Rabbits with guinea pigs

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Jane

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Not sure if this should be here, please move it if it's in the wrong place!

Okay, so my friend has a guinea pig and a rabbit living together and apparently they have lived together happily for three years, I only found out she had both today, so I've been trying to give her some advise about why they should not live together (with the help of lolseh ;)) but she wont listen to me.

I've explained to her why they shouldn't live together, and her excuses are that
1) they live fine together
2) the rabbit always eats grass and never the seed mix anyway (also told her that they would be better off with pellets)
3) the guinea pig was really depressed on it's own and the rabbit 'brought it back to life'

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can say to her? I've put the point across that I'm not doing it for the good of my health, I just care about her animals as much as she does. Any advice here please? :(
 
B

Beaney

It is a difficult one - as I guess her point of view is that they have been fine so far she won't see a need to split them.

Other than than the different dietry requirements the biggest risk to the guinea pig is that the rabbit hurts it - not intentionally but rabbits do kick out and 'hump' piggys on occasion too. Does she realise that a piggy could lose it's life from an accidental rabbit kick. It is likely though that she is telling the truth about the piggy getting a new lease on life. Rabbits and piggys are both very sociable creatures - it is just ideally it should be with their own kind.

I do not agree with them being kept together BUT, if she really won't separate them, there is some 'damage control'. The rabbit being neutered may help with any humping. She should also make sure that the piggy has somewhere in the run/hutch that he/she can get to but the rabbit can not - some sort of hidey hole. She perhaps should feed them separately. If a rabbit eats the amount of veggies that a piggy would eat, it could end up with a bit of a dodgy belly! I just want to say again - this is not my recommendation, only an alternative suggestion if she really won't split them. ;)

The best advice would be that she separates them and rescues another bunny and another guinea pig so that both have company of their own kind - not sure if you will persuade her though. Good Luck!
 
C

cavykind

Spot on advice from Beaney.
I'll just add that friend of mine kept her rabbit and guinea pig together without any problem at all, despite what we advise. The guinea pig lived to be over 8 years old if I remember rightly.

It might not be text book stuff, but sometimes it does work :)

Barbara
 
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Its just so sad... they might get along without problems - but that doesnt mean that they arent lonely..

Piggy not being able to talk with someone, if they try, the rabbit doesnt squeak back.. Rabbit tries to groom the piggy and starts licking it - piggy never returns the affection... two lonely little creatures trying to make the best out of their situation.. :(

Have you ever offered to put her piggy with one of yours just for the afternoon? Maybe she will see the difference, of how much more lively her piggy is all of a sudden, how it starts communicating in a way it never could with the bunny?
 
J

Jenni75

I also have my rabbit and gp's living together but as stated (and I'll repeat again) on other posts I adopted Meg (rabbit) from my mum after the rabbit mum abandoned Meg and then tried to kill her by pooing on her, kicking her, starving her. My mum took her out at 3 weeks and managed to keep her alive though she'd lost a lot of weight and hair and was very weak. I took her at 4 weeks when I went over for the weekend at Easter and my mum said that she has more chance with me than with her if I want to try. Well of course I did! So, vitamins and lots of care, soft towels and handling later and I have a gorgeous dwarf lionhead - she is small compared to other dwarf lionheads though.

Anyway, at about 8 weeks I put her out on the grass with Freddy (my gp) and we were sitting there when she snuggled into Freddy and stayed with him while he sat there eating grass. He made his machine gun 'calming' noise and that's been it. Once she was old enough to be out with him she was put in his hutch and they stayed together fine. He looks after her. We did get another gp and Freddy and Flo tend to stick together under their log and Meg stays downstairs, and yes I do worry that she might be lonely but until I can afford a bigger hutch I think she's happy. She gets cuddles from me and I think because she's not really known anything else re other rabbits she's happy with that.

However, I would say that that is a rare'ish case as we put my rabbit ( not a dwarf) and my brothers gp in together when I was quite young, we hadn't been told they couldn't live together and they were quite happy until one day my rabbit had one of his tempers and mum had the horrible job of putting the gp out of pain. It wasn't nice apparently...
 
H

hermoine76

I have my Georgie and Shadow living together with my bunny Misty.She is a very calm rabbit and the guineas have their own separate bedding area in the form of a hut my husband made for them,The bunny is too big to fit inside.They are all happy they share all the food and I watch them closely to make sure they are all sharing and being nice to one another.The hutch is 2 stories and its inside a big run so they can all have their space,I think it helps as they don't get in each others way all the time and the bunny spends much of her time in her own bed on the top half of the hutch where the guineas cant get too It works for them all I'm glad to say but I also have another rabbit that would kill my guineas so she has her own hutch.I think it depends on the nature of the rabbit mine is calm and loving so she really dint mind the guineas at all


Heidi
 
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I put all the info I have on here http://www.susieandpigs.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Rabbit.htm I did a fair bit of research as it is something I am constantly fighting for! Not sure if there will be anything on there as you have covered a lot of it.

Went to check out a venue for our school trip yesterday (I know in half term!!) niceish place like an exotic animal farm kids would have liked it. But Rabbits kept with Guinea pigs and I cant support that so we have had to find a different place. On the plus they were not kept on shavings. I have e-mailed them with my concerns. I will keep chipping away.

Well done for your efforts. Hope they take notice.
 
