Please help! Trouble bonding a once bonded female trio

BritneyyMarie

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Hello so I am still very new to the guinea pig community and owning guinea pigs. I really feel like I’m at a loss and just have no clue what to do now. I have three females that a long while back used to be bonded. However, one of them ended up getting sick and so I separated her from the group. whenever I tried to put them back together the two would basically single her out and chase her and bite at her. it was so bad that she didn’t even want to really move she would stay in one corner of the cage and try to avoid the others and they would both come around on both sides to corner her and then chase and bite her. So then I ended up taking her out and putting her on her own and she was instantly so much happier. I tried a couple times after that to put them together and the same thing would happen so I ended up leaving her on her own. Then one of the two my gray one (Nala) ended up getting sick and for some reason my brown one (Pumpkin) out of nowhere attacked her and started fighting very viciously right as I put her in the cage from bringing her home from the vet. The Nala and my blonde one (Hazel) that was now alone didn’t seem to really have any problems she was always nicer to her and it seemed as though the Pumpkin would be more of the instigator so I decided to put Hazel and Nala together since they were both sick anyway and take Pumpkin out and for her to be alone. When I put the Nala and Hazel together she did continue to hide but it didn’t take much time for her to feel comfortable and be happy living with my Nala again. I have tried to put all three of them together again and each time pumpkin the would attack Hazel and pull out hair so I would always pull them away and nala would more so defend the hazel and be teeth chattering and chasing pumpkin for dominance. Last night after waiting a while I tried one more final time because I’m trying to avoid giving the pumpkin away because I can’t have just one separated. And immediately Nala and pumpkin were teeth chattering and doing the tense dominance behaviors while Hazel was trying to hide and avoid them. Also I do put them in a neutral space on the floor for bonding with at least three Hideys that have multiple entrances. I also make sure to fully clean the cage to leave no scent from anyone. With the bonding they eventually settled their hierarchy and now pumpkin was in charge instead of Nala like it always was but Hazel is still very scared and she was getting chased by pumpkin and nipped at. Once I saw that they were pretty calm I put them back in the cage and once I was cleaning up I did notice that there were some small chunks of Hazel’s fur pulled out that I didn’t see. In the cage things still seem to be tense and there is still a lot of chasing and Hazel is still hiding in the corner. There are short times when they are all relaxed sleeping or laying around. That doesn’t last long and it goes back to being tense. And now with the new hierarchy where pumpkin is in charge Nala is also fairly scared of her but isn’t hiding in a corner. They have been acting this way all night. What should I do? should I just give up and leave Hazel and Nala together and rehome pumpkin because at this point it feels like I have no other option. Please help! I just don’t understand how if they were once bonded why they are acting like this. Also my cage is a 2x4 C&C that they have been in since the beginning when they were all originally bonded.
 

Piggies&buns

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:wel:
Removing a piggy for medical separation (isn’t recommended unless they are incredibly poorly and there is a very good reason for them to be separated) can cause an upset to the hierarchy and it sounds as if this is where the problem has started. The separation has caused a rift which now won’t be healed. Once piggies decide they don’t like each other, then there is nothing you can do about it. It would be best to leave the two are happiest together. What you do with the single piggy has to be your decision - She can live alongside as a single as she will gain interaction through the bars, be bonded with a character compatible piggy (ideally via dating at a rescue centre) if you feel you could manage four piggies (they could live in a separate 2x4 and as c&c cages can be stacked it can save floor space), . If you do decide you would have to have her rehomed, then do contact a rescue centre and arrange for her to be taken to them for rehoming.

To add though a 2x4 c&c is only big enough for two piggies, three piggies need a 2x5 to give them enough space and not cause underlying issues.

Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Bonds In Trouble
 
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David Piggie Lover

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Once a piggie fights and BITES that's the end of the relationship. . You must separate them asap.. URGENT
Sorry but piggies don't understand that humans would like all piggies to live together. . But fighting is the end. . Sorry.
Pls read the Bonding threads on this forum.
 

Wiebke

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I am very sorry for your upset but a separation can mean the end of the road for some adult pairs/groups with underlying social problems. Once sows have made up their mind that they are happier apart, they won't go back again. Especially not when the separated piggy would have to submit again to their rival for leadership. Fall-outs in sows are less common but they do happen; trios are also the combination that is most prone to problems.

You can find a detailed discussion of your options with their various pos and cons in a chapter in our singles guide, which deals with singles piggies in all kinds of different situations and what you can do for them. You can either keep your single in a cage right next to your pair or you can find her a new companion of her own choice (for added stability), which can be either a neutered boar or sow pof any age but one she can dominate.
More info and resources via this link here: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
 

BritneyyMarie

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:wel:
Removing a piggy for medical separation (isn’t recommended unless they are incredibly poorly and there is a very good reason for them to be separated) can cause an upset to the hierarchy and it sounds as if this is where the problem has started. The separation has caused a rift which now won’t be healed. Once piggies decide they don’t like each other, then there is nothing you can do about it. It would be best to leave the two are happiest together. What you do with the single piggy has to be your decision - She can live alongside as a single as she will gain interaction through the bars, be bonded with a character compatible piggy (ideally via dating at a rescue centre) if you feel you could manage four piggies (they could live in a separate 2x4 and as c&c cages can be stacked it can save floor space), . If you do decide you would have to have her rehomed, then do contact a rescue centre and arrange for her to be taken to them for rehoming.

