Unexpected Death Of A Young Boar, Do I Need To Get Another Playmate For His Brother?

Should I get a new playmate?

  • Sounds like he needs a new playmate

    Votes: 6 100.0%
  • Doesn't sound like he needs a new playmate

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6

Sporgan

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Over the weekend a tragic accident resulted in the very tough decision to have one of my fur babies put to sleep to end his suffering.
The whole day was very emotional, unusual and difficult for me but also for my other guinea pig - his brother and cage mate of 2 years.

I have been monitoring my remaining guinea - Morgan - and he seems to be ok, he is eating plenty, still coming to the edge of the cage and isn't making more or less noise than usual.

I have rearranged the cage and tried to make it a new place with no trace of his brother and all evening he has been wheeking and popcorning as he runs around exploring all the new areas.

It seems weird but Morgan was the shy and quiet brother and since the passing of my other guinea he has almost come out of his shell. I can't tell if Morgan is actually happier on his own or is just over compensating?

Has anyone experienced anything similar?

I have read many posts about getting a new cage mate but I know I'm not ready and am unwilling to get a 'replacement pig' without any clear signs of grief or need from Morgan.
 

Janice C

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Over the weekend a tragic accident resulted in the very tough decision to have one of my fur babies put to sleep to end his suffering.
The whole day was very emotional, unusual and difficult for me but also for my other guinea pig - his brother and cage mate of 2 years.

I have been monitoring my remaining guinea - Morgan - and he seems to be ok, he is eating plenty, still coming to the edge of the cage and isn't making more or less noise than usual.

I have rearranged the cage and tried to make it a new place with no trace of his brother and all evening he has been wheeking and popcorning as he runs around exploring all the new areas.

It seems weird but Morgan was the shy and quiet brother and since the passing of my other guinea he has almost come out of his shell. I can't tell if Morgan is actually happier on his own or is just over compensating?

Has anyone experienced anything similar?

I have read many posts about getting a new cage mate but I know I'm not ready and am unwilling to get a 'replacement pig' without any clear signs of grief or need from Morgan.
Sounds as if Morgan is coping fine at the moment. He is probably enjoying having extra space to run about in and explore but most animals need the company of another of their own kind. He's not had time to miss having company as yet though. Once you have had time to get over some of the heartbreaking grief that can overcome us at the loss of a wee pet you'll begin to realise it would be best for him. I'm terribly sorry you lost his darling brother. Give yourself time to recover before doing anything as I'm sure he'll cope for a while..
 

Sporgan

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Sounds as if Morgan is coping fine at the moment. He is probably enjoying having extra space to run about in and explore but most animals need the company of another of their own kind. He's not had time to miss having company as yet though. Once you have had time to get over some of the heartbreaking grief that can overcome us at the loss of a wee pet you'll begin to realise it would be best for him. I'm terribly sorry you lost his darling brother. Give yourself time to recover before doing anything as I'm sure he'll cope for a while..
This is a point, I had automatically assumed I'd be able to see signs of grief immediately as they were always together.

I still won't jump into anything with a new piggy family member but I will kep an eye on the local rescues.
 

Wiebke

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Over the weekend a tragic accident resulted in the very tough decision to have one of my fur babies put to sleep to end his suffering.
The whole day was very emotional, unusual and difficult for me but also for my other guinea pig - his brother and cage mate of 2 years.

I have been monitoring my remaining guinea - Morgan - and he seems to be ok, he is eating plenty, still coming to the edge of the cage and isn't making more or less noise than usual.

I have rearranged the cage and tried to make it a new place with no trace of his brother and all evening he has been wheeking and popcorning as he runs around exploring all the new areas.

It seems weird but Morgan was the shy and quiet brother and since the passing of my other guinea he has almost come out of his shell. I can't tell if Morgan is actually happier on his own or is just over compensating?

Has anyone experienced anything similar?

I have read many posts about getting a new cage mate but I know I'm not ready and am unwilling to get a 'replacement pig' without any clear signs of grief or need from Morgan.
Hi! I am very sorry for your loss!

It is not uncommon for the submissive companion of a dominant piggy to come out of themselves once their mate has gone. Not pining acutely doesn't mean that they do not need company in the longer term!
The best way forward is to contact Milhaven Guinea Pig Rescue in Keighley and BARC rescue in Barnsley about potential mates and to set up dating at the rescue, so you only come home with a new mate if acceptance has happened and your remaining boy can make the decision as to who he wants to be with. These two rescues are your closest ones where we can guarantee that you are in good and experienced hands.

It takes a bit of time to set all that up, so it gives you some breathing space to get your own bearing. Doing something
constructive will hopefully also help you with your own grieving and the soul searching that is inevitable in the wake of a shattering accident. I am very sorry that it has happened! You sound like a caring owner.
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@pig in the city (guinea pig fosterer for BARC)

You do not have to expect to have any feelings for the new piggy; that will come in its own time once you are ready and it kind of creeps up on you. It took me several weeks after my special Minx' death before I could feel anything whatsoever about young neutered boar Llewelyn and the first feeling I experienced was anger that Dizzy had chosen a piggy with vaguely similar colouring and markings to Minx - but knowing that my bereaved and acutely pining Dizzy was head over heels with her swain did actually take a lot of the emotional pressure off me.
It took me a full 18 months to get over Minx's death, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying my two love birds during that time! It was a completely different relationship, for both me and Dizzy - but no less valid in its own way. And it didn't take anything away from Minx and the supportive love that Dizzy had given her. Llewelyn went on to become the wonderful founder patriarch of my big group adventure once I had been able to lay Minx to rest, but older lady Dizzy remained the great love of his life despite all of his new wives he looked after so well!

