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General What to do?

jm_1234

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
308
So I am very torn what to do. My guinea pig Mickey I think is slipping into depression. I had to remove him from his cage mates because he was humping and nipping my now 3 month old Donald to the point that he was bleeding and had sores all over his back and rump. He is going through puberty right now and is almost 7 months old. He has been seperated since early April.

Donald had a very bad reaction to Oxbow pellets and lost A LOT of weight. He was pretty much a skeleton with skin and fur. It took awhile for myself and the vet to figure out what was wrong. Anyway he is back on the road to recovery and is gaining the weight back.

Mickey was still very agressive for the first little bit he was by himself but he is the complete opposite now. All he wants is attention from me now, not that I blame him because he is all by himself. He just sits at the door to the cage and waits for me to give him some attention. He doesn't even move when I go to pick him up. It just breaks my heart. I try to take him out as much as I can but I don't think its enough. He just seem sad. He is still healthy and eating. He is not losing weight or anything.

I don't know if I should introduce him back to the boys when Donald is still getting better or wait until he is completly better. What would you do?
 
So I am very torn what to do. My guinea pig Mickey I think is slipping into depression. I had to remove him from his cage mates because he was humping and nipping my now 3 month old Donald to the point that he was bleeding and had sores all over his back and rump. He is going through puberty right now and is almost 7 months old. He has been seperated since early April.

Donald had a very bad reaction to Oxbow pellets and lost A LOT of weight. He was pretty much a skeleton with skin and fur. It took awhile for myself and the vet to figure out what was wrong. Anyway he is back on the road to recovery and is gaining the weight back.

Mickey was still very agressive for the first little bit he was by himself but he is the complete opposite now. All he wants is attention from me now, not that I blame him because he is all by himself. He just sits at the door to the cage and waits for me to give him some attention. He doesn't even move when I go to pick him up. It just breaks my heart. I try to take him out as much as I can but I don't think its enough. He just seem sad. He is still healthy and eating. He is not losing weight or anything.

I don't know if I should introduce him back to the boys when Donald is still getting better or wait until he is completly better. What would you do?

Mickey probably sensed that Donald was sick and that was probably part of the reason he was attacking him. I've never heard of a guinea pig having a bad reaction to a single brand of pellets. How did your vet come to that conclusion? Did you take him completely off pellets and replace it with something else? Weight loss can be a sign of a lot of different things so I don't think I'd introduce them again until you're sure that Donald is completely recovered and it's not something else. What are you feeding him now? As far as Mickey, I think I'd just try and give him a lot of attention and keep their cages butted up so they can visit through the grids.
 
How many do you have? You say something about introducing Mickey back to the "boys." If you've got four, you might try splitting them into pairs. If you've only got three, and Donald is getting along well with whoever he's with, I wouldn't try putting them back together until Donald is thoroughly healed, and I'd watch them like a hawk even then.

Are their cages close together? Some pigs who can't live with a buddy do very well if their cages are adjacent, sometimes even sleeping very close to each other on different sides of the grid. You might try that if you haven't already.
 
Yes it was 100% Oxbow pellets. As soon as I switched him over he immediatley started having mushy poops that slowly got worse and worse to the point that it was diarreha. I thought it was just coincidence. I had posted on here and tried not veggies for a week with no difference. I gave him probiotics and no difference. I took him to the vet and he put his poop under the microscope and thought it might be a hairball and said to give him pineapple 4X a day because it has an enzyme in it that breaks up hairballs but no difference.The vet next wanted to test for parasites but I decided to switch him back to the same pellets before all this happened just to see if it would help and within a day his poops were back to normal, his eyes weren't sunken into his head anymore and his hair was no longer all fluffed up. They are Kaytee pellets. *I KNOW THEY ARE HORRIBLE PELLETS* lol just want to make that clear but they are actually helping him gain weight back and are making him healthy again. All of my other guinea pigs are on Oxbow still except Goofy, Donalds cagemate. I am going to switch to KMS once Donald gets back up to normal weight.

I was thinking about giving them floortime together but I don't want to have to re-introduce them daily. The bottom of my cage is a 2X2 kitchen for Goofy and Donald and 1 grid over is Mickeys cage so he can see them but I don't think its enough for him.
 