To add though a 2x4 c&c is only big enough for two piggies, three piggies need a 2x5 to give them enough space and not cause underlying issues.

Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
Bonds In Trouble
Thank you very much! I am going to look at other the other options I have before I decide it rehome her. Also I only separated her per the vets recommendation. She had an upper respiratory infection not sure now if I should have still separated her for that.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you very much! I am going to look at other the other options I have before I decide it rehome her. Also I only separated her per the vets recommendation. She had an upper respiratory infection not sure now if I should have still separated her for that.
In most cases a separation is not necessary as exposure has already happened and healthy piggies with a fully working immune system can usually fend it off.

There has been a marked change in attitudes in recent years as the importance of companionship for guinea pigs has become clear but it has not yet reached everywhere, especially not general vets with not too much experience with guinea pigs (which are classed as exotics as they are not farm/farmed animals like dogs, cats or rabbits).

How long have you had your girls for?
 

BritneyyMarie

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I am very sorry for your upset but a separation can mean the end of the road for some adult pairs/groups with underlying social problems. Once sows have made up their mind that they are happier apart, they won't go back again. Especially not when the separated piggy would have to submit again to their rival for leadership. Fall-outs in sows are less common but they do happen; trios are also the combination that is most prone to problems.

You can find a detailed discussion of your options with their various pos and cons in a chapter in our singles guide, which deals with singles piggies in all kinds of different situations and what you can do for them. You can either keep your single in a cage right next to your pair or you can find her a new companion of her own choice (for added stability), which can be either a neutered boar or sow pof any age but one she can dominate.
More info and resources via this link here: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
Thank you I really appreciate the help and will definitely look into that thank you!
I am very sorry for your upset but a separation can mean the end of the road for some adult pairs/groups with underlying social problems. Once sows have made up their mind that they are happier apart, they won't go back again. Especially not when the separated piggy would have to submit again to their rival for leadership. Fall-outs in sows are less common but they do happen; trios are also the combination that is most prone to problems.

You can find a detailed discussion of your options with their various pos and cons in a chapter in our singles guide, which deals with singles piggies in all kinds of different situations and what you can do for them. You can either keep your single in a cage right next to your pair or you can find her a new companion of her own choice (for added stability), which can be either a neutered boar or sow pof any age but one she can dominate.
More info and resources via this link here: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
thank you I really appreciate it. I will check that out thank you!
 

BritneyyMarie

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Once a piggie fights and BITES that's the end of the relationship. . You must separate them asap.. URGENT
Sorry but piggies don't understand that humans would like all piggies to live together. . But fighting is the end. . Sorry.
Pls read the Bonding threads on this forum.
Thank you they are separated now and I left the two happy together
 

BritneyyMarie

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In most cases a separation is not necessary as exposure has already happened and healthy piggies with a fully working immune system can usually fend it off.

There has been a marked change in attitudes in recent years as the importance of companionship for guinea pigs has become clear but it has not yet reached everywhere, especially not general vets with not too much experience with guinea pigs (which are classed as exotics as they are not farm/farmed animals like dogs, cats or rabbits).

How long have you had your girls for?
I’ve had them since April
 

BritneyyMarie

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In most cases a separation is not necessary as exposure has already happened and healthy piggies with a fully working immune system can usually fend it off.

There has been a marked change in attitudes in recent years as the importance of companionship for guinea pigs has become clear but it has not yet reached everywhere, especially not general vets with not too much experience with guinea pigs (which are classed as exotics as they are not farm/farmed animals like dogs, cats or rabbits).

How long have you had your girls for?
If I were to keep her and try to find her another piggy to bond with should I try getting a boar or just a submissive sow?
 

Wiebke

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If I were to keep her and try to find her another piggy to bond with should I try getting a boar or just a submissive sow?
It's all down to a personality match and mutual liking, to be honest - any piggy she likes and that she comes out on top of will do. Every other aspect (gender and age) is secondary, to be honest. If she is a young sow, then a de-sexed boar, if you can get hold of one is a pretty sure bet. Once a sow is over 3-4 years and past ideal pup bearing age, bonding sows is getting a lot more difficult.
That is why there is never just one ideal way - what you end up with dictated by your access to piggies and ideally good welfare standard rescues etc., you possibilities at home and lastly but by no means leastly, your piggy's personality.

Guinea Lynx :: US Guinea Pig Rescue and Shelter Organizations (Florida)
 

BritneyyMarie

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Thank you very very much. I’m not sure of her exact age but she should be around 1 year old I believe maybe a bit younger. I will try to find her a friend and hopefully all goes well.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you very very much. I’m not sure of her exact age but she should be around 1 year old I believe maybe a bit younger. I will try to find her a friend and hopefully all goes well.
Ideal age for sows to be interested in boys; but another submissive sow should also do.
 

VickiA

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Just to stress that if you are considering a boar companion he will need to be neutered and at least 6 weeks post neutering to ensure he cannot impregnate her. At her age with luck you could find a sow companion for her.Do you have any rescues nearby who offer piggy dating to make sure you get a good match?
 
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