How to begin choosing a new companion?


Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:01 pm

bpatters, I think I disagree about doing quarantine. I would do it. You don't know what the previous pig died from and it sounds like the previous owner was not providing the very best of care. The new pig would probably not have mites but it's possible to have an illness. You never know unless you quarantine. At the very least, it gives the new pig time to get used to new people and a new environment (and better food) before an introduction that will no doubt be stressful already.

marlenes mom

Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:48 pm

WICharlie, the other pig died over 8 months ago. Do you think that it is still necessary?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:16 pm

Yeah, I was basing on the fact that it had been quite a while since the other pig died.


Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:47 pm

I don't think this pig could have an illness caught from the other pig. But, I've heard so many stories from people who were surrendering their pigs to the rescue over the years. The most common are: "We're moving and can't take them with...we're allergic...we don't have time for it anymore...the kids don't take care of them...etc., etc." And then I have the pig for a few days and find out that; the pig has lice, an ear infection, unusual masses, a limp that I wasn't told about, a cough, sneezes, diarrhea or trouble expelling poos, is pregnant, has unhealed sores, sits in the corner hunched up, etc., etc. You get the picture. The bottom line is that this neighbor wants to get rid of the pig. It sounds like the excuse is that she believes it is lonely (I've heard that one too!). So if it's a young pig and she's only had it a short time, why not get it a companion instead of getting rid of it?

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.

marlenes mom

Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:01 pm

Ok, so I am thoroughly confused now. I reached out to the neighborhood about rescue organizations and the neighbor said she felt bad that her pig had been alone for 8 months and it might be better to rehome her. She’s had her for 4 years. I visited her and she looked like a really good weight, had hay, pellets and the lady said she feeds her lettuce.

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

Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:04 pm

I say go for it. Even if she has mites, you can treat them yourself very cheaply.

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 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.

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Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:18 pm

Sounds reasonable to go for it. Hope the introductions go well!

marlenes mom

Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:24 pm

Thanks guys. I did read all about the intros, I plan to follow it closely. We pick her up tomorrow evening and I plan on spending tomorrow night and all day Saturday on it. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Post   » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:13 am

"She’s had her for 4 years."

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.

marlenes mom

Post   » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:24 am

No problem WICharlie, totally understand. I really don't think she was searching for a new home for her pig. My message just prompted her to think of what's best for her girl.

I really appreciate all the help!

marlenes mom

Post   » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:12 am

Updating you guys!

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.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:14 am

Good for you! I hope things continue to go well!

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