McNallington

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Hi everyone,

I just wondered whether anyone could offer me a bit of advice about my piggies? I have had my two girls for nearly three years and there has always been mounting going on but recently it's become constant. It used to be in a cyclical nature so I don't know whether or not it was dominance related or because of being in season.

Millie = the sow I think is the dominant pig (she always gets first pick of food and pushes Pepper out of the way to get the bits of hay that she wants and other things like that)
Pepper = I think the less dominant pig but the one that always does all of the mounting! She mounts Millie who usually kicks her and/or wees on her

So what used to happen is that the mounting would happen cycles. Pepper would rumble etc. and Millie would squeak a bit then Pepper would try to mount Millie who would kick/wee on her to stop her and this would happen loads over a few days. Then for a week or so after Pepper would be nervous around Millie (wouldn't even dare bump into Millie's bottom because Millie just kicked her every time). Then after that they'd calm down and be best buddies all of the time until the cycle started again. Even during the mounting and arguing they would still cuddle up together to sleep so it wasn't any kind of permanent falling out.

The last few months there has been no breaks from the humping. It's every day regardless of cycle and I'm a bit concerned about poor Millie. Sometimes she rumblestruts and Pepper does all the squeaking but then still pounces on Millie rather than Millie mounting Pepper (even though before it was always Pepper who would rumblestrut and then mount Millie). I often hear the rumbling in their house followed by some squeals so I assume they're having little arguments in their house too. Last year Millie was poorly and an x-ray showed that she is arthritic, then last week I noticed her limping a little bit (no visible injuries when I checked) so I think all of the humping might be making her life more painful arthritis-wise. I can take her to the vet and get arthritis meds but I think it would be just as important to try to figure out what is changing Pepper's behaviour. They do seem to get on as well as ever when not mounting - they still cuddle up next to each other and chat to each other during periods of respite - so I don't think that it's bullying or anything that would have caused a permanent fallout.

I've read the post by Wiebke and I am concerned that it sounds like hormone problems for Pepper. Does anybody have any more specific advice or experience in this? Is it just a case of a trip to the vets for them both?

Thanks! :)
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone,

I just wondered whether anyone could offer me a bit of advice about my piggies? I have had my two girls for nearly three years and there has always been mounting going on but recently it's become constant. It used to be in a cyclical nature so I don't know whether or not it was dominance related or because of being in season.

Millie = the sow I think is the dominant pig (she always gets first pick of food and pushes Pepper out of the way to get the bits of hay that she wants and other things like that)
Pepper = I think the less dominant pig but the one that always does all of the mounting! She mounts Millie who usually kicks her and/or wees on her

So what used to happen is that the mounting would happen cycles. Pepper would rumble etc. and Millie would squeak a bit then Pepper would try to mount Millie who would kick/wee on her to stop her and this would happen loads over a few days. Then for a week or so after Pepper would be nervous around Millie (wouldn't even dare bump into Millie's bottom because Millie just kicked her every time). Then after that they'd calm down and be best buddies all of the time until the cycle started again. Even during the mounting and arguing they would still cuddle up together to sleep so it wasn't any kind of permanent falling out.

The last few months there has been no breaks from the humping. It's every day regardless of cycle and I'm a bit concerned about poor Millie. Sometimes she rumblestruts and Pepper does all the squeaking but then still pounces on Millie rather than Millie mounting Pepper (even though before it was always Pepper who would rumblestrut and then mount Millie). I often hear the rumbling in their house followed by some squeals so I assume they're having little arguments in their house too. Last year Millie was poorly and an x-ray showed that she is arthritic, then last week I noticed her limping a little bit (no visible injuries when I checked) so I think all of the humping might be making her life more painful arthritis-wise. I can take her to the vet and get arthritis meds but I think it would be just as important to try to figure out what is changing Pepper's behaviour. They do seem to get on as well as ever when not mounting - they still cuddle up next to each other and chat to each other during periods of respite - so I don't think that it's bullying or anything that would have caused a permanent fallout.

I've read the post by Wiebke and I am concerned that it sounds like hormone problems for Pepper. Does anybody have any more specific advice or experience in this? Is it just a case of a trip to the vets for them both?

Thanks! :)

Hi and welcome! Ovarian cyst issues are not at all uncommon in sows of your age. Guinea pig sows are engineered to be constantly pregnant from the moment they are weaned and eventually wear out or die during birth. They are not engineered to live to an old age. That is why the hormone level never drops and why sows can get pregnant all their life long. Ovarian cysts are common in older sows. Unlike with rabbit does there is no firm link to ovarian cancer, hence why routine spaying is not common in guinea pig sows. :(

There are several ways to tackle ovarian cysts:
- hormone treatment (most commonly with chorulon) by injection; this is usually most effective in those cases where sows are constantly in season and are showing the classic signs of overactive hormones with aggressive behaviour and often symmetrical hair loss on both sides of the body in the belly area. Because of the constan stress the body is under when in season, there is a gradual weight loss.
The treatment is not quite cheap, but a lot less invasive and risky than a spaying operation. Hormonally active cysts are often smaller in size. You may need to see an exotics vet or guinea pig specialist for this.

- spaying. This is a major operation, but can become necessary especially in those cases where large non-hormonal cysts cause problems; non-hormonal cysts are often the large ones in older sows that do not cause any visible or behavioural problem. Many older sows have them and do not need treating, but they can cause problems if they become too large.
My Iola has been spayed successfully for her very large non-hormonal ovarian cysts at 5 years of age last May.

- draining. This is not a permanent solution, but it is a valid alternative especially to a spaying operation for older/frail sows as it does not require anaesthesia. But it can go quite a long way to keep cysts under control where hormone injections do not work and you do not want to risk an operation.

I hope that this helps you?
Here is some more information: Guinea Lynx :: Ovarian Tumors
 
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