Bonding Brothers..?

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Fluffball

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So Arthur came back from his op on Friday 5th June and has been well on his way to recovery. We made sure to keep out of his hutch during the first week after his operation, choosing rather to keep him inside on fleece to make sure that the operated area wouldn't become irritated from the biodegradable bedding pellets in the hutch and so that it was a constantly clean area that he was living in.
He normally lives with his brother, Merlin, and so on Sunday 7th, Wednesday 10th and Saturday 13th, we made sure that Merlin and Arthur got some time (a few hours each time) to spend with each other and each pig seemed a bit glum. We popped Arthur back into the hutch on Saturday 13th after a 'good to go' from the vet. All seemed to be going well, except we started to notice that Arthur, who is the larger pig out of the two, was starting to chatter and grind his teeth a lot, though we never saw an outright fights.
However yesterday morning we heard Merlin squealing and found Arthur biting Merlin on his rump. We've now separated the two lads and we've cleaned Merlins wound which is luckily only skin deep- I'll put up pictures if requested.
The boys have never had any troubles except for a few scuffs resulting in nipped years over the four years they've been together and we don't want them to have to live separately.

Any ideas as to how we could introduce them to each other again and stop the 'dominance'?
 

kkschmitz

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This 'dominance' is most likely being caused by the fact that Arthur is still recovering from surgery, so Merlin senses that the time is right while Arthur is weak to assert his dominance over him. It would be best to keep them separated until Arthur is fully healed. Be sure that the two brothers are able to smell, see, and touch noses between their enclosures though, so that they do not get lonely, bored, or depressed. Good Luck!
 

Wiebke

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I am very sorry for your upset. Sadly, an operation can cause problems with well established pairings of either gender; especially if it is the more dominant guinea pig that is not feeling on top, and the bottom pig sensing a chance, which can lead to trouble.

Please let the two boys cool down and give your ill boy a chance to recover fully, then try intros on neutral ground again.You may find the tips in these two threads helpful. As the bits has only been shallow, there is still all to play for.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boars-bullying-fighting-fall-outs-and-what-next.127295/
 

Fluffball

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Had another check over Merlin today and found not only a few scabs but also a scar of what must've been a previous bite which Merlins long hair on his rump, has expertly covered. Seems like Arthurs got some explaining to do... poor Merlin is scared stiff and we've decided to get another hutch for Arthur to stay in until his operation wound has cleared. We'll see how things go from there but after seeing the scar, I don't want to take any chances with the boys.
 
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