PS: You are welcome to post a tribute to your lost boy in the Rainbow Bridge section if or whenever it feels right for you. Some of us will never go there because they find it too upsetting, others find comfort and relief talking about their loss while their emotions are still raw, and another group prefer to wait until they are over the worst of the grieving. It is there for you in whatever form you might want to make use of it (or not).
 

Janice C

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Hi! I am very sorry for your loss!

It is not uncommon for the submissive companion of a dominant piggy to come out of themselves once their mate has gone. Not pining acutely doesn't mean that they do not need company in the longer term!
The best way forward is to contact Milhaven Guinea Pig Rescue in Keighley and BARC rescue in Barnsley about potential mates and to set up dating at the rescue, so you only come home with a new mate if acceptance has happened and your remaining boy can make the decision as to who he wants to be with. These two rescues are your closest ones where we can guarantee that you are in good and experienced hands.

It takes a bit of time to set all that up, so it gives you some breathing space to get your own bearing. Doing something
constructive will hopefully also help you with your own grieving and the soul searching that is inevitable in the wake of a shattering accident. I am very sorry that it has happened! You sound like a caring owner.
Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator
@pig in the city (guinea pig fosterer for BARC)

You do not have to expect to have any feelings for the new piggy; that will come in its own time once you are ready and it kind of creeps up on you. It took me several weeks after my special Minx' death before I could feel anything whatsoever about young neutered boar Llewelyn and the first feeling I experienced was anger that Dizzy had chosen a piggy with vaguely similar colouring and markings to Minx - but knowing that my bereaved and acutely pining Dizzy was head over heels with her swain did actually take a lot of the emotional pressure off me.
It took me a full 18 months to get over Minx's death, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying my two love birds during that time! It was a completely different relationship, for both me and Dizzy - but no less valid in its own way. And it didn't take anything away from Minx and the supportive love that Dizzy had given her. Llewelyn went on to become the wonderful founder patriarch of my big group adventure once I had been able to lay Minx to rest, but older lady Dizzy remained the great love of his life despite all of his new wives he looked after so well!

PS: You are welcome to post a tribute to your lost boy in the Rainbow Bridge section if or whenever it feels right for you. Some of us will never go there because they find it too upsetting, others find comfort and relief talking about their loss while their emotions are still raw, and another group prefer to wait until they are over the worst of the grieving.
Oh that was so touching! I'm still learning about everyone and their piggies on the forum. Your advice is always so sound and kind!
 

Lady Kelly

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I can only echo some of Wiebkes comments about companionship. I usually have four piggies but after losing a couple to old age at the end of the year and then losing one through illness Daisy was left by herself. Shes always been ok with people and friendly but she became very needy for company. She was fine, eating, drinking, pooping - all the normal piggy behaviours. However she became so dependent on us for talking to. The second either of us got home she did not stop "talking" away and it was very obvious she was desperate for company. I was in a similar boat of trying to find a companion and it was hard work as most rescues at the time only seemed to have intact boars but we got there in the end and she was immediately happier with one friend (although now I'm back up to 4)
 

Wiebke

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I have currently a friend's 8 year old lady living with me. She didn't pine when the last of her same age companions died at the end of last year and actually flourished after her dominant sister had died the year before, but she became gradually rather depressed all on her own and very needy of my friend's company, who is a nurse working long shifts. This is why she came here to live out her life. It has made all the difference!

The difference between acute pining and no pining is not that a guinea pig doesn't need company. It just means that you do not need to find a new mate asap as a matter of life and death. You have got about 2-4 weeks' leeway before behaviour is starting to gradually change and have the grace to do your research and arrange things more around your own commitments.
The death of a companion, especially if it has been traumatic, is the single most key situation where cavy and human feelings and needs clash and the one that is most difficult for us to handle emotionally while we are still reeling ourselves. :(

Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
 

Freela

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I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds as though your remaining pig is coping well and is not acutely distressed, which is a good thing. It buys you time to grieve and think about the future. That said, I do think in the long run, having the company of another pig is going to be the best thing for his quality of life. They are wired to be social, and much as we may love our pigs, we don't speak the same 'language' as them. Even though they may irritate each other at times, piggy pairs/groups are all speaking the same language and it's not something we can replicate for them.

I have been through several losses and new adoptions and can honestly say I have never 'replaced' a pig. They are individuals who are not replaceable. But I have, with time, come to appreciate my new pigs as new individuals who I also love and who will never be replaced. There have definitely been times when I have brought home a new pig for the benefit of my remaining pig (and my kids!) without having much in the way of feeling for them because I really wasn't ready yet. That said, I absolutely did grow to love all the newbies too with time. So don't be too hard on yourself... a relationship with a new pig will form with time.
 

David Piggie Lover

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Sorry to hear your piggie has died. Sad as you say a accident. As a replacement for Morgan that's the question only you can make. I had a piggie for over 3 years and he was well happy on his own. so much we did wonder many times about a mate etc but he was happy alone. zoomin popcorning vocal so it does work. But not everyome agress and thats ok. i hope whatever you decided you and Morgan enjoy life. xx
 
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