Ren's bitten Kylo..teenage hormones or something else?!

curlykrish

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Hello, so my 5 month old piggie Ren is obviously going through the teenage hormone stage, and i have noticed that he particularly perks up in the evenings. Kylo has been having teeth issues, ear infection, lice etc - he is older but only by a few months (i think he is 9 months). Anyway, i think his illness and therefore relative passiveness seems to have given Ren the ideal opportunity to vent. I have been daily weighing Kylo and a few days ago noticed some small scratches on his rump - they didnt look fresh, but cleaned them anyway. Given they hadnt been constantly at it, i kept them together (also spoke to the rescue who advised to keep them together for now). Up until today I hadnt actually seen them fighting. There is no teeth chattering, or rumblestrutting or mounting etc during the day - they seem to keep in their own corner of the 6*2 C&C (where they have two of everything!). Today, Ren was just chasing Kylo around, and Kylo being relatively savvy would move at even the hint of Ren coming closer..but finally he didnt make it. I have also felt that Kylo doesnt really appreciate Ren's company much even before today's incident. So, i have temporarily split the cage in two (Ren wasnt happy about this and tried to bite the bars, which i have now securely covered with a blanket). I have also cleaned Kylo's wound with salt water, and he has a local vet appointment tomorrow so will get everything checked, and going to see Simon/Kim at cat and Rabbits on Thursday for is teeth. Have i done the right thing here? Should i even look at trying to get them back together? i usually take them both to all the vet appointments but was now only going to take Kylo as i cant imagine them being couped up together!
 

Siikibam

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You’ve done the right thing. The dominant piggy always has ants to get back together with the mate, so you should go by how Kylo is behaving rather than Ren. Is Kylo more relaxed etc? Was he submissive beforehand, letting Ren hump/mount and chase him? Was the injury from a deliberate bite by Ren, or more than Kylo tried to get away and Ren (in his enthusiasm) took a swipe at him?. You can try separating for a few days to let the hormone surge die down. Have a read of the link below regarding levels of dominance and see where it falls.
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 

curlykrish

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I'm not really sure how Kylo is - he seems to not really care whether Ren is there or not. Currently as he isnt well its hard to tell. Most of the time I see them together and Kylo seems rather indifferent or trying to get away. I have never seen Ren trying to hump or mount him (unless this happens in the middle of the night), and Re the chasing, i never see Kylo turn back around to stop Ren or attempt to fight back - he is mainly always trying to get away from him. I'm not sure if the bite was deliberate but it sounds more like the latter (i only witnessed the aftermath after hearing a lot of noise, and seeing the prior chasing around). I havent witnessed any very aggressive behaviours from Ren like loud teeth chattering, or looking like hes getting ready to lunge etc. just some low level rumblestrutting (quite often he does this and then runs away from Kylo as if he's embarrassed almost). The main behaviours are lots of narky nips, but often dont lead to much aside from Kylo running away. Also just to note, Ren is also more skittish and nervous whereas Kylo is more relaxed.
 

curlykrish

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Just to add, just after the incident, I saw Kylo was pacing around the cage and Ren had gone into his hidey at his end, and every time Kylo would come closer around Ren would be whining. So actually, I'm really confused about all the behaviour...
 

Siikibam

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How they are with you isn’t any bearing on their relationship. Being skittish definitely doesn’t mean they can’t be the dominant one.

Rumblestrutting is normal dominance behaviour and so is chasing. From your reply, it doesn’t sound like it was particularly deliberate. Kylo ‘whining’ may just be submissive noises. He’s telling Ren he accepts him as the leader.

I think give them a couple of days separated then try them on neutral ground with just a pile of hay. See how they get on there. You have to be available to keep an eye out. But also be careful not to intervene too quickly.
 

curlykrish

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It was Ren that was whining afterwards, Kylo is the one that has been bitten. But yes, i will give them a few days and see how they are on neutral ground. Thanks.
 

Siikibam

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Oh ok! Who was the dominant before Kylo being ill?
 

curlykrish

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It was Kylo (this is what the resuce advised) - he is the dad and Ren is his Son. So i suppose Kylo was dominant, and Ren is just now going through the teenage phase and testing the relationship.
 

Siikibam

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It may be Ren has seen an open door and is trying to take over. Fingers crossed it goes when when you try bonding them again.
 

curlykrish

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Hi.. just a final question... overnight I left a blanket over the bars as Ren was obsessively biting at them / trying to squeeze his head through. This morning I thought he might have calmed down but every time he sees Kylo he wants to get through. Kylo is just ignoring it all.. and actually i have seen him come out more and eating his hay. Question is, is it ok to leave it like this for a while, or do they really need to be able to see each other during this separation period? If so, I will have to try and get some Perspex or something.. if anyone has any ideas. Thanks.
 

Siikibam

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It’s sometimes advised to put up a solid divider so the bar biting one calms down.
 
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