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Thread: He is so frustrating its cute?????

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Ok seriously Tweet is beyond frustrating, yet cute. Hes my favorite and he is a 4 year old american short haired. He is grey and white and I have had him for most of his life. For a guinea pig he is SOOO frisking NEEDY! Hes loud, doesn't get along with the other piggies so he has to be separated. I have tried him with 9 other different combinations of male cagemates and he has bitten them or gotten himself so badly bitten that there have been emergency vet visits...

    But this last year he has been most obsessive. He has always been a chewer. He chews on EVERYTHING and constantly breaks his teeth. He has a mound of hay daily that is the size of a 1x2 grid cage (that high too). He has chew toys (which he shredds to nothing) and other toys to play with. He is in a divided cage with his 3 previously attempted cage buddies (who all get along with eachother). For the 7th time this year he has broken off his front two upper teeth. I swear he is doing it to get attention from me because it always coincides with me being gone for a few hours. He LOVES being handfed so of course when he breaks off his teeth I have to hand feed him his veggies (and some pureed pumpkin and/or baby foods) to keep his strength up until he can eat on his own again in 2-3 days. I don't think there is anything I can do about this because if I take out his chew toys or cover the grids between the divided cage he gets really upset and stops eating food and starts eating himself. I'm just frustrated and worried that this will cause long term issues with his teeth. My vet here isn't really all that competent so I don't trust him for any further testing than what he already has done. I'm just really frustrated and don't want my baby to keep hurting himself...

    Boy he just looks like trouble doesn't he? Hehe


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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Ohhhh he is absolutely adorably cheeky !!

    As you know, I am not qualified or experienced myself in these matters, but just to give you someone to bounce things off of, let me ask you a couple things !

    Would spending "extra time" with him each day help him any or do you think he is too entrenched in this "bad habitual cycle" that you both go through together ?

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    I would DEFINITELY not take out any of his chew toys or wooden hideys, for I would think that will only aggravate his need to chew. I do wonder about his intensity in chewing though.. ( My girls are chewers too...but not this intensely) do you think he is in any kind of pain, like maybe the "hard chewing" feels good to him, feels good on his gums... because his teeth are annoying him in some way ?

    He usually breaks them on the cage bars, right ? If you have any left-over coroplast you could make the sides high enough over his head that he can't get to the cage bars to chew on them( Around the perimeter of his cage).

    I would also consider using some other type of cage divider too, like maybe a piece of plexi glass would be a good investment, since you have tried so many different things without success, it might be worth it. Maybe you could use one of those small squared cooling racks for a divider....do you know what kind I mean ? They have really small squares....

    Has he had any other dental problems other than broken teeth ? Like malocclusion or elongated roots, ect ?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    My cages have 5" sides and 8" sides. The cage with the lower sides is longer so I cut the sides at 5" so all four sides would be the same height. I prefer the 8" sides because they never chew on the grids. They can climb up to see, but never chew. One of mine used to be in that cage and never chewed until I made the larger cage with shorter sides. I agree with Kathlaaron about making higher sides.

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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    If you have ruled out root infections and scurvy, I would consider having him neutered, or finding a spayed female so he can have a female companion.

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    He has never had any other health issues, including teeth, except from injuries and absesses. I highly doubt he has scurvy because they get KM pellets and 1/8th of a bell pepper daily as well as other veggies.

    The divider would have to be 3 grids long because my cage is 3 grids wide. I think the plexi glass is a great idea. Hmm I'll have to get a second hay rack since theirs is on the shared wall.

    I doubt this will solve his issue though because he bites/chews his water bottle VERY aggressively and I've had to remove his ceramic bowl the other day because he was chewing on that too. Its not just the bars he chews on which is why this makes me thinks its behavioural.

    Foggy I have tried 1 fixed female almost 2 years ago (for about 5 minutes) and that was the 2nd worst reaction I have ever seen with him (the first was a male which ended in a fountain of blood from a torn eyelid and an ER visit the other piggy not Tweet). I have had females in in the area waiting to be adopted and he has screamed at them, chattered, paced, bitten his cagemates etc...I just don't think he will/can get along with anyone and at 4 years old I really don't want to risk a surgery. Our vet here isn't the greatest so I don't trust him to neuter any of the guinea pigs and he is the only one for 100+ miles and I don't own a vehicle.

