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Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

I might try to contribute worthwhile piggy info later but I was buying some new checks tonight and went with photo checks, and here are the pictures I used:


L to R: Fuji, Waldo, Chuckwagon (sitting on a bale of hay I had just purchased)


Fuji


Chuck


Waldo


And then I almost used this one but was limited to four pictures:

I call it "Party Pigs"

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Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Edit: Offline now.

Merry Christmas SA, here's a webcam of my guinea pig's cage: http://stickam.com/tokyotofu

It will only be up for a while, and they just had a few hours of floor time while I was cleaning their house, so they might be pretty lazy when you do see them. But, enjoy for a bit.

Sirotan fucked around with this message at 23:09 on Dec 24, 2009

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

cat with hands posted:

So we got another guinea pig, this time from the local pet store... I know what you're thinking but we don't have a rescue or good breeder within 250 km. Couple of days later and now all three of them have suddenly started to scratching themselves all the time

This is why it is SO important to quarantine any new pig that you get for a period of at least a week (some people recommend more) so that they can get over any illnesses they have or issues can be diagnosed and not passed on to your other pets. Of course its too late for you to do this now but hopefully this can be a cautionary tale for some other people. It sounds like your new pig just had mites, which luckily is easily and cheaply treatable.

[Long story of my own sick pig follows.....]

I have been dealing with a sick pig as well. Naturally I noticed she wasn't eating and her weight was down on Christmas Eve of all days. (My pigs always get sick at night, on Sundays, holidays, etc...its a conspiracy.) One good thing about being a guinea pig owner for more than 15 years now is I've 'been there done that' with the force feeding routine. Boy let me tell you, they really love it! Force feedings every 4 hours for 5 days straight. Got her into the vet the day after Christmas and it turns out she had a mysterious ulcer on her tongue. The vet was puzzled and so am I. It was so swollen and red that she couldn't eat or even close her mouth. Poor thing.

But, after a full week she is eating carrots and celery and other greens. Has barely chewed on hay, but that stuff is pretty tough so I'm sure its still hurting her. Whats hilarious now is, the entire time she has been sick she has just glued herself to the side of one of my other pigs (Waldo). She literally sits with her face buried in Waldo's side. Now all I hear from their cage is annoyed squealing from Waldo who just wants her own space. She also acts quite calm when I try to hold her now. Previously she has been extremely skittish, hated being held and petted, and she also never squeaks. I rescued her about a year ago and she had lived with two previous owners so I think she had a traumatic life before I got her. Maybe this illness has changed her little brain chemistry and now she is gonna be more friendly.

Edit: Here is even a photo I took on my phone to show a friend, formerly sick pig (Chuck) on the left, just sitting there STARING at Waldo who just wants to take a nap. She sat there doing that for a good 30 minutes:

Sirotan fucked around with this message at 14:19 on Dec 31, 2009

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

After being off hand feeding for three days, my pig with the mouth sore is losing weight again and not eating more than a few nibbles of veggies I stick in front of her. I'm really hoping its just the antibiotics depressing her appetite and not some underlying illness.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

TShields posted:

Are they going to attempt to devour this poor creature,

Yes. If you are gonna bring home a pig you need to be 100% sure the cats cannot get into the pig cage. You can even build you own with a caged lid like this: http://www.guineapigcages.com/photo...php/photo/12329 or http://www.guineapigcages.com/photo...o.php/photo/756 .

TShields posted:

Do you generally let your piggies run around the house, or just pull them out to play with them?

I let them run around on the floor sometimes, but I am always supervising them (mostly so they won't pee on the floor somewhere). I also don't have any other pets, like cats.


TShields posted:

Do they have their own larger hamster balls or anything?

I doubt there is another on the market large enough for a guinea pig, and I wouldn't recommend putting a guinea pig in one either.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

TShields posted:

I actually just talked to her and she just picked one up thats advertised for guinea pigs. We'll see how it goes! Thanks for the info.

