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HELP! Buddy Bath didn't work

CavySlave

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Hi All,



I have two boars and when one suddenly passed away, due to an URI, I decided to adopt another. Well, when I first introduced them they went through the usual dominance stuff and then everything settled down. All of the sudden the newer, and younger, one, approximately 6 months old, started becoming very aggressive. They started fighting to the point where my older one, approximately 1 1/2 years old, ended up with a bloody nose. After that, we decided to try the buddy bath. Well, all was great for the first 30 minutes. They were both eating side by side and not a peep. Then the younger one, Tobey, started becoming aggressive towards the older, Jake. I am at a loss and can't bear to send the younger one back to the rescue. Does anyone have any similar experience or even some fresh ideas? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

dagwellismypigy

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How aggresive?
Are you introducing them on neutral territory?
Did you clean EVERY thing in the cage with hot water and vinegar or wash it?
 

lindsey's boys

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Wow. Sounds exactly like my story. One of my two guinea pigs Died from a URI, so we got another. They had bloody noses too.
 

CavySlave

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Well both of them had managed to cut one anothers lower lip and, of course, the older one had gotten a bloody nose. Originally, I cleaned everything with a vinager and water. They were introduce at a different location. Once home they did the usual stuff and everything was fine. That was over 2 weeks ago. They were actually getting along quite well until a couple of nights ago.

Did your boys every get along Lindsey?
 

lindsey's boys

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Well, Rodney and Chip are STARTING to get along. They get along pretty good during floortime. If the cage is invovled, then no.
 

Ly&Pigs

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I have a feeling the younger boar is still going through piggie puberty and will be a handful until he reaches adulthood. From what I understand, most piggies reach adulthood at around 8 months of age.
 

lindsey's boys

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I hope my younger boar is going through pubuerty. The older one dosen't "fight" unless he is provoced (sp?).
 

GuineaPigz

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lindsey's boys said:
I hope my younger boar is going through pubuerty. The older one dosen't "fight" unless he is provoced (sp?).
Yes that is spelled provoked.
 

Denise

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I had a heck of a time with introductions! I read CavySpirit's suggestions on the home page and with a lot of hand holding from other members here, "Thanks again, all!" my three girls a living happily together.
 

fawnmarie

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I had something similar happen - I did the Buddy Bath thing and it only worked for a couple of days. I'm not sure how old my Danger Pig (Gizmo), but I know he's going through puberty because he "dominates" all his stuffed toys all the time. There have been some real bad tussles since then, though no blood. I often find myself watching them closely, examining the dynamics, trying to analyze their motivations, and the cycles of their relationship - Pigger Soaps.

I'm thinking about making the Buddy Bath a weekly event.

Fawn
 

o0Ms Jenny0o

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What's a buddy bath?
 

Ly&Pigs

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Buddy baths should be used as a "last resort". Most piggie slaves get nervous when doing introductions and pull the pigs apart when there is no need at all to do so. The best indicator to watch for on when to separate guinea pigs is the posturing of the nipping and bite attacks. If that gets more serious, that's the time to separate them. If blood is drawn, it's definitely time to stop that session.
 

CavySlave

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I am uncertain at what point I do need to separate the pigs. Basically the older one, Jake, has a very laid back personality and will not fight unless provoked. Jake will just lay down until Tobey comes over to him and then they start chattering. Then they will stand off and start moving almost sideways at one another chattering and huffing. After enough times of doing this they will lunge at each other maybe getting a nip in on the lip, then separate and then come back around to a stand off again. This usually will go on until Tobey needs a break. Tobey will back away and Jake will find a comfy spot and lay down again. After a few moments, they start all over.

I feel that separating them when the lunge at each other is too soon, but I am not sure when I should be concerned. This can go on for quite some time and the both seem very stressed through it all. They also tend to cough and sneeze after getting a little physical.

Also, what are the signs that one is gaining dominance? What should I look for to know that they may be figuring out who is the alpha-pig? I guess I don't expect one day that they will just simply stop and it has all been decided. How long should I continue trying before throwing in the towel and deciding that they will not be able to live together. I am just not sure what to look for.

I appreciate all your feedback. It helps to hear from others who have lived through it. I just do not want to see them get hurt.
 

fawnmarie

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Yes, I have some of the same questions!

Last night my son separated the boys for the night. He said they were fighting. They'll get along okay for a while, especially if they are outside grazing. Some days they don't fight, some days the just can't stand each other. One will jump on the other and they will wrestle for a couple of seconds, then back off and walk away.

The younger one is going through puberty - I guess. How long does this last? I'm not sure how old he is, but I do know he is not an adult. In the two months we've had him, he's grown considerably. My guess is he is anywhere from 4-6 months old.

I'm not sure the original buddy bath helped - it was more like they were just bathed at the same time. I don't know if they bonded, but they didn't fight or even rumble at each other for a few days.

They've been in the same cage for about 2 weeks. I've tried to give them plenty of space and hidey holes to get away from each other.

