Gidgit bear and bacon bits

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Gidgi-bits

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 5:32 pm


I didn't see an introduction thread or place to say hello, so this is as good as any place to introduce ourselves :)

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 :)

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 6:00 pm


http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/shandumit88/library/guinea%20pigs

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 :)

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 6:14 pm


You could put the cages next to each other and line the wall between them with plexiglass. That way they can see each other and both be with the family.

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 6:21 pm


We tried putting cardboard between, thinking they could chat without seeing each other but there was still plenty of cage biting, dragging, drama queen squealing, and running head first at the cage wall. I was really afraid bacon was going to hurt himself. Gidgit seemed scared and angry at the same time, although doesn't seem to have much of a voice box.

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.

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 6:48 pm


Also, not sure if it makes any difference, but from everything I've read there is a possibility that bacon is a cuy. He is very skittish, hates being held or touched, and weighs a good bit more than gidgit although they're both around 5-6 months old. He has much larger ears and feet and overall is much stronger and harder to handle. He also can jump quite a bit more than gidgit, and has jumped from furniture or our arms twice despite our best efforts, then takes off running like nothing happened. Obviously we won't know for sure until he's fully grown, but all the characteristics are there it seems.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 8:38 pm


They are awfully cute! Are you weighing them weekly? It's one of the best ways to keep track of their health.

p.s. the pictures from under the glass table are interesting!
www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Wed May 31, 2017 9:46 pm


Thanks! Love the way their paws look under the glass.

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

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:44 am


Gidgit has begun hooting :( only when resting and usually only lasting a few minutes. He has never been able to wheek, only making a hack throat sound when trying to beg for veggies. The vet can't get us in before our Saturday appointment, and I don't hear any crackling when he breathes normally although we will go to the emergency vet if that happens or he stops eating as much. After reading here, I suspect he is a heart pig, which may make a neuter impossible. Fingers crossed, but if we can't we will get him a boar friend.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:08 pm


It sounds like your guinea pig is young? If so, less likely to be a heart issue. Not all vocalizations people call "hooting" indicate heart problems.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:11 pm


A lot of pigs hoot occasionally, and it doesn't mean heart disease. Hooting because of heart disease is usually pretty constant and long-term, and may increase with exercise.

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:56 pm


He is around 6 months old. He's done it a few times before, the last two days has been more consistent (after zooming around the cage and floor time). My main concern being that other than the hooting or occasionally a throaty hacking noise he has never made any other sounds. No wheeking or exploring noises or anything, where bacon talks all day every day with a range of sounds.

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

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:47 pm


Sounds like boys will be boys. Hoping all goes well at the vets. Welcome to the world of being a cavy slave.

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:38 pm


They're training me well haha. Got new fleeces today :) so those are in the wash, I'm excited to get them ready. Hopefully my sewing machine holds up

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:28 pm


We had an.. uh... Interesting vet visit. I'm not impressed with the vet we saw today at all quite honestly.

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.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2017

Post   » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:39 pm


I'm actually with the vet. All surgery on these little guys are dangerous and most vets will not do it unless a medical condition. I do how ever agree with you and get second opinion. Only YOU know Gidgit bear the best!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:09 pm


Surgery depends on the skill and experience of a good vet. There are always risks. But many people DO have great vets who know how to do a neuter.

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.
www.guinealynx.info/uti.html
www.guinealynx.info/stones.html

Gidgi-bits

Post   » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:49 pm


Reading both of those links now, thanks to both of you for the input :) I do wonder about stones or at least sludge. I've seen some pretty cloudy, powdery dried pees on the fleece every now and then. Cut back on carrots and fruit and it seemed to help, but it's always a possibility with these guys. And I'll be calling a different vet tomorrow.

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.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:28 pm


Neither carrots nor fruit is high in calcium. You might want to check out the chart and sort on calcium:
www.guinealynx.info/chart.html

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