Struggling to cope

rosieandbonnie

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Hi guys,

I never thought I'd see myself posting this message but here we go... I'm looking for some advice.

We've had our 9 week old guinea pigs at home with us for just over a week. I had of course done my research before getting them, but 1 week in and I've found myself with a piggy with a chest infection and I'm having to syringe feed antibiotics. I know from what I've read on various forums that the best thing to do in the first week of settling a piggy into their new home is to give them time and space.

With having to practically chase Bonnie around the cage to get her to take her Baytril, I feel like all I'm doing is going backwards. She now runs back into the hidey if I enter the room (presumably as she knows I'm coming with medication). I'm only able to give it to her if I put the drops into a slice of cucumber, but I think she's now sussed that out as it took me an hour to give it to her earlier.

I've had a bit of a breakdown today with regards to my own mental health and have been signed off work with anxiety and depression for two weeks (long standing issue). I thought getting two gorgeous little guineas would be the perfect companions for me, but I'm finding it so difficult at the moment that I'm already thinking is it right that we carry on? They're the most beautiful little girls and it'd break my heart to see them go, but all I want is what is best for them, and I'm just not sure if our home is the right place.

We live in a coach house (detached with four garages underneath), and I was discussing tonight with my other half that something I didn't even consider at the time was that our house is BOILING in the summer, we need literally every window open. I know how sensitive piggys are to temperatures, so we'd need to keep the blind down all day long to block the sun and keep a fan on all day & night. In all honesty I didn't even think about it at the time, probably because the weather is very mild right now so it's easier to control the temp.

I don't want anyone to think I'm giving up on them, genuinely all I want for them is the best life, and after a week of having them home here, I'm really starting to question whether we need to think about rehoming. I will always put their welfare, emotional and physical needs before my own - so as I said it'd break my heart to see them go, but I want them to have the happiest life possible.
 

Mother Hubbard

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Hey there,

firstly take a big breathe, you’re doing ok. The idea of keeping pigs is fabulous and against the reality of cleaning out, adding up the shopping bills, vet fund and then just daily caring for them and of course endless amounts of advice especially on Facebook - don’t even go there!, is mammoth.

when you’ve not had them before it’s very daunting and you’ll worry you’re not looking after them properly. You’ve had a rough week by the sounds of it and it’s really unfortunate that one has an infection so early on. Medicating and feeding can be absolutely draining even for the more experienced owners...the waking up every 2hrs to feed is really overwhelming. So give yourself a break and don’t make any quick decisions. Your basing this on a tough week whereby sometimes emotions are running too high to make any rational thought. I say this with complete honesty having been there.

as far as your ill piggy is concerned on medicating, they’ll forgive you...take some advice from resident piggy whisperer on the forum and you’ll both find your happy place again.
Some owners expect their pig to naturally bond and quickly, it honestly doesn’t work like that. Some do, some take ages and lots of patience. Of course if you’re finding it all too hard but really still want to keep the pigs why not consider of a local boarding place would look after them for a couple of weeks and medicate for you? It’s not outside of the realms.
You’ve found the right place on the forum and of course you’ll get lots of support.
Let us know how you get on and keep sharing, it’s always good to talk!
X
 

Tigermoth

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Oh no! What a start.
Once the meds are done you can work on trust. Pigs are ruled by their belly and once you are able you can start using a treat as a way to bribe them to love you 😂

Dont make any hasty decisions. You have been thrown in the deep end. A new pig from a shop that has an infection is going to be hard work. You might be able to recoup vet costs by the way.

Good luck. I’m sure it will get better.
 

tabelmabel

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I dont want to worry you un necessarily, but Baytril is not suitable for a 9 week old pig. I am not one of the health experts on the forum but i do have a young piggy myself on anti biotics and baytril is not the one - it interferes with growth.

Pls get back to your vet on this. Septrin was the first used for my piggy and now doxycycline.

Septrin has the advantage of being banana flavoured and my baby loved that. Catching a baby can be made easier with a good cage layout. I have a 2 storey cage and it's impossible to catch my piggy on the bottom storey but from the top, i can easily reach in and get her with no chasing.


Have you read the guides on syringe feeding on here? A lot of it is confidence. My piggy doesnt like her doxycycline but i have syringe fed a lot of times over the years so i just go to it; it's all done within seconds.


Dont give up on your pigs. Looking after poorly piggies is stressful for anyone, but there is lots of support on here.

I will tag @Wiebke as she is a health expert and will be able to explain about baytril and direct you to some good syringe feeding tips.


I pop my piggy on my lap, pop the syringe in at the side of the mouth until she starts to make mouth movements and then dispense the med. Only 0.6ml so tiny. I then do a similar amount of water to take the taste away.

Have you got pro biotics too? My piggy got bio lapis which she absolutely loves!

It is dandelion flavour so that gives some nice syringe experience too. You need an hour's gap between anti biotic and pro biotic, otherwise the antib kills off the goodness in the pro b.


Stick in there with you wee one and come and keep me company in the sick bay on the health forum!
 

LucyP

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Sorry to hear this and I echo what others have said. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you’re doing really well. I unknowingly took on pigs with some health issues at the time too and it was a horrible feeling having to medicate and handle them so much when you want to give them space to settle in, but it was in their best interest and I had no choice. I did hate it though and started to think I’d made a mistake and worried I wouldn’t be able to give them what they needed. It was stressful and there were moments of real panic and distress. I was quite shocked at how utterly overwhelming it can feel when health issues happen. But we all got through it and they forgave and forgot! They are now happy, confident, friendly, inquisitive and bold - one of them is very assertive and bolshy actually, she runs the house! And although most pigs don’t like being picked up, I know they are much more relaxed with me now. So it is possible to form a bond even after a difficult start and they will get used to you. As someone already said, food always helps a lot.

I agree to not rush a decision but whatever you decide to do next, people here will support you all the way. Keep asking for help as whatever you’re going through, there will be others who have been in your shoes and can offer support and advice.

Take care and hang in there- things won’t always be like this.
 

Scooter Pie

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Hugs! After 1 week of something big and new, it's normal to question what you've gotten yourself into.

It's a new life for you and you're questioning it now, and that's ok. It's not going to stay this way. Having one sick is making it that much harder and it's not an accurate picture of how normally it'll be.

Now, as far as the summer heat, having all the windows open and fan constantly just sounds normal to me, but I'm in the US. My pigs lounge around more and "deflate" when it's hot, and they like an ice pack wrapped in fleece sometimes, but they're fine. We never bring them outside though.

Good luck! 💕💕
 

tabelmabel

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Edit to my above post (long after the permitted edit time!) It is 0.06 my piggy is on. Not 0.6 as i incorrectly mentioned above. Easy mistake to make in writing - not so easy with a 1ml syringe, fortunately!

How are you getting on this morning,@rosieandbonnie ?
 

Merab's Slave

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What a rough start you’re having with your piggies.

Not for the same reason but my boar Micah had a rocky start too.
He was a scared bullied baby when I brought him home. Due to the fact that we were moving house I wanted my known and trusted vet to do the neutering as he was going to live with the girls. A few days after the op he developed a scrotal abscess and needed more surgery. Poor boy spent the first 2 months with me recovering from 2 ops, needing meds, syringe feed and we moved house meaning a ‘holiday’ with a lovely friend while we moved.
It didn’t take long for him to settle, recover and turn into a lively, rambunctious boar.

Hang on in there. You’re doing fine and you love your piggies.
Love yourself too.
You will be forgiven.

In a hot summer I wrap freezer blocks in old towels and place them around the cage.

Hugs :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
 
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