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Fairly New Guinea Pig Mom, Recieved Bad News

PigMaSquared

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Hello All,

I am new to this site and a new (as of this year) guinea pig mom. I never had guinea pigs growing up but my best friend used to have some for 4H. I decided to join the forum today because about 3 weeks ago I got my second guinea pig. She is (roughly) 8-9 weeks old. I have had her separate from my first guinea pig until they are a little more familiar with each other. Anyway I took Aspen (new piggy) for a physical today to make sure she is good to go. And they told me that they are 95% sure that she is blind. They referred me to reach out to a specialist to be sure. But I have been calling around all day to no avail. I guess I am just looking for some advice on how to move forward as far as making her life easier. I feel like a terrible mom for not realizing sooner (I suspected something was different but never thought blindness). If anyone has any advice or tips I would appreciate it. I also feel guilty about putting Aspen into my other guinea pigs cage as I don't want her to be confused or scared since she can't see anything. So if anyone has experience with a blind piggy and how to change cages I would love to hear from you! I want to change cages because I had her in a smaller temporary one until she went to the vet. So there is no way I want to put both Aspen and Oaklee into the smaller cage. Thank you in advance for any help! :)
 

Piggies&buns

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Welcome and I am sorry to hear that.

She will be better off bonded with your other piggy - for one she is too young to be by herself and piggies shouldn’t be alone anyway but, and to my limited knowledge on blind piggies, being bonded with a sighted piggy can be very beneficial to them.

One of our other advisors @Wiebke has experience of bonding blind piggies so can give you some specific advice
 

PigMaSquared

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Welcome and I am sorry to hear that.

She will be better off bonded with your other piggy - for one she is too young to be by herself and piggies shouldn’t be alone anyway but, and to my limited knowledge on blind piggies, being bonded with a sighted piggy can be very beneficial to them.

One of our other advisors @Wiebke has experience of bonding blind piggies so can give you some specific advice
I have been reading as much as I could since receiving the news! And I seen that they benefit from sighted pigs! I'm just nervous to put her in the new cage and I'm anxious it will stress her out too much 😔
 

Piggies&buns

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I have been reading as much as I could since receiving the news! And I seen that they benefit from sighted pigs! I'm just nervous to put her in the new cage and I'm anxious it will stress her out too much 😔
I really do feel that bonding her will be the best thing. She doesn’t know she is blind so will just go about her piggy business as normal.

You must not just put her in the cage of your other piggy though. You will need to go through the correct bonding procedure using neutral territory. I will add in the bonding guides for you to read to ensure you go about it the correct way

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

Wiebke

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Hello All,

I am new to this site and a new (as of this year) guinea pig mom. I never had guinea pigs growing up but my best friend used to have some for 4H. I decided to join the forum today because about 3 weeks ago I got my second guinea pig. She is (roughly) 8-9 weeks old. I have had her separate from my first guinea pig until they are a little more familiar with each other. Anyway I took Aspen (new piggy) for a physical today to make sure she is good to go. And they told me that they are 95% sure that she is blind. They referred me to reach out to a specialist to be sure. But I have been calling around all day to no avail. I guess I am just looking for some advice on how to move forward as far as making her life easier. I feel like a terrible mom for not realizing sooner (I suspected something was different but never thought blindness). If anyone has any advice or tips I would appreciate it. I also feel guilty about putting Aspen into my other guinea pigs cage as I don't want her to be confused or scared since she can't see anything. So if anyone has experience with a blind piggy and how to change cages I would love to hear from you! I want to change cages because I had her in a smaller temporary one until she went to the vet. So there is no way I want to put both Aspen and Oaklee into the smaller cage. Thank you in advance for any help! :)
Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for the diagnosis. Please follow normal procedures with an intro on neutral ground. Piggies are often very accepting and caring towards a disabled companion.
You can't just plonk a piggy into any other piggies' territory - that will cause a diplomatic crisis at the best and outright warfare at the worst but generally leads to a bonding fail. Imagine you having a stranger coming into your home declaring that they are your husband to spend the rest of his life in your home!
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Blind (and blind & deaf) piggies compensate with their other senses; thankfully sight is the weakest of the guinea pig senses (whereas it is the strongest in humans). Blind guinea pigs can lead a perfectly normal life orientating themselves by smell and scent marking, hearing and touch (whiskers and foot pads). You do not need to take any special measures; they will follow their new mate and get to know their home quickly to make a mental map. However, they really profit from a carer companion.

It is also a common misconception that you cannot change the layout or have ramps (at least not shallow ones); you can change the layout. Blind piggies can run around on the ground and go out on the lawn just as normal ones do. They will run around their cage and popcorn just as much any normal piggy.
If they are blind from the start, then they don't know that they are missing a sense. They will simply lead a normal piggy life. The worst mistake you can make is to see them as 'poor creature' and to wrap them in cotton wool.

The black and brown brindle aby in my enrichment guide pictures is in fact a piggy that was affected by early onset very fast development cataracts. Mischief continued to jump on houses, run around the living room and even free roaming in the garden under my supervision. She was able to to turn herself back into her moved run a few yards away, as long as I was standing next to the entrance and could give her a constant vocal update where she had to go and whether she was going right or wrong without me touching her in any way. the more you challenge a disabled piggy, the more they will be able to do.
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

Please take the time to read the other guides in our new owners collection, which you may find very helpful and worth bookmarking.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Guinea Pig Facts - An Overview


@furryfriends (TEAS)
 

PigMaSquared

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for the diagnosis. Please follow normal procedures with an intro on neutral ground. Piggies are often very accepting and caring towards a disabled companion.
You can't just plonk a piggy into any other piggies' territory - that will cause a diplomatic crisis at the best and outright warfare at the worst but generally leads to a bonding fail. Imagine you having a stranger coming into your home declaring that they are your husband to spend the rest of his life in your home!
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Blind (and blind & deaf) piggies compensate with their other senses; thankfully sight is the weakest of the guinea pig senses (whereas it is the strongest in humans). Blind guinea pigs can lead a perfectly normal life orientating themselves by smell and scent marking, hearing and touch (whiskers and foot pads). You do not need to take any special measures; they will follow their new mate and get to know their home quickly to make a mental map. However, they really profit from a carer companion.

It is also a common misconception that you cannot change the layout or have ramps (at least not shallow ones); you can change the layout. Blind piggies can run around on the ground and go out on the lawn just as normal ones do. They will run around their cage and popcorn just as much any normal piggy.
If they are blind from the start, then they don't know that they are missing a sense. They will simply lead a normal piggy life. The worst mistake you can make is to see them as 'poor creature' and to wrap them in cotton wool.

The black and brown brindle aby in my enrichment guide pictures is in fact a piggy that was affected by early onset very fast development cataracts. Mischief continued to jump on houses, run around the living room and even free roaming in the garden under my supervision. She was able to to turn herself back into her moved run a few yards away, as long as I was standing next to the entrance and could give her a constant vocal update where she had to go and whether she was going right or wrong without me touching her in any way. the more you challenge a disabled piggy, the more they will be able to do.
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

Please take the time to read the other guides in our new owners collection, which you may find very helpful and worth bookmarking.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Guinea Pig Facts - An Overview


@furryfriends (TEAS)
Thank you so much for the information! I just do not want to mess up or make anything harder for her! I read some of your article and will be saving it for reference!
 
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