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Adopting Guidance on type of new brother to adopt

4boipigs

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I need some thoughts on finding Gimbly a new brother. My local rescue, who I got him from, is only open Saturdays. When I got Gimbly for Little Bear, my work schedule was terrible and I had to wait a month to adopt. At a local shelter there is a ton of "baby" and "young" pigs. I am worried about leaving Gimbly alone and am willing to consider a shelter pig IF they allow me to do some bonding time. However, I've never had a young pig. Gimbly is kind and a bit shy (example - would only explore outside the cage if he could follow Little Bear) and never picked on Little Bear. All he did was rumble or sometimes scare him away from food. Is getting a baby or young pig a good idea for us? Should I stick with an adult? I really want to get a new brother asap. I hate seeing them alone and Little Bear was so stressed with Bruin's death, that I don't want to repeat it. Gimbly does seem fine and was eating/begging while Little Bear was dead in the cage but I don't want him alone.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I got Punkin and Scooter as babies (3 weeks old) after Pooper passed away. It was amazing to watch him turn into like a big brother to them. I personally have never really had a problem bonding boars, the only issue I had was when Punkin hit puberty and I ended up having to separate Scooter and Punkin from Sly. 3 boars doesn't work.

A baby pig would most likely be readily accepted by Gimbly, as long as you realize going in that there will be scuffles and disagreements when the baby hits puberty. Personally, I would look at shelter pigs first because I believe, as you do, that the greatest need for forever homes in there.
 

4boipigs

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A baby pig would most likely be readily accepted by Gimbly, as long as you realize going in that there will be scuffles and disagreements when the baby hits puberty. Personally, I would look at shelter pigs first because I believe, as you do, that the greatest need for forever homes in there.

That's my reasoning too, aside from not wanting to wait for the rescue to reply. I had such a bad experience adopting Chico and Amigo from a shelter. At the rescue, the pigs are safe and in good hands. At a shelter, who knows.
 

Kelsie

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I got my last two pigs from two different shelters. The first shelter was very well run with a knowledgeable staff who seemed to really care about this young guinea pig. The second shelter was just pathetic. They knew nothing about this young pig and really didn't seem to care where she ended up. They asked no questions of me and practically just tossed her to me and said just pay for her up front. Both of these girls are very sweet but I feel that Teddi, who came from the second shelter, just seems to appreciate and enjoy everything about her life. I like to think that's it's because she was just discarded by her former owner and not really given much attention at the shelter.

So for that reason, I agree that many times it's in the pig's best interest to consider a shelter pig first.
 

4boipigs

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The shelter I got Chico and Amigo from I assume didn't know how to handle pigs. They came in together, yet were in separate cages, were offered to me as a single or pair, and I was offered a small cage (dog kennel??) in case I needed supplies. That shelter has a baby boy available, but I'm not sure I want to drive all the way there to try. This other shelter has 3 "babies" but honestly I don't know what Petfinder classifies as a baby. Here is one of them: https://www.petfinder.com/small-fur...rt-worth/humane-society-of-north-texas-tx309/

I emailed them and they said we can do a meet n greet and maybe bonding - but I think the shelter is on a time crunch, so chances are I will have to bond at home. I have all that ready to go. I have major qualms against returning animals to the shelter, so I hope all goes well.

I'm going to leave here in about half an hour to see what happens. If not, there's single males here and there in shelters, but not all in one place. Hopefully I don't have to run from shelter to shelter deciding on a friend for Gimbly. Of course I can wait for the rescue also, but I don't want to leave him alone. Gimbly seems okay and is happy to beg for treats, but I can see a sadness in his eyes.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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The shelter I got Chico and Amigo from I assume didn't know how to handle pigs. They came in together, yet were in separate cages, were offered to me as a single or pair, and I was offered a small cage (dog kennel??) in case I needed supplies. That shelter has a baby boy available, but I'm not sure I want to drive all the way there to try. This other shelter has 3 "babies" but honestly I don't know what Petfinder classifies as a baby. Here is one of them: https://www.petfinder.com/small-fur...rt-worth/humane-society-of-north-texas-tx309/

I emailed them and they said we can do a meet n greet and maybe bonding - but I think the shelter is on a time crunch, so chances are I will have to bond at home. I have all that ready to go. I have major qualms against returning animals to the shelter, so I hope all goes well.

I'm going to leave here in about half an hour to see what happens. If not, there's single males here and there in shelters, but not all in one place. Hopefully I don't have to run from shelter to shelter deciding on a friend for Gimbly. Of course I can wait for the rescue also, but I don't want to leave him alone. Gimbly seems okay and is happy to beg for treats, but I can see a sadness in his eyes.


I wish you the best of luck in finding Gimbly a new buddy. When I lost Scooter, Leo's demeanor declined rapidly. He had been alone the first year and a half of his life, and when he met Scooter the change in both of them was remarkable. He took Scooter's loss as badly as I did.

