Confused By Toast's Behaviour

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Beans&Toast

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Warning: slightly long post.

So I've had Toast for close to a year now and all I knew about her was that her previous owner did not spend any time with her or show her affection, she lived alone in a small cage and had food thrown in once a day.

Understandably this means that she's not the most trusting piggy.
She would run and hide any time I came near her, despite the fact that Beans had no issues coming to me whatsoever, she would get herself in such a panic if I attempted to pick her up to the point that her little heart was beating like crazy.

It took me months and a lot of patience but I finally managed to get her to trust me. She will now come to me and allow me to hug her and pet her.

But the one thing I could never get her to do was take food from me if she wasn't in her cage.

If I offered her a bit of food she would take it only if she was in her cage but if I hold her and give her food she absolutely will not take it.
Beans on the other hand, has no trust issues what so ever and is quite a laid back pig.

The fact that Toast wouldn't take anything from my hand if I was holding her didn't bother me too much but last week when she needed antibiotics syringed twice a day it became a massive issue.
It was a fight to get her to take it. She would shake her head violently when I went near her with the syringe and obviously wouldn't take a little bribe treat before to calm her down (as she wasn't in her cage whilst getting the antibiotics)


This has got me really worried incase she ever needed antibiotics again, or even if she ever needed critical care. I wouldn't be able to give her it because she just will not allow it. She clamped her mouth shut and even when I tried to open it with my hands she really forced her head down. I wrapped her in a towel but she would wriggle really aggressively until she was free and would make the most horrific noises if I attempted to force her to stay still.

Does anyone know why even after a year, Toast will still not trust me enough to take food from my hand outside of the cage? I understand that she must be quite traumatised by something her last owner did, or didn't do, and that's why she has trust issues but surely there's a way of overcoming this and fully gaining her trust?
I'm really worried I wouldn't be able to help her if she got ill in the future..
 

PiggieNinja

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I have never had to do this myself so I apolagise if my advise is not very successful . :nod:
If you just get her even one used to lap time , try quite long periods before tea time and then maybe by the end she will be hungry and comfortable enough to take the good from you
Also as guinea pigs can get very jelous :roll: try taking them both out and giving their favourite treat to only Beans and maybe then if you offer some to toast she will take it or otherwise try to steal beans'
Hope this helps !
 

Beans&Toast

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I have never had to do this myself so I apolagise if my advise is not very successful . :nod:
If you just get her even one used to lap time , try quite long periods before tea time and then maybe by the end she will be hungry and comfortable enough to take the good from you
Also as guinea pigs can get very jelous :roll: try taking them both out and giving their favourite treat to only Beans and maybe then if you offer some to toast she will take it or otherwise try to steal beans'
Hope this helps !
Well she does like to steal food from Beans so I will try this:P
I'll try keeping her out for slightly longer lap time too and go from there. Thanks :)
 

eileen

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some cavies are just more confident than others,they all have different personalities.tame at different time rates.with my own cavies i occasionally give them syringed water at lap time so that if they ever need medication it means they are more used to it.also it gives new owners time to practise when piggies are well,because it can be more difficult to syringe medications in poorly piggies.i start with them sniffing at syringe once to twice a week,then gradually build it up so i can open mouth and just plce syringe in without any water,until they are comfortable to take some water out of the syringe.there are some very good articles on how to syringe feed in the health and illness site.I'm sorry my computer skills are not the best and i do not know how to tag them in a thread.i believe it is always best to prepare for these events if possible before they are needed.you are less likely to panic and both cavy and you will have a more comfortable experience.happy learning,make it fun!:lol!:
 

Beans&Toast

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some cavies are just more confident than others,they all have different personalities.tame at different time rates.with my own cavies i occasionally give them syringed water at lap time so that if they ever need medication it means they are more used to it.also it gives new owners time to practise when piggies are well,because it can be more difficult to syringe medications in poorly piggies.i start with them sniffing at syringe once to twice a week,then gradually build it up so i can open mouth and just plce syringe in without any water,until they are comfortable to take some water out of the syringe.there are some very good articles on how to syringe feed in the health and illness site.I'm sorry my computer skills are not the best and i do not know how to tag them in a thread.i believe it is always best to prepare for these events if possible before they are needed.you are less likely to panic and both cavy and you will have a more comfortable experience.happy learning,make it fun!:lol!:
Thanks thanks that was actually really helpful :nod:
 

scott1

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^that's a good idea with the water to get him into it over time. Did feeding him in his cage with syringe work? Is he the sub pig? It's too bad that so many people and breeders don't take time to handle pigs when babies :no: it's like with puppies the same issue. So much good time is lost because of it.
 

Hoppsan

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OMG! Same thing with my Ojdå! When we first got him, he was always very uptight during lap time, stiff muscle, drumming heart, pee a puddle on me every time... I once gave him a pea flake (which is his favorite treat when he's in the cage), he wouldn't take it, and then I stuffed the pea flake into his mouth, he'll just hold it between his lips!(I've got video to prove it!) He's very very shy compare to Hoppsan. We've got him for almost a year now, and the best thing he can do is not running away when I approach the cage (no head rub allowed yet!) and took couple of bites on the veggies during lap time (I think it's just because he's got thirsty), it's certainly more difficult when they do not have a big food drive! I guess we need to be very very patient with piggies like this, if there is improvement there is hope! :D

http://instagr.am/p/7hqFoMGD1o/
 

Tim

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Just thought I'd echo @eileen's superb advice, I'm sure Toast will be fine, it's like our piggies, some are confident and other run and squeal like an axe murderer has just walked in the room! :lol!:
Oh @eileen, give me a yell if you need a hand with IT skills, just noticed that I'm a short hop away from you :)
 

Cookies&Glitter

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What I have been trying to do with my pigs and it has helped a little is to inspect their teeth regularly. I find that having them used to you touching their lips and even possibly opening their mouth daily makes it a little easier to give them meds if needed. One of my pigs is fine with getting the syringe in her mouth but then spits it all out or allows it to leak back out and won't swallow it. For her I try going deeper into her cheek with the syringe and if needed and then even out her back in the cage or in the floor in between so she thinks she's done and just swallows what she's got. Hope this helps. :)
 
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