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Sad death of piggie - what about his friend?

(10 Posts)
DaisyheadMayzie Mon 15-Oct-12 04:14:37

Yesterday we lost one of our boy GPs to a bastard husky that came onto our property. I didn't even realise the dog had been near the animals until I went out to feed them later - it ran off as soon as I came out (we live in a rural area - no idea where the dog came from).

The cage and run had been broken apart and the more confident and friendly of the two was about a metre away, dead. His friend, who he has lived with since babyhood, was in the hutch as he usually is. Fanta probably came out to see the dog - he's used to our silly dog. I feel more sad about this than the kids.

Anyway, now I have a two year old boy guinea pig on his own. What are the options? I would rather not get a baby as I don't want to end up in an everlasting cycle of GPs. Is it possible to rehome an adult male to keep our guy company or will they fight? Is it an absolute no no never to keep a GP on their own?

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 06:32:40

I'll bump this for you as we have a similar issue - we lost one of our girls a couple of months ago, and since then her friend has been all alone.

It makes me so sad, but like you, I don't want to get another as it will create a long cycle of replacing guinea pigs! Also introducing them can be quite difficult to do safely - I think - I may be wrong.

I am worried about her getting too cold in the winter as well.

Hope there are some answers or ideas from those in the know. And I'm sorry you lost your piggy, it sounds very traumatic.

BeckAndCall Mon 15-Oct-12 06:49:27

Oh, I'm so sorry for you and your family- that's heartbreaking.

For your remaining little boy, it is possible for him to get a new friend but you have to do it carefully and slowly.

I've only ever had girls, so I might be talking rubbish, but we bought a new girl when we had two two year olds and thought we were being slow in introducing them. Not slow enough. One of them attacked the little one - our fault, we sould have introduced them more slowly ( two or three days of supervised playing together was not enough).

What we did was to let them play together in the run, then the little one slept in her own hutch at night. So they were friendly but then had their own space.

Actually, that lasted until one of the older girls passed on. Then we eventually moved the other two in together ith no more problems.

So you could do that - it is sad when one of them is left on their own - but a bit inevitable really,mat some point

differentnameforthis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:03:08

Guinea pigs don't need company. Honestly! We have had many on their own & they are happy as the ones with companions.

bumbez Mon 15-Oct-12 07:09:59

This happened to our guinea pigs a couple of years ago, they escaped under their run due to uneven ground and a cat killed one of them.

They were both boys and the least dominant of the two survived he was 1 at the time. We did get him a new mate, an 8 week old , and introduced them very gradually, separate cages to begin with, but close so they could talk. Supervised play times - the elder would always try and lick the baby - he would get annoyed and show his teeth.

After a month I bathed them both to remove smells, put vics round their noses ( I read to do this some where) and put them in the same cage.

I kept a close eye for fighting but they were fine and still are. smile

Hth

Snog Mon 15-Oct-12 07:13:38

There is a charity I have been told about that lend out gp companions for the lifespan of your lone gp to " break the cycle" yet avoid loneliness.

DaisyheadMayzie Mon 15-Oct-12 07:46:29

Thank you all. Some mixed stories there - I hadn't anticipated it being so hard, and sleeping in separate cages seems to defeat the purpose but I suppose he'd enjoy the company during the day. It'd be very difficult to know if he was content with or without a friend as he is really timid and spends most of his time inside his house, only coming out when I put out food. The other one seemed to be outside all of the time, eating and watching the world go by.

The idea of a loan gp sounds like a fabulous idea. We're in NZ though so it may not exist here - I will look into it.

guineapiglet Mon 15-Oct-12 09:23:53

Hi - very sorry to hear about what happened, how horrible for you all. Hope you, your kids and remaining guinea are not too traumatised - he sounds like such a sweetie, he is obviously the more timid and nervous, - he will probably be missing his friend so do give him lots of attention and if possible bring him inside to keep an eye on him and make him more secure.

Itake the point about an endless cycle, and even if you do get guineas of similar ages one will invariably outlive the others, we have had 8 continuous years of them, and had to make the decision that the last one would be 'it' - v hard on her as she was used to a big group - she was very fed up and lonely - and I am sure she died of a broken heart in the end. It is different if a guinea has always been a singleton ( sad for them tho' as they are naturally sociable and happier in groups) - to then add another must be quite a shock if they have never seen another creature that looks like them!

I have lots of experience of integrating girls, it is a slow process as Bumbez explains, taking time to get them used to seeing each other, smelling each other and getting used to each others company in a small space. I used to fence off a biggish patch of garden, put hidey places down, and let them get used to each other - have a broom handy in case of fighting, as long as they can escape and not be cornered it shouldnt be too stressful - but it does take time and patience - if only they would realise they would be happier with company! As usual it is about dominance, the pecking order and their own individual characters.

|SeveredED - if you can bring your lonely girl in for company and warmth, try and indoor hutch - (Freecycle) - if you can't, just make sure she has lots of layers around the hutch, lots of hay in igloos to snuggle in and something to cuddle up to - check other thread - 70 has brilliant ideas for warmth and cosiness!

Good luck, I really hope you all find suitable companions.

cupcake19992110436247 Mon 22-Oct-12 22:43:22

Guinea pigs will happily live by them selfs. Just be carefull to get it out for cuddles a lot xx

fortifiedwithtea Tue 23-Oct-12 01:26:15

Sorry to hear of your piggie loss.

We had brothers but when one got cancer he became aggressive. He attacked Old Boy and cut his paw open and OB had to come into the house to recover. OB and his brother had been living apart due to the aggression, which made OB sad. Shortly after the paw injury, OB's brother died and OB continued to live in the house.

All was fine for a few months but OB became depressed and started hiding away.

Our solution was to get a couple of sows. Old Boy instantly cheered up. They don't live together as OB was too old to neuter but they talk through their hutches and it's worked for him for nearly 2 years smile.

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