    Hes always been a very needy guinea pig. First one to the edge of the cage screaming in the morning or when I get home. He doesn't run from my hand anymore completely tame and loves scratches and pets and cuddles. I try to give him as much attention as I can but some days I'm not able to give him his cuddles. Thats when he broke his teeth was when we miss our 6pm cuddle last night. I usually notice it right away since he gets treats often throughout the day and if he drops them or doesn't rip them from my fingers then I know something is up. His two teeth had just been broken and we had been home for about 30 mins. They were still attatched to the gum but cracked and hanging down funny. I tried to gently ease them out but the one was still attatched to the gum by a little so I left it figuring he will work it out like he usually does. It doesn't affect him in any way except I have to hand feed him pellets because he can't pick them up and hand feed him veggies that are matched sticked into pieces he can slurp. He can't eat hay well those first 2 days but has never had any stomach issues from that as I keep up with the veggies 6-7 times a day. He can EAT too. He goes through as much hay as my other 3 piggies combined. I buy hay by the bale from a local farmer so I get about 180lbs a year for my 4 piggies. Thats 3 65lb bales a year.

    I live in a tiny dinky town so I'm not sure where I can get plexi glass cut to size. I guess I'll start to call around. How do I attatch it to the grids? I've never had to work with plexi are there any pics on how people connect them, clean them etc???

    Thanks for all the help!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Some guinea pigs are neurotic. Do you know much about his past? We took in a guinea pig that was housed outdoors by the previous owner only to have an animal break into the hutch and kill its companion. That poor little guy never got over it. He'd pace, bite the sides of the cage and wheek all the time. Something might have traumatized yours at some point in his life. The only other things I can think of are mites or being bored.

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    I adopted him as a baby 4 years ago and he has only been with me. He has been this way ever since I got him a buddy when he was about 9-10 months old. He didn't get along too well with the old man Monty but no major issues. Monty left us over a year ago but they were not getting along then and had to be separated due to injuries. I've tried him with many male and 1 female guinea pig. I just don't think he will NOT hurt anyother guinea pigs. If he really doesn't like them he makes this noise and goes for their face. If he moderately tollerates them he bites/nips/eat their fur until they are covered in absesses. The other piggies have both backed down and tried to submit (but he's kept on biting them weeks after) or they have fought back with more severe injuries.

    I definately think he is board and I try to keep him entertained as much as I can with frequent treats, lots of cage cleanings, rotating toys, houses, blankets sides of the cage etc...

    I doubt its mites as they all have been treated with revolution a year ago when my new one Twink got out of his isolation cage in my room and "met" everyone. They are all in close proximity so I would think that someone would be showing signs. If he was breaking his teeth on himself I could see possibly mites. But he is not itching or backed down on his LOVES of butt scratches and ear rubs...

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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    So, I was reading through this yesterday (Guinea Pigs Social Life) and I saw something about guinea pigs who just like to be alone, but of course I cant find it now by skimming. BUT, there are a few suggestions for loner piggies on it, like having a common wall when separating them (which you have) and making sure that they get extra cuddles (which you do) so basically, I'm not being very helpful, by suggesting things you already have :P

    One thing that I just thought of is that their teeth are constantly growing; maybe his grow at a faster rate, making it uncomfortable for him so he feels the need to chew? The faster rate would point towards weaker teeth too, which would explain the breakage. I'm not sure if this is possible (I'm no vet, and I don't even have guinea pigs yet >.<) but this is just something I thought of from when my rabbit would chew on his wooden hutch and the railing of the porch he had free range of.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Quote Originally Posted by sillylittle View Post

    One thing that I just thought of is that their teeth are constantly growing; maybe his grow at a faster rate, making it uncomfortable for him so he feels the need to chew? The faster rate would point towards weaker teeth too, which would explain the breakage. I'm not sure if this is possible (I'm no vet, and I don't even have guinea pigs yet >.<) but this is just something I thought of from when my rabbit would chew on his wooden hutch and the railing of the porch he had free range of.
    That is a very interesting thought ! I KNOW Onetwo is absolutely doing her best by him, so I wonder if this is indeed something to look into ! Hmmmm...

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Onetwo View Post

    The divider would have to be 3 grids long because my cage is 3 grids wide. I think the plexi glass is a great idea. Hmm I'll have to get a second hay rack since theirs is on the shared wall.

    I doubt this will solve his issue though because he bites/chews his water bottle VERY aggressively and I've had to remove his ceramic bowl the other day because he was chewing on that too. Its not just the bars he chews on which is why this makes me thinks its behavioural.

    How do I attatch it to the grids? I've never had to work with plexi are there any pics on how people connect them, clean them etc???

