humans. But watching these two together now is making me cry. The sick piggie is in a hidey, refusing to eat or drink, mostly sleeping. Our original piggie, who has only known her 6 weeks, seems very affected by what is going on. She is parked near the hidey, just hanging out, sort of snuggling with the sick one, ?providing comfort maybe. She keeps checking the status of the sick one. She is going to be lonely again and we will be back to square one deciding whether to try to find her a new 3rd cagemate.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    I’m sorry that you’re losing your new piggy, and especially since she was a good companion for your other piggy. I’m surprised the vet didn’t do more. Usually they would try sub-q fluids, Critical Care, and something for pain.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    When she saw the vet, she was behaving normally. Just very very skinny and we were trying to find out why. She didn't act sick until a day or two ago. We didn't take her back because it is unlikely that she has anything that can be cured for more than the very short term. I have tried hand feeding her pellet slurry but she won't take it nor drink any water. She is telling us it is time. She does not want to be handled and we are respecting that.

    It's still sad and hard to watch. Guinea pigs are such sweet little animals!

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    While I agree they don't have the same level of consciousness of other animals, I do believe they have feelings. Why else would some animals get along while others don't?

    It breaks my heart knowing she is slipping away, and your other girl knows it and is sad and trying to comfort her at the same time.

    I never understood how sad and lonely Scooter was after losing Punkin, until Leo joined us. He was a completely different pig.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    She died overnight.
    Our remaining piggie is definitely sad. Subdued and quiet. Didn't want her morning lettuce at first, although she got over that pretty fast. She seems more affected by this death than the death of her prior cagemate, whom she had been with since they were babies!

    So now we have a 4 year old (probably closer to 5, we don't know exactly). She was recently treated for bumblefoot and the vet said it likely will never fully go away. She has been through 3 cagemates-- her longterm companion of almost 4 years, one that we tried to match her with a few months ago but it didn't work out, and the one who was a great match but only lasted less than two months. WWYD? Look for another, because she obviously likes company, or let her be a lone pig because in the end one always outlives the other?

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd new piggie

    That all depends on you. If you want to continue keeping pigs, there are several solutions. You can adopt another older pig, one that is closer in age, just as you've done in the past. That is what I did last year, after losing Scooter.

    My original boys were 1.5 years apart in age. The older one, Pooper, passed away after roughly 6.5 years. I knew Sly would be lonely so I tried adopting a pair of baby boys and wanted three boars together.

    It didn't work. As soon as Punkin hit puberty it all fell apart. Sly lived another two years past Pooper and even though he and the younger boys were separated, he still had them there and he was satisfied with that.

    Punkin and Scooter both fell ill almost at the same time. Despite putting up the biggest fight I have every had with pigs, I lost Punkin after two months and Scooter after nine. Leo came to live with us two months after Punkin passed, and neither pig could possibly have been happier. Scooter had been alone and Leo had never known another pig.

    After losing Scooter suddenly, I found Simon. And Leo and Simon have been amazing ever since.

    You could keep your remaining girl alone, but if she is grieving now she likely will continue to, and it may hasten her demise health wise.

    You could adopt another girl, or a neutered boy, close to her age. You are correct in that one will always outlive the other.

    Or, last but not least, you could get a pair of baby girls. That would almost certainly be the easiest and most successful introduction. So as I said, it all depends on what YOU want.

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