I noticed some minor healing wounds on Apoppo tonight during laptime. I'll try to get pics for advice, but they're very small and look to be old-ish and healing well. Maybe before the cage expansion? I'm a horrible mama; should have noticed them earlier.
I thoroughly examined both boys this morning. Apollo has a bite on his ear and a small scab by his mouth. Both were barely noticeable, so I'm guessing they happened during the era of Small Cage or in the battle for top pig in the new-and-improved condo. Zeus was completely clean. I tried to get pictures, but they were too wiggly today.
A funny story (not entirely related, but kind of):
One of our dogs had a vet appointment today. He has a severe ear infection and is very, very overweight due to a thyroid problem (off-topic, sorry). Our dogs and cats are seen at a pretty near-by clinic. We basically live in the middle of nowhere; the two closest exotics vets that I've found are 45+ minutes away, depending on traffic, weather, etc. Since I'm not able to rush anybody to the doc in just a few minutes, I've been working on building up a first aid kit (based on the Rural Emergency Guide).
My dilemma is getting my hands on some of the commonly-used meds and supplies. My biggest desire is Critical Care. Since I don't have any relationship with the exotics vets, I doubt they will just hand over what I want, so I asked my mom to check at the dog vet today.
I wanted her to ask:
- Do you or any other doctors in your office practice on exotics and/or have experience with cavies?
- Could you order some Oxbow Critical Care so that we can have it on hand if necessary?
The conversation went something like this.
Mommy: Do you know anything about guinea pigs?
Doctor: No. I know they're cute, but that's it.
Mommy: What about Dr. What's-his-name?
Doctor: No, I don't think so. He deals more with livestock.
Mommy: Ok, no problem. Crystal wanted me to ask something else... can you get her some Critical Care?
Mommy: I mean, can you order some Critical Care for her guinea pigs?
Doctor: Yeah! I totally can! Just have her call me sometime. I'll need to know the manufacturer and what it's used for.
I think I found a supplier. I'm glad he was honest and didn't pretend to know anything about exotics (another vet in this area does this often). It kind of worries me that he's not familiar with CC, but then again, he won't be treating my babes, so no biggie.
I also wanted her to ask about the various syringes that would be useful, but she forgot.
So now I'm just wondering if he's young, cute, and single... haha!
My friends, I fear the day has come--Apollo and Zeus are not as tight as they used to be.
I noticed some owies on dear, sweet Apollo about a week ago. All were very small and seemed to be healing nicely. They looked a little bit old and did not seem to be tender or sensitive or cause him discomfort. Since then, I've been inspecting both boys every day. Zeus is completely in the clear. Tonight, I found another on Apollo (though, really, it may not be a fresh wound. I discovered it on accident). On his nose. It does seem to be uncomfortable to touch, but he never has been fond of things being near his face (other than foodz).
I think I have a few options, some longer-term than others.
1) Scared Straight: Buddy bath and new everything. I'm leaning toward this as my first step maybe? I would like to clean grease glands, anyway. I can do this as soon as tomorrow.
2) Zeus Moves Out:
Zeus would move to the downstairs of my house (where there is room). Requires an updated cage and finding a friend. I don't want to add more animals, though.
2a) Apollo gets a new friend, too. Again, I want to avoid adding.
2b) Apollo gets cut and moves in with the girls. Would this be an okay option? I'm nervous about neutering him because of the potential complications from surgery, but I can't decide if it would be preferable to adding to the herds.
I can separate them tomorrow as soon as I clean the quarantine cage, but it's way too small to even be considered for longer than ultra-temporary. I can get something more suitable, but not for a week or two.
3) Absence Is 100% Foolproof:
Would it be worth trying a vacation apart? I was thinking separating them for a few days, week, whatever, then re-introducing them. Would my problems just resurface when they got adjusted again?
The worst thing I've seen them do is some small nose-offs and what seems like minor chasing (almost like train-zoomies; only last a minute or two). No bloodshed. No food-bullying. I have multiples of everything.
Most of Apollo's injuries are around his face (one on his nose, one on his ear, one on his chin--but that may just be a spot of dark hair or something, since it hasn't changed at all since I noticed it). There was one more towards his rear. Wouldn't that indicate that Apollo is the aggressor? I haven't seen anything on Zeus, and Zeus always seems to be the jerk.
WORST case scenario: BFF has agreed to try intro-ing Zeus and Brady and taking Zeus back if necessary and feasable.
I'm confused and not sure what to do.
That is probably what is going on. I would also figure out who is doing the bullying health-wise, because sometimes pigs that are getting bullied are feeling under the weather, and the other pigs is like, "Oh! My chance to be a butt and assert dominance."
Sometimes a bigger cage is necessary. Or a divided cage, with floortime together, until the unruly hormones quiet down. (Could take up to a year, though.)
None of the weekly weigh-ins have indicated that one might be feeling sickly. They're still steadily gaining, as well as eating, pooping, etc. normally. I planned to get them into the vet for a general checkup, though, so I can find out more then.
If I expand (again!), how big would you recommend, Sidera? Right now they're in a 2x4. I could expand to a 2x5 without too much stress... and I can go bigger than that with some careful rearranging. Should I just go as big as I possibly can?
I had two boars who tore down-- yes, tore down-- their 2X4 C&C cage during intros. You can try the 2x5 and see if that makes a difference. Sometimes they just need extra space during adolescence.
