Nameless Grace's Boars

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Post   » Tue May 16, 2017 2:22 pm

I have a ton of questions, so please forgive for the length. Also, I'm pretty sure this is the correct forum, but if not my apologies.

Recently, I moved to a new apartment across town. My two boars, Humphrey and Chaplin, both 3 years old, moved in this past Saturday. They are now living in a 2x4 C&C cage with fleece bedding, but I've noticed some worrisome things that I'm wondering if they are normal or not and want to know what I can expect at the vet. Let's start with Humphrey because I'm more worried about him.

Humphrey is really spooked in his new environment. He has never lived in such a loud place before as we previously lived with my parents in the suburbs. I try to keep my door shut to minimize the noise, but between loud neighbors with a yappy dog and the fact that my friends and I are generally loud people, it can only help so much. I know the room is rather echo-y as well, and I plan to get curtains to help dampen the noise. Humphrey basically lives in the fleece forest now. I have been patient, only picking him up when I needed to weigh him and when he and his brother managed to burrow under the fleece once (whoops), but my own anxiety is gearing up. How long should I give him to adjust to his new environment?

I have seen him out and about mainly to eat and drink (I have seen him eat his hay, veggies and pellets), but he gets scared often and runs away from what he was doing. I worry because when I spot clean morning and night, I have seen some very dry, crumbly poos and the "teardrop" poos as well. I don't know who is making them, but I suspect it's him. Are there other reasons why a guinea pig's poos may be off in that way aside from not eating/drinking? Are dry poos just a sign the dropping is old or is it also a medical symptom as well?

As an addendum, I have put the pigs on a diet because they were being fed entirely too much before. I now measure out their pellets (Oxbow Essentials - Adult) to 1/4 cup total and I give them both a total of 2 cups of veggies. However, the past two days I tried feeding them yellow bell pepper because they turned their noses up to green, and they also refused to eat that. Last night, I swapped out the pepper for endive, so I shall see what their poos look like when I get home, but this morning, I still saw crumbly and teardrop droppings. (Just to clarify, I was giving them a mix of green lettuce, cilantro, cucumber and bell pepper, not just bell pepper.)

As for Chaplin, he is adjusting faster than Humphrey. Still gets scared by new noises like my squeaky door handle, but I caught him sleeping out in the open, so I think he'll be okay. He was always the braver of the two. My main concern with him is itching. He itches about once every hour or half-hour. Sometimes if my nail goes over where his hip bone is, he turns back to itch it. He recently had a bald spot on his tummy that I went to the vet for and she put him on Cortisone I believe? The skin looked less red and scaly and his hair grew back and has stayed back since. He did have mites in the past, so I'm wondering if they have resurfaced. How much itching is normal or is it always a sign of some skin condition? If it's just dry skin, how do I treat it?

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Post   » Tue May 16, 2017 4:28 pm

I don't know how long it will take him to adjust to the noise but your idea of curtains, will definitely help. So will rugs and any soft things you can put in the room. Complex surfaces like book cases with lots of books build a barrier to the sound. In my home, walking from one room to another, it is very evident the sound deadening qualities (unplanned) of the bedroom, due to floor to ceiling book cases, quilts, rugs, the bed itself, and more. You might be able to surround the cage with chairs and drape fleece on them in a wall-like fashion (vs. a cave fashion).

Right now start weighing him daily so you know he is still eating properly.

It is possible the mites have returned and are contributing to the problems. Consider also a possible fungal infection.


Post   » Thu May 18, 2017 11:05 am

He is definitely getting more comfortable in his environment. He still gets spooked rather easy, but I have seen him popcorning around the cage during feeding times both last night and this morning, so I think he will be okay in that regard. There is a bookcase right next to their cage and then some craft side in front. I also put more towels to line the cage when helps their footfalls not make as much noise.

I weighed him on Sunday, and I will weigh him as soon as I get home tonight.

I have a vet appointment scheduled for both pigs now, but I will keep an eye on him in the mean time.

Thank you for your help!

Quiet Wren

Post   » Fri May 19, 2017 11:55 pm

I think Humphrey will adjust. I vacuum right next to my pigs, and they don't care at all. It just depends on what they are used to. I wouldn't try too hard to protect him from the sounds of his new life, unless he is so scared he won't eat. Try to be happy and unstressed when you are around him and hope that he realizes that he is in a safe place quickly.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat May 20, 2017 1:04 am

I wouldn't worry about noise. Mine have survived screaming kids, barking dogs, and opera played at very high volumes. I vacuum in and around the cage, and they're not fazed at all.

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