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General Rehome, live alone but near girls, or neuter?

wheekermommy

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I need advice on what is the best course of action for my 3 year old boar. Background on him, I unexpectedly acquired him from someone who I had helped out with his care and could no longer keep him so asked if I would take him. She cared for him the best she knew how but he never got floor time, never fed fresh veg, very skiddish and his nails were terribly overgrown and crumbly so it was hard to say no. I have had him now for a short period of time and already we are bonding.

My original plan was to foster him while my local animal shelter tries to find a home for him. I already have two girls in a 2x6 cxc and had no intention of adding another member to the family especially when I know piggies need friends. But we have not found any suitable homes so far.

So my question is this, what is best for the piggy. After much discussion my husband has reluctantly allowed me to keep him on the condition that
1) we find out he is neutered (highly unlikely as he came from a pet store) OR we neuter him and expand the 2x6 to an L shape with his 2x3.5 and house them all together
2) we keep him and he lives alone but in same room as girls

Or do I continue to find a home for him? I know neutering is expensive and potentially dangerous procedure that is not medically needed. I just worry I wont be able to find a piggy savvy home for him with other boars and feel bad he is alone.

Oh and sadly expanding his cage and getting another boar is not an option. I tried many times convincing my husband but it is not going to happen. He already doesn't care for piggies in general and will not budge on the manner.

Thank you so much for you advice. I just want to do best for my little Loki.
 

spy9doc

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I highly recommend neutering him so that he can live with the ladies. It is a safe procedure when done by a cavy savvy vet. Sooner or later I have had all my boars neutered for various reasons.....aggression, hygiene, need to pair him with a sow, etc.

I have been asked, "then why don't you just get sows if you are going to have your boars neutered"? There are several reasons that I can name including the fact that I simply prefer boars because I love most everything about them except the issues with aggression and dominance. And, I don't have to deal with heat cycles every two weeks! :eek:hmy:

The cost for neutering varies widely so do shop around to find a mix of expertise but with a fair price. I'm lucky to have a Vet nearby who has done hundreds of neuters in the area, many at a reduced rate or gratis for a local rescue. That's how I found him. I never hesitate if I need his services.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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I agree with @spy9doc. Neutering him seems to me, to be the best option. Living alone but near the girls would drive the poor little man crazy. Living alone to me simply isn't an option, and if you are uncomfortable with rehoming him ( I would HATE to have to do that myself) then the only real, viable option is neutering.

As @spy9doc said, PLEASE make sure your vet is cavy savvy, and has done this procedure.
 

wheekermommy

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I highly recommend neutering him so that he can live with the ladies. It is a safe procedure when done by a cavy savvy vet. Sooner or later I have had all my boars neutered for various reasons.....aggression, hygiene, need to pair him with a sow, etc.

I have been asked, "then why don't you just get sows if you are going to have your boars neutered"? There are several reasons that I can name including the fact that I simply prefer boars because I love most everything about them except the issues with aggression and dominance. And, I don't have to deal with heat cycles every two weeks! :eek:hmy:

The cost for neutering varies widely so do shop around to find a mix of expertise but with a fair price. I'm lucky to have a Vet nearby who has done hundreds of neuters in the area, many at a reduced rate or gratis for a local rescue. That's how I found him. I never hesitate if I need his services.

That makes me comforted to know you have done it multiple times with success. I might message you if I do go through with it to ask for tips and advice on the after care. I found one vet but will look up the nearest small animal rescue to see if they have recommendations.
 

wheekermommy

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I agree with @spy9doc. Neutering him seems to me, to be the best option. Living alone but near the girls would drive the poor little man crazy. Living alone to me simply isn't an option, and if you are uncomfortable with rehoming him ( I would HATE to have to do that myself) then the only real, viable option is neutering.

As @spy9doc said, PLEASE make sure your vet is cavy savvy, and has done this procedure.

I thought I remember someone saying they can live near each other but more I think about it I could see why Loki would go crazy. For now I am going to wait to see if I find a dream home. Someone did write saying the had a 4x8 cxc with 3 other boars but already found a bonded pair before I responded.


I did find a recommended vet on another forum that I emailed a list of questions about their process, after care, and experience neutering in the last 6 months. I definitely don't trust a vet who says they can do it without proof.
 

spy9doc

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I might message you if I do go through with it to ask for tips and advice on the after care.

You are welcome to message me, but my tips are few. Forgive me if you already know the following.