A good indication of how old a pig is, is the toenails. That picture of "Michael" (which is also my name) would indicate to me he is maybe a month old. His nails are very tiny and short, and have likely never been clipped. That and his general size and body structure indicate to me that he's very young.

Whatever you do, I know you are doing what's best for Gimbly no matter how hard it is for you.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I should also mention that I have always taken my chances and bonded at home. I've never really had the opportunity to do a meet and greet. Unfortunately my job and the nature of it precludes me from travelling any distance in the hunt for a pig.

And I seem to have always gotten lucky.
 

4boipigs

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20211030 140254

We spent maybe half an hour at the shelter where Michael (name will be changed) was sassy and a LOUD! rumbler. Now at home in the neutral area he seems more docile and scared. They did some sniffing but now Gimbly is eating and Michael is staring at me.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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He's a handsome little guy. Has Gimbly perked up a little bit with Michael there?

I don't think his fear will last long. Punkin and Scooter were three weeks old when they came home, I think very close to Michael's age. They were in the introduction pen for 3 or 4 hours initially with Sly and while they were nervous, they were exploring after about a half an hour and eating with Sly sticking to him like glue by hour two.
 

4boipigs

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They both seem to be just fine. I put a hide in there and they were using it together, eating hay and not showing any big dominance behavior. When spooked by me, Michael will run to Gimbly.

One thing that worries me about Michael is that he has some hair loss under one eye. I asked about it and the person helping me said their vet suspects he was being picked on (housed with a possibly dominant adult and baby in a small pet store cage, but they were overloaded with hoarder bunnies). No one else in the cage had spots I could see. But when we got home I noticed a couple other small spots under the fur like it was thinning. It doesn't look red, irritated or itchy. I've already doomed Gimbly since they've been together, so I know I can treat both if needed.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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Simon had (and still has) some hair loss under his eyes. Or rather, it just seems that way to me. He has no issues so I've never had him in for treatment. The vet has looked at him previously and said nothing about it, so I believe that it's likely just the way he is. Perhaps Michael is the same way?
 

4boipigs

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In his Petfinder pic, there is no hair loss. Today he has a dime sized patch under his eye. I hope the shelter vet was right about him just being picked on. With three boars in a pet store cage, it's definitely possible. I didn't see any spots on any other animals or his cage mates.

To finish up the last few hours, there was more humping from the baby, which Gimbly ignored or he'd turn and chase him away. Baby had fun with lots of running, popcorning, and hyper baby antics. They ate hay, lettuce, and pellets together. I have even seen Gimbly popcorn today, which I've never seen before.

The only thing that bothers me is he has chosen this spot between a house and a wall to run to when scared. He will use the tunnels but not the house (I have two tunnels and two houses).

20211030 144340
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Guinea Pig Papa

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You probably already know this but all he really needs is time. Punkin and Scooter literally chosen identical place to hide when they were spooked. As he gets to know Gimbly and his surroundings, he will come out of his shell and explore more and more. His habits will become familiar, and he'll finally be a part of your family with Gimbly. That's all he needs is time.

It sounds to me like your introduction couldn't have gone any better. Congratulations on your new addition, and may both boys coexist in peace.
 

Soecara

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That patch under his eye does look suspiciously like a fungal infection to me.

Now it should be quite simple to treat if that is a fungal infection but given how close to the eyeball it is you will want to get something from the vet that is eye safe. The regular over the counter creams for fungal infections are not eye safe so I personally wouldn't feel too confident using them that close to the eye.
 

4boipigs

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That patch under his eye does look suspiciously like a fungal infection to me.

Now it should be quite simple to treat if that is a fungal infection but given how close to the eyeball it is you will want to get something from the vet that is eye safe. The regular over the counter creams for fungal infections are not eye safe so I personally wouldn't feel too confident using them that close to the eye.

Yeah, that's what I'm dreading...I made sure to wash my hands after handling them and I'm being careful around their cage not to touch too much. There's a little patch near his nose that you can kinda see in the pic that makes me think its spreading. I'll have to see if I can take him to our vet later this week when I'm off work. I read it does resolve on its own, but at work we take tons of precaution with ringworm and I rather not have to treat my other pets for it.

About the baby's diet (no longer Michael to me...maybe a Leo or a Maple Leaf?)...I have never had a baby. I always thought alfafa and young pig pellets was right. But I'm seeing a lot of mixing the hays, or that adult pellets/mixing baby/adult pellets is okay, and to provide unlimited pellets. I'm not super sure how to feed him.
 

4boipigs

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Update on the area on his eye. I picked him up and took a look at the other spots I've seen. One is a small red area. On his belly, he has a spot near his thigh. I'm starting to get upset at the shelter. I don't know if I signed away any rights when I adopted him. The soonest I can see our vet is Thurs. I can take him to work, but our usual treatment for ringworm in the Petsmart guinea pigs is a lime dip...I'm sure my vet has something better (maybe this oral med I've read about?). I know he won't die from it but I'm still worried about it.
 

