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One of my guinea pigs started limping this evening. He's not been in top form for a while now and I suspected the kidney problems that took his brother (he pees a lot, smells a bit pissy, drinks a lot, but is otherwise very happy). He's never been the Usain Bolt of guinea pigs, always preferring to sit still eat, wander a short distance and see if he can pee on your trousers, sit in the puddle of piddle, wander off again, etc.
While we were eating tea this evening, I noticed him sitting even more still than usual, at a slight list (like a narrowboat that needs the ballast rearranging slightly). Then when I gave them their tea, he kind of hobbled out. I picked him up and examined him. No obvious signs of damage, nothing I can think he injured himself on, but he is slightly noisy with his breathing. (Only slightly and it may have been him talking - he has quite a repertoire of sounds.)
He's eating OK and his hutchmate seems unconcerned. They get on well and I have never seen them fight. He does sometimes get the other one trying to hump him, or using him as a step-up to the roof of their wooden house, but he's never before sustained any injuries from this - just developed a 'slightly annoyed' expression.
Right, so I stayed up late to see what the guinea pigs get up to when I'm not looking. (I was looking, obviously, but my two aren't that bright.) As it turns out, Hutchmate is humping Oldboy more than is reasonable, I feel. I reckon he has leaned too heavily on Oldboy and hurt his foot or shoulder, hence the limp and the listing.
I really do not have anywhere else to put Hutchmate tonight. I have given them a new toy (hanging alfalfa ring) as a welcome distraction from all the illicit sex. It seems to be working. Both boys are attacking the ring with great vigour (just realised how euphemistic that sounded - oo-err!). I will investigate a larger cage, with the option of separate sleeping quarters, and will institute periods of enforced exercise (and perhaps sign them up to Boy Scouts...?) outside of the cage. Neither of them like that, but perhaps Hutchmate needs to be tired out? Oldboy can be excused from PE until his injury heals. I will write him an excuse note.
I would be quite happy with gay piggies, but I'm really not convinced, in this case, that it is consensual!
Bless him! Poor old soul - he sounds a bit long in the tooth for all these shenanigins (!) - there are lots of folk on here with boars who may be able to advise, I have only had girls. However I do think it might be worth giving him some space and time or his own, perhaps a separate indoor cage for a while and his own routine - this is a rotten time for guineas, they cant get out and about and take out their frustrations, literally on their nearest and dearest...... You could try freecyle for a spare cage or run and let this chap have some peace and quiet. The only downside is that they may pine for each other and the 'making up' may be more amourous. Would suggest keeping an eye on him and give him lots of cuddles and attention.
I have 2 boys, one of whom is a 'humper' but only at feeding time - I presume this is a dominance thing to get priority feeding. Apart from that, they get along well(ish). I do find that tired piggies are less likely to fight, so giving them more exercise may help, especially whilst your older one is limping. Distractions works wonders as well - when mine get too rambunctious I throw in some cabbage/parsley or the inside of a kitchen roll.
Good luck with them and hope the limp gets better.
Hi Georgian, just to throw another suggestion into the mix vitamin C deficiency is a possible cause of limping (scarvy sp?). Make sure your Oldboy is getting his fair share of green veg if cagemate is being too dominant. You could add vit C to their water and keep their dry mix/nuggets in air tight container as vitamin C deteriates very quickly.
It's not the best time of the year for a bath but my OB loved a gentle leg massage standing in his Johnsons Bath bubble bath in a washing up bowl. If you do it, the room will have to be warm and plenty of towels and possibly a hairdryer if he'll let you. He must be completely dry. You cann't risk a chest infection.
You have had your guinea along time so sorry if I'm telling you stuff you already know. Hope your Oldboy is better soon .
If it's a sudden onset then I'd be going along with an injury- could be a muscle sprain rather than a break or anything sinister.
And YY look at their diet, this time of year is difficult for veg, my two trough a variety of veg (peppers are good,but they only like the red/orange/green). I've never given VitC in water because mine refuse to drink it. The pellets are VitC rich but have to be changed regularly as it does deteriorate.
My little hog (little black Abby boy) had a strange gait last year, he normally strides about like a hedgehog, but he was 'rolling'. It was only for a period of hours really. I reckoned he was sat in one place in the hay box (the pooh nest suggested he'd just bedded down and hadn't shifted) so it looked like he just had stiff muscles.
Mine fight occasionally but to my knowledge have never tried to bonk each other
His leg appears to be better! I do suspect it was Hutchmate's doing, as he has got extraordinarily randy of late. I have now bought them a Piglu, with room for only one, so that has given Old Boy a refuge. He's in there now and Hutchmate is singing a song of loneliness and despair, bless him.
I've also given them more 'toys' - mainly cardboard - but also other things to enrich life in the cage and to try and give Hutchmate something else to think about. He's been given a stuffed toy 'boyfriend' too. Not sure if he quite gets the idea, but he seems to like playing with it. The toy is only there when I can supervise, as I am worried they will bite off an ear and ingest it, or something. There are no 'glass' eyes on it.
I tried them on red pepper which, once they'd got over their initial wariness (they don't do change!), they tucked into, so hopefully more of them will help boost Vitamin C intake.
My 2 boars had rather exotic coloured wee and pooh after dark veg- GP1 had troughed down red and orange peppers (he will happily sit and share slices of pepper with my daughter). His wee was cloudy peach coloured GP2 did maroon poohs after raw beetroot (and his wee was pinky)
It's a worry because I always think "blood in wee" but when I thought back, then held off the dark veg, they went back to normal .