New Youngster Quarantine Stress Risk?

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Olivitree

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Hey there peeps, not sure if this is the right place, its sort of about separation behaviour, but also quarantine so a health thing as well I suppose .

I've had a rough time this month with guineas, losing my 5 year old companion for Tabby and my first attempt at finding her a new friend, one of the only suitable ones at a localish rescue turning into a distressing disaster as she had existing fatal problems that couldn't be sorted by the vet, in my area there seemed to be a lack of suitable guinea pigs to be a new companion for my 5 year old lady.
I found a lone youngster (10 weeks, last one of her litter) who got on well with Tabby, the person who I got her from said there were no health problems however she was not a well noted reputable rescue (nor a large breeder or pet shop, just a lady with a few guinea pigs) so I'm unsure on whether to quarantine or not. She has lived with related family members, I didn't get a good look at their living space but the lady looked to be taking good care of her animals and the only thing potentially wrong I can see/hear with her is she looks like she has some dry skin, no excessive itching that I've noticed yet and couldn't spot any lice (my guinea pig is on treatment anyway at the moment as a preventative measure from my first attempt at pairing her up). Couldn't hear anything wrong with her breathing but I'm no expert and she's so small it was hard to have a really good listen even with a stethoscope.

I know for the sake of my current guinea who is healthy, I should, but this is only a 10 week old and isn't looking happy about being on her own in a strange new place, I haven't seen her eat or move around much since I put her on her own. They weren't exactly cuddling up to each other when let them meet briefly just to check they had a chance of getting on but she was happily roaming about, munching food and chatting constantly to Tabby.

I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow just for a weigh in, check up and such to make sure she's all ok and nothing obvious turning up yet but obviously some things may take a week or two to turn up.

Genuinely concerned for the little pig as I know they get stressed out and depressed being on their own.

What do people think, will she manage being quarantined or would you recommend breaking it for this teeny tiny little piggy and her stress levels?
 

Olivitree

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Update,I have put them in a mid ground, got the cages next to each other now I just hope thats enough to comfort her, still seriously considering just putting them together permanently, she's not a happy piggy, very stressed at being a lone but fine if she is with Tabby.
 
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madguinealady

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Tbh I think if cages next to each other quarantine redundant anyway.I had to take a chance of putting a pet shop pig ( long story, no choice) straight in with a pining older pig.Although she was a pet shop pig she had been in there for a week with no issues .It worked great for me
 

helen105281

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Tbh I think if cages next to each other quarantine redundant anyway.I had to take a chance of putting a pet shop pig ( long story, no choice) straight in with a pining older pig.Although she was a pet shop pig she had been in there for a week with no issues .It worked great for me
Must admit I was thinking the same thing as quarantine ideally needs to be in a separate air space. See what others think though,
 

Olivitree

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Mmm you are of course right, it completely ruins quarantine for respiratory diseases and probably increases risk of lice jumping ship and making it to the other cage (somehow) Tabby was already on preventative lice treatment from my last attempt at finding her a pall my only real concern is going to be fungle infections, respiratory diseases (putting her at risk of those I know) or more rare problems that could be passed on. the new pig does have ever so slightly flaky skin and possibly some little scabby patches which are worrying me, but the itching level is very low. I can't really see what her behaviour is like though because she's so petrified all the time so I expect if she has any issues she's hiding them very well otherwise she doesn't seem to have any issues that I can see, feels like a nice chunky little piggy.

The poor wee piggy hasn't moved much still, I THINK she ate something last night, there is still a lot of grass and vegetables left either way, but also a lot of poos all in one spot so she didn't move a great deal to get to her food but it looks like she did have a nibble of some things. Still clearly petrified however.

Although, we did literally just now have a mini breakthrough! She ate something while she was sitting on me, I hadn't had a good check of her in the day light so I was just having a quick cuddle and a check up on her skin to see if I could identify the dry skin possible scabby patches a bit better or a cause of them, put a bit of grass in front of her just to see if she would eat it, took a while but she did! phew, glad to have actually seen SOMETHING go into her mouth at least.
 

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I'm inclined to agree with the above posts, Quarantine should be done in a different room. Fungal is transferred through the air by spores which means it can also spread even though they are in two cages. I have had two pigs in two separate cages both picking up Ringworm at the same time. These where my own pig's so quarantine wasn't something I had to do but it appeared stress of moving house affected one, within a short period my 2nd cage also had one piggy who became infected despite my efforts to prevent the spores from spreading. I believe this is proof in it's self that quarantining in the same room is not effective.
 

Olivitree

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I can see that would be a problem. So I suppose its all or nothing really at this point, I need to decide if she is going to handle being on her own for a week or not and either just put her in with Tabby and break quarantine entirely or move her to another room>.< it seems like a long time for a 10 week old to spend on her own when she's clearly stressed out by the situation.
 

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I can see that would be a problem. So I suppose its all or nothing really at this point, I need to decide if she is going to handle being on her own for a week or not and either just put her in with Tabby and break quarantine entirely or move her to another room>.< it seems like a long time for a 10 week old to spend on her own when she's clearly stressed out by the situation.
You are right - it is either a total quarantine, or you have to take the risk that you will have to treat two instead of one piggy, especially of the two have already been in contact. If you are dealing with a bereavement or youngsters taking isolation very badly, you have to very much weigh up the risks. VEt cost are thankfully not quite as high here in Britain, but in other parts of the world it is much more of a consideration, especially as there are a lot less good rescue compared to our country.