Soecara

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It probably isn't ringworm, it is much more likely to be a different kind of fungal infection. It should be possible to get a cream to put on the patches, you can start treatment on all of the patches that are not the one right near the eye immediately. Options for treatments include creams with Miconazole or Clotrimazole as the active ingredient, or a shampoo such as Nizoral or Malaseb. Most of those options are available over the counter, now none of those are eye safe so if any accidentally got into his eye it could be quite bad. If you chose to treat with a cream make sure to apply it very sparingly and rub it in very well with something like a q-tip, you don't want there to be any cream that they can rub off and ingest in any meaningful amount.

I would avoid oral fungal medications, they are really harsh on their systems. I would only use the oral meds as a last resort if other treatment options aren't working or in very severe cases.
 

4boipigs

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It probably isn't ringworm, it is much more likely to be a different kind of fungal infection. It should be possible to get a cream to put on the patches, you can start treatment on all of the patches that are not the one right near the eye immediately. Options for treatments include creams with Miconazole or Clotrimazole as the active ingredient, or a shampoo such as Nizoral or Malaseb. Most of those options are available over the counter, now none of those are eye safe so if any accidentally got into his eye it could be quite bad. If you chose to treat with a cream make sure to apply it very sparingly and rub it in very well with something like a q-tip, you don't want there to be any cream that they can rub off and ingest in any meaningful amount.

I would avoid oral fungal medications, they are really harsh on their systems. I would only use the oral meds as a last resort if other treatment options aren't working or in very severe cases.

I've never encountered skin issues before, so I'm going to let our vet handle it. I am treating it as ringworm just in case and being very cautious (I even bought gloves!). I dread having to treat him while he's still a scared little baby, but there's no getting around it. Hopefully it will make him used to being handled. I'm just so pissy over this. I did email the shelter and they may be able to assist since they overlooked by stating it was from bullying...and if he was bullied, why leave him in the cage with the other boys? Adopting a new baby from a shelter was supposed to be rewarding and now I'm just getting irritated.

Here is a pic of the spot on his side. I noticed it yesterday but it just looked like an area of thinning hair. The area on his belly is just a spot and not angry. I'm not sure if I should do a medical thread for him or just let this be it.

Left side
 

ItsaZoo

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The spot looks like a bite to me, which would make sense if he was crowded in a cage, or being bullied. I wouldn't worry about treatment, and the extra handling will help him get used to you. He's hiding behind the hidey so he can get away easier. Hideys can be traps, or maybe someone corned him in a hidey and grabbed him.

I find that most shelters and rescues, unless they're pocket pet rescues, don't know much about guinea pigs except what they read on line. Mine was originally seized by Minneapolis Animal Control and a month or so later went to a rescue. Animal Control treated one time with Ivermectin as a precaution. The rescue didn't know why she was treated, and I don't think they knew about mites. They asked me if she should have monthly treatments. She was in a pet shop cage next to a pit bull who was barking incessantly. No one helped me with her, I don't think they knew how to handle her, so I took her out and checked her over. Then the pit bull started to escape his crate, and I had to get someone over there ASAP. The rescue is foster-based, so they use a storefront in a strip mall to hold adoptions every Sunday. The space had an overwhelming smell of ammonia from urine. On the way home my husband said this was truly a rescue and not just an adoption.
 

4boipigs

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I guess I should have expected this, even tho I wanted to give the place the benefit of a doubt. It isn't the city animal shelter, but more like a local, non-profit shelter where they don't have animal control on staff or anything. So maybe more of a large scale rescue. This location only deals with cats and small animals. I tried to be understanding because they had a huge amount of bunnies in the small animal room, and even had some in the cat area. All the kennels had bunnies, except one which had a pig. There was a pet store cage with 3 boys, 2 or 3 Kaytee hamster cages with gerbils, and a 10 gallon tank with 2 gerbils. Of course the gerbils bothered me the most, and I don't know anything about gerbils but I know those conditions weren't great. The wheels they had were super small, and wire. If you don't know, a small wheel can cause back problems and the wire wheels can injure their feet/tail. One gerbil was pawing at the glass the entire time which is likely a stress behavior.

To make things worse, I doubt gerbils are in high demand, so who knows how long they'd be there.

So it is probably a mercy for Maple that he came home with me, but for once I'd just love to adopt a healthy guinea pig. I'm sure whether this is fungal, bites, or both, it won't be expensive/hard to treat but it's very frustrating and I get easily worked up when it comes to my pets. Plus if he does have ringworm, that means all those other shelter animals are at risk too and the vet/shelter overlooked it.

On the plus side, he and Gimbly are still doing well. Maple has rewarded me with wheeking loudly whenever he hears kibble hit a ceramic bowl. So whenever I feed my cat, dog, or hamster, he thinks the food is for him and starts crying.
 
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