Grieving Guinea Pig

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leahp1803

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yesterday I had to have one of my Guinea pigs put to sleep, unfortunately he left behind his companion who was his best friend and also his son. I know I have to leave him to his grieving stage, and he's obviously struggling as he won't even let me clean his cage out, so I'm going to leave him be until he is ready to be fussed over again.
I was wondering, how long should I leave it before I get him a new friend? and should I get him a sow or boar? I'm quite worried about getting another boar to bond him with as I've had bad experiences with trying to bond them in the past so I was leaning more towards a sow? I know if I was to get a sow I would have to have my boar, marmite done first. would that be cruel of me to do? or do you think it would be for the best? as I've been told getting sows done is a lot more dangerous. does anyone have any advice they could give me? as I've never had to do something like this before! thankyou x
 

piggieminder

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I am so sorry to hear your sad news. I am not experienced enough to give you advice on your questions but I am sure someone will be along very shortly to help you.
 

Wiebke

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yesterday I had to have one of my Guinea pigs put to sleep, unfortunately he left behind his companion who was his best friend and also his son. I know I have to leave him to his grieving stage, and he's obviously struggling as he won't even let me clean his cage out, so I'm going to leave him be until he is ready to be fussed over again.
I was wondering, how long should I leave it before I get him a new friend? and should I get him a sow or boar? I'm quite worried about getting another boar to bond him with as I've had bad experiences with trying to bond them in the past so I was leaning more towards a sow? I know if I was to get a sow I would have to have my boar, marmite done first. would that be cruel of me to do? or do you think it would be for the best? as I've been told getting sows done is a lot more dangerous. does anyone have any advice they could give me? as I've never had to do something like this before! thankyou x

I am very sorry for your loss! As long as your boy is still eating appropriately, he is obviously not giving up on life yet, so you do not have get him a new mate asap to save his life (acute pining).
Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig

As to your options:
- I know that it is quite a distance, but if you can get to Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue near Neath, I think they have started full (i.e. residential) boar dating again. This involves your boar staying at the rescue for a week and being introduced to up to three potential boar mates. Any intro that is promising is followed through for several days, and if it is working out, is additionally stress tested before the boys are allowed to go home to make sure that the bond is strong enough to cope with the change in territory. The resulting bond is as stable as a sow bond, so it would be worth the long trip if that is an option for you.
There may be a waiting list. It is the only piggy savvy rescue that we can recommend in the whole of South Wales, but you would be in very experienced and safe hands. The rescue lady has been successfully bonding boars of all ages for years. It is very time consuming, which is why most rescues cannot afford to do this kind of careful safe boar bonding.
Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue and Boarding 01639 721127 10am-4pm: Adoption Fees and Services

- Neutering: Cross gender bondings are the most stable of them all, provided that initial acceptance happens (i.e. they like each other and get on, which is not always the case) and - even more importantly - that you can find either a general vet with lots of experience/success in guinea pig neutering or an exotics vet with plenty of practice in small furries operations in order to cut down on the otherwise rather common risk of especially post-operation complications. If that is not an option, I would not risk it.
Guinea Pig Vet Locator

- If you can't go for any of these options and do not want to risk a new bonding with a baby boar and the risk of a potential fall-out when the youngster hits the teenage hormones, you could consider having two live-alongside each other piggies. Not the most satisfying of options, but a safe one.

PS: You are welcome to post a tribute in our Rainbow Bridge if and whenever it feels right for you.
 

VickiA

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Wiebke has given you great advice. I just wanted to say that you are a fabulous piggy slave for caring so much about Marmite and his wellbeing. Boar dating may be the best way forward for you with an experienced rescue. I hope that you and Marmite find a new companion and wish you all the best.
 

leahp1803

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I am very sorry for your loss! As long as your boy is still eating appropriately, he is obviously not giving up on life yet, so you do not have get him a new mate asap to save his life (acute pining).
Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig

As to your options:
- I know that it is quite a distance, but if you can get to Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue near Neath, I think they have started full (i.e. residential) boar dating again. This involves your boar staying at the rescue for a week and being introduced to up to three potential boar mates. Any intro that is promising is followed through for several days, and if it is working out, is additionally stress tested before the boys are allowed to go home to make sure that the bond is strong enough to cope with the change in territory. The resulting bond is as stable as a sow bond, so it would be worth the long trip if that is an option for you.
There may be a waiting list. It is the only piggy savvy rescue that we can recommend in the whole of South Wales, but you would be in very experienced and safe hands. The rescue lady has been successfully bonding boars of all ages for years. It is very time consuming, which is why most rescues cannot afford to do this kind of careful safe boar bonding.
Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue and Boarding 01639 721127 10am-4pm: Adoption Fees and Services

- Neutering: Cross gender bondings are the most stable of them all, provided that initial acceptance happens (i.e. they like each other and get on, which is not always the case) and - even more importantly - that you can find either a general vet with lots of experience/success in guinea pig neutering or an exotics vet with plenty of practice in small furries operations in order to cut down on the otherwise rather common risk of especially post-operation complications. If that is not an option, I would not risk it.
Guinea Pig Vet Locator

- If you can't go for any of these options and do not want to risk a new bonding with a baby boar and the risk of a potential fall-out when the youngster hits the teenage hormones, you could consider having two live-alongside each other piggies. Not the most satisfying of options, but a safe one.

PS: You are welcome to post a tribute in our Rainbow Bridge if and whenever it feels right for you.
marmite already lives along side another piggie called pickles, pickles in a lone piggie aswell, and I've tried bonding him with other piggies and it's just not worked out at all, he's nice when there's bars in the way, and as soon as he looks happy that there's another piggie there he attacks straight away, so I genuinely think that he is content on his own and having all the attention on himself, however marmite is completely different, he craves other piggies to cuddle up to, play with, eat with, so living along side another piggie is out of the question for him. Neath is a bit too far for me to travel, and as I don't have a car, it's basically impossible for me which is a shame! would neutering him just for a companion be mean? or would he appreciate it in the long run? he's only 1 and I think spending the rest of his life on his own would be quite sad for him! I've got an exotic vet I've seen quite a bit at my local vets, so I'll definitely ask him about it when I take marmite for his check up on Tuesday!
thankyou for all the info! I really appreciate it! x
 

leahp1803

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Wiebke has given you great advice. I just wanted to say that you are a fabulous piggy slave for caring so much about Marmite and his wellbeing. Boar dating may be the best way forward for you with an experienced rescue. I hope that you and Marmite find a new companion and wish you all the best.
thankyou! my Guinea pigs are like my babies! they mean the world to me! in the space of 6 months, sadly I've lost 2, but it's just made me love the ones I have left more! x
 

Wiebke

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marmite already lives along side another piggie called pickles, pickles in a lone piggie aswell, and I've tried bonding him with other piggies and it's just not worked out at all, he's nice when there's bars in the way, and as soon as he looks happy that there's another piggie there he attacks straight away, so I genuinely think that he is content on his own and having all the attention on himself, however marmite is completely different, he craves other piggies to cuddle up to, play with, eat with, so living along side another piggie is out of the question for him. Neath is a bit too far for me to travel, and as I don't have a car, it's basically impossible for me which is a shame! would neutering him just for a companion be mean? or would he appreciate it in the long run? he's only 1 and I think spending the rest of his life on his own would be quite sad for him! I've got an exotic vet I've seen quite a bit at my local vets, so I'll definitely ask him about it when I take marmite for his check up on Tuesday!
thankyou for all the info! I really appreciate it! x
he is a good age for neutering and will certainly enjoy the company. Pickles - as he is single - can still stay next door. The crucial bit is having access to a good vet, as that really makes all the difference.

I would recommend to speak to the exotic vet and ask him about how experienced he is with operating on guinea pigs and small mammals. The critical point is efficiency in operating, as that keeps the risk of problems stemming from prolonged and heavy aneasthetics down. Please also ask what he uses for the wounds; gluing or stapling is now usually used. Some other methods (catgut) can cause abscesses or allergic reactions, which can be fatal; they are sadly still used by more inexperienced vets. Thankfully, there are also now stronger antibiotics available, so the overall success rate has gone up quite a bit since I have joined the forum.
Here is more information on the procedure itself: Guinea pig castration explained
 
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