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Help with sexing, feeding, and info on neutering my new pups

PiggyLove23

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Hi! Thank you for coming to help me.

One of my piggies, Waffles, gave birth to two pups birth a little over two weeks ago and I need help with taking care of the pups, Pancake and Oreo.

1.) Sexing them - So my parents are being irrational about this and they clearly don't understand how hard it is to sex a guinea pig, so they're taking them to a PET STORE to get sexed. I am fully aware how terrible pet store workers are at sexing guinea pigs, but my parents won't listen to me!! Anyways, I sadly could not take any good photos of their private areas since my iPad and Chromebook cameras are not high quality whatsoever, and the pups are very wriggly. I have tried gently pressing my finger above their privates, and I'm not sure if I see anything pop out. However, I've heard there are better ways to get it to extrude. Any tips? Also, this may sound weird, but I see almost a little white circle shape inside one of the pups' genetalia. What is that?? Does that indicate what gender the pup is?? They're two weeks old already so I really want to get this all figured out!

2.) Feeding them - I've tried to look up how much to feed pups, but I basically never find an exact measurement. I think my amount is good for the pups and my two 5-month olds (Skittles and Waffles) but could you maybe give a measurement?

3.) Neutering - Let's say both are males. Then I might be able to make another C & C cage with the grids I have left and separate the girls and boys until they are old enough to be neutered. Separate floor time, separate feeding, separate living. But are the two neutered males supposed to be together after surgery? Also, how dangerous is neutering? And if one is male but the other is female, will the male get lonely while waiting to be old enough to be neutered?

Thank you! I really appreciate all the help I'll (hopefully) get!

-PiggyLove23
 

bpatters

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Please don't take them to a pet store. You can't imaging how many pregnant "males" we've had on here because pet store employees couldn't sex them correctly.

See https://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm for some help in deciding. You should be able to take a good picture with an iPhone unless it's ancient. Get someone else to hold them while you take the pictures, or vice versa. Make sure they're clear, well-lit, and close up, and post them here.

I'd give them a cup and a half of veggies a day for that many pigs. As the pups get older, you can increase the veg amount.

Males can be together, neutered or unneutered. Neutering is less dangerous than spaying a female.

If the male is separate by himself, yes, he'll be lonely. But there's no other option unless you want to rehome him or adopt him a male buddy.
 

PiggyLove23

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I just checked again, and now I am almost certain they are both males. I definitely saw something pop out of both of them when I pushed their belly area, maybe about half a centimeter. That is a telltale sign, right? Like there is no way that you would ever see that on a female?

Here are some (not very good quality) pictures of them!!


IMG_20200429_113951.jpgIMG_20200429_113845.jpgIMG_20200429_112250.jpg
 
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bpatters

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Cuties!

You can be much more sure of the sex when they're a couple of weeks old.
 

PiggyLove23

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So I have a few more questions regarding the separation of the pups.

Firstly, should I let them still be able to see each other? Should I put their cages next to each other? I am fully aware they should not have "supervised" floor time together since mating happens so fast, but I mean little things like letting them sniff each other's faces while being held, just knowing that they're still there.

Secondly, tomorrow they will be 20 days old but they are still drinking from their mom. Will we just have to separate them even though they aren't weaned yet? The babies are eating solid food very well. They also have a bit of separation anxiety, meaning they start squealing and panicking when they don't see her for just a few minutes. I'm afraid they're too attached to her and won't handle the separation well.

Lastly, once they are all reunited, how much space would you recommend for the four of them (two sows, two boars)? I am aware you can look it up but I'm not sure if the fact that there are two boars involved will change the recommended size. (I'm planning on using a 2x6 cage for the two boars during the separation, and looking at some past threads, I've heard that's enough.)

Thank you again!
 
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bpatters

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The males are going to be most unhappy when they're separated, but they'll be together, and they'll survive. It may be easier on you to move them into a separate room until they adjust. There's no benefit in adjoining cages.

It doesn't matter that they're still nursing. They're plenty old enough to do without that, and the mom weans pups at around 3.5-4 weeks anyway.

You can't reunite them all. Multiple males with a group of females won't work. You can have one male with any number of females, but not multiple males. They'll fight, even if neutered.

