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Behavior My 2 piggies wont get along...plus other worries.


Cavy Slave
Aug 27, 2011
Hello everyone.
Before i begin i would just like to add that English isn't my first language. Please excuse the possible grammar mistakes.

So i introduced 2 piggies a week ago and things aren't going great. They are both sows. The newcomer is 9 weeks and Lilja is 8 months old.

When i went to pick her up they put her in my carrier straight away. The people i adopted her from told me i could put her in the other ones cage as soon as i got back home. I trusted these people so i figured it was safe not to quarantine her, but i've read they need to meet on a neutral spot first so i decided to do the introduction there.

When i got home and got a proper look i noticed she looked a bit underweight, had a couple of tiny scratches (she's a skinny pig) and her nails wasn't trimmed. This made me worry, but i did put her on the floor with the other piggie. The little one was absolutely terrified, screamed as soon as the other one touched her and barely moved. When she did move she made these weird bunny jumps. I tried putting them together in the cage hoping for the better, but nothing changed. My other pig rumbled, chattered, but seemed fairly accepting towards the other pig. The little one still didn't move and snapped at Lilja as soon as she came close. Then Lilja started "yawning" and snapping back at her a few times and the little one made these awful, awful screams. :(
Although there wasn't any blood i just couldn't stand looking at the terrified little pig any longer. I put her in another cage and called the vet. She told me her joints could be stiff from lack of vitamin c. She didn't think it was necessary to bring her in yet and that i should wait a few days and give her all the vitamins and nutritions she needed. She was eating steadily, given vitamin c drops, i trimmed her nails, put aloe vera on her scratches and she became better and better. Now it looks like she's back to normal in every aspect.

I just did a second introduction earlier today and nothing changed except for the little one being able to run away. Linja wouldn't let her eat anything without snapping at her. I'm fully aware you shouldn't do the introduction more than one time and i truly regret putting them together too soon. My other piggie has always been a bit stubborn and has a strong personality. She did bite me a couple of times when i first got her and it took a lot of patience to earn her trust, but she has become a very affectionate, outgoing and overall friendly pig! I don't know why she is so hostile towards the newcomer. The little one isn't snapping at her any longer and is very submissive. I guess the first introduction screwed things up. :(

I wonder if there is any possibility they could ever get along? As mentioned it has only been 1 week since i got her.
i wish you were able to get c&c cages here so i could separate it into 2 sections. Then they could at least sniff and see each other. The whole point of getting a new pig was to keep the other company so this breaks my heart.

I could really need some advice from someone who knows their stuff and i figured this was the best place. I already feel horrible so please don't be too hard on me.
Welcome to the forum! Your English is just fine.

Did you read Guinea Pigs Social Life The Introductions section is about halfway down.

Also, what size is your cage? If the cage is too small, the introductions are probably doomed from the start.

When you're doing introductions, it's best to have several hours to devote to it. Put them in a large neutral place with no hideys, but with vegetables out in several places. And leave them be for quite a while unless one of them is being bitten.

The first introduction won't have screwed things up beyond repair. But wait to do any others until you've got a large enough cage to put them in afterwards, and until you have time to devote to it.
Sorry that i haven't replied sooner. I read GSL before i got Bergly (her name) I've looked at the cage size standards table on the front page and already know the cage meets the requirements for 2 piggies. It's somewhere in between the minimum and preferred size. I started saving up for a bigger cage when i got Lilja because i already knew i was going to get her a buddy (it should arrive in a couple of weeks).

Well, i stayed strong through the second introduction. Lilja stopped chattering the first day and even though she was chasing Bergly away from the food Bergly didn't give up and after 4-5 hours she was able to eat even though Lilja still chased her away now and then.
Several days have passes by and Lilja is still randomly chasing her away from the food. I provided them with separate food bowls/drinking bottles straight away, but it doesen't seem to help. They have been making A LOT of noise the entire time (no chattering). Lilja is constantly rumbling and i've seen her pee on Bergly a few times. Bergly has stood up for herself and acted more annoyed than afraid it seems. Lilja has been doing these "warning nibbles", but i haven't seen any blood or scratches so I've stayed patient since i've read the dominance thing can go on for quite some time. Well, earlier today when i was holding Bergly i noticed this:
My 2 piggies wont get along...plus other worries.My 2 piggies wont get along...plus other worries.
It's circle shaped'ish and not deep. Is it a bite mark?
It's placed on a very vulnerable part of the body, would it be insane to suggest Lilja might have tried to kill her? Bergly is on my lap as i'm writing this. I don't dare to put her back in the cage. I wonder if there is a possibility she might have gotten this before she arrived considering she was in such a bad shape...but then again why wouldn't i have noticed it earlier? The wound doesn't look completely fresh, but i can't tell for sure. I've been googling like crazy and this seems like a very rear case. I just cannot fathom Linja is responsible for this. I'm so confused :(
Should i call the vet again?
I'm in tears writing this, please help:guilty:
Is there anything in the cage that could have caused that injury? Or could Bergly have scratched herself there?

Are the food and water sources separate from each other? Like at opposite ends of the cage? You want them placed so that Lilja can't guard all of them.

It doesn't look like a bite to me. They've got such sharp teeth that bites are more often punctures rather than scratches. But I can't see how Lilja could have scratched her there, so I'm at a loss to explain it.

You need to clean and treat those scratches. If she can't get to them with her mouth, you can put a bit of antibiotic cream on a q-tip and rub it in very well. Don't overdo it, you don't want her to be able to ingest the cream and upset her tummy.

When you did the second introductions, did you put them back into a thoroughly cleaned cage? It needs not to smell like either pig, not even the bars. And did you try a buddy bath?

I think you could put her back in at a time when you can observe, and see if you can see what's happening to cause that. If there are problems, you can separate them with grids down the middle of the cage until the new cage comes.
I can't say for sure, but i've never seen any scratches on Lilja and she has lived there close to 6 months. There's a large woodhouse and fiddle stick in the cage (not home made). That's really the only objects i can think of that might have caused a scratch, but it seems unlikely to me. I still find it hard to believe Lilja might have done this so i'm still very confused to say the least. The food and water sources have been in the opposite sides of the cage. I've cleaned the scratch with some mid temp water. It's Sunday night right now, but i'll get to the pharmacy tomorrow morning!

Yes (also cleaned it before the first introduction), but i'll have to admit i didn't think about the bars :( I never got to do the buddy bath since i thought things were going to work out during the second introduction.

I'm not sure if i can find grids that will fit the cage i have right now, but i can try to make it work somehow. I'm ordering the new cage on Monday and it'll be her in about 2 weeks. Do you think i should wait until then? The cage is brand new so there wont be any smells and they will have more space. Should i wait until the scratch heals up completely before i go for another try? What about the buddy bath? I'm relieved you don't think it's a bite. I really hope that's the case!

I didn't dare to put her back after i noticed the scratch so she's in a playpen atm which is not ideal. If I get a green light i'll try again after coming home from Uni tomorrow.

Thanks so much for helping me out!
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