My precious Cheerio passed away over the weekend. I think it was a bacterial infection in his stomach. I went there last night to pay for his cremation. The vet who looked after him wasn't there but they let me speak to another vet and she said they think he died while they were trying to extract some blood, which I think is a little odd.
Anyway, his brother Popcorn is alive and thankfully well. I've been looking for a new cage fellow for him. Every shelter/place I found were decent folks. But that's kind of the problem. I don't want to separate and established pair. Even if I did the adoption folks won't let me take them one by one. I'm very paranoid about getting a piggie from individuals. My fear is that they would have a piggie who has a disease they either neglect to mention or don't know about. Losing Cheerio was a nightmare and I don't want to have to go through that again.
How would my Popcorn (who is an adult male) get a long with a neutered female or young guinea pig? Popcorn has been alone since Sunday (the date of this posting is Tuesday) and I'm getting increasingly worried that he'll suffer from isolation. I've been monitoring his eating habits and so far he looks like he's doing well.
It is very possible Popcorn would get along fine with either a young male or a spayed sow. It really depends on the pigs. That being said, there is still going to be the matter of sorting how who will be the dominant pig. Also, just because a sow is spayed does not mean he will not want to hump her like crazy, both as a show of dominance and umm, well, for good times. I tried putting an intact boar in with a spayed sow and he was after her all weekend - no fighting, just him wanting to hump her non stop. After a weekend of that she lost it and beat him up right good. Needless to say they did not stay together.
If you do choose to adopt from outside a rescue please do a quarantine period and include treating for mites in that time.
Are you sure the rescues won't let you adopt a single pig? Maybe if you explain the situation about needing a cage mate for a pig left alone at home they will.
- Supporter in '11
Our rescue only spays females for medical reasons, so you may have trouble finding a spayed female. In some parts of the country, rescues spay all males and females so you might be lucky.
I've seen a lot of females put a rowdy male in place with a few quick head bops, so if you find a spayed female, it could work.
I don't think shelters or rescues would have an issue with adopting out a single pig to you since you already have one. These people know piggies and want them all to be happy and healthy. I think the only issue would be breaking up a bonded pair.
- You can quote me
Many rescues (not all, but many) will let you bring Popcorn for a "meet and greet", to see who he might (or might not) get along well with. He can essentially pick his own buddy, if you find a rescue that offers this.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
The best way to find a rescue near you is to do a search on the internet in your area. Rescue's are typically run by volunteers and the guinea pigs are usually cared for in a foster home. They often take guinea pigs from the local humane societies to prevent those animals from being euthanized. There may be people on this site who can steer you to a rescue. One benefit of adopting from a rescue is that the rescue will only adopt out animals that have deemed to be healthy. They will also do introductions to find out what pig would get along best with yours.
With that said, the majority of pigs surrendered to local shelters are healthy and you can protect your present pig by putting any new pig into a 2-3 week quarantine before introducing him to your present animal (you can read about how to do this in the health care guide). Most of us do suggest that you do a full course of mite treatment during that time (also covered in the health care guide). You can also read about how to do a proper introduction as well. And if your new pig does not get along with your present one, they can be very happy living side-by-side in separate cages and they both will still have most of the benefits of two pigs that are living in the same cage.