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Argument injuries and a possible snotty nose

Diane H

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Hi all, I’ve a right week with my boys Kiro and Dragon. They’re just over a year old rescues and were getting on fine but this week there have been escalated diassagreements. Things have calmed down today and they seem happier but both boys have little injuries around their mouths and Dragon (black one) seems to have a snotty nostril today (new development)! I’d like to know if I should see how they go over the weekend or ring the vets today? They are getting on OK today - the usual boy rumblings are occurring but it’s not escalating but I’m worried about the little injuries and Dragon’s nose. Any help would be much appreciated TIA.
 

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Jamjarpigs

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If I were you I'd try to get them seen before the weekend. No harm in it if they're okay, but avoids those emergency vet fees if something happens and they go downhill.
 

Diane H

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Thanks folks. Vets booked for tonight for Dragon and pictures sent ahead of the appointment of both guineapigs. They’re eating and getting along fine right now, even had a popcorn from Kiro. hopefully we can get Dragon sorted easily, he’s a tiny bit sorry for himself bless him.
 

Diane H

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Dragon has basically been bitten right through his lip! We’re on antibiotics and anti inflammatories! It just looked like a little scratch, he’s been eating and everything! Poor lil man! The boys have got on fine all day but not sure they should be in the hutch together tonight? Gosh I hope the hormones settle soon.
 

Piggies&buns

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Oh dear, poor thing.
That’s rather worrying to have such an injury.
Is their cage big enough and do you have hideys with two exits (none that are enclosed)?
 

Diane H

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If I separate them for the night will it possibly cause problems when I put them back together? I’ve cleaned their hutch today and after reading some guides on here I’ve put a little used bedding back in the hutch to reduce territory issues.
 

Diane H

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Oh dear, poor thing.
That’s rather worrying to have such an injury.
Is their cage big enough and do you have hideys with two exits (none that are enclosed)?
They a 5 ft 2 storey hutch and lots of hidies. The roam in the kitchen or in a 4ft run when it’s nice. They have a mix of toys, I try to go for 2 to 4 exits but maybe I’ll try having more things that they’re used to. I try and mix it up each day to make in interesting for them. The problems started after I cleaned Kiro’s grease glad, it was rather dirty. He also got aggressive when I let them roam in the kitchen, they argued over a patch under the dining room table (again, following on from the grease gland today up)! He’s calmed down now and Dragon is always yawning his subordinate yawn. I’m hoping this little spike in aggressiveness has peaked. They’ve been great today.
 

Piggies&buns

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If I separate them for the night will it possibly cause problems when I put them back together? I’ve cleaned their hutch today and after reading some guides on here I’ve put a little used bedding back in the hutch to reduce territory issues.
They a 5 ft 2 storey hutch and lots of hidies. The roam in the kitchen or in a 4ft run when it’s nice. They have a mix of toys, I try to go for 2 to 4 exits but maybe I’ll try having more things that they’re used to. I try and mix it up each day to make in interesting for them. The problems started after I cleaned Kiro’s grease glad, it was rather dirty. He also got aggressive when I let them roam in the kitchen, they argued over a patch under the dining room table (again, following on from the grease gland today up)! He’s calmed down now and Dragon is always yawning his subordinate yawn. I’m hoping this little spike in aggressiveness has peaked. They’ve been great today.

If you have doubts over their relationship, then giving them some time apart to work out whether their bond is functioning is fine to do. It is, however, something you can only do once. So if you separate them tonight in order to test their bond, then you need to decide what the decision is and be confident in the decision. You can’t keep separating and putting them back together.
If you separate tonight and do a reintroduction tomorrow, then their response will give you the answer. If they want to be together, then they will go back together. If they have decided they dont like each other, then it will become clear upon reintroduction and they will then need to be live apart.
This guide may help you Bonds In Trouble

Ok, so the bathing has likely made him smell different which could well have been cause of this change in behaviour.
 

