Ignoring brother..

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MerryPip

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Not sure if this is the right place to put this but has anyone else come across changes in dynamic in a bonded pair when one is ill?

My pip has terminal cancer and since it has progressed recently his brother has started ignoring him. Sometimes he acts as if Pip isn't there at all.

Alos Pip's personality has changed since his illness has progressed. He has started biting my OH and fighting with his brother even to the point of bloodshed which they never have before.

They seem ok at the moment and I'm not going to seperate them unless I can help it but it's all a bit wierd really. I think Merry knows Pip hasn't got long left.
 

Hanwombat

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maybe he is wanting to distance himself a little as he knows that he is ill and doesn't want to bother him too much or because he is preparing himself for when hes gone by distancing himself.

I'm sorry to hear of poor pip though xx
 

MerryPip

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Yeah I wondered if they kow more than we think. They're both happy and as long as that's the case then I will leave them be.
 

Niki

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Firstly i am sorry to read about Pip.

Generally when a pig is ill others in the herd will either oust that pig or remove themselves from it because in the wild illness would alert a predator.
 

MerryPip

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That makes sense then. I just wondered if anyone else had come accross it. Hopefully they both manage alright at the end.
 

Niki

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That makes sense then. I just wondered if anyone else had come accross it. Hopefully they both manage alright at the end.

Sadly i have. When my boar left his 5 girls, all but one girl stayed well away, the other (she was his) stayed by his side.

Whenever i have found a pig passed in their hutch/cage they are usually out in the open, away from the bed area & this too is said to be down to their natural instinct, to go away from their "den" so as not to draw predators.
 

HairlessWillow7

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awwww, poor pip :(

I've had something like that happen before. My piggy, Mama Pig also had cancer. Her own daughter, Josephine, who was really close to her Mama before, started to bite her! :{ At least Pip and his brother are not fighting
 

MerryPip

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That going away from their den thing makes sense. Pippy is very rarely in his house now although his brother seems to have joined him out in the open to sleep. Merry is otherwise well, but I think they are so close and have never been apart since they were born, I am not sure if he is determined to stay with his brother no matter what.

I want them to stay together but I don't think I could cope if they both went at the same time.

I have known since about October that Pip was not going to get better and to be honest I am impressed he is still going - they are stubborn little things, piggies.
 

Freela

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I'm sorry that your pig is terminally ill! It's so hard to see pets sick... best wishes to you both!

I have noticed bonded pairs behaving differently when one is sick. We had two bonded sows, Linney and Frenzy. Frenzy had dental problems and ended up with an abscess down in her tooth roots and jawbone. She had two surgeries and tooth filings before she just couldn't fight it anymore. The relationship did change while Frenzy was sick... at first Linney was obviously concerned when Frenzy kept coming and going from vet appts... then it was a big standoffish as Frenzy started going downhill and exibiting some weird behaviours that Linney didn't like... then on Frenzy's last night it was like Linney knew she had very little time left and stuck with her like glue until she passed. They know more than we give them credit for, I think.

The only other example I can think of is from our new bonded pair (Linney and 'new pig' Sundae)- when Linney had a minor injury to her foot, Sundae completely freaked out and was very agitated and obviously frightened. She took Linney's injury much worse than Linney did... we took Linney out, cleaned the blood off her, put styptic powder on her nail to stop the bleeding, and put her back to bed, but it took Sundae hours to settle back down!

I have heard that some pigs will reject an injured or ill pig and try to run them out of the heard... the logic is supposed to be that a weakened prey animal will draw more predators, so having a sick herdmate could bring the predators down on the whole lot of them- safer only to let the healthy stay in the herd. However, I haven't personally seen this with my pigs.
 
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