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How Many? Cage mate passed, get another?

VBaamonde

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My baby girl Scamp left us in late May after a lifetime of complications. She was around 6.5 years old. She left behind Peeve, her non biological brother that she has lived with almost her entire life. Peeve is now alone for the first time since I got him, he is about 6 years old as well. Hes showing signs of old age, droopy eyes, a benign tumor on his bum, but mostly is in good health. He was definitely quiet for about the first 2 weeks after Scamp passed, but he seems adjusted now. Vocal and active, eating and pooping regularly. I know hes fine, but I also know hes social and could possibly like a new friend. Any advice on the situation? Because of his age I dont know if I should risk a new friend or if it's worth it. Emotionally i dont necessarily want a new one, but i want to do what's best for peeve. Advice appreciated!
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I'm so sorry to hear of Scamp's passing. May she rest in peace.

Peeve's age obviously has to be taken into account, and what you would do for a cage mate does also. A new cage mate would likely not have Peeve for long, and you face the same dilemma all over again. Peeve would certainly benefit from a friend, but the question is at his age, how long? And will he even get along with a new friend or would he be stressed?

I had a pair of mismatched boys, age wise. Pooper was roughly 15 or 16 months older than Sly. When Pooper passed away suddenly after a short illness, I was so heartbroken I didnt want another pig. But Sly's needs had to come first. He was already 5, though I knew he had time left just not how much. As it turns out, even with his dental issues Sly lived almost another two years after Pooper. One week and a day after Poopers passing, two baby brothers arrived home to keep Sly company. Even after the boys hit puberty and Sly was separated from them by a fence, they still added to the time he had left.

There is no right answer here, but considering Peeves age and whatever health issues he has, personally I would be inclined to keep him alone and give him all the love I have. But that's only if I dont want more pigs.
 

spy9doc

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I've struggled with the same situation regarding a surviving cavy. Sparky lost his "brother" with whom he had lived since they were four and six weeks old. Chip died suddenly and without warning due to what I think was a brain aneurysm. Sparky has always been so bonded to us that we weren't terribly concerned about him, but felt that he really needed one of his own kind. My intent was to get a young boar who would enliven Sparky (3.7 y.o.) and in turn Sparky could teach him how to be a proper guinea pig.

And, then, Sparky became quite ill and we almost lost him. He developed CHF (congestive heart failure) and was rushed to the hospital just in time. We were told that with medication and a stress-free life, he just might live to see his fourth birthday which is Oct. 11. After much discussion, we decided that a stress-free life did not include a feisty baby brother, nor did we particularly want to adopt an older sow to keep him company. I know that he would probably enjoy company, but his gets SO much attention from us that he almost doesn't have time to be lonely. And, we didn't want to be left with an older sow when he leaves us. Once he passes over the Rainbow Bridge, my intention is to start over with a pair of baby boars. At the moment, he is doing so well that I've had second thoughts and wonder if I made the right decision, but his health could change any day.

Sorry I'm not much help. Just wanted to share to let you know that you aren't the only one who struggles with this decision. You know the situation better than anyone and I feel sure that you will make the right decision for Peeve and for yourself.
 

VBaamonde

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I appreciate both answers, thank you! I am leaning towards keeping him single because of his age and just spoiling him rotten.
 

ItsaZoo

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There was a similar discussion on another topic regarding adding a buddy for an older pig. A few people recommended that a small stuffed animal for a lone pig seems to be comforting. I have a stuffed bunny that my lone female sleeps beside. I just made sure that there were no ribbons or plastic eyes or nose that she could chew.
 

spy9doc

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A few people recommended that a small stuffed animal for a lone pig seems to be comforting. I have a stuffed bunny that my lone female sleeps beside.

I tried doing this and Sparky had zero interest in the stuffed animal. I even got one about the size of an adult cavy and virtually the same coloring as his departed brother. I also tried this with a previous surviving cavy and had the same experience.......zero interest. Who knows........I may try it again before I get rid of the stuffed animal.
 

VBaamonde

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Peeve has a small teddy bear but he doesnt acknowledge it. Hes never been much of a cuddler though.
 

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