DougalandDiego

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Sorry to hear about your boys and poor Dragon’s lip. I agree with what with @Piggies&buns has already said but noticed you’d said that you change the hideys and environment to make it more interesting for them. I wouldn’t suggest you do this as it can cause dominant behaviour as I’ve experienced with my two boys. I keep all of the main hideys and litter trays in my boys cage in the same place and then add smaller things in for enrichment. There is a really good thread on here about what enrichment things you can do for them if you’re stuck for any ideas on things that won’t rock the boat quite so much! Hope they settle and Dragon feels better soon!
 

Diane H

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Yeah, I think I probably change it up too much for them and in combination with the grease gland grumpiness this has not helped boys who were probably a little hormonal. I kept the set up in the kitchen the same today as it has been the last few days and they were fine. Thanks everyone, just got back from the vets so got to go now and dose my boy up on his medicines and give him a cuddle! This has been very helpful during a stressful time and your advice is much appreciated.
 

Diane H

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They are back in together and there were the usual rumbles but they have settled down. Usual set up in the living room with food each, hide each and hay. Stood outside in the dark almost keeping an eye on them! Cross everything!
 

Diane H

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I’m a little confused as to whether I should have everything clean and neutral or have a bit of soiled / not so clean stuff around so they know it’s theirs? The latter worked well in the kitchen today as they lounged around most of the day. The hutch was cleaned but a little used hay put in the bedroom and some used bedding put in Dragon’s hide. There were no new injuries last night and they have got on fine today so I am holding my nerve and letting them sort it out. Hope they get back to the popcorn pair they were last week.
 

Piggies&buns

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If you separate them and then attempt to do a reintroduction, everything needs to be clean and neutral (including not doing a reintroduction in their normal cage, it needs to be in a different area which doesn’t normally form part of their territory).

If you’ve leave them together, then a soiled item/bedding in the hutch so it still smells of them. This can apply to weekly cage cleans as well, don’t do an entire hutch clean in one go if your boars are territorial and a bit hormonal (clean one half, then a few days later clean the other half). Some boars aren’t affected by full cage cleans, but it can tip others into being more dominant.
 

Diane H

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If you separate them and then attempt to do a reintroduction, everything needs to be clean and neutral (including not doing a reintroduction in their normal cage, it needs to be in a different area which doesn’t normally form part of their territory).

If you’ve leave them together, then a soiled item/bedding in the hutch so it still smells of them. This can apply to weekly cage cleans as well, don’t do an entire hutch clean in one go if your boars are territorial and a bit hormonal (clean one half, then a few days later clean the other half). Some boars aren’t affected by full cage cleans, but it can tip others into being more dominant.
Fab, got it, thank you 😊
 

Diane H

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Was up at 4 am worried about the boys so got up to listen out for them coz they are by the kitchen window and are sometimes active at that time. Heard nothing, went back to bed and laid awake then my son work up with croup at 5:45 😫. Kids ‘n’ guineapigs eh!
Anyway, the guineas have been OK this morning, usual chatterings and turn takings over breakfast but no fighting. Dragon’s lip is already looking less swollen and he’s hopping about in run. I’m being careful to give Kiro some attention and a treat after Dragon has had his medicine so he still knows he’s the boss! If anything escalates I will separate and do the neutral introduction but for now I think I’m going to keep holding my nerve and keep a close eye on them. I’m leaving them in their hutch and run and not bringing them into the kitchen so there’s nothing new and exciting to argue about!
 

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Diane H

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Thanks again for all your help folks, I think we’re on the mend now. There been chatterings and obviously Dragon is a little cautious of Kiro at times but I think they’ll mend. I’ve left them to sort things in their hutch and run the last few days and only just brought them inside for a bit this afternoon - everything smells of them just about.
 

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Diane H

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... vet couldn’t see Kiro on Friday coz they were mega busy so getting him an appointment this week. It’s very stressful watching them wondering if something is going to occur all the time. When you’ve rescued you just don’t want anything to happen on your watch. I just hope if it does all end in tears I’m there and can separate them. What a rollercoaster!
 
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