? New cage mate

VanessaC

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My 2 year old boy Jed sadly had to be put to sleep 5 days ago leaving his brother Zeb alone. Zeb is also 2, they came together. Jed was such a lively, naughty, playful chap whereas Zeb is very quiet and placid. Sometimes I think Zeb just seemed to let Jed jump all over him, steal his food etc (not in a bullying way).
I obviously know guinea pigs have to be at least in pairs and shouldn’t be alone.
The thing is Zeb actually seems happier on his own and less skittish. He ran away most of the time when I bent down to stroke him but loved being on my lap when I picked him up. He now stands there to let me stroke him.
Luckily I’ve been off work since Jed passed away but I’m back to work next week and will be out of the house for 11 hours.
I really don’t know whether to get him a cage mate. Jed has been ill on and off for a coupe of months, first with gut stasis and more recently with bladder stones for which he had surgery. Zeb always went to the vet with him and seemed to support him. Maybe Zeb realises Jed was ill and was kind of prepared for Jed to go.
I’m heartbroken right now but I must do whatever is best for Zeb, any advice will be really very much appreciated.
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m sorry for your loss.

the relationship you describe between the two of them is entirely normal - stealing food and jumping on each other is normal behaviour. If zeb was the submissive piggy in the relationship then it was simply his role to let Jed do those things and if sounds as if they had a great relationship.

Zeb does need a friend. He may ‘seem’ happier, but it doesn’t mean he is nor that he will continue to be. At two years old, he could have another six years of life and that’s simply too long for him to be alone.
having a character compatible friend is is essential and the best and safest way to find a new friend is via dating at a rescue centre
 

VanessaC

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Thanks so much for your reply.
Yes, this is exactly what I thought. I was thinking another boisterous one would be the best thing for him.
He’s probably still a bit confused Jed isn’t there and that he has all the food, toys etc to himself.
I am so glad I happened to have this week off to be with him.
I shall start looking for another companion for him.
It was awful at the vet that day, when I handed Jed to the vet, they both looked at each other one last time.
 

Merab's Slave

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So sorry for your loss.
Be gentle with yourself as you grieve.

Hope you find Zeb a lovely new companion
 

Siikibam

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I’m sorry for your loss. The best way to find him a friend is to take him to a rescue where he can pick his own. Character compatibility is the most important thing for a good bond. Rescues don’t tend to put up details of singles on their site so get in touch with them.

Rescue Locator
 

Wiebke

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I am so sorry for your loss.

You may find these guides here helpful for yourself and for Zeb. Please get him a friend if at all possible once he comes out of deep mourning (usually within a week of being quiet and rather withdrawn while grieving himself). As long as he is eating and drinking, you have ideally 1-4 weeks to get over the roughest bit of your own human grieving and hopefully be able line up a date for him to allow him to have a say in who he is happy with.


Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children

Looking after single guinea pigs in a range of circumstances (including bereavement) and how you will notice when they start transdferring their social needs onto you by default: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities

Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
 
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