Cavies never fast prior to surgery so there are no special preparations for him. Since he lives alone, there is no issue of another cavy wanting to play or perhaps bothering his incision site. Sutures are rarely used these days to close the incision. Sutures may be used internally, but not to close the skin. It is most often done with vet bond/adhesive so there will be no need to take him in to have sutures removed. His cage isn't overly large, so I see no need to block off part of it to confine him to a small area.

Following the surgery, he will probably be lethargic and may sleep quite a bit for the first 24 hours. He also may not eat and drink normally. Just think about how you would feel after surgery and judge accordingly. The incision will probably be healed after about a week. It may be uncomfortable during the healing process. I will sometimes dab a bit of xylocaine ointment on the incision site with a q-tip (and rub it in so he can't lick it off) which seems to alleviate any pain or itching during the healing process. I sometimes also use a 1% hydrocortisone OTC ointment. Of course, monitor the incision site for redness, swelling, or heat.

He may not be put in with the ladies for four +/- weeks to allow time for all the previously-manufactured sperm to die and for the testosterone to leave his body. Apparently, some boars retain some libido after they are neutered. My dearly departed Chester had absolutely zero libido and was totally mystified by Maya's behavior when she went into heat. But of course, he was neutered quite young. Loki is older and may have some memory and experience of exercising his urges. I have never asked my vet about this.

Oh, yes, the appearance of his scrotum! lol Remember that neutering is simply removing the testicles.......the scrotum stays in place. Sparky had such huge testicles that he couldn't lie or walk comfortably. After the surgery, he had this large wrinkled scrotum that just flapped around. The scrotum WILL atrophy and the area assumes a smooth appearance. Sparky also had/has a huge penis which appears to never be fully retracted. It doesn't seem to bother him in the least.

I had both my boys neutered at the same time. I originally intended to just have Sparky neutered because I couldn't keep him clean, but then decided it was best for Chip as well. Chip was/is this little high-strung, active, mischievous, and aggressive little soul and I didn't want to upset the balance of power between the two. Turned out to be a good move for all.

A small animal rescue is a great place to start! I chose Dr. Albin because of his work and experience with a cavy rescue. And, I wanted to give my business to someone who truly cared.

All the best! You are welcome to PM me if you need.
 

wheekermommy

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Hehe poor Chester. Loki has never been near another piggy so I don't know if he has experienced them. Poor dear lived in an aquarium for most of his life. I never would have thought how it would change his scrotum appearance lol Currently his aren't noticeable so I don't think the surgery will change his too much. I am glad the neutering worked out for your boys.


I read some of what your wrote but it is always good to have a refresher :)


Oh do you think it is necessary I expand the cage when I add him or could they all be comfortable in the 2x6 if I rearrange everything? Trying to keep the hubby happy who doesn't share my love of cage expansion.
 

spy9doc

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Oh do you think it is necessary I expand the cage when I add him or could they all be comfortable in the 2x6 if I rearrange everything?

Once again I'll give you the standard line, "the more room, the better". As a personal opinion, I wouldn't put three cavies of any sex in a 2x6! My boys live in a 2x5 with an offset 2x2 loft and it isn't nearly large enough. Not because they don't get along (they get along VERY well), but because I think they would be happier with room to run. Poor Sparky (3.3 lbs) tries to do a zoomie and has to run in this tight circle! Fortunately, they get a good bit of exercise running up and down the ramp and the loft provides an area for one to get away from the other. I would have at least a 2x7 if I had room, but we live in a small home and as it is, their cage occupies a fourth of my home office. The layout of the room simply doesn't permit me to expand the cage.

The short answer is yes, I absolutely would expand your cage.;)
 

wheekermommy

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I used to have an offset 2x2 loft on my girls 2x6 but only one used it a couple times a month so I took it off. I love all your piggies names, Sparky sounds adorable. May I ask how often you take your boys out for floor time?


I do hear Luna and Little Bear chasing each other which has made me think more room couldn't hurt. If I did expand the cage, it would have to be an L shape because of the room set up so it would the girls 2x6 and Loki's 2x3.5 combined together. Would it be better to have two long sides (one 2x6 one 2x5.5) or a long and short one (one 2x8 one 2x3.5)? I think two longer sides would be better to get away from each other. I also think the 2x8 is good for zoomies but worry about fighting/waste of space for the small 2x3.5 end.


If I need to start another thread I can but you have just been so helpful :)
 
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