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Homesick And Real-sick... What Can I Do? She's So Sad To Watch... :(

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Gethenian

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The tiny sweetie in the photo below is Nook, a 4-week-old baby who I brought home 3 days ago. She has an adventurous spirit and has been adjusting well -- much better than my now 8-9-month old piggy Kindle did when I brought her home in January. At present, Kindle is in a quarentine cage. They're about a foot apart, they can hear and smell each other but Kin is lower than Nook's cage and Nook has to stand on her back feet to see over that edge.

Earlier today, I was working at my painting station and heard from their end of the room a worring noise that sounded like a short scream followed by two loud coughs. I rushed over but wasn't able to determine which piggie had made the noise or why. I think now it was Nook because when I brought her out half an hour ago for cuddles, she scampered up into my hair and sneezed in it. That was cute once, but five times over the next 10 minutes started to worry me.

I hope it's just a minor cold... it would make sense if she got one going from her warm previous abode with her siblings and mama to being the sole resident of her quarantine cage here at my pad that I keep on the chillier side (68F/20C, sometimes a little under that). On the up side, I looked her over and she has no discharge from anywhere, not even a runny nose that I could detect, her eyes are bright, she's alert and energetic, she hasn't gone off her food...

The first thing I did was hunt down the fur-lined piggy bed Kindle was too big for and never used, and set that in her favourite corner surrounded by a couple of generous piles of unspun wool roving for nesting. That bit of red you can see in the photo is a fur lined crinkle-tube where she usually sleeps, so she has the option to insulate that instead if she'd rather. I also found a blanket and covered just the side of her cage that faces the A/C unit, to keep the draft off her.

What breaks my heart though, is how Nook has started behaving: She went into the corner that is closest to Kindle's cage and is standing on her back tiptoes gnawing at that edge and squeaking softly at Kindle. Kindle is not sure what to make of this... she's milling around that end of her cage squeaking back softly, nibbling hay, clearly agitated but I think in a "that is a baby that is in trouble" way, not a "that is a rival and I am concerned for my territory" way.

Nook, who has been my bright little adventurer, is acting every bit the homesick baby who wants mum to make it better, and seems quite desperate to have the company of the big safe "grownup" piggy just out of reach. I cannot blame her, but I'm not sure how to comfort her. Should I give her a stuffed animal? Play music?



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Critter

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Two out of my five piggies have had a 'thing' where they sneeze after eating their veggies, sometimes a few times in a row. No other symptoms. Sometimes it can be as simple as a dusty bit of hay. Is Nook in quarantine out of precaution (being new) or because you believe there really is something that could be wrong and contagious? It's one of those issues where I think everyone will feel differently to each other but if Nook seems bright in herself and doesn't develop anything over the next day or two it could be worth cutting the quarantine short.
It is a risk if you do, but weighed up against the risk of causing stress if you don't, and stress itself can make a piggy more susceptible to things.....

I don't know what you should do, it's like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't in this case. Quarantine is sensible, I know, but when it causes stress to the piggy it's something to weigh up carefully. Do you have a rodentologist near you who can give her a good 'going over'?
 

Gethenian

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She's in precautionary quarantine--I got her 3 days ago.

We are having A LOT of housework done right now... I suppose it could easily be plaster dust in my hair bothering her.

If she does turn out to be healthy and they keep showing signs of wanting to be together, I really would seriously consider giving it until this weekend then letting them have their way.

And yeah, I live in DC, we have no shortage of specialty vets.
 

Critter

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Sorry, didn't mean to tread on toes or give inappropriate suggestions. I asked the question because rodentologist checks tend to be very thorough and they can give great advice on behaviour too, and when you combine their knowledge with that of your average vet between the two it's like you get a second opinion, or a starting point when you take you pet to the vet. I wasn't going to suggest replacing the vet with a rodentologist, just that one can offer very good advice in areas where average vets don't tend to be experienced in, and I know I've been to vets with a suggestion (based on advice from those who are highly knowledgable in guinea pigs) and it's given the vet something else to consider and check out.
And didn't notice that Gethenian is from Washington DC.
I know that vets are the only ones licenced to treat, and the only ones who can dish out prescription meds. And a rodent-savvy vet is like gold. A lot of people struggle to find good vets for their piggies though, but there's an increasing amount of vets who are going on rodentology courses, it's the best of both worlds combined into one.
Certainly a rodent savvy vet is the best, but they seem to be in short supply :)
Gethenian, I wish we had specialty vets around here! :)

I think I'll sush myself on these matters, before I ram my own foot further down my throat! :) I apologise x
 

Poppy'sMum

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Dear old Blighty UK
4weeks old is far too young for a baby female to be removed from her mother :( In the UK it's 6 weeks for females minimum & there is a minimum weight but I can't remember now what it is. Please make sure you weigh your little girl daily & give her a bowl of pellets softened with cool boiled water so she can put on the weight. A soft toy would be good for her to cuddle up to, make sure there are no buttons or bits on it she can chew, ones for newborn babies are good. Monitor her daily & watch for any runny eyes or nose or weight drops in case she has a uri.
 