I have to strongly recommend that you do not use an exercise ball for guinea pigs. Their little spines aren't as flexible as a hamster and they can easily injure their feets and toes inside of one. If you want them to run around and get exercise either provide them with a large enough cage that gives them running room or let them run around on the floor and make sure they can't get stuck anywhere or chew on electrical wiring.

Read this list here of some alternative and safe toys for guinea pigs: http://www.guineapigcages.com/toys.htm

There are a lot of toys and foods out there that are "advertised" as being for guinea pigs that are NOT safe for guinea pigs.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

TShields posted:

Edit: Aaaand now that I've done my research, we're going to take it back and get a little guinea pig leash or something and take it out into the yard. They don't sound safe at all.

Heh just saw your reply down below..

A leash will never work...trust me on this. They will just stand there and never move. Do yourself a favor and buy two of these: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produ...48&pcatid=17948

I use these when I am cleaning my pigs cage, just toss down a plastic sheet, put some towels on top and then the corral, instant floor time. I also use these in the yard. Just set it up in your grass (if you live in an apartment make sure and grass you do this with hasn't been treated with chemicals or fertilizer) and plop in the pigs. As long as it isn't too hot and the sun is not shining on them directly, they will be happy and content to sit and eat grass for quite a while.

Edit: Like so-

Click here for the full 1200x1600 image.


and


Click here for the full 1200x1600 image.

Sirotan fucked around with this message at 18:14 on Jan 22, 2010

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Megalodon posted:

Porky is getting big now, and I have a question about spaying. I've been looking online a lot and the majority of resources say that I shouldn't have her fixed since she in an only pig. I worry about the risks of surgery but I also worry about the risk of ovarian cancer. Can anybody give me more information of the potential dangers of both? She's an only pig and I intend to keep her an only pig.

You should really think about getting a friend for her. Guinea pigs are heard nerds and they do best in groups larger than 1. No matter how much attention you can give Porky, you can't be there 100% of the time, and a piggy friend can give her constant companionship. She will be happier with a friend, trust me.

As far as spaying goes, if you are going to keep her by herself or with other female pigs, you really don't need to do it. Surgery is a big risk, and one you shouldn't take unless its absolutely necessary. I took a pig in for an emergency spay once, and she died just from the anesthesia and didn't even make it to the surgery. I'm not really an expert but I don't think ovarian cancer is as prevalent in guinea pigs as it is in some other rodents. I would advise against it unless its absolutely necessary.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Blackmage Yapo posted:

Yeah, they don't nibble on the hut too much. I've been on the lookout for a nice untreated wood hut to replace it with. I may try ordering some Kleenmama stuff, but I have to get over the whole "ordering specialty food for my $10 pets" thing first. I don't know why I have this hangup, seeing as I've already spent like $400 in vet bills and cage/acoutrements in like 4 months.

EDIT: Screw it, just ordered 5lbs of Timothy. Its really not as bad as I expected price-wise.

Get one of these: http://www.opentip.com/Pet-Supplies...-p-1153276.html (Not necessarily endorsing that store, it was just the first link that came up.) The large size is perfect for guinea pigs, the x-large is a bit too big. I've had a number of them through the years and they like to go in them, sleep on top of them, and stick their heads through the hole and chew on them. I'd be using them still if I didn't have a wood pig 'garage' that I made myself.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Find a farm feed store, buy yourself an entire bale of hay for $5.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Megalodon posted:

Is this really okay to do? We have a few feed stores around here and the hay is dirt cheap, but according to the woman who runs one of them, it's not especially good for small animals. I'll do that when my batch runs out if it's alright, but the general consensus was that KM and Oxbow are a significantly better quality.

KM and Oxbow are getting their hay from the same places I do: farmer's fields. My last bale of hay was grass hay that I bought directly from the farmer, this nice old guy that let me drive right up to his barn and load one bale into my car. I've gotten them from feed stores before too for $5 or less. As long as the hay you are getting is timothy, has been stored in a nice dry location and isn't moldy or contaminated, theres no reason why you can't feed it to your pigs. While I have never purchased Oxbow hay personally, I don't know how you could get anything fresher than a bale right from the farm.