Two sows need a minimum of eight square feet, and more is better. Males need more than females, and more is definitely better.
 

PiggyLove23

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Ok!

After they are neutered, can they live in separate cages but then come together for floor time? That should be alright since there's lots of space, right?

For now, hopefully they'll adjust well to the separation.

Thank you again!
 

bpatters

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No. Pigs that don't live together shouldn't be put together for floor time. They don't play with each other, and they're wired to establish dominance every time they meet another pig. It's stressful for them, and of no benefit.

The pups that are separated from the mom will be pitiful, but don't put them back with her. They have to be separated sometime, and they'll be unhappy whenever it is. Just buy some earplugs.
 

PiggyLove23

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Is there a higher risk of infection if we neuter the guinea pigs in the summer? They'll be 4 months old in about a month now and I believe I read somewhere that it is more of a risk if you neuter them in summer. However, I can't find the website that I found it on, so I can't send you the link for you to decide if it's valid or not.
 

spy9doc

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No, I don't think it's valid. Cavies don't live outdoors where there is increased critter activity in the summer and they're more apt to come in contact with all sorts of creepy-crawlies. I have had all my previous boars neutered and there has never been any mention of seasonal timing. There also seems to be no gold standard (just averages) for size, age, weight.

If you are consider neutering them, I suggest you ask around for good cavy-savvy Vets who are VERY experienced with neutering boars, and then call the recommended Vets to inquire as to their individual criteria and proceed accordingly.
 

LittleSqueakers

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Is there a higher risk of infection if we neuter the guinea pigs in the summer? They'll be 4 months old in about a month now and I believe I read somewhere that it is more of a risk if you neuter them in summer. However, I can't find the website that I found it on, so I can't send you the link for you to decide if it's valid or not.

If they were mine, I'd ask the vet about getting a prophylactic antibiotic to give post-neuter, just to help avoid any potential issues with infection. Casper was neutered back in January, and between the antibiotics, keeping his cage spotless and dry, and cleaning the incision sites twice daily with diluted hibiclens, he healed well with no post-op complications.
 

Candalalala

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Wait... Are the two males being housed together and separate from the females? Why are they being neutered? (I may have misread the posts from before though....)
 

PiggyLove23

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Once again, I have more issues with my boars. I apologize in advance if this isn't the right place to put this since it isn't really medical related and this post is kind of old, but it makes some sense to put it here.

Anyways, the plan (which I had entirely forgotten to mention here, sorry!) was to neuter them and then they'd be adopted into different homes. However, recently, my mother got a stable job and we were able to keep them. I've also gotten too attached to them over the past several months, and with my mental state I probably wouldn't be able to handle letting them go.

It's the final decision to keep them, but I'm not entirely sure if it's the best one, because Pancake and Oreo have had a bit of a falling out.

Pancake relentlessly chases Oreo around the cage, and Oreo has lept right out of the C&C cage in fear multiple times. They cannot be housed together. Before you ask, yes, their cage was big enough, there were two or three piles of hay, two water bottles, about 5 hidey houses and fleece forests, and we did have a loft but they were, surprisingly, completely uninterested in it and it served no purpose whatsoever. I have no idea what the cause of their fighting is. They're currently alone with each living in a 2x3 C&C cage.

I guess I'm basically asking what the next course of action should be. Should I neuter one boar to live with the girls and have the other live alone? Should I just not neuter anyone and let everybody stay where they are (Skittles and Waffles together, Pancake and Oreo alone)? Or should I attempt to make Pancake and Oreo friends again and just let my pigs all stay in their groups of two? Getting more guinea pigs is completely out of the question, and so is separating Waffles and Skittles, since they're the best of friends.

And another concern - I can't find anything resembling an anal sac on either of my boars. In the video I watched there was a very prominent hole near the boar's genitalia, but I can't see anything like that. I can't upload a picture unless you want a pixelated image of grey and black, since, as stated previously, the only camera I have access to is absolute garbage.

So, where do I find the anal sac? Sorry if that's too vague a question, I'm just very lost.

Thank you!
 

bpatters

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See https://guinealynx.info/impaction.html for info on the anal sac. But if you can't find an anal sac, are you sure they're males? Do you not have a cell phone? Their pictures are usually fine. You just need to make sure the pictures are well-lit and close-up.

