I need some help

Mr. Slapnut

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So, here's the case. I had two guineas and they got along alright, until one just ended tilting his neck one day. We brought him to the vet and gave him the treatment they offered, but it didn't work. Seeing how inable to move and miserable the afflicted guinea pig was even after the treatment, I put it down. Now I have one guinea pig left, whos entire personality is based around fear, he's alright once he's comfortable but other than that I can tell he isn't very happy. I would get him a companion but he is a massive pig who already would sometimes would bully the late guinea, and he is now also a full-grown adult male and the most readily available pigs in my area are young small females. And my parents, who are already resentful of me having one pig, wouldn't take the 4 hours out of their day to drive to the nearest rescue and buy a pig out of my pocket. Do I just keep the one until he dies and then sell the cage and consider guinea pigs a failed venture in terms of pets?
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m sorry for your loss.

Your guinea pig will benefit greatly from having a new companion. Its important to meet all his basic needs and having companionship is one of them. It wouldn’t be fair to keep him alone for the rest of his life (You don’t say how old he is, but piggies can live 8 years so there may be many years of his life left).
 

Wiebke

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So, here's the case. I had two guineas and they got along alright, until one just ended tilting his neck one day. We brought him to the vet and gave him the treatment they offered, but it didn't work. Seeing how inable to move and miserable the afflicted guinea pig was even after the treatment, I put it down. Now I have one guinea pig left, whos entire personality is based around fear, he's alright once he's comfortable but other than that I can tell he isn't very happy. I would get him a companion but he is a massive pig who already would sometimes would bully the late guinea, and he is now also a full-grown adult male and the most readily available pigs in my area are young small females. And my parents, who are already resentful of me having one pig, wouldn't take the 4 hours out of their day to drive to the nearest rescue and buy a pig out of my pocket. Do I just keep the one until he dies and then sell the cage and consider guinea pigs a failed venture in terms of pets?
Hi and welcome

Head tilts can have a variety of causes, some you can treat for others not. If they are caused by an ear infection, a blocked ear or (if incontact with rabbits) by e.cuniculi (which affects the brain), then you can treat even if the head tilt may be permanent depending on the cause and how quickly it could be treated. If the cause is neurological, then there is usually very little you can do.
Please be kind to yourself in the coming days as you are going through the grieving process since you are clearly a very loving and caring owner. This guide may help you make sense of your feelings and experiences in the coming days and weeks and also provides links to resources or where to look for them: Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children

Without easy rescue access, please consider getting a little baby boy. Please check the gender before bonding; look for a more submissive one but have a plan B for companionship through the bars or taking the baby back if acceptance doesn't happen. There is a fine but crucial line between dominance and bullying. Make sure that you do not mistake the two. Dominance is necessary to ensure the establishment and functioning of a hierarchical group, which is at the very heart of guinea pig society. Bullying happens when the personality mix is not balanced; depend on the under-boar's outlook this kilter can either end in a fight or in acute bullying.

How old is your surviving boy? Boars are at their most difficult to bond around 6 months of age at the height of their teenage hormones but once they reach adulthood, their testosterone settles down quite a lot (the occasional short spike notwithstanding) and then starts to gradually fizzle out from 4 years onward when most boars mellow a lot.

You may find the information in these guides here helpful and if necessary show it to your parents.
Guinea pigs are group animals and are not wired to live on their own; even if they cannot share a territory with another piggy, they still rely on constant stimulation from social interaction. It is quite literally life prolonging because companionship is a mental and physical health booter.
- Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig (short and medium term)
- Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities (deals with the specific challenges of single guinea pigs in a range of situations, including bereavement; how to best go about finding a mate and how to pick up when your single is suffering from a lack of stimulation by their own kind).
- A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars (contains a chapter with more information about the various ages, companionship, boar dos and don'ts etc.)
- Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics (includes a step-by-step guide through all stages of the complex bonding process with key social behaviours and includes special chapters on boar and on baby bonding with videos)
- Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

I hope that this helps you. Hopefully you can adopt at some point later in life but right now you have to accept practicalities and work with what you realistically can do. Welfare is a goal with constantly moving posts. We can only ever try to get close to them but never pass them. But aiming for good welfare and making a difference in all the small things that we can do is every bit as important as pursuing the ideal - and for any lucky new companion piggy that is finding a loving home with you, the little practical improvements are making all the difference for them. ;)

PS: I would strongly recommend that you just put your state in location and not your actual place name for your own protection. The Midwest is unfortunately rather a desert when it comes to rescues, and even more so when it comes to good welfare standard ones. :(
 
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