Messed up bonding.

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grimmi05

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:44 am


So I messed up a bonding between two female cavys

I recently had one cavy die and I needed to get a new friend for panda, the surviving one.

I adopted Buttercup from the local SPCA. Here is were I messed up. I cleaned the cage that Panda and her former cage mate used. washed it down with vinegar to remove any smells. I then proceeded to introduce the pigs in that cage as opposed to a neutral area like I have done before. While Panda has not drawn blood from Buttercup she is being a bully, stealing food and chasing her away from things. Buttercup is completely terrified of Panda.

The other thing Panda does is chase Buttercup into a nut and just sit there with her. They don't fit but Buttercup makes complaining noises.

Is there anything I can do to help them get along better? should I try a buddy bath and see if that works? If so should I clean out the cage again and try to make it a neutral as possible?

Anything would help thanks.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:38 am


"...chase Buttercup into a nut..."

I take it you mean a hut? It is best to only have shelters that have multiple openings. Small plastic stools work well. Make sure you have a really big cage!

Links to good info here:
www.guinealynx.info/companionship.html

A room with stools:
www.guinealynx.info/my-pigs.html

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:40 am


For my introductions, I usually spread out a big blanket on the floor, add plenty of hay and veggies, and let the two guinea pigs spend as much time as is needed to get to know each other. It's neutral; nobody associates it with being "theirs." If it doesn't go well, I separate, wait a day or two, and try again. I've had a lot of success with doing it that way and have only once had to resort to a "buddy bath." Your existing pig did what was natural, which is defend her home to what she perceived to be an intruder. For this to work, you will need to allow both pigs adequate time and space to work this out.

A wealth of information and tips on how to introduce guinea pigs to one another can be found here:
http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?t=37

All of this said...any new pig should be quarantined before attempting introductions, unless one has adopted from a reliable rescue (and even then, I keep the new guinea pig separate for a few days to allow him to settle in and make doubly sure there is no hidden health issue). An animal shelter is a stressful place, and Buttercup could develop mites or other stress-related illness from being in that environment and now being in a new home. See:
http://www.guinealynx.info/quarantine.html

If I were you, I'd start over and follow some of the tips in that link on how to make this work. You can also search keyword "introductions" on this forum for other threads on the subject. I would not try to again use Panda's existing cage as a meeting place.

grimmi05

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:55 am


So I can separate them and start introductions over again? I was worried that once they have a first impression that would be it. Thankfully no blood has been drawn just a scared pig.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:01 am


I guess since you are already housing them together, you could try re-arranging everything in the cage and see if they can work it out. I'd definitely remove all of the enclosed hideys. That's a recipe for disaster. My question, though is: how big is this cage?

grimmi05

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:07 am


the cage is pretty big. about 3x5 feet. it takes up a good percentage of a wall in my room. I am not worried about Panda hurting her, just denying Buttercup resources like food, water, and hay.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:23 am


You'll need at least two of everything: food bowls, water bottle waters and numerous locations for hay. And again, remove any hideys that don't allow one or the other pig to escape if cornered.

grimmi05

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:30 am


I have two of everything but I will get new huts for them. right now they are in separate huts just chilling. so hopefully they keep civil.

grimmi05

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:34 am


Do you think a new cage might help anything?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:52 am


I don't think a new cage would help, but you not only have to clean the cage, but everything in it. Wash everything that's washable, and throw everything else out.

But I have a small nit to pick here. You didn't "bond" the pigs, and it's not within your power to do so. You can introduce them, but whether or not they "bond" is up to them. Some pigs become best buddies, hardly leave each other's side, sleep together, complain when one is taken out of the cage, etc. Others just coexist in the same cage but don't seem to have any special attachment to each other. Both situations are perfectly normal, but as I said, you can't control that part of it.

grimmi05

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:57 am


I did clean the cage and everything in it. including huts, food dishes, water bottles, and hay holders. everything else was thrown away. and yeah I know I don't have a choice in the bonding. but it was the introduction of them I messed up. So I am seeking advice in maybe curbing Panda's bullying and making Buttercup more comfortable.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:53 pm


You'll just have to be patient and let them work it out. How long have they been in the same cage?

grimmi05

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:40 pm


They have been in the same cage for almost 2 days now.

Update: After putting them both in a neutral area(my bathtub with some towels, veggies, and hay. and replacing everything in the cage with new stuff and re cleaning the cage. things seem to be getting better. while Panda is still being a little bit of a bully she is no longer keeping buttercup from food and water it seems. IN fact buttercup stole a carrot right from under Panda just a little bit ago. hopefully this is a turning point.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:55 pm


Very good! Hope it continues to go well.

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