My guinea pig died - how will my other one cope?

(38 Posts)
lohby Mon 15-Aug-11 17:41:27

I feel like a horrendous pet owner. My DH fed the pigs this morning when he got up and I fed them this afternoon. When he came home from work he fed them again and I mentioned I had not seen Bertie in the past few hours (and to my eternal shame I joked that maybe he is dead - oh God I am awful). We checked under the pigloo and he had died sad He was just laid there, my DH says he was still warm so we think he had died recently.

He was a bit thinner but he was so happy and chirpy and he was eating and drinking and playing. And now he is dead sad

My 3rd guinea pig died last month as well so we are down from 3 to just 1.

My other guinea pig is roaming around his cage and I feel so sorry for him - how will he cope being alone? Can we do anything to make it easier for him? I don't think we could introduce another one because Milo is older and dominant and he would fight another guinea pig I think.

Urgh, this is horrible sad

lohby Tue 16-Aug-11 18:06:00

hopeful bump!

wisecamel Tue 16-Aug-11 20:57:51

Poor you and poor Milo. Just a bump really - the only time I tried to introduce a new friend to an older pig, she bullied it so much, I ended up giving it to a friend just to keep it safe. Anyone out there got any good ideas?

RandomMess Tue 16-Aug-11 21:00:40

How old is Milo?

lohby Tue 16-Aug-11 21:28:18

Milo is 4. He seems ok today, pootling around his cage, we have had lots of cuddles and I keep chatting to him.

RandomMess Tue 16-Aug-11 21:29:59

It may be worth trying him with a young female companion, although at 4 you may still end up with babies confused

lohby Tue 16-Aug-11 22:15:55

Oh there would def be babies I think. And I am reluctant to neuter him.

We had a chat tonight and I don't think we want any more pigs, I love Milo but we would like to be pet-less (my DH has developed asthma and we feel that having pets might not be helping) after he passes and I am not keen to get into a cycle of buying guinea pigs to keep the other one company. But then everything I read says it is incredibly cruel to keep them alone sad

CRIKRI Wed 17-Aug-11 20:33:15

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. The problem with guinea pigs is that being at the bottom of the food chain, they rarely show they are ill (which would mark them out as easy prey) until it's often too late. So, please don't feel bad about what happened.

Guinea pigs are sociable creatures and rarely like living on their own. I would suggest you find a new young male companion for him. definitely don't give him a female companion or you will end up with babies - litter after litter and imho, when there are so many guineas looking for homes already, that's not being a responsible pet owner.

One alternative would be to have Milo neutered and introducing at least one female, but because he is somewhat "mature," he might not cope as well with the op and anaesthetic as a younger boar. I would suggest introducing a young male - anything between 3 and 10 weeks is good.

The best bet is to get in touch with a rescue near you to see if they have any young boars available. Some rescues also do "boar dating" where they introduce adult males to each other. I've only tried that once - involving two very laid back pigs. A rescue can advise or even do the "matching" of another boar with Milo. You'll find information on rescues around the UK here. Guinea Pig Forum

Best of luck!

PS: I've often left a week or two "mourning period" for a pig after a companion has died and before introducing a new companion. But, I've mostly taken the remaining boar to work with me, so he'll get lots of cuddles and attention in that period. I realise that's not a practical solution for everyone!

bibbitybobbityhat Wed 17-Aug-11 20:38:01

Am so sorry for your loss lohby.

One of my three guinea pigs died last week, while we were on holiday. I got a text from the neighbour looking after them. It was awful ... we all cried so much sad, especially me blush.

Have no advice to give you as we still have two atm, so haven't looked in to what to do when one is left on their own. Just wanted to post in a sisterly way and offer a little tiny hug.

lohby Wed 17-Aug-11 23:39:36

Thank you for the replies, much appreciated.

CRIKI - I just don't think we want another guinea pig, well I would if they both died at the same time but then what if Milo dies leaving the other guinea and then we are in a cycle of replacing guinea pigs.

Would it be mega cruel to not buy another one and have Milo on his own and keep him occupied with our company and lots of toys/hay to play with?

But then he is chatting away and nobody answers him sad

CRIKRI Thu 18-Aug-11 09:45:06

Hi lohby. I know what you mean. You do end up with a "perpetual pig situation" when you get another as a companion for one that is bereaved. Some years ago, when the younger of my boars died suddenly and unexpectedly of a virulent chest infection, I thought the remaining pig, who was probably 7 or 8 by then and in declining health, would be ok on his own for awhile. I took him into work with me every day, gave him lots of cuddles, but he'd always been quite a "sensitive" pig and he just seemed to be so low and really desperate. After about 3 or 4 weeks, I just couldn't hack it, so got him a young companion. It was as if the older pig gained a new lease of life! But sadly, he passed away a few weeks later and yes, I had to get another young boar for the younger boar, who was distraught at losing "grandpa."

It would be worth considering whether Milo could be rehomed with someone looking for a lone boar. If it were somewhere nearby, you could go and visit, or maybe look after both sometimes in something of a "pet share" arrangement. It's certainly worth speaking to a rescue about the options.

Another idea would be to offer to foster other male guineas, which could be kept in a cage next to Milo. That would give him company, but without the commitment of taking on a new pet long term.

Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.

alemci Thu 18-Aug-11 10:06:37

I am sorry to hear about your guineau but I am sure you looked after him really weel. we have one male boar but he has always been on his own so he is used to it. We bring him in most evenings and he is always being cuddled. My son loves him. It is more difficult with the males as they tend to fight.

It depends whether you want anymore pigs as the next one may get left on his own afterwards.

The males seem to less hardy. We had a lovely guineau pig who got an infection. Even though he went to the vet he gave up and died. It was so distressing as he had such a funny, strong character and someone had given him to us. Felt awful.

CRIKRI Thu 18-Aug-11 12:52:45

Alemci, I've only ever had boars, mainly because I started with one, then discovered having a solo pig wasn't good, and it sort of went from there. I've got number 7 and 8, plus two guest boars staying for the summer. I think sometimes the more "pure bred" guineas are more susceptible to health problems, particularly hereditary ones, but I don't think there's that much difference between genders. Also, I know both males and females can fight, but it's not automatic. Alot comes down to individual personalities and trying to match up pigs carefully. It's easier to do when both or one is very young, but not impossible with adult boars.

Beside me, I have one boar totally zonked out in his basket, another snoozing while lying like a croissant on the floor and in another cage, one piggie stretched out on the sofa and the fourth munching from his dish. Perfect piggies and perfect peace! smile

(but if I open the fridge door . . . )

bobina033 Sat 10-Nov-12 17:47:50

i am so sorry lohby! the thing is, you have got to see if Milo likes other guinea pigs, and if he likes it on his own. it IS terribly cruel to leave them on their own, if you need to go somewhere, but you should go to a pet shop and ask, as they are professionals. if they say no, then get lots of toys and logs so when you are not available he will have plenty to do. but if they say yes, ask for a calm one who gets on well with other pigs, and then choose that one! hope my comment helped!!! wink

bobina033 Sat 10-Nov-12 17:52:14

i am so sorry lohby! the thing is, you have got to see if Milo likes other guinea pigs, and if he likes it on his own. it IS terribly cruel to leave them on their own, if you need to go somewhere, but you should go to a pet shop and ask, as they are professionals. if they say no, then get lots of toys and logs so when you are not available he will have plenty to do. but if they say yes, ask for a calm one who gets on well with other pigs, and then choose that one! hope my comment helped!!! wink

NittyNuttyNoo Sat 10-Nov-12 20:41:42

I had a 6 year old boar who's companion died and he lived on his own quite happily for another year and a half. As long as he gets lots of love and attention I'm sure he will be fine.

bobina033 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:32:55

i had two guinea pigs until Dec died, and he was my favorite. he was really naughty, and cute, and he wasn't afraid of me, but ant is! and even im stuck too, as i dont know whether to get a new guinea pig or they will fight, i dont know. oh by the way, ant is now sneezing, and i dont know if anything is wrong with him. some one please help me!!!sad hmm

bobina033 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:41:26

And the same happened to me too! if i get a new piggy for ant, then what about when another dies? the one left will be lonely, and then ill have to get a new pig! but i don't want to get a new guinea pig, if i DO get a new one for Ant (Ant and Decshock) what about when that one dies? the left piggy will have no-one and then ill be stuck again! someone please help my situation, i will be EXTREMELY GRATEFUL!!! i just need help that's all. i think i posted my last comment, the one about Milo, 2 times. (soz about that)

bobina033 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:42:23

And the same happened to me too! if i get a new piggy for ant, then what about when another dies? the one left will be lonely, and then ill have to get a new pig! but i don't want to get a new guinea pig, if i DO get a new one for Ant (Ant and Decshock) what about when that one dies? the left piggy will have no-one and then ill be stuck again! someone please help my situation, i will be EXTREMELY GRATEFUL!!! i just need help that's all. i think i posted my last comment, the one about Milo, 2 times. (soz about that)

I had two guinea pigs a couple of years back. They were two brothers. Sadly one died first sad I was really worried for the remaining pig and kept a close eye on him bit actually he thrived. He finally gained a bit of weight without his brother stealing all the food. He became far less timid and actually seemed really happy. I know your boy supposed to keep them alone but in my pigs case he actually did really well he kinda came out of himself a bit. I chose not to get a replacement in the end after do raised a valid point that we would end up in a cycle of replacing them all the time.

Not ( not boy damn phone)

Ebayaholic Sun 11-Nov-12 09:53:42

I was in exactly your situation and contacted lots of rescues to see if I could buddy up my male guinea pig with another adult male. Every one but one said it could never work but one said I could bring my pig over and try him out with all of their adult males. Amazingly he clicked with the very first one they tried him with- he seemed delirious with happiness straight away. This was three months ago and the two get on so well and have never fought. Next time one dies however I will take the other back to the rescue I think - it was a lovely place and there were a lot of pigs there for company. It was in Coventry if you're anywhere near.

bobina033 Sun 11-Nov-12 10:00:31

i need help! i don't want to be disloyal to the old pet, but i want ant to be happy! he needs a friend when im not there. he is not squeaking as much, and i dont know if he's sad or not. if you don't hear much out of them at ALL, then is he sad?

bobina033 Sun 11-Nov-12 10:03:16

but can you take them back, if they don't get along? i mean, ant is really shy and timid, and now i dont know if he is happy or sad. can you tell by their behiviourthanks

bobina033 Sun 11-Nov-12 10:05:03

can you take them to a pet store and see if they get along? ant is running around the floor right now!!! smile

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