ScottishPiggies

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I want to start this off by saying I used to own two guinea pigs, then four, then three.

My first two guinea pigs were Rhona and Rosie - I got them at six months old, and they were both born with health problems. I knew they might not make it to last 4 years, but I had settled with that. I didn't think I would lose them so soon, and just before Christmas day, Rosie had to be euthanized. She wasn't getting any better, she was barely moving, and it hurt to watch her just slowly fade away and lose weight like it was nothing.

Before Rosie had passed, I had gotten two new guinea pigs to maybe start a little family - Ginger and Panda (originally called Pebbles, renamed to Panda). They were all still getting used to each other's scents, cages side by side, just to make sure that everything was okay. When Rosie passed, I had to accommodate for Rhona as they were already bonded.

Rhona is on her own now, and Ginger and Panda are together. The cages are still side by side, but I'm not sure what to do. I've been giving them time to get to know each other, but every time I give them a brief introduction, it always ends in a fur fight that I have to split up since I don't want them to get hurt. Panda and Rhona do not seem to like each other, and Ginger doesn't seem to like Rhona either.

Rhona is a very dominant piggie. She was the dominant one with Rosie, and I don't know what to do. She won't bond with Ginger and Panda, and I'm scared that if I try to get another piggie for Rhona to bond with, it won't end well.

Does anyone have some advice? All my guinea pigs are roughly one year old, and all females.
 

Wiebke

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I want to start this off by saying I used to own two guinea pigs, then four, then three.

My first two guinea pigs were Rhona and Rosie - I got them at six months old, and they were both born with health problems. I knew they might not make it to last 4 years, but I had settled with that. I didn't think I would lose them so soon, and just before Christmas day, Rosie had to be euthanized. She wasn't getting any better, she was barely moving, and it hurt to watch her just slowly fade away and lose weight like it was nothing.

Before Rosie had passed, I had gotten two new guinea pigs to maybe start a little family - Ginger and Panda (originally called Pebbles, renamed to Panda). They were all still getting used to each other's scents, cages side by side, just to make sure that everything was okay. When Rosie passed, I had to accommodate for Rhona as they were already bonded.

Rhona is on her own now, and Ginger and Panda are together. The cages are still side by side, but I'm not sure what to do. I've been giving them time to get to know each other, but every time I give them a brief introduction, it always ends in a fur fight that I have to split up since I don't want them to get hurt. Panda and Rhona do not seem to like each other, and Ginger doesn't seem to like Rhona either.

Rhona is a very dominant piggie. She was the dominant one with Rosie, and I don't know what to do. She won't bond with Ginger and Panda, and I'm scared that if I try to get another piggie for Rhona to bond with, it won't end well.

Does anyone have some advice? All my guinea pigs are roughly one year old, and all females.
Hi!

I am very sorry for your loss. We can sadly never choose how long we have a pet; we can only give them as many happy todays to make their life a good one while it lasts. If you have made a big difference in your little girl's life, then you have done well!
Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children

It may well be that Rhona is feeling very defensive because she is not a well piggy and over-reacts (I call this fear-aggression), especially if the other leader is of the same or a heavier calibre and ultimately stronger. Once piggies have made up their mind that they do not suit, they will never bond, unfortunately.
More information on fear-aggression in these two links below:
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour

It may be that Rhona will ultimately be happiest in her own territory with interaction and stimulation through the bars, but if you would like to give her a chance at bonding with another piggy, your closest good standard guinea pig rescue that offers rescue dating is Ayr's Guinea Pig Rescue.
Recommended Guinea Pig Rescues

It means that you only come home only with a new companion if acceptance has happened and you have the backing of the rescue if the bond is getting into major trouble for some reason. You would avoid that you could end up with a third party that doesn't get on with any of your other sows. You are also guaranteed to rehome only healthy/fully quarantined piggies and sows only after a mandatory pregnancy watch.

A younger sub-teenage sow or a gentle neutered boar may be best to try. Please be aware that rescues do not always have all their piggies on their adoption pages; it is well worth having a chat, especially if you have a problem/special needs piggy.

All the best!
 
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