Mickey is still really sad which is breaking my heart :weepy: Does anyone know if a guinea pig can die of depression? He is still eating and drinking right now and not losing any weight but can it eventually get to the point of him not eating/drinking.

I let him out with Goofy today for floor time and they did there usual teeth chattering chasing each of around rountine but no real fighting. Mickey seems to be letting Goofy be the dominant one. I let Donald out with them as well but Mickey instantley started mounting Donald so I think I am going to have to wait another month or so before introducing Mickey back into the cage. As soon as I put Mickey back into his cage he went right back to just sitting at the door staring off into space. I REALLY feel like a bad owner!! Does anyone have any ideas to help him out? Should I let him play with Goofy everyday or would that make it worse? He can see the other 2 boys but it is not helping.
 
i had a very similar problem with my pig jerry. i had to separate him from the other 2 pigs he was with because of fighting and chasing. i tried twice to get him a friend, and it just never worked out. i kept his cage next to the others, but i had to but some coro between them because if jerry saw the others he just got more agitated and would start wildy chewing the grids. it was suggested here that the best companion for him might be an older spayed female. VERY hard to find one of those, but i finally did!! introductions to jerry went astoundingly well (after quarenteen). there was some chasing, some teeth chattering, but after that nothing. they have been friends ever since. i think it also has alot to do with jerry having gone through most of not all of puberty. he's now 8 months old, and seems much more subdued. good luck. it's hard, but sometimes you're not given much choice.

i would be a little careful about how you interpret your pigs behavior. we may think that being alone would be depressing, and project that onto our pets. but animals, however sensitive and emotional they are, don't have the SAME emotions and thought process as we humans. since he's eating and not losing weight i wouldn't worry so much. maybe he needs this time to be alone. maybe being stimulated by other pigs into a state where he's so aggressive is actually MORE stressful for him than being alone - FOR NOW any way!
 
Thanks @GuineaPigPerson I agree it doesn't seem like a good thing to do. They are one grid over from eat other. Here is a picture of the cage
Mickeys cage is at the bottom on the right hand side and on the left is the other boys kitchen but they pretty much stay down there all the time they just go up a level to run around. He can see them and I can't move it over because there is an airvent right there.

Thank you so much @jacqueline that actually makes me feel a lot better! That is a wonderful way of looking at it and its very true that constant fighting would be stressful. Maybe he is enjoying his time to himself :). He is very tame now though maybe because he is not always fighting with other guinea pigs and stressed about who is more dominant and remaining in the top position. There is 2 spayed females at the SPCA right now but I already have 7 guinea pigs and I would feel awful craming another guinea pig into the already small 2X3 with him. Thank you again, you really made me feel better!
 
Don't give him playdates with the others. Keep him apart until you are going to let him stay with them.

I am confused--how many pigs do you have?
 
Yes, I agree @foggycreekcavy. Just something I thought maybe would cheer him up but I agree it would just stress him out to much as well as Goofy. I have 7 guinea pigs, 3 males and 4 females. The females have the top 2 levels of the cage and the boys have the bottom 2 levels.
 
Ok, so my husband and I came up with a possible solution. I would love to get some opinions on it and please feel free to tell me if it sounds like a bad idea! We were thinking about getting an older male that is out of puberty and introducing him to the boys. Our thinking is by adding another male that it is another guinea pig that Mickey can go after and less time he can spend bugging Donald. I would open up the 2X3 to the rest of the cage so the would all have access to the 2X6, and the 2X2 kitchen as well as the bottom 2X3.
 
So does this sound like a good idea?
 
I think you should actually move the boys away from the females. The smell/sight of sows can cause groups of males to fight. It would require a major deconstruction of that amazing cage, but it might be worth it.
 
I haven't read all the other replies but did anyone suggest you neutering him and getting him a female companion?
 