Wiebke

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Sorry, didn't mean to tread on toes or give inappropriate suggestions. I asked the question because rodentologist checks tend to be very thorough and they can give great advice on behaviour too, and when you combine their knowledge with that of your average vet between the two it's like you get a second opinion, or a starting point when you take you pet to the vet. I wasn't going to suggest replacing the vet with a rodentologist, just that one can offer very good advice in areas where average vets don't tend to be experienced in, and I know I've been to vets with a suggestion (based on advice from those who are highly knowledgable in guinea pigs) and it's given the vet something else to consider and check out.
And didn't notice that Gethenian is from Washington DC.
I know that vets are the only ones licenced to treat, and the only ones who can dish out prescription meds. And a rodent-savvy vet is like gold. A lot of people struggle to find good vets for their piggies though, but there's an increasing amount of vets who are going on rodentology courses, it's the best of both worlds combined into one.
Certainly a rodent savvy vet is the best, but they seem to be in short supply :)
Gethenian, I wish we had specialty vets around here! :)

I think I'll sush myself on these matters, before I ram my own foot further down my throat! :) I apologise x
@Critter : We have got a piggy savvy UK vet locator on the top bar to help members find the best piggy vets in their area. Thankfully, the new vet curriculum is respecting small pets much better and the advances in the last few years have changed the whole game. More and more clinics are starting to work together, so that even general vets often have access to an exotics specialist for further support and advice.

@Gethenian : it can be that your little girl has just inhaled a bit of hay dust etc. that is irritating her nose but if the sneezing persists, please have her seen. The stress of coming into a shop and then into a new home lowers the immune system and gives opprtunists like URIs, mange mites or ringworm a look in, depending on what they have been exposed to.
If you are worried, up the vitamin C to help strengthen her immune system and switch to weighing daily at the same point in the feeding cycle instead of just weekly as with every healthy guinea pig, so you can monitor her food intake. the daily variance can make up to 1 oz, depending on a full/empty tummy and bladder.
Here is a link to recommended vets outside the UK: http://www.guinealynx.info/cabinet/index.php/Veterinarians
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...vitamin-c-overview-with-product-links.115404/
 

Freela

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I would see a vet if the sneezing persists, just to be safe. As far as quarantine goes, is there any way to keep them in different rooms completely? Whenever we've done quarantine, I've had them on different floors completely and have tried to keep them from even knowing there is another pig in the house, both to keep them from getting too stressed out/worked up and because I was unsure as to how far germs could travel through air so figured farther away was safer. It they can't hear or smell one another, it might be easier for them than being separate but in proximity. Just a thought! Good luck with your new addition!
 

Gethenian

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@Critter , I apologize for my tone! I hadn't slept in nearly three days when I wrote that reply and was in no state to be composing sentences that other humans could read. :P I'm terribly sorry. I thought I was being funny. I think. I'm not sure. I also might have thought there was a sentient artichoke sitting atop my monitor. It's all rather fuzzy. ;)

@Poppy'sMum , I THOUGHT 4 weeks sounded sort of young to be separated but I gather there wasn't much choice but to do it, I don't know the particulars. She seems healthy and well-adjusted for all that.

To all: I'm thinking now that her sneezing must have been from plaster dust in my hair. I know that $#!% has been absolutely TORTURE for my lungs and sinuses. The piggies live in my attic room with the stairway door always shut, but some of the rennovations are happening in the room directly at the bottom of the steps, it's not too surprising some dust gets up.

Nook and Kindle both continue to look in perfect health and occasionally squeak to each other from cage to cage. I did move them a little further apart as a precaution but I don't think Nook has anything wrong with her. I also think the squeaking I saw her doing the other night was just her being curious and I was projecting because I was feeling lonely. :P How embarrassing.
 

Critter

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Oh! @Gethenian I absolutely saw nothing wrong in anything you've written to anyone! :), or anything that anyone else has said either :) Yesterday I was too busy to join in with the forum.
Love your artichoke analogy :)
Some days I can join in and post, then sometimes I have to disappear for a while. I promise that on those occasions it won't be because I am giving anyone the silent treatment :) tee hee.
Urgh. I hope you had a better night's sleep. I sometimes get bouts of insomnia and it's horrible.
It's great news that you have plenty of piggy-savvy vets around your way, Gethenian. Round my way is a shortage, but now Wiebke's pointed me in the direction of the forum vet finder I've located one 17 miles from where I live. I don't drive, but most of the time I can get a lift, so I'm chuffed! Thanks @Wiebke :)

Glad Nook and Kindle are fine Gethenian. and that's good that it only seems to be the plaster dust so should just be a temporary thing. It's not at all embarrassing when you are not quite sure which way to interpret their sounds, I have one who has a huge vocal range and makes sounds that I've heard no other piggy make, sometimes she sounds like a meowing kitten when she's excited. I have another who clicks, like when you click your tongue against the roof of your mouth, and she does this when she's relaxed sometimes, it's completely different to the teeth chatter and with a totally different mood behind it. Someone I know had a piggy who 'quacked' like a duck! They're all different so it's not always easy to read their minds :)
There's these lovely youtube clips of common piggy sounds and the interpretations, and they ARE helpful, but then you get a piggy who doesn't seem to speak the same language sometimes!
 
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Wiebke

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All the best! Introducing newbies is always a stressful time...
 
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