Edit: Here is the Guinea Lynx page about hay: http://www.guinealynx.info/hay.html As you can see they encourage buying hay by the bale if you can because it is so cost effective. They also talk about which cut of the hay is best, so if you decide on buying it by the bale this page might help.

Sirotan fucked around with this message at 04:17 on Feb 3, 2010

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Imaduck posted:

No, I wasn't just going to throw them in the same cage and let them duke it out . I just wanted to know how long I should let the one push around the other one in the neutral space until I say "okay, that's enough" and separate them again. We let them go for about 10 minutes, and basically Milo was still at it harassing Jasper, and Jasper was just really really upset and freaked out .

Anyway, we're going to try the cologne trick tonight and see what happens...

Yeah you are gonna need to do it for longer than 10 minutes. Last time I introduced a pig I threw a big blanket on the floor and used some corrals to make a very large open space without hidey houses in it and let all the pigs run around in it for an afternoon to get acclimated. Its gonna take a while, perhaps a few hours. The more time the better.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Imaduck, you can try the bath trick. Its essentially the same concept as rubbing perfume on them, you bathe them together so that they smell the same and think "oh hey this pig smells like me I guess they are cool". I've had varying degrees of success with this in the past.

maplecheese, here, I will play Devil's advocate for you. You already have a bunch of other pets, including one with health issues that require a lot of care and money. If you get this pig you are going to have to get a second one to keep it company. Pigs can be very expensive pets if they happen to get sick. You might think he is bonding with you now, but to be quite honest guinea pigs are pretty dumb as far as animals go. He likes you because you are The Bringer Of Food and if he is adopted out he's going to forget you pretty quickly. I'm sure if he is adopted out he will have a great life.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

End of Life Guy posted:

We just added a second story to our Guinea Pig cage, and we want to keep the hay and water up there. They seem to be unfamiliar with the idea of a ramp. Why wouldn't they be?
We put them up top, and they stay there, we show them the ramp, we kind of drag them up and down it, but they only ever stay on whatever story we leave them.

Any ideas on how to make them understand they can come and go from the second story as they please?

I have a two-story cage. Put some carrots or other foods on the ramp and coax them up it. It will take them a little while but they will figure it out. I would make sure they have access to water on the first floor as well while they are getting used to it though.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Blackmage Yapo posted:

Any tips/tricks for trimming guinea pig nails? I've only ever done it on an 80lb dog before who wouldn't fight too much. I don't seem to have enough hands to do everything needed with these guys.

Bribe them with carrots. Then when they are munching you launch a sneak attack.

That will work for about two or three toes and then they will wise up.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Well look who turned 5 today...



I've had a lot of guinea pigs over the past decade or so, but for whatever reason have never had one made it to the ripe old age of 5. Happy Birthday, Fuji.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

ohnoitsphil posted:

I have a guinea pig medical question.

I have a 5 year old pig who about 3 weeks ago started walk around her cage very unsteadily one morning and when I took her out she just flopped down on her side and got very limp. She also didn't want to eat. She was bloated and in the early stages of gut stasis. She had been perfectly fine just 12 hours before.

I've had plenty of pigs in the past go into gut stasis but never saw them act unsteady like she did. If its only an ear infection they will still show interest in food. If your pig isn't eating this is extremely serious and you will need to get them to an exotics-knowledgeable vet immediately.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Blackmage Yapo posted:

Quick guinea pig question.

My smaller piggie seems to be drinking more and more water as time goes on. Originally they would drink like one bottle a day, now I have to refill it 2-3 times. We have had the AC on at 70-72 through this whole time period, and I don't see them having any other problems. Are they just getting thirstier as time goes on or do I need to be on the lookout for something?