Could you please post a picture of the "dry skin" issue; that usually points towards fungal problem more often than not.
 

Olivitree

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I have posted some images of the skin complaint on my illness post I did for her https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dandruff-flaky-skin-on-10-week-old.126563/

Behaviour wise, she is coming around to being handled, not nearly as bothered as she was and seems quite happy, roams about and chats to you when she's on you, but she still goes dead quiet and still when she's put back in her cage on her own. I've put them in proper quarantine situations for now until I decide what to do (Though as they have been together once already it may or may not be too late), might wait until after the vet appointment and then decide I think she can manage another night at least. Tabby I think is doing ok, she's quieter than she was before and sleeping a lot more which is concerning me a little but still eating a lot as usual.
 

Olivitree

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Just an update to anyone who is interested, took Oxford to the vet today, she was absolutely fine besides a minor lice infestation (they only found 2 lice), Tabby was already on the same spot-on treatment as they have now put Oxford on so I made the decision to put them together.

They are so happy now, Oxford is running about, talking constantly, even a few popcorns happening here and there, Tabby was initially showed dominance behaviour, rumble strutting, some mounting, getting a little pushy when Oxford was trying to eat food right from under her nose, but they have both settled down amazingly well now, to the point they are quite happy to sleep in the same hide together which was something Tabby rarely ever allowed even with her life long cage mate Tilly. They had their first joint cuddle with me just now and they both ended up dosing on and off together. Tabby was doing a strange nuzzling thing every now and then, putting her nose under Oxfords chin then lifting her nose up to rub it up Oxfords jaw and cheek, I'd say it looked affectionate but knowing guinea pigs it would be something else XD Duno if anyone can identify what was going on there?
 

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Just an update to anyone who is interested, took Oxford to the vet today, she was absolutely fine besides a minor lice infestation (they only found 2 lice), Tabby was already on the same spot-on treatment as they have now put Oxford on so I made the decision to put them together.

They are so happy now, Oxford is running about, talking constantly, even a few popcorns happening here and there, Tabby was initially showed dominance behaviour, rumble strutting, some mounting, getting a little pushy when Oxford was trying to eat food right from under her nose, but they have both settled down amazingly well now, to the point they are quite happy to sleep in the same hide together which was something Tabby rarely ever allowed even with her life long cage mate Tilly. They had their first joint cuddle with me just now and they both ended up dosing on and off together. Tabby was doing a strange nuzzling thing every now and then, putting her nose under Oxfords chin then lifting her nose up to rub it up Oxfords jaw and cheek, I'd say it looked affectionate but knowing guinea pigs it would be something else XD Duno if anyone can identify what was going on there?
Pushing the other piggies head up is a very mild form of asserting dominance; she is making friendly overtures from a postion of strength.

It is a touch stronger then ear licking/nibbling (which translates as a friendly invitation to joint the licking piggy's herd), which is the friendliest form of making contact.
 

Olivitree

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Ahh good I'm glad it was friendly :) I had suspicions it wasn't outright just being friendly though it rarely seems to be, feeling very confident, hopefully their bond will only get stronger as Oxford gets older.

I'm in no rush, but I'm thinking of introducing a (neutered) boar at some point, I haven't spotted a suitable one yet, but I just want a young male so I don't end up with the same kind of situation I was struck with this month where I had to find a companion or I'd have a lonely guinea pig as Tabby is not the youngest nor completely problem free (cystic ovaries and various fatty lumps I have had checked but over 6 months they haven't got any worse so the vet isn't worried). When is the best time to do this? After they are well and truly bonded or would any time be ok? I don't want to upset what they already have so far and I would worry about Tabby having to assert her place over two youngsters at once but if its better to get all the upheaval done at once, I'd look into it.
 

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Ahh good I'm glad it was friendly :) I had suspicions it wasn't outright just being friendly though it rarely seems to be, feeling very confident, hopefully their bond will only get stronger as Oxford gets older.

I'm in no rush, but I'm thinking of introducing a (neutered) boar at some point, I haven't spotted a suitable one yet, but I just want a young male so I don't end up with the same kind of situation I was struck with this month where I had to find a companion or I'd have a lonely guinea pig as Tabby is not the youngest nor completely problem free (cystic ovaries and various fatty lumps I have had checked but over 6 months they haven't got any worse so the vet isn't worried). When is the best time to do this? After they are well and truly bonded or would any time be ok? I don't want to upset what they already have so far and I would worry about Tabby having to assert her place over two youngsters at once but if its better to get all the upheaval done at once, I'd look into it.
I would give it a few weeks' time until Oxford and Tabby have established a strong bond; the success of a mixed gender trio is based on both sows getting on well in order to avoid an outsider situation. Take your time looking for a suitable boar somewhere within your reach and contact the rescues with a boar neutering policy within your reach.
 

Olivitree

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I would give it a few weeks' time until Oxford and Tabby have established a strong bond; the success of a mixed gender trio is based on both sows getting on well in order to avoid an outsider situation. Take your time looking for a suitable boar somewhere within your reach and contact the rescues with a boar neutering policy within your reach.
:) Excellent, thank you so much for all your help this week or so, I'm more than happy to let things settle in, I don't want anyone to get shunted out of the herd. I'm more than happy to take my time now, its been a stressful couple of weeks for all of us I think we could all do with just slowing down and taking it one step at a time
 
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