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One of our boars passed away - what should we do next?

blacklegkat

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On the 1st of February, one of my beloved boars unfortunately passed away due to a problem with his digestive system. Me and my father are very sad about this, as you could probably guess, but we feel even worse because now we have a lonely boar. We love him with all our hearts and want the best for him. So what should we do? I'm trying my best to find all the answers to my questions through research but I think maybe it would be best to post on here just in case.

Our remaining boar is about two years old. He hasn't shown any strong signs of grief so far, but the death of our other piggy was very recently, and we're not sure if he understands what happened yet - he passed whilst he was at the vets, so maybe his brother still has hope of him returning.

I have a lot of questions, so please forgive me for the long post, and don't hesitate to tell me if I should be making separate threads.

How long should we wait before getting a new cage mate?
We are thinking of neutering him and getting a few females for him to live with. Is this a good idea? If he starts grieving, should we wait until he becomes more chipper before neutering him?
How old should his new cage mates be at the very least?
Should we find him a male cage mate so as to avoid a risky surgery?

Again, apologies for all the questions, and thank you in advance to anyone who may answer. <3
 

Merab's Slave

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Welcome to the forum
So very sorry to hear of your loss.
Please feel free to post a tribute to your boy on the Rainbow Bridge thread.

For your surviving boy you have a few possibilities.
He will grieve in his own way but guinea pigs quickly get on with business of surviving.
You may notice that he is more subdued without piggy companionship.

You can find another boar - preferably though a rescue that does boar dating. This way you can be sure that the boys like each other and will get on.

Another option is to have him neutered and after a 6 week wait to be sure of no furry consequences match him with a sow or a pair of sows.

This is the route I chose when I was left with a bereaved boar and he was very happy for the rest of his life with his wife.

These are probably the best options for you.
It’s so good that you are thinking about your boy’s needs and well-being already.

If you are UK based there is a list of recommended rescues on the forum.

Don’t hesitate to ask more questions and don’t forget to allow yourself to grieve
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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So sorry for the loss of your boar!

Here's a thread about looking after a bereaved piggie which might help Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig

If your lonely boar isn't pining badly for his friend (ie is still eating, not hiding etc), then you can take your time to find him a cagemate that will bond with him for the long term, or to have him neutered and find him a sow or two. Taking him dating at a rescue is the best way to find compatible companions of either gender, if you can do that. I had to do this last year when I lost my older boar. Boar-dating was unsuccessful (he's such a dominant boy!) so I had him neutered and he went back to the same rescue after the necessary 6 weeks wait to meet a pair of sows. He was 2.5 years old when he had the op, similar to your boar, I guess there is always a risk with surgery but you can lessen it by using a good vet.
Whether you find him a boar or sow (after neutering) as a friend, compatibility is more important than age, which is why dating at a rescue is the best way if at all possible.
Hope you are able to find him a new friend without too much difficulty :hug:
 

Wiebke

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On the 1st of February, one of my beloved boars unfortunately passed away due to a problem with his digestive system. Me and my father are very sad about this, as you could probably guess, but we feel even worse because now we have a lonely boar. We love him with all our hearts and want the best for him. So what should we do? I'm trying my best to find all the answers to my questions through research but I think maybe it would be best to post on here just in case.

Our remaining boar is about two years old. He hasn't shown any strong signs of grief so far, but the death of our other piggy was very recently, and we're not sure if he understands what happened yet - he passed whilst he was at the vets, so maybe his brother still has hope of him returning.

I have a lot of questions, so please forgive me for the long post, and don't hesitate to tell me if I should be making separate threads.

How long should we wait before getting a new cage mate?
We are thinking of neutering him and getting a few females for him to live with. Is this a good idea? If he starts grieving, should we wait until he becomes more chipper before neutering him?
How old should his new cage mates be at the very least?
Should we find him a male cage mate so as to avoid a risky surgery?

Again, apologies for all the questions, and thank you in advance to anyone who may answer. <3
Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for your loss. Piggies also grieve after the loss a companion and they can become depressed even if they are initially OK and eating.
This guide here contains tips of what you can do in the immediate as well as in the longer term, including links to recommended good standard rescues we can guarantee that you and your boy are in safe and experienced hands. You will hopefully find it very helpful: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig

Your options ultimately depend on what is available where you are. It would help us if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your account details (via clicking on your username on the top bar). We have members and enquiries from all over the world with very different rescue and vet access.

If you have access to a good boar dating rescue, then that is the quickest option. Age is far less important than mutual liking and character compatibility for any stable and happy piggy bond in any combination. Always contact all rescues you can get to, as it depends on the piggies they have up for adoption or coming up for adoption; don't just look at the website and talk to the rescue.

Neutering comes with a 6 weeks post-op safety wait and the operation risk (you want to have a good vet for that - links are in the guide), but it does give you more options for happy and stable pairings. Again, a rescue with mandatory quarantine/vet care and a pregnancy watch is a good place to meet the girls and find the ones that your boy gels well without any nasty surprises. And again, mutual liking comes long before age. I have had anything from same age to age gaps of up to 5 years (and what a big love that one was!)
Having a good rescue at your back also means that you not have to worry about any new piggy or sow pair not working out.
Here is our neutering guide, which deals in depth with all the aspects of this area: Neutered / De-sexed Boars And Neutering Operations: Myths And Facts

If you get a piggy from any other sources, please take these tips here into account:
What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

You can look for a new mate as soon as your boy is coming out of deep mourning, which is hopefully any day now. ;)
 

blacklegkat

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Thank you so much everyone for your helpful replies - you have hugely eased some of my biggest worries. Me and my father are going to read through the recommended resources and try to find a good rescue. We're not going to let this beautiful boy suffer alone <3 Thank you again from me and my dad! P.S. I have now added my location onto my profile (Bristol, UK) at your recommendation!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much everyone for your helpful replies - you have hugely eased some of my biggest worries. Me and my father are going to read through the recommended resources and try to find a good rescue. We're not going to let this beautiful boy suffer alone <3 Thank you again from me and my dad! P.S. I have now added my location onto my profile (Bristol, UK) at your recommendation!
The Littlest Rescue is your closest, but you have to see whether they have got any suitable boars for dating. They should be able to recommend the vets they use for neutering, though!
The Blue Cross in Burford is unfortunately one of the few rescues in our list that does NOT offer rescue dating. :(
 

blacklegkat

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The Littlest Rescue is your closest, but you have to see whether they have got any suitable boars for dating. They should be able to recommend the vets they use for neutering, though!
The Blue Cross in Burford is unfortunately one of the few rescues in our list that does NOT offer rescue dating. :(
I actually follow the Littlest Rescue on facebook, and my friend has adopted a rabbit from there before! We're going to get in contact with them to see what we can arrange! <3
 
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