It all started with some online research (although I later found it wasn't nearly enough.) I have 2 kids who were desperate for a new pet after my divorce and a move. I looked up what small animals were best for children, and time after time came to guinea pigs. The site's I browsed said enough to tell me two was better than one (although I would have gotten two anyway. You never bring home one of anything with two kids.)
So with a long trip to their dad's, my fiance and I went to Petco to pick up two piggies and everything the sales lady told us we needed, some of which I knew and some I didn't. I had checked Craigslist and several shelters and didn't find any to rescue so this seemed the only way to get them. I know better now, but with a lack of rescues here it was difficult to adopt. I normally would never buy a pet, and have always rescued in the past.
Anyways, shortly after bringing home our two sweet (!) boys we let them get acclimated to their new cage. One began popcorning, and I panicked and looked online thinking he was seizing. One search led to another and I very quickly realized we had everything all wrong. I set up a pet playpen with blankets and marveled at these new creatures zooming and popcorns all over the place. I began obsessively reading hundreds of threads here to see what else I had done wrong. I have always been an animal lover, but had no experience with guinea pigs beyond a few friends that kept only one pig in a pet store cage.
Before long I was head over heels in love with our two critters and had built a 2*6 c&c cage. But despite everything I read and did the two never really got along. No blood was drawn but lots of rumbling and bacon bullying gidgit from food and water. Two of everything didn't solve the problem, and eventually one day I saw flying furballs. This pair just wasn't going to work as adolescents. A few weeks later we tried a reintroduction and buddy baths following all the guidelines carefully, but they immediately lunged for the throat. I built another cage and put it side by side with the first, but the incessant bar chewing caused some broken teeth and stressed out piggies.
So now we have two separate 2*4 cages with 1*2 lofts, one of which is in my daughter's room (the only place we had space they couldn't see each other) and next week gidgit will be going to the vet to be neutered. I will eventually have them both done and get them girlfriends but can only afford one at a time. We have an excellent exotics vet here in town with tons of experience who will be doing the surgeries. Bacon is very upset not being in the living room with the family (he was the one with all the agression) but I don't know how to have them even near each other without lunging :(
And gidgit seems to be the most upset at not having a buddy, even if he was a big meanie. He never leaves from under the loft unless no one is in the room, except during lap time will pancake on my shoulder for a while.
I will put pictures on Photobucket and share the links below :)
The pictures in the blue playpen were a few days after we got them. The rest are in between March and now. Bacon is the chubby one with the white head and pink ears. Gidgit is the red and white one and much narrower than his brother :)
We may try again in a few weeks, but it was all so very stressful on us and the piggies. Hopefully once adolescence is over they will be able to be near each other but for now just can't find a way to make it work.
We do weigh weekly, bacon is around 916g and gidgit is around 757g as of last week. I won't be surprised if either has lost a bit since being separated, as they don't seem to be nearly as active although they're eating normally. Hopefully gidgit will be healthy enough at their check-up to have the neuter done, he would benefit from a buddy and would prefer to add a sow to our group
It's hopefully nothing serious, and I'm keeping a close eye on them both to be sure. I'm probably overthinking and nervous for no reason.
The plus side being we will be seeing the vet Saturday and can put any concerns at ease
First when we got there, they said we didn't have an appointment (we did), so we waited around an hour for them to squeeze us in. Because of the short notice I didn't get to see my favorite exotic vet. We took gidgit out of the travel carrier and he did a quick physical exam and listened to his heart rate. Didn't check teeth, didn't seem concerned by anything I'd said.
He basically tried to persuade us not to do the neuter. Said they don't need antibiotics after surgery, and they don't recommend ever doing these surgeries on small animals, although he will do it if we really insist. My normal vet would have had much different thoughts on that I'm sure, he is all about neutering and spaying, anything that helps animal overpopulation even in "pocket pets"
So anyway, we raised concern about a possible UTI due to gidgits odor and large amounts of urine. Gidgit doesn't make noise so I'm not sure we would notice if he has pain urinating. Vet said it's unlikely because gidgit is a male. Asked about the hooting, he said since there's no visible signs of URI it's unlikely to be anything but smaller airways.
Either way, I feel very uncomfortable allowing that practice to do anything more for my pets unless I can see my usual doctor. We may get a second opinion still about the UTI possibly. In general I feel that SOMETHING is wrong with gidgit, I just don't know what. Bacon is healthy as can be as far as I can tell, but something feels very wrong with gidgit. All I can do is wait til Monday to call other vets and hope nothing else happens.
Otherwise I think we've decided to add another boar or two to our little family and hope for the best, preparing ourselves for the possibility of 3 separate cages.
I am most concerned that he brushed off the possibility of a UTI. An odor is a clear sign there is bacteria. It could be stones, still, if the extra urination was caused by the stones and the excess urination was partially causing the bacterial growth/odor.
I would definitely not see this vet again. The signs and information in the guide generally reflect the experiences of many people. A good diagnostic vet is very valuable.
I'm going tomorrow to see about a boar that was on Craigslist (getting my spare cage set up for quarantine just in case) He is around 1 1/2 and they say he's very sweet, but their child doesn't take care of him. I'll never understand people.