Help! Naughty Girls!

Pipsypip

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Hello! Any advice would be appreciated, who knew Guinea pigs could be so stressful?!
I adopted two female Guinea pigs last year from the adoption section at Pets@Home,they had been returned. Betty came with a bitten up ear, but staff at pets at home said they had seen no fighting.
It soon became clear Doreen was the dominant pig, but Betty started having ridiculously strong seasons every month (now confirmed she has emerging ovarian cysts) which meant every 8-10 days the girls were rumblestrutting, chattering and generally being a nightmare. It seemed that they couldn't work out who was boss at all.
After one particularly horrible couple of days where Doreen would jump up and chase Betty every time she laid down and Betty would scream and scream, I separated them. Doreen did appear to be trying to bite Betty but there's never been any wounds (apart from the mysterious bitten up ear).
They were in C&C cages next door to each other--Betty totally uninterested in Doreen, but Doreen could not relax, up at the bars biting, rumblestrutting, very agitated. This was non stop and the only way to stop it was to put a pillow between the cages so they couldn't see each other.
Fast forward two weeks and I've got them in a foxglove hutch, one on top one on bottom. I get them out one at a time for playtime but again, it starts off interested in each other, ends in Doreen trying to chew her way in and then hissing, squealing and chattering.
I've had it in my head that I should be trying to reintroduce as it's cruel to keep them single, but is this behaviour an indicator that the bond is over with? I'm unsure whether they were ever a good match.
With plenty of attention, can they be happy living in the same room but with no contact?
I just don't know what to do! Any help would be so welcome. Sorry for the ramble!
 

Wiebke

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Hello! Any advice would be appreciated, who knew Guinea pigs could be so stressful?!
I adopted two female Guinea pigs last year from the adoption section at Pets@Home,they had been returned. Betty came with a bitten up ear, but staff at pets at home said they had seen no fighting.
It soon became clear Doreen was the dominant pig, but Betty started having ridiculously strong seasons every month (now confirmed she has emerging ovarian cysts) which meant every 8-10 days the girls were rumblestrutting, chattering and generally being a nightmare. It seemed that they couldn't work out who was boss at all.
After one particularly horrible couple of days where Doreen would jump up and chase Betty every time she laid down and Betty would scream and scream, I separated them. Doreen did appear to be trying to bite Betty but there's never been any wounds (apart from the mysterious bitten up ear).
They were in C&C cages next door to each other--Betty totally uninterested in Doreen, but Doreen could not relax, up at the bars biting, rumblestrutting, very agitated. This was non stop and the only way to stop it was to put a pillow between the cages so they couldn't see each other.
Fast forward two weeks and I've got them in a foxglove hutch, one on top one on bottom. I get them out one at a time for playtime but again, it starts off interested in each other, ends in Doreen trying to chew her way in and then hissing, squealing and chattering.
I've had it in my head that I should be trying to reintroduce as it's cruel to keep them single, but is this behaviour an indicator that the bond is over with? I'm unsure whether they were ever a good match.
With plenty of attention, can they be happy living in the same room but with no contact?
I just don't know what to do! Any help would be so welcome. Sorry for the ramble!
Hi!

What is your vet doing about the ovarian cysts?

It sounds like the two girls have unfortunately reached the end of the line together. Once sows have made up their mind that they don't suit, they won't change their mind for the rest of their lives; irrespective of whether they are related or not.

You have two options:
- Living alongside with interaction through the bars but their own territory for mutual stimulation and company. Just being within hearing distance is not enough. Guinea pig social interaction is complex and consists of scent (pheromones), sounds but importantly very much of body language too. Even when they don't get on, they are still social animals.
- Having your cystic sow treated and then looking for a character compatible mate each. Please be aware that not all adult/older sows are easy to bond (I have a nice collection of them here...) so dating is vital. You cannot adopt on spec unless you have a plan B.
Age and gender (i.e. neutered boars) come a long way behind mutual liking and a personality match.
Unfortunately the only dating rescue of good welfare standard that we can recommend you being in safe hands is in Ayr. The SSPCA to my knowledge doesn't offer rescue dating. I am not sure whether Hutches in Alyth is still running as a rescue or not.

Please take the time to read these guides here for in-depth information. You will hopefully find them helpful:
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
Rescue Locator
 

Pipsypip

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Thankyou so much for that, I thought the same really. I'm just not sure what to do for the best because they get very angry and distressed just at the sight of each other now when out for playtime which they get every time and can see each other through the bars. I think I'm going to speak to the vet about neutering although they were not keen due to anaesthetic risk in small animals. I perhaps need to find a more pig savvy vet. He felt the cyst was small enough to not do anything at the moment but I do think it's causing behavioural issues. I suspect Doreen has them too as both are incredibly hormonal and sassy!
 
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