It could be a sign of a more serious issue or its possible that they are just playing with the bottle. I'm going to assume you use the ball bearing type water bottles. Those things leak so easily and with any touch from a pig they can just run right out into the bottom of your cage. Think about putting a small dish underneath the water bottle to catch any drips.

My pigs used to chew on the ends of those water bottles to the point that they had put a hole in the vacuum and it would just leak constantly. I was buying a new water bottle every couple of months. I was ready to recommend you what I use now, but a google search tells me that product is discontinued which really makes me sad. Its this: https://bunnyrabbit.com/equipmentpix/WaterBuddyAll.jpg It was called a Water Buddy and it has a lever inside the spout that when touched by their mouth, water will come out. It will never drip since its not sealed by vacuum. Of course they do still play with it, but a small food bowl underneath the spout takes care of that. According to someone on https://www.guineapigcages.com Lixit is making a similar model that can be found in Petco. You might want to check that out.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Paging all guinea pig people to this thread STAT: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3309903

Its so sad. Please help overrun it with pictures of your cute pigs.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Serella posted:

What's more sad is that it's already overrun with morons who think it's not a big deal because they're "just guinea pigs."

I tried my best. Luckily I've gotten a few reinforcements from PI.

Serella posted:

On a lighter note, I'm visiting my parents this weekend and I get to see their cute piggies. This time is the time I am definitely going to get my parents to build a better cage so they can both live together -- or at least, try. Can anyone give me advice on cage-building?

Also, in regards to bonding, one of the pigs is a few months old and the other a few years. The older one humps the crap out of the poor little guy. I know this is a dominance thing and they're working out their issues, but the poor little guy clearly hates it and tries to escape. I'm pretty sure I should just let them be as long as there's no vicious fighting, but it makes me sad because little pig is distressed.

Really the best guide you are going to find is here: http://guineapigcages.com/howto.htm This is exactly how I made my cage(s) with the only difference being I use a hot glue gun instead of tape to connect the sides of the coroplast.

As far as pig behavior goes, its best to just leave them alone to sort out their social hierarchy. If they aren't fighting to the point of drawing blood then ultimately they are fine. The only other thing you can do is separate them permanently which really isn't good for anyone, pigs or owners.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Daedleh posted:

That's not a hamster... I'm leaning towards gerbil? Have you got a full body shot?

Pretty sure its a joke post since that looks like a prairie dog to me...

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

I've never heard of anyone being charged a pet fee or deposit for their guinea pigs. In my experience most landlords and rental companies don't really care about caged animals. I'm going to be moving within the next couple of months and have begun apartment shopping. The last place I went to for a walk through, the guy asked me about pets and basically said "yeah we don't care about those" when I told them I had guinea pigs.

Just be glad its a deposit, I guess.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

End of Life Guy posted:



Wow, I'm kinda shocked that this type of injury would be treatable for a guinea pig. It must have been hard to see him cooped up in a little container for so long. Glad to hear he is all healed up!

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

I heard the most god damned retarded thing to come from the mouth of someone working at a pet store today.

I had to make a quick stop at a Petco during my lunch hour to buy hay. I really hate to even walk inside that place but my bale of hay has run out and I can't make the drive to buy another one until Saturday. Ran inside to just grab the smallest bag of Timothy that they had, and while checking out the cashier told me:

: "Our rabbits really love that stuff!"

No poo poo man, maybe it's because THAT'S WHAT THEY EAT. Might as well tell me your family is really fond of water while I'm buying a bottle of Evian.

I mean I guess this rant is a bit pedantic, but working in a pet store that sells rabbits shouldn't you at least know the one main food that they eat? How could you not learn that even by osmosis while working there?

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

DreadCthulhu posted:

Do you guys know what this thread needs more of? More chinchilla questions!

- How much attention do they require? Let's assume I have a pretty standard 9-5 schedule, and I do stuff in the afternoon. I might have an hour or two at home with the pet. Would the chinchilla still be cool with my company only for a couple of hours a day if I make sure to buy whatever toy it wants to stay busy while I'm not there?