@Precia-Thank you very much for the suggestion:) The girls were upstairs before in my daughters room and the boys were still fighting like this long before the girls came down and I didn't see and increase in fighting between them. The other boys don't seem at all frustrated by the smell of the girls and they seriously NEVER fight between them. Mickey is not chewing at the bars and doesn't seem to be upset by them either. There is also no where else in the house that has space for this size cage and I don't want to take any space away from any of them. If I really felt that the girls were affecting them I would downsize the cage but I really honestly, truly believe the girls are not affecting the boys.

@pinky-it has been suggested in another thread to neuter Mickey and put him in with the girls however the vets around here are awful and I don't trust them so I would prefer not to do that unless it is absolutley neccesary. I would also still have to wait 4-5 weeks before putting him in with them anyway. It has been suggested maybe a spayed female and there are some available at the SPCA however I would feel awful putting another guinea pig in the small 2x3 with him. Do you think the older male idea sounds good?
 
@Precia-Thank you very much for the suggestion:) The girls were upstairs before in my daughters room and the boys were still fighting like this long before the girls came down and I didn't see and increase in fighting between them. The other boys don't seem at all frustrated by the smell of the girls and they seriously NEVER fight between them. Mickey is not chewing at the bars and doesn't seem to be upset by them either. There is also no where else in the house that has space for this size cage and I don't want to take any space away from any of them. If I really felt that the girls were affecting them I would downsize the cage but I really honestly, truly believe the girls are not affecting the boys.

@pinky-it has been suggested in another thread to neuter Mickey and put him in with the girls however the vets around here are awful and I don't trust them so I would prefer not to do that unless it is absolutley neccesary. I would also still have to wait 4-5 weeks before putting him in with them anyway. It has been suggested maybe a spayed female and there are some available at the SPCA however I would feel awful putting another guinea pig in the small 2x3 with him. Do you think the older male idea sounds good?

[/I]

I think compatibility has more to do with personalities than age. Mickey sounds like a very dominant guinea pig and he might just be one of those that won't tolerate another one with him. I've had some females that were extremely aggressive and never accepted any guinea pigs I tried to pair them with. I tried to introduce a senior female to my dominant female Pikachu but it didn't work. I think Pikachu could have easily killed another guinea pig if she had the opportunity. I've never had any excessively dominant males.
 
It looks like you have space to expand his cage to 2x4. A spayed female might be good for him.
 
7 pigs! I don't think getting another pig is the solution. What if he simply doesn't get along with that one either? Then you have 8 pigs and the same problem.

Ditto what others have said, I think find a cavy savvy vet who has performed a successful guinea pig neuter before and have Mickey neutered. Or even find him a spayed female, like lissie said. They tend to be more elusive to locate than neutered males but they are out there.

I definitely would not introduce him back to Donald - especially while he [Donald] is still recovering. Can you maybe put a divider in the middle of one of the 2X6 cages so they can see each other but no harm done?
 
@lissie-The reason the cage is a 2X2 and a 2X3 is there is an air vent in between the 2 cages. Its not a big deal because its warm out right now but I am worried about winter. I could expand one side so it goes around the air vent. Is a 2X3 enough space for a boar and a spayed female? Another option I guess would be to take the 2X2 kitchen out and join it to the 2X3 with a hallway in between and put the other boys into the 2X6 with no kitchen.

But I did just see Mickey popcorning while I was cleaning out the girls cage. I don't know if he's just excited for me to clean his cage. It has been a long time since I have seen him popcorn. So yay, maybe he is not as depressed as I thought :)
 
Is a 2X3 enough space for a boar and a spayed female?

No, a 2X3 is enough for one pig only.

So yay, maybe he is not as depressed as I thought :)
He didn't sound depressed to me, from how you were describing him.
 
@CavyMama-LOL that is exactly my hesitation to get another one, what if they don't get along then I have an even bigger problem on my hands. There are 2 spayed females at the SPCA right now. I do really like one of them but I can't get over putting 2 guinea pigs into a 2X3. It seems so small for even one. I have tried my hardest to find a vet to neuter Mickey. I even had an appointment in March and I canceled the morning of because the vets around me don't do them often and I don't want anything to happen to him. I just have a bad feeling about it. As for the cage I am trying to figure out a way to re-do the cage. How do you think i should divide up the cage?
 
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