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Behavior Newly adopted pig in quarantine - doesn't seem to be eating hay


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
May 19, 2013
Hi all,

For those of you that followed Pigsilver's journey last summer, he passed away over the weekend. He'd been in and out of recovery with one malady after another (at one point, he was essentially missing his bottom incisors so needed a few more trimmings). Just as he seemed to be getting better, he all of a sudden developed a respiratory infection. We brought him to an emergency medical center where he went into cardiac arrest during the initial examination. You can recap his saga here: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/124468-Pig-seems-to-have-trouble-eating?goto=newpost

Anyway, my girlfriend and I went ahead and adopted another guinea pig yesterday. We bathed him, clipped his nails, and put him in another cage and in another room to quarantine for a week away from his eventual cage mate. It's only our second day, but this guinea pig seems to be very...inactive. He's eating some of the carrot, lettuce, pellets, and even a bit of lavender but it doesn't look like he's touched his hay much, if at all. Granted, I'm not watching him 24/7, but every time I check on him he's in his Pigloo and just hangs out there. I've taken to removing the Pigloo for now to see if he at least nestles in the hay, encouraging him to eat.

We've also noticed that while he's peed since yesterday, there was no poop in the cage since we put him in there yesterday. When we pick him up, he's tense, but otherwise doesn't put up much of a fight.

The shelter couldn't give us much information on him, unfortunately. The only thing we know is he'd been there for less than a week. All I can say I observed is that it doesn't seem like this particular shelter knows how to care for guinea pigs in particular.

The only other shelter pig we adopted seemed to have no issues from Day 1, chomping down on all the hay and running around like a maniac from the start. So I'm wondering if this is normal and maybe we just got lucky that other time.
I'm so sorry for your loss of Pigsilver. It sure sounds like he had a rough go of life. You certainly did everything that you could for him. He was very blessed to have had such dedicated owners. May his beautiful spirit Rest In Peace.

Thank you for adopting another unwanted piggy. It sounds like this little guy is really stressed from the changes to his life. I'm hoping that given more time he will relax and start eating normally. As you are very familiar with guinea pigs I know that you will notice if his inactivity is due to illness. I certainly hope that isn't the case here but more likely he is just so frightened that he wants to hide out.

I understand what you mean about the shelter not knowing much about guinea pigs. I adopted my last two from different shelters within a few days of each other. The first shelter was very competent and gave the piggies the best care that they could. The second one didn't give a darn about this little lone piggy and really didn't care who was adopting her. They just wanted rid of her. They asked me no questions and practically just tossed her at me and said pay for her up front.

Surprisingly she came around very quickly and immediately just fit right in. The other piggy was more like your new guy. She was very shy and hid out for over 24 hours. She nibbled on her pellets and ate just a little bit of hay. I was very worried that she was sick but I kept a close eye on her and kept coaxing her to eat. She did eventually relax and start eating. She still stayed in her hidey much of the time but I noticed that at night after I turned off the lights she would venture out and move around and eat. It took her a little while to be as relaxed as my other pig but she did finally get there.

I will keep your new piggy in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated as to how he does.
Drape a cloth over one end of the cage to make a place that's safe from the house eagles that he's sure are out to get him. Put his water just outside that, and all of his food under it. He'll likely come around soon.
Thank you. We did all that as suggested. Yesterday, we took him out after we were done with Spiderpig (our current cavy) and he was much, much more active. We also confirmed that he pooped and peed. So all signs are pointing towards good things. We moved him into the same room so that they could at least be aware of each other's presence. This morning, my girlfriend said she noticed him nibbling on some hay.

He also looks like he put on a little weight day over day, though from my experience daily fluctuations of 0.5 ounces is fairly normal. He's also super jittery, not sure if it's because he's frightened now or if it's because he's hyper-aware of another pig in the room. Spiderpig for his part doesn't care.

Will update as things change.
:( I am so very sorry to learn of Pigsilver's passing. I had really hoped he had overcome his issues and was leading a happy life once again with Spiderpig.

I know you did everything you possibly could for him. If there was ever a complaint I could have about being a piggie parent, it's that there is just never enough time with them. They leave such a massive hole when they're gone, and the medical pigs seem to leave an even bigger void. All the time spent looking after their issues just comes to a stop and it feels so very, very empty all of a sudden.

I am, however, happy to hear that another furry little soul has graced your lives. Here's to many happy years with he and Spiderpig, together. May they be fast and lasting friends.
Thank you all for your kind words. Losing Pigsilver was definitely hard, but it was a fight worth fighting for sure.

Quick update: I was working near him last night and I heard some munching. At first I thought he was just going at some lettuce again because the chewing noises sounded "wet", but after a little while I noticed there was more "crunching" that sounded like hay. He also left a mountain of poo in piles everywhere. Then my girlfriend sent me this video of his running around. So I think we're all set to start introductions soon.

That is the cutest video! Thank you for posting it.
That is one happy little fella! Thank you for.posting that, and good luck with introductions. Let us know how it goes.
I'm very sorry about Pigsilver's passing and recalled reading of his medical journey. You certainly did all you could for him and he was one plucky pig.

Your new piggy is absolutely adorable and best wishes for a successful bonding with Spiderpig. We look forward to reading updates.
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