Getting two (or more) guinea pigs would be a much better choice if you aren't going to be home very much. That isn't to say guinea pigs don't need any attention or socialization, because they do, but some guinea pigs I know are happy enough to just be with their buddies and receive food from the giant hands from above.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

whatspeakyou posted:

Quick change of subject here: What should I name my pet Hedgehog (Not a rodent, but close enough, damnit)?

Sonic, obviously.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

whatspeakyou posted:

I'd prefer not to be like the rest of the hedgehog owners on this planet and attempt to be "clever" like that.

Shadow, then?



Did you actually think I was serious.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

SomeChump posted:

Hey.

One of my guinea pigs has been very withdrawn today. I haven't seen him eat, come out his den of his own accord and when I picked him up he didn't seem to have the same strength he usually does. I'm afraid I'm over-reacting but I know guinea pigs can get ill easily. Is this worth going to the vets over?

Yes. As in do it right now if you can. Not eating, being less active than normal can mean a lot of things including gut stasis which can only be successfully treated if its caught immediately. Offer them a veggie that they usually like, if they show no interest at all then you have a problem. Run, don't walk, to a vet right now.

Edit: As a sidenote, I've had enough guinea pigs over the last 10+ years that have developed gut stasis (for what seems like no good reason at all) that I've learned to just start them on antibiotics/reglan and force feeding of critical care rather than waiting and hoping I can get into the vet. They sure hate it but even if I'm wrong on the diagnosis it can't hurt them.

Sirotan fucked around with this message at 12:58 on Sep 14, 2010

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

SomeChump posted:

Well he's just eaten some food of his own accord and he's moving around and wheeking as usual now and the local vet is still open for over four hours so I'm thinking I'm going to give him another hour, see how he acts, because I think I may have just over-reacted. Either way I'll report what happened, thanks for the advice.

Do you have a scale and/or weigh your pig(s) regularly? Knowing if they have lost any weight will be a good indicator to you if something is wrong. If you don't do it already now is a good time to start.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

SomeChump posted:

Okay, I'll keep that in mind feeding them. We did some research when we bought them, but I was a bit over-enthusiastic making sure they didn't go hungry. For two young adult males what is a good weight to aim for?

Anything between 800-1200g is pretty ideal. It can vary a lot by guinea pig though, I've got three females right now and one is around 1250g while another is 900g. You just need to weigh them weekly to find out what is a baseline for each pig. Heres some more info: http://www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

Feeding them unlimited grass hay is the most important part of their diet. Greens are of course important but should take a backseat to hay. Read around on GuineaLynx, most of the info there is very helpful.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Has anyone's guinea pigs ever had a heart attack? One of my pigs who was only about three years old just died suddenly this morning. My sister was holding her and thought she was more relaxed than normal but it didn't seem alarming in any way. Next minute she put her in a towel and she sort of flopped over and was just gone.

I guess I should be glad that she died quickly and relatively painlessly but I'm still having a hard time believing she's gone. I can't imagine that it was anything other than a heart attack since she was perfectly healthy as far as I knew.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of her:



RIP Waldo

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

1. Just how much do you think you spend taking care of your guinea pig in a month?

In strictly "taking care of" time, I clean their cage 1x a week and use a handvac to sweep up their poops every morning. So maybe 30min a week + 5min a day doing that. Take into account feeding them and really they need minimal time devoted to their care. Of course I hold them a lot, take them outside, etc etc which accounts for many more hours every month.

Diogines posted:

2. How long do most to guinea pigs live for?

I've read figures that say 6-8 years but I've never had one live that long. My oldest ever in 10+ years of having pigs is 5, and she's still with me now. My average is probably 3-4years.

Diogines posted:

3. Just how social to people are they? I've read a lot of conflicting information in the thread and general googling. Will they really require company or can they be happy alone?

If you get a guinea pig, you need to have at least two. They are much happier with other pigs since you aren't going to be able to give them attention 24/7. Don't even consider getting a pig unless you can take care of 2 or more.

