Help Needed! Boar Fight

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Nikkifranky

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We are first time guinea pig owners. 3 weeks ago we brought 2 male guinea pigs from a well known pet store (not sure if this was my first mistake) we have toothless and wriggles they have been fine together for 3 week then yesterday had a massive fight. Wriggles ended up with a cut eyelid and cut let and toothless with a cut on his leg also. I have had to sperate them. Been to the vets today and both need treated (I almost did at the bill). The vet was really unhelpful about if I should re indroduce them, she said definitely not till wounds have healed. Please can I have some advice on weather to keep the apart or how to re indroduce them. They are very different pigs, toothless is much braver and happy for us to pick him up. Wriggles is still very scared of us. Any advice for new owners would be great I love my piggys and want them to be happy and healthy. Thank you
 

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Aw no what a rough time!
If blood has been drawn that is usually no going back for boars. :(
I'm sure @Wiebke can help.
 

Nikkifranky

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Thank you for you reply. The vet was so unhelpful! The teeth clattering noise was so upsetting, I'm not sure I even want to risk them getting hurt again.
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

Please be aware that many vets are not exactly expert with guinea pig care or behaviour, nor are pet shops.
We have got a piggy savvy UK vet locator on the top bar: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-vet-locator/

I would give them time to cool down. You can try a re-introduction (read through our tips carefully), but please be aware that it may not work out in the long term if your two boys are not character compatible. Before you try a re-introduction, make sure that you have got a plan B in case things don't work. All the tricks in the book won't work if the two boys are too dominant and just don't gel.

You may find these guides here helpful. Your boys will need all the space you can spare:
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boars-a-guide-to-successful-companionship.76162/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/cage-size-guide.120795/

With members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please add your county to your details, so we can always tailor any advice to what is available/possible in area as possible. Click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location.

There are options if your boys don't get on, so please don't panic!
 

Nikkifranky

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Hiya ill try and work how to add my details (I'm pretty rubbish at this) I'm Dorset England. I've had a quick read through and I'm going to try later on this week sitting them together on me to start. Then at the weekend when I'm not working try them in together again. If they can't go in together ill buy another indoor hutch.
 

amaya

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If they get to drawing blood I find it's usually not worth the risk to try to introduce them again. Sometimes a buddy bath works. Wash them together, wrap them in a towel together, and then watch them while they glare at you in annoyance. I did intro a very difficult male in with the others for awhile that way. In the end though, while it did take years before it happened, he attacked a cagemate again. Cut the other one's shoulder thru the muscle tissue and blinded him in one eye. He loved people so I rehomed him to be a lone guinea pig to a vet tech with children who knew how to handle animals.
 

Wiebke

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Hiya ill try and work how to add my details (I'm pretty rubbish at this) I'm Dorset England. I've had a quick read through and I'm going to try later on this week sitting them together on me to start. Then at the weekend when I'm not working try them in together again. If they can't go in together ill buy another indoor hutch.
If you could either get to Little Pips Rehoming rescue in Sidmouth or Wheek and Squeak Rescue by Southampton, you would be in very safe hands if your boys won't re-bond. They can help you with finding a xcharacter compatible match for a stable bond. https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/

It very much depends on how bad the fight was and whether it was too small a cage etc. that triggered it, but generally, if boys already fall out when they establish their hierarchy upon arrival, this doesn't bode well for them to make it together through the hormonal teenage months between 4-14 months of age until they reach a more settled adulthood.
 

Nikkifranky

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Looking at the cage sizes they need a bigger inside cage. There outside cage is massive and definitely big enough, the fight was outside, do you think it will make a difference?

They do seem to be missing each other. Is there a link about buddy baths?
 

Nikkifranky

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I really don't want either to be re homed, as ive never had them before would it be really mean to keep both but have them separate?

Sorry for all the questions
 

Wiebke

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I really don't want either to be re homed, as ive never had them before would it be really mean to keep both but have them separate?

Sorry for all the questions
Any new territory starts up a new hierarchy sort-out, so it can just have been the switch from indoors to outdoors that has triggered the dominance behaviour and the altercation.

You can keep them separate as live-along neighbours, but it is not ideal for the long term.
These are your other options:
Either of the recommended rescues offers "boar dating" at the rescue, i.e. bonding at the rescue under expert supervision, so each of your boars can be matched with a character compatible mate. It would mean that you end up with two boar pairs, but by going rescue, it also means that you have the backing of the rescue throughout the whole life of their adopted piggies. We would never ask you to give up your boys! ;)

Alternatively, you can think about neutering your boys between 4-6 months of age, so they can live with a sow each. that however requires a good vet with plenty of experience in either guinea pig neutering or small furries operations to minimise the risk of especially post-op complications and a full 6 weeks post-op wait until they are 100% safe to live with a sow. Again, the rescues can help you find a "sow-wife" of their own liking for a happy relationship. Cross gender pairings are the most stable once initial acceptance has happened, but they take a bit of patience and more research, as you have the risk and the expense of the operation.
Sadly, neutering boars removes only the ability to make babies, it does not change their personalities.
 

Nikkifranky

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I think I will ring the rescue centers tomorrow and see what they say. I think my boys could be getting a new play mate.

Thank you for your help
 

Wiebke

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Take your time, so you can find the solution that is best for you and your boys.

There is no one-size-fits-all; what you can do depends very much on your local options (vet and rescue access), your available space etc. We can only help you to become aware of all your individual possibilites and make sure that these options are as safe as can be, so you won't end up with a new set of problems.
 

Kerrie74

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Umm I haven't had this exact same experience but my little boy Sheamus did bite his brother twice last year, however they got over it, we took them into the living room with food, somewhere for them to go and hide in and a bottle of water on a pet carrier and we just let them run around, they were perfectly fine after, it was because Big E kept wanting to mount Sheamus and Sheamus was ill (Sheamus is no longer with us, we had him pts this past Sunday due to health problems). Big E always seemed to try mounting Sheamus when he was ill.

I don't know if this would help but since Sheamus passed on @Wiebke asked if we could put Big's cage next to our sows cage so he has a bit of interaction. It's very sad when they start fighting like this.
 
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