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?
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.
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!