Neuter fighting boys?

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Lovemypigs
Supporter in '17

Post   » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:05 am


I need opinion of experienced boar owners please. I have two boars...one is 2yr s4 mo (Smokey and he was raised from a baby). The other is 4yrs 5mo est.(Nugget and I adopted him when he was two and was a single gp owner surrender.)

So for almost two years they have lived together pretty peacefully. Then a few months ago they started have spats which have now turned into full blown guinea pig fight club events. I have had no choice but to separate them since I found bite marks on Nugget. Although I have had to do this for their own health, neither one seams happy. Right now one is above the other and I know best case would be side by side, however I don't have the room until we move in a few months.

So what I started thinking about is this....does anyone have similar experience with this and having one of their boars neutered? I am wondering if having this done to Smokey (who seems to be the more aggressive one with no bite marks), would help calm things down and maybe allow them being able to be back together again. I don't want to risk the chance of surgery and the expense unless I think there is strong chance this could work. Thoughts please! Thank you

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:03 am


Any surgery on guinea pigs is risky. Do they get to see each other at floor time? Perhaps every other day switch piggies into the others pen. So they can smell each other if not see each other. So if Nugget was on the bottom today he would go up top tomorrow.

Do you have 2 of everything? Bottles, food bowls etc? I am sorry I can't be of much help as all we have are girls. But they have their squabbles as well. Was any blood drawn when Nugget and Smokey fought? Hoping things sort themselves out! You may have to face facts that they have had a falling out and will need to stay separate from now on. Good luck with it!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:47 pm


You don't mention cage size. Might it be worth expanding the cage a little to see if the extra space helps?

Another thought that comes to mind, would be for you to make sure Nugget has no hidden health issues. Sometimes a weaker/ill guinea pig can suddenly become the target of aggression.

I have only had