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Advice For Abused Guinea Pigs?

Natrista

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I recently adopted two male guinea pigs. They are a bonded pair so I got them together.

The only problem is the person I got them from was blind, and hadn't picked them up or groomed them in over two years.

It's to the point where they won't let anyone touch them. It saddens me when I go to out fresh food in their cage and one male guinea pig stands on top of the other to protect him.
 

sport_billy

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hello, sorry to hear this. It may be a bit of an uphill climb, but i am pleased they have found someone who is going to love them and help them as much as possible.

Are they healthy? Eating/pooing okay?

We always start off after a few days by trying to hand feed a few veggy treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you.
Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also but this may be some while off......

When you gai ntheir trust in the cage start lap time in a few weeks for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.
 

randomname

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It's great you've adopted them. All I can advise is plenty of time, patience & love. An old toothbrush might come in handy to desensitise them once they're settled in, it can be less scary than a hand. I always advise never looming over them : approach at face level, make sure your hand isn't above them etc. Talk to them softly before you approach the cage, let them know you're there.

Are they long haired?
 

gizzy

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Hi there, pigs like you have adopted usually turn out to be the most rewarding!
It may take a lot of patients and love from you but the rewards when they settle down and accept you as there keeper and friend, is beyond price! :wub:
 

Merab's Slave

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Well done for adopting these piggies.
I’m sure that with love and patience they will come to be trusting, happy piggies.
 

Kellykels

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Mine are from a rescue and are exhibiting exactly the same behaviors as yours.
Skittish, jumping on top of one another. They had mites when I got them and their poor backs were scabby from scratching.
Other than that they were in good health. :)
 

Hath

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Hi, thank you for helping these piggies. All my piggies were rescued and skittish/petrified. One was extremely bad, he would run,scream,jump and even got himself stuck in hay rack trying to run away from me! He was part of my foster trio, which also needed syringe feeding and weighing daily, as they were severely emaciated, so not great start!

It really just takes time. There's great info in here. Keep talking, anytime you're near talk to them. Give them little treats. Food is their best friend! Don't expect quick fix and you'll soon see their confidence grow! It can take weeks, months. Just accept they have their little personalities so might not want to be lap pigs at all. Aim is to get them comfortable and happy ❤
 

sport_billy

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Hi, thank you for helping these piggies. All my piggies were rescued and skittish/petrified. One was extremely bad, he would run,scream,jump and even got himself stuck in hay rack trying to run away from me! He was part of my foster trio, which also needed syringe feeding and weighing daily, as they were severely emaciated, so not great start!

It really just takes time. There's great info in here. Keep talking, anytime you're near talk to them. Give them little treats. Food is their best friend! Don't expect quick fix and you'll soon see their confidence grow! It can take weeks, months. Just accept they have their little personalities so might not want to be lap pigs at all. Aim is to get them comfortable and happy ❤
great advice :)
 

Natrista

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hello, sorry to hear this. It may be a bit of an uphill climb, but i am pleased they have found someone who is going to love them and help them as much as possible.

Are they healthy? Eating/pooing okay?

We always start off after a few days by trying to hand feed a few veggy treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you.
Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also but this may be some while off......

When you gai ntheir trust in the cage start lap time in a few weeks for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

Thanks for the advice! They are eating and pooping okay as far as I can tell. I've only had two guinea pigs before and they were healthier when I got them, so it's hard to tell. My vet said they aren't physically sick, so I think if I do give them time and take it slow we can get them back to a better place
 

Natrista

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Hi, thank you for helping these piggies. All my piggies were rescued and skittish/petrified. One was extremely bad, he would run,scream,jump and even got himself stuck in hay rack trying to run away from me! He was part of my foster trio, which also needed syringe feeding and weighing daily, as they were severely emaciated, so not great start!

It really just takes time. There's great info in here. Keep talking, anytime you're near talk to them. Give them little treats. Food is their best friend! Don't expect quick fix and you'll soon see their confidence grow! It can take weeks, months. Just accept they have their little personalities so might not want to be lap pigs at all. Aim is to get them comfortable and happy ❤

Thanks! I was planning on touching them right away, but now I realize that's not the best idea and might scare them more. I'll take time with them and I'll keep everyone updated on their recovery! Maybe some pictures when you can no longer see their bones or anything.

The only two guinea pigs I've taken care of before we're never neglected this bad so I'm new to the recovery process. I'm just glad I didn't make the same mistake this time of only adopting one.
 

Hoppity.K

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Hello and it’s lovely to hear that you’ve adopted 2 piggy’s in need of love & attention. I’m sure after time (and patience) you’ll be rewarded with 2 gorgeous trusting boys. Xx :love:
 

Wiebke

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I recently adopted two male guinea pigs. They are a bonded pair so I got them together.

The only problem is the person I got them from was blind, and hadn't picked them up or groomed them in over two years.

It's to the point where they won't let anyone touch them. It saddens me when I go to out fresh food in their cage and one male guinea pig stands on top of the other to protect him.
Hi! Please try these piggy whispering tricks here to make friends with them. The more you can avoid looking and behaving like a predator and not trigger their prey animal instincts the better. It won't be a quick process, but patience and persistence will get you there. Try your best to see things from the perspective of a frightened prey animal and let that be your guide!

Our picking up guide doesn't involve direct handling, so you can hopefully manage with that.
Make sure that you turn everything into a special ritual with its own melody, so they learn to anticipate and it is no longer just random violence perpetrated on them. Praise them lavishly and be encouraging over every bit and be audibly disappointed when they chicken out.
How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips


If you have any initial bathing, grooming, nail cutting etc.to do, do so in one fell swoop at the beginning but somewhere where they cannot injure themselves if they jump blindly, like a bowl on a towel on the shower floor. If necessary have somebody else there to help you. It is easier on them to do it in one go while they are freaked out badly just once and are feeling a lot better in themselves afterwards. Piggies piling up on each other is typical when they are very frightened and cannot wiggle underneath or behind their mate but have nowhere to hide. The one at the bottom is of course the safest one. ;)

I have adopted several total 'freakers' over the years, but they have all come round eventually even if it has taken months or even years to have them relax fully. I am currently still working on a severely traumatised ex-toddler's pet who has a real thing about hands and being handled; she has made huge strides but it is still an ongoing process.
Some other very nervous piggies are slowly coming along. With love, gentleness and understanding you can bring them out, even if it is often a one step forward - two steps back progress at the beginning.
 

Betsy

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When I first got my piggies 2 years ago I found this he piggy whispering techniques very useful and helped a lot. The best one I found for mine was whenever I approached the hutch I would use a funny singsong voice and always have some sort of treat like a piece of veg. That way they soon got to learn that I was friendly. Mine hadn't been traumatised though they were just young and skittish. With time and love your piggies will see you as a friend. Have lots of hideys and snugglesacks that they can run into and feel safe. Mine prefer the double snuggle sacks. You can pick them up in snugglesacks too when they have settled in and it's not so scary for them.
 
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