They don't seem to fight over food - it's when they are bored and there's nothing to do that the younger one starts picking fights.

I REALLY wished they got along better. They don't fight/wrestle ALL the time, but a couple times a week, and it really upsets everyone. So far no blood or real damage. Just a lot of bad feelings.

How much longer should I give it before I need to permanently separate them? They've been together about a month now.

Fawn
 

TheAlmightyMiko

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Fawn, if they've been together for about a month and there has been no bloodshed, I'd say you're heading in the right direction, *especially* if one of them is going through puberty! I have two boars that are brothers (biologically) and lived together for the first 4 moths of their lives, but had to be seperated for a few weeks due to a fear over a URI. I found that when they were re-introduced, the "battle" for dominance started over fresh, and Miko took a liking to "asserting his dominance" quite frequently. There was a bit of chasing and humping, but they DO settle down when they enter adulthood (around 8 months-1yr old). As long as they are not biting each other and drawing blood, just take it as them trying to sort out their pecking order. Once the little one has become an adult and figures out his place in the piggy heirarchy, they will settle down. I would say seperating them should only become an option if a) there is a full on battle (i.e. one big furball rolling around your cage), or b) if the stress of getting picked on by the little one is affecting your older piggie (he isn't eating or drinking, becomes lethargic, etc.) If neither of these scenarios apply, then bravo! You're doing an excellent job! Plus the piggies need the company, so seperating them should be your last resort.
Hope this helps!
 
Last edited:

TheAlmightyMiko

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Almost forgot, here's a quote from CavySpirit's site on introductions that describes safe and dangerous piggie behaviour:
Safe, non-combative, dominance behavior
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Rumblestrutting
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Butt sniffing
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Butt nudging
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Chasing
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Butt dragging (they are leaving their scent)
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Mounting (any which way: rear mount, head mount, side mount, flying leap mount!)
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Nose face-offs (higher in the air wins, one must lower their nose to be subservient to the other)
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Teeth chattering: a little (signal of dominance)
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Raised hackles (hair on the back of the neck and along the spine)

Posturing for possible attack, battle for dominance is escalating
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Teeth chattering: sustained (signal of anger, aggression, warning)
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Nips, light bites, may result in little tufts of fur in their teeth
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Wide yawn, but this is no yawn, they are showing their teeth
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Snorting (like a strong puff or hiss)

These behaviors may sound serious and they should be monitored VERY CLOSELY, BUT do NOT separate the pigs exhibiting this behavior, yet. This is when the average pet owner loses it and pulls the pig out. Most of the time, this behavior will continue for a while until one backs down.

Fighting with intent to harm
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Bite attacks are no longer warning nips, they are lunges with intent to harm.
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Combination of raised hackles, loud and angry teeth chattering, rumblestrutting in place with the head staying in one position while facing the other guinea pig doing the same thing. Usually a signal of a biting attack. But they may back down before they engage.
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Both pigs rear up on their haunches, face to face. This is a clear, brief signal of their intent to launch full attacks at each other. Separate if possible before the attack.
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Full battle. The pigs are locked together in a vicious ball of fur. This is very serious. Separate immediately, but be careful. Throw a towel over them and use a dustpan or something other than your hand to separate them. Unintended bites from their very sharp incisors can cause serious damage.

The best indicator to watch for on when to separate guinea pigs is the posturing of the nipping and bite attacks. If that gets more serious, that's the time to separate them. If blood is drawn, it's definitely time to stop that session. Hopefully, you can separate your guinea pigs before any serious harm is done.
 

fawnmarie

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According to those parameters, they are definitely going into full battle.

However, they don't do it all the time, just a couple times a week. We break them up, or they stop on their own, and go their separate ways. They all-out wrestle and fight, they just haven't drawn blood.

One thing I don't understand, should I separate them temporarily or permanently? I mean by separate them if they fight - does that mean give up and put them in separate cages, or separate them just during the fight for a time-out.

I was keeping them in two separate cages side-by-side. Should I go back to that, or give it more time?

They have been in the same cage for about 2 weeks. Before, they were side-by-side, and let out together for play time.

I dunno - I can keep up a barrier, or keep them in separate cages.

My older pig isn't exactly depressed. He was never a really active pigger, anyway - I do notice he spends more time in the hidey-hole than he used to.

Something has happened with them - they were doing okay for awhile and now not so okay.

Fawn
 

pennick

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I would separate them and see how they do. Its not fair to your older one if hes unhappy. See how they act when separated.
 

CavySlave

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Based on that site, I would think that mine are not necessarily in full battle. However, I do not want to make the wrong assumption and have someone get hurt.

As they sort it out, does the fighting just start to become less until it is gone? If they continue doing this for more than a week should I assume that they will never be able to live together?

Right now I have them in a C&C cage with a divider. They seem to be ok with that, but my older one seems a little depressed. I really think he wants the companionship.
 
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