I've had plenty of pigs that were extremely social, loved being held and petted, would fall asleep in your lap. I've also had some that run away when you try to pet them and are very fidgety if you hold them. The latter have typically been pigs I've rescued who are a little older and haven't had much socialization with people when they were young or they were mistreated.

Diogines posted:

4. How loud can they be?

They will squeak at you if they hear you getting a treat out for them, and at that point they can get pretty loud. Otherwise they are usually fairly quiet.

Diogines posted:

5. Will they be disturbed by a television in the next room at moderate volume?

Not really.

Diogines posted:

6. I work from home a lot. Would being in the same room as them for an extended period of time freak them out?

No, they would probably really enjoy it. Especially if you are coming and going and giving them attention.

Diogines posted:

7. Discourage me. Tell me anything you think that is very important and undesirable about getting a guinea pig as a pet.

You'll get really attached to them and if one of them dies you'll feel terrible for the remaining pig and will have to get them another friend. Then the cycle will continue forever and you can never get rid of pigs. They also don't live that long and losing them can be heartbreaking. Every time I lose a pig my mom tries to talk me out of getting more but I just...can't.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

alucinor posted:

2. How long do most to guinea pigs live for?

7-9 years, if you do it right. 3-5 years if you don't, and their deaths tend to be terrible.

Can you tell me what % of your pigs live that long? Just curious because I wonder if I just have terrible luck or all the pigs I end up with are just so overbred that their life spans are so much shorter than what I've read. I've always wondered this but don't have much of a way to test this theory.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

alucinor posted:

I do have a strong suspicion that males live longer than females, and also that altering increases lifespan - I've only got one girl who has made it past 7, and she's spayed. My intact girls have mostly died at 6 or so, my intact males tend to die at 7, the older ones have without exception been neutered males. If you've mostly had intact girls, that alone could account for the difference you're seeing.

Hmm. Most of my pigs have been unaltered females so perhaps this could be one reason. I have definitely gotten better at diagnosing and treating pig illnesses over the years as well. Unfortunately my last pig (3yrs) that died pretty much dropped dead with no previous signs of illness (I didn't get a necropsy) and before that, one died in surgery while being spayed (1.5yrs).

Fingers are crossed that my two current pigs will have long lives. One is already my oldest ever and the other had a rough upbringing and had been through 2 or 3 owners before I got her. She hates being handled and is completely silent. She'll probably live forever.

Oh hey and while we're chatting pigs, alucinor what do you usually do for enrichment/toys? Since they lost their cage mate my other pigs have just seemed a little bored. I've been giving them more floor time and have been rotating different tubes and tunnels in their cage but thought I'd see what other people do for pig toys.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

I just adopted a single guinea pig from a local animal shelter. They had maybe 15 juveniles in a cage which would be a little small for one, one bowl of food and one water bottle. They were not full grown, but close to it.

I know that I need to get more than one as they are social animals but I wanted to make sure I could handle taking care of one first before I get a second, if all goes well, i'll get another one so she has some company in two months.

I picked her because she seemed like one of the most calm of the bunch.

I have a nice large enclosure set up for her with several places for her to hide. When I put her in, she explored a little bit then sat down in a corner and has not moved since. She is under the water bottle though she has not drunk anything, the bedding is a bit higher because it is a corner.

Now I ask the question every new pet owner asks: Should I be worried?

I know initially all I should do is give her her space and someplace calm and quiet. She has partial cover due to the water bottle and the slightly raised bedding in the corner but I am worried that the corner she is not hiding in any of the hides I had for her and after going once around the enclosure when I first put her in, she has not moved since.

She seemed to be breathing rapidly at first but is not now. It has been about an hour.

If you only had her for an hour as of the writing of this post, no I wouldn't worry. She is just freaked out that she is in a new, unfamiliar place all alone. Just give her some time and probably a friend, and she will perk up.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

Its been 16 hours now. She repositioned herself to face the other way but has not moved otherwise. I do not think she has slept at all, she has not eaten or drunk anything either.