    Thanks for all the help!
    First of all, I believe you completely about what your gut instincts tell you, Onetwo...that it is mostly a "behavioural thing". I think it's important to trust your instincts, you know him BEST...and since you have a closer bond with him than normal due to him being a "loner" and all.

    What a tough situation to figure out hon, I mean...I can totally understand you being concerned about this bad habit of getting more of your attention, and wondering if these episodes of broken teeth will cause him to have greater problems later with his teeth.

    I would just drill 2 holes on one side of the plexi glass, and 2 holes on the other side of the plexi glass, and attach using some long, strong cable ties ! That should work perfectly. The only down side to using plexi glass ( and there are different grades I believe too, not 100% sure though..) other than it being expensive, that I have heard of, is that it scratches fairly easily. But I would drill a few "breathe holes" too, so he can still smell another piggie more easily on the other side.

    I would just do all you can, to protect him from himself when you just can't be there for him, every time he wants you, by making higher sides around his cage perimeter and so on.....man, he sure loves you to death Nicole....my goodness !! You should have named him "Romeo", for you are definitely "his" Juliet !!

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Ok well. Tweet's teeth were having a hard time growing out. One was growing faster than the other but he managed to correct the problem himself (he broke the long one off). They are growing in nicely and he is eating on his own again. Since his teeth were broken I took the oppertunity to try introducing him to a piggy. The new baby piggie Porkie was born Mid Oct. I was hoping since he couldn't peck at Porkie for a few weeks without teeth that maybe by the time his teeth grew in he would tollerate the baby. So I moved the cage wall so each pair has a 3x3.5 grid cage and introduced the baby piggy to him. So far so good. Its been about a week but there is some chattering right now.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Thanks for the update Onetwo ! Hope things continue to go well between them !

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Well since the suggestions on this thread I made plans to get plexiglass for a barrier and I ordered 2 hay troughs from Jen's custom crafts to prevent further teeth issues. Before I could get everything another one of my dopies Twinky (Tweets arch enemy) broke his teeth chewing on the bars try to get to Tweet when he was eating hay...

    Uggg what it wrong with these darn boys? Hehe boy they are just so frustrating.

    The plexiglass finally came in today but it was MUCH more expensive than I expected. $24 and some change for a 48x24 inch piece and I only need a 44x14 inch piece so I had a bunch of pieces I couldn't use. O well I got it cut to size and drilled holes in it. Nothing went right today I broke my ruler trying to cut the plexi, I went to drill holes and my drill konked out on me, I cracked the plexi trying to drill holes with my neighbors drill (fixed it with tape), then I cut my finger attatching the plexi to the coro in the cage... Just not my day.

    However if I had know that with Twinkies teeth broken he would calm down and finally hand tame and look forward to me coming to the cage I would have broken his teeth a LONG time ago... Haha no just kidding. He has been THE hardest piggy ever to open up to me. I've had him almost a year and he is almost 2 years old and he still ran like mad when I got any where near the cage even with veggies. He has never taken veggies from my hand or eaten them outside of the cage in my lap...

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Oh man, I am so so sorry. I hate days like that, when it seems like nothing goes right ! I wonder why the plexi glass cracked ? Were you able to attach it anyway to their cage ? Does it look like it will help/work well enough ? Are you sorry you bought the plexi now Nicole ?

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Yep its just been one of those days... It went down hill as soon as I woke up late this morning. Kids didn't want to get up because they didn't want to go to bed last night. Then the much hated allergy specialist that my son was supposed to see this Thursday cancled the FOURTH time in a row and I BLEW UP at her and the three other people who called me about the damned appt. Jeez I'm SOOO sorry that the doctor doesn't have enough patients to fill an entire day. I'm not about to pull my kid out of school for a doctors appt because he has missed a BUNCH of days of school due to the meds he is on for his asthma make him susceptable to every virus out there... I made this damned appt back in OCTOBER for the 2nd thursday in December (whatever day that was) and every week they call and say that they don't have enough patients for him to come out this way... Uggg I don't own a vehicle and I don't leave my apt much so going to another city is out of the question for me. And they won't renew his allergy and asthma meds until he sees them. Well until now. I got them to give me a refill but that will only get him through another month and then it will be this nightmare all over again. I am so DONE with this craptacular hospital up here. I have NEVER had this many issues in my LIFE with hospitals/clinics/doctors...

