What do you know about how this pig (and the other one) was cared for? What were they fed? When the other pig got sick, did the owner notice? Did they take it to a vet? What did it die from? Many of the things that I have mentioned above do not show up until you have had the pig a bit and have had a chance to observe it. I would err on the side of caution unless you have been over to this neighbor's home on a regular basis, have witnessed the care, and know this neighbor very well. Otherwise I would never take the chance.
At the very least, you need to get an initial weight on the pig and make sure it is eating properly and acting right. And that usually takes a week or so for the pig to get used to the new environment, new people, and probably new diet. Initially they are scared and don't act like they will once they relax a bit. And while they are in that scared stage they will suppress any symptoms of an illness even more so than they would otherwise.
There’s really no way she’s pregnant and I really doubt she has mites. Aside from a small cage and long nails, there was nothing obvious.
I am already a nervous wreck about this, but now I’m rethinking the whole thing. :-/
- And got the T-shirt
There are no guarantees in life, or in guinea pig adoption. But there's really very little chance that there's anything wrong with this pig. It's not like you're taking a pig that's been dumped at a pet store and no one knows its history, or one that you know has not been well cared for.
Your pig will undoubtedly appreciate a cage mate. But do read http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html before you do the introductions, and do them at a time when you're not hurried and have plenty of time to give to it.
Okay, I missed this. For some reason I thought the neighbor had these pigs only 8 months and that the pig was really young. I've got to read more closely. It's probably fine to skip quarantine then with what you say you have observed in the previous home. When you are involved in rescue for several years, you develop a thick skin of skepticism when it comes to people getting rid of their pets. Knee jerk reaction for me.
We brought Fran (new name!) home last night and I cut her nails, then let her chill in her own cage beside Amy's cage a bit. After they ate a little, I did the introductions in big pen in a neutral area with hay/lettuce and water - no houses.
It was really cool! Little bit of power moves from both, lots of rumblestrutting, Amy even lifted her butt and peed on Fran at one point! They stayed in the neutral area for over 2 hours and I prepared the cage. I cleaned everything and took the opportunity to extend it from 4X2 to 5X2, new coroplast, etc. We put them in and watched for another couple of hours. At one point they were in the same hidey house together, so seems really great!
Fran is a little skiddish, I'm concerned about her not getting enough food but it's early days I know. I gave her some lettuce in front of her house and she ate it. She is by the hay right now eating a little bit, so progress. I think being in a room with people and noises, dog barking, etc is new to her as well as the much bigger cage and Amy. I plan on weighing her today (and Amy) and keeping tabs on their weights daily for a couple of weeks. Her poops are a bit light in color and smaller compared to Amy, but I think her diet was less than ideal. She was eating "fruity pebbles" pellets and very little hay, so now she'll get Kleen Mama pellets and all the orchard grass her heart desires, so I hope the poos improve.