My three boys can't live together, but they have floor time together in the entire kitchen, and that's pretty much the only way they get along.
It's good that neither is losing weight. Do you hear a lot of rumbling? The big thing I listen for is chattering and high-pitched whining, sometimes hissing. That's how I know a fight is going down.
Also, do you have two of everything? 2 dishes, huts, beds, etc? Sometimes they are butts if they don't have their own stuff. Also, if you have pigloos, keep an eye on those. That's where most of the strife takes place because a piggy is cornered.
I hear rumbling maybe once a day, and I also hear chattering once or twice a day. I haven't seen it escalate at all, usually just Zeus walking over and saying "chatter!" and Apollo answers with "Chitter!" and then they go their separate ways. I haven't noticed any sort of triggers at all.
I swear this will be a story again, with pictures, soon! We did buddy baths, manicures, and all sorts of horribly scary things yesterday, and I took pictures.
Hi, humans. I'm Zeus. That's pronounced "Zo-os" in case you didn't know. My so-called mother calls me a butt, and I'm sure she has told you all about me, that jerk. She's jealous because I'm smarter than her. I'm smarter than my stupid brother Apollo, too, and those idiot (but intoxicatingly beautiful) girls upstairs. And I'm probably smarter than you.
Like my mother said, she forced us to do horrible, nasty things the other day. All I heard was "bath" and "water" and giggles while she trotted around that day. I also heard her ask her mother (whom she forces me to call "Gramma") to "clip" my "nails," whatever that means. So there I was, plotting in my treehouse, when she snatched me up and dumped me into this bin with my idiot brother. You see him, there on the right? Yeah, that's dumb Apollo.
She tried to drown me! She can do whatever with Apollo, that's fine. But me! Brilliant, handsome ME! Obviously, I protested. As if being wet wasn't enough, that so-called mother then proceeded to rub some weird-smelling bubbly stuff all over me, then THROW more water on top of me to get it off. If you're going to take it off, what's the point of putting it there in the first place?!
After putting us back in the bin with some terry-cloth caverns, she turned this warm air-blowing apparatus on us. I didn't care much for it, but it did dry my ravishing locks quite nicely.
BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END OF MY TORTURE!
The female sibling of this so-called mother then whisked me off and held me--against my will, mind you--while "Gramma" cut off my talons. Those were integral to my plan to take over the world!
Again, my friends, that was not all. I was violated with a cotton swab. So-called mom said, "I know, I like this just as much as you do, but we have to do it. You have junk stuck up your butt." What I store in my rectum is nobody's business but my own, thankyouverymuch.
There, I shared my story.
Now, please, remove yourself from my dungeon. I have important plotting to do.
And thanks to everyone for the great advice, too!
My pesky boypigs seem to have calmed down a bit for the moment. Over the last couple days, I've only heard one teeth-chatter and haven't seen any chasing or grumpiness. Maybe they know I haven't felt very good, so they're toning down their behavior? Crazy thing is they've been COMPLETELY TRASHING their cage. Every day. I pretty much gave up on containing hay this week and have just been tossing it in wherever... which seems to make them happy. However, they will be getting hay hammocks as soon as possible, and they WILL use them correctly.
On the other hand, the girls have been grumpier and noisier over the last couple days. Nothing major, just little arguments here and there. I'm sure this is pretty normal for a "bonded" pair, right?
I started weighing daily this week because I was doubting my baselines and second-guessing my assumption that weights have been stable. My baselines are fine and they have been stable. I think I might keep it up, though, because it seems like a fine way to make sure everyone gets at least some cuddles every day.
I was wandering Petco the other day after greeting the critters and picking up a new water bottle and I found the cutest puppy hair clips. I get so excited about themed photo shoots and would probably spend all my money on props and accessories. I try to not pick up extras in those horrid places, but I couldn't live without these.
So, I present to you Queen Coco, ruler of Pigania:
(Please ignore the pasty white, hairy legs that I neither claim nor deny belong to me. Also ignore the fuzziness of the picture. Focus only on the crown.)
(I just noticed 1/3 of my dad's doggy in the background. He always likes to snort around when I have a baby out. He lets my dad pet and hold them, too, which is very unlike his behavior with the other dog and cats. I think he must like them.)
I typically do suppers at night, but fell asleep early last night (due to long work hours and an already mucked up sleep clock), so supper is becoming breakfast. I think there was another time that happened this week, too.
There are pellets from yesterday and loads of hay and plenty of water.
But that simply isn't good enough. I woke up at about 5 (not intentionally). This is what happened.
Me: Oh, crap! Sorry babies, I'll get your supper when I really get up. Mommy is much too tired right now.
Me: Stop. One hour. I'll get it in one hour.
Apollo: *rattles water bottle*
Me: GUYS! You won't starve, I promise! ONE HOUR!
Zeus: WWWWWWHHHEEEEEEKK! WHEEEEEEK!
Apollo: Squeak? *rattles water bottle*
Cali: What is going on and why did you wake me up? Oh, mom's late with food? WHEEEEEEEK! WHEEEEEEK! WHEEEEK!
That has now been going on for 49 minutes. Apparently my pigs 1) have no sense of what an "hour" is, and 2) are cruel, heartless jerks who don't care if mommy gets enough sleep.
On the plus side, I don't think I'll have to worry about waking up on time today!