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sounds as if all has been advised and to be honest after 3 years and what Cavykind has said about knowing some one else who did it maybe splitting them could do more harm then good, (just my advice)
one thing i have learnt on these forums is nothing is ever black and white what some find intollerable others find perfectly alright,its hard to know what to say to these sorts of things but ultimatly we have to let individuals make their own decisions, If i was in this girl place i would probably change the diet and make sure piggy had a hidey hole but not split them up you never know they could depend on each other for company and be perfectly happy, who are we to say!
I use to keep bunnys and piggys in a shed together and they shared a run outside together but not kept in same place, but the female shani was not having any of it and often use to get out of her hutch and jump over the pigs indoor fence some 3ft high and i would find her snuggled with them often then jumping into the boys run which was in the same shed but round the corner it was an L shaped shed, I never knew from any day where she would be in the end i left her hutch door open, she was perfectly happy and so were the pigs they got added warmth and a good cleaning from her,
 
D

DebbieR

I can never understand who ever thought it was a good idea to keep guins ans buns in the same house in the first place?
You wouldn't dream of keeping a rat and a hamster in the same cage would you? So why would you keep 2 creatures of a different species together? ?
I just don't get it. I really don't ?
 
P

piglover

I dont agree with keeping rabbits and buns in the same cage together at all, but like said there are exceptions to all rules. I had a little dwarf lop years ago although he didnt live with the piggies they played out together and flopsy and my big white aby Snowy loved each other! they took it turns to groom each other and snuggled up together under the bed and Flopsy got Snowy into so much trouble nibbling! But they were ok.

And we do keep dogs and cats together granted the area isn't so confined but have you ever seen them fighting on you've been framed?!
 
D

DebbieR

True about the cats and dogs but they can get out of each others way if things get heated or they're fed up with each other.

I just wonder where the idea came from in the first place.
 

Jane

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Thanks for all of the suggestions :) I'll try and tell her some more tonight, and then maybe I will suggest something if she wont seperate them.

Lolseh said last night that I could suggest her taking the two level hutch apart and putting them both side by side, take one of the sides off each and put mesh down the middle. Any suggestions as to whether that would be a good or bad idea?
 
C

cavykind

While I would never encourage this combination initially, if they have lived together for 3 years ...I'm old enough and ugly enough to be inclined to say not to rock the boat and leave them together.
If there were going to be problems I feel that they would have manifested by now.
If they are both happy and healthy "text book advice" kind of loses it's meaning. Sure things could go wrong, but they might if you split them up?
 

Jane

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cavykind said:
While I would never encourage this combination initially, if they have lived together for 3 years ...I'm old enough and ugly enough to be inclined to say not to rock the boat and leave them together.
If there were going to be problems I feel that they would have manifested by now.
If they are both happy and healthy "text book advice" kind of loses it's meaning. Sure things could go wrong, but they might if you split them up?

So would you say I should leave it or say something more to her? I don't know now lol, I don't want to advise something if her pets are better off how they are at the moment.
 
C

cavykind

Jane, there is, to me no right or wrong answer. I can recite as I have said text book style all the reasons why they shouldn't be together. But if the two animals concerned have formed a bond of friendship, and it is my personal belief that this does happen, I would be the last to encourage splitting them up.

If there has been no signs of aggression, they enjoy a balanced diet, seem psychologically happy...where is the problem in this specific case. Why look for something that doesn't exist other than in a book or internet/forum site?

Sure it isn't ideal and who knows what the future holds? But why try to mend what isn't broken. Just my thoughts after 17 years animal welfare experience....for what it is worth ;)

As I have said a close friend of mine kept her guinea and bun together for years without probs, I knew and them both and they were as happy as Larry....despite everything :)
 
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evn if they have been together longer than 3 years... one kick thats all it takes. I have seen photos of paralysed piggys and piggys sprayed with wee. Up to the individual but for me no exceptions... just not worth the risk.
 
D

DebbieR

I agree with you Susie. Most injuries to the guins are not because the bun suddenly goes bonkers they are accidental. Maybe the poor guin couldn't get out of the way of an excited bunny kicking out with its back legs etc.
I like the idea of the split hutch with the mesh idea.
 

daftscotslass

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Perhaps also suggest evidence that pasturella can be passed to pigs from rabbits - see http://www.guineapigcages.com/rabbits.htm.

I was in "it's company policy to keep rabbits and cavies together" large-chain-pet-shop the other day scouting out the pigs as they sold a large dutch rabbit with a small (10-ish week old) guinea pig as companions. The owner-to-be was with a friend who told them "Oh aye... they'll be fine with rabbit food".

Sadly I was dragged out by the hand by my other half before I was allowed to say anything.
 
S

Starflick

Can I just add that even though they have lived together fine for 3 years, doesn't mean to say that nice bunny won't have a wee kick of the old back legs and break the piggies back! Only takes the once, not trying to be horrible, just stating a fact. I dont' agree with it either but we are not going to wipe it out completely, eveyone has their own opinions on things and some people think this is ok. Life would be dull if we all thought the same!
Poor piggie! :(
 
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My sister had a rabbit and guinea pig as a child and lived together for years with no probs untill the rabbit kicked guinea pig and killed it! My rabbits hurt me some times when I pick them up and I weigh abit more than a guinea pig!
 
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