    I did manage to figure out how to carefully drill hole without cracking this terribly thin plexiglass. The first two were a learning curve the last four took forever but I got it. I was able to glue and tape the broken piece back onto the plexi. Its attatched to the cage now and I think it will be ok but I wish it was a lot thicker. Unfortionately the thicker stuff was $100 a sheet and I had to buy the whole sheet (8 feet x 4 feet). I guess it will work but I wish I had bought it elsewhere and gotten a thicker one...

    Now I have a new problem. haha everytime Baby Porkie gets freaked out he smashes into the plexi trying to run away from me and the kids. Poor baby...

    I just can't win today.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    So sorry babe....I really am ! Who's Porkie ? I thought it may have cracked due to it being thin....I feel somewhat responsible, since I suggested it. Ugh. I am sorry friend ! I have never used plexi myself, just knew that it was expensive. I thought it would be a good investment for you since you tried so many other things, you know ? I am confused though, why did you have to order it in that size ( 8 ft. by 4 ft.) why couldn't you order something much smaller ?

    Is it because you had to order them in sheets ? They didn't have something smaller ? I feel frustrated for you. It's WRONG that they cancelled 4 times...why on earth did they DO THAT ?! I would be pretty steamed about that myself, that is just OBNOXIOUS. Arrrggg.

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    I'm in the middle of no where and the only (terrible) hardware store here doesn't get it very often they didn't have any more 48"x last week but they said that it was coming in today. The piece I got was 24"x48" that was the smallest size I could buy. They had no issue cutting it to size but I had to pay for the whole piece because they couldn't sell the small pieces left. I did end up having to trim it just a bit more to fit but it was pretty close. The thicker stuff they would NOT sell in smaller pieces than whole sheets and I didn't need a 4x8 foot piece nor did I want to spend $100 for it. I hate not having a bigger chain hardware store here. The person there was even bitchy and argumenative because I asked her why they closed at 4pm (I have stood by that store for the last several months waiting for the ex to drop off the kids from his visit) and I have seen 7-8 people each day going towards the door and realizing it was closed either peeved off or sad. She snapped at me saying that it didn't make sense to stay open longer for one of those customers to possibly buy a $2 item. And she sat there and argued and argued with me. All I did was make a suggestion. They are SOO losing business because they are only open 10-4 most days and all she did was snap at me. I'm not some stupid female my dad and I RAN a construction and remodel company I THINK I know when people want to buy hardware items. Hehe and its NOT at 10am-4pm.

    Its a good idea I just wish there was a better selection of it here. I think it will work great! Now I just need to wait for my new hay racks from Jen...

    I'll tell you about Porkie in Chat if you are on later. Its a touchy subject.

    The doctor canceled my sons appts because they didn't have enough people schedueled that day for the Doc to bother to drive all the way here. Apparently people in Hick town don't have allergies and asthma issues. Then they shuffle the people to the next week until they have enough for him to come see. I could have brought my son in at 11am on thursday but he has school and has already missed 7 days so far this school year. I didn't want him to miss anymore so I made a 4pm apt and since there were 3 people in the morning the Doc didn't want to hang around for 4 hours until my sons appt. Its understandable but I mean its his JOB to be there when patients need him and we cannot rescheduel school. He CAN reschedule his stupid golf time. Haha Anyways I KNEW this whole allergy thing was a waste of time all it did was upset my son and me for NOTHING. We DID NOT get any test results because he was screaming so bad and he bit two nurses (this was 7 months ago) but his symptoms have improved since being put on the meds. I think they could be a bit better but now I can't see the darned Doc to get his meds tweeked. His Ped is the one who wanted him to see the specialist. I'm sure as heck going to ream him out. If there was a different clinic in town I would NEVER go back to that one again. I HATE everyone there (except a few nurses)...

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: He is so frustrating its cute?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Onetwo View Post
    They are SOO losing business because they are only open 10-4 most days and all she did was snap at me. I'm not some stupid female my dad and I RAN a construction and remodel company I THINK I know when people want to buy hardware items. Hehe and its NOT at 10am-4pm.

    Its a good idea I just wish there was a better selection of it here. I think it will work great!

    The doctor canceled my sons appts because they didn't have enough people schedueled that day for the Doc to bother to drive all the way here.
    On Point # 1: I completely agree. Those hours are ridiculous, how they are still in business is beyond me !

    Point # 2 : I am so glad and relieved that you think the plexi glass will do the job, but I just wish you didn't have to go through so much in getting it, and then working with it !

    Point # 3: I don't think I have ever come across that issue with a Paediatrician before, that is really AWFUL ! What a lousy uncaring Doctor ! My dearest Mom, my best friend, has severe asthma and allergies too, so I really can understand what you and your little boy go through.

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