How old are they now?

Another possibility is to neuter both males and put each with a female.

You say the cage was big enough, but how big was it? Boars need a lot of room. And it sounds like you had way too much cage furniture in there -- you need one hidey per boar plus one extra.
 

PiggyLove23

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I can say with confidence that they are male - their testicles are visible and also I can get a penis to extrude. I think the issue here is just that I'm not too familiar with the anatomy of a boar's genitals. Do anal sacs come in different shapes and sizes or something? In the video I watched, the anal sac was so clearly visible that it seems impossible that I haven't noticed my guinea pig's yet.

Oh, and also I think I can get a picture by Wednesday. Somehow I forgot that we own an iPad, my brother just has it in Toronto right now.

The boars are about 6 1/2 months old right now.

I was certainly considering neutering both boars and putting them each with a girl, but the girls seem so attached that I'd really prefer not to separate them. One time we had to separate them for about 10 hours and they were both absolutely miserable and didn't eat much.

The cage was 2x6, if I'm remembering correctly. I never really thought the furniture got in the way since all four of the hideys weren't very bulky. The fleece forest never seemed to get in the way either. It's still a possibility, though. You think they didn't get along because there wasn't enough space?
 

PiggyLove23

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Sorry for taking so long, the commotion in my house never stops.

Anyways, could you let me know where in this picture is the anal sac?

9E4DC47C-2BCC-4CB7-B269-DB5DB5399587.jpeg

Thank you!

And also, are there any other options for grouping my pigs? Do you think there’s a way to somehow get Pancake and Oreo to get along?
 

Smileandnod

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How close is the girls' cage to these teenage hormonal boars cage? Hopefully they are not side by side.

I have also found that a large cage that is 3 grids wide, has a large second floor with 2 ramps or is more than just a straight cage always helps to promote harmony between any group of guinea pigs. They need space to get by each other and get away from each other sometimes.
 

bpatters

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The anal sac is just beneath the penis. Take your fingers and spread it open. It's very elastic, and it won't hurt the pig.
 

PiggyLove23

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How close is the girls' cage to these teenage hormonal boars cage? Hopefully they are not side by side.

I have also found that a large cage that is 3 grids wide, has a large second floor with 2 ramps or is more than just a straight cage always helps to promote harmony between any group of guinea pigs. They need space to get by each other and get away from each other sometimes.

No, the cages are not side by side. They're in totally different rooms.

I could make a 3x4 with a loft, but we'd need to move them to the same room as the female pigs because of spacing issues, so here's what I'm wondering:

If we move the two cages (male and female) to the same room, but there's a partition of C&C grids in between with fleece on it (so they can't see each other), will they have raging hormones because they'll be able to potentially smell and hear the female pigs, or not, because they can't see them?

And I have a vague idea of bathing pigs to help them get along, but I definitely don't want to unnecessarily bathe my guinea pigs, so could one of you elaborate on when/why to have a buddy bath?

The anal sac is just beneath the penis. Take your fingers and spread it open. It's very elastic, and it won't hurt the pig.

Thank you! I'll try doing that tomorrow when my pigs are awake.
 

Smileandnod

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If we move the two cages (male and female) to the same room, but there's a partition of C&C grids in between with fleece on it (so they can't see each other), will they have raging hormones because they'll be able to potentially smell and hear the female pigs, or not, because they can't see them?

Actually, funny you should ask...a member on here actually just recently posted about this. My understanding is the males fought at first resulting in one male being injured. Then one male climbed the grid divider (yes, a determined hormonally charged male CAN and WILL do that) and went into the females cage to mate.

Always important to have a sturdy lid on the females cage to prevent this or space between like you have now.

Sooo... probably not a good idea to have them side by side if you can work it out another way.

You say the boys are each in a 2x3 now separately. Anyway you can make that a 2x6 with a 2x2 or 2x3 offset loft? The loft would give them some extra alone space when needed. I advise to use 2 ramps for any loft. You can also configure the 2x6 into an L shape if you don't have the length in the space you have them in now for 6 grids long.

You can look through some pictures here on the forum. There are lots of creative shapes of cages that conform to space requirements. Post a picture of your situation and I will make some suggestions as well.
 
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