She is not in one of the hides, but the way she is facing now she is in a corner, under a water bottle and behind a hide, so she is mostly covered on all sides.

Her eyes do not seem to track me when I moved past her but her breathing did accelerate rapidly briefly, though it calmed when I left. I came in at eye level and dropped a small baby carrot slice near her. From what little I can tell, she seems really terrified. I understand that I need to wait but I am worried, is there anything else at all I can do to help ease her in?

Based on the setup at the shelter I am guessing she spent her entire life in that overcrowded cage.

Can you take her out and hold her? Put her on top of a towel in case she pees on you and offer her a baby carrot or some other kind of vegetable. My pigs also like to go inside and hide in a folded up towel. She is probably fine and just scared, but if she isn't eating it is a concern.

How open is the top of the cage? Can you take a picture of it to show us? Maybe you can cover it to make it dark inside and also so she won't feel a hawk is about to come and swoop down on her.

I know one of the first pigs I ever had as a kid I got when he was a little tiny baby. He sat inside the foodbowl and didn't move at all for at least two days. Brought him to the vet because I thought he could be sick and the vet told me he seemed healthy enough. We went out and got another male pig and the instant we put them together he just perked right up. He was just scared and alone and needed a friend.

I'm hesitant to suggest this to you since you don't know 100% that there is nothing wrong with her and you are a new owner. You can always take her to a vet if you are at all concerned about her health.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

I am understandably afraid to touch her at all, I worry it may freak her out more. As far as I can tell, she may have spent her whole live in that cage.

I watched her run around so she did not have any apparent problems with her limbs, no cuts or scratches I saw when I looked her over, despite the cramped conditions all of them seemed fairly health. I picked her because she was the one who struggled the least when I picked her up.

The top of the cage has a screen to keep it secure but I am pretty sure that she could not make it out of the top, should I remove it? I do not have a digital camera or I would take a picture.

I am hesitant to get another guinea pig, fearing I might make a bigger mess of things, not a mess in my home, but take care of them improperly. The pigs in the cage came in 3 series of colors, so I am guessing 3 liters. Should I go back for one of her siblings?

Edit: She just turned around to face the other way for the first time in at least 8 hours, still not touched any food though.

She is probably not used to humans at all. You are going to need to get her acclimated to you whether she likes it or not. It sounds like she's probably fine and just scared. Pick her up and hold her for a little bit and offer her some food. Yes she will probably be terrified but the more attention and handling you give her the less scared of you she is going to be. Its just going to take time, and having another pig in there will definitely help. I'm not trying to urge you one way or another into getting another pig but in my opinion she is much better off with a friend.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

Right now I worry handling her to weigh her will freak her the hell out.

I brought her another pig from what I think was the same liter, the coloring was very similar. The new one jumped around a bit and then went into one of the hides. As I repositioned the other hide to make getting in easier, the one i've had for a day freaked the hell out and ran at full speed so hard she tore away all of the bedding under her in an attempt to squeeze behind it. Now she is out of a hide and just sort of hiding in a corner.

On the bright side, the little carrot slices I left in the enclosure was gone and there was a fair amount of poop spread around, so she did eat.

If you want them to become tame at all you're going to have to stop worrying so much about how scared they are and start handling them. They aren't delicate flowers that will die of a heart attack just because you touch them. They're going to continue to be freaked out and scared for a while.

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

Handling them won't scare the crap out of them and make it take even longer till they are not afraid of seeing me?

My though was that I should avoid touching as much as possible till they are more used to their new digs.

Oh I'm sure it will scare them but you'll get them familiar with you faster if you are holding them calmly and quietly and giving them treats to associate humans=food much faster than just leaving them be.

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Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

Diogines posted:

Pet Island has never steered me wrong in the past, so I shall defer to your advice and start doing that tomorrow evening. Would handling them both at the same time, assuming I can prevent them from running away be a good idea or a bad one?

Do it individually for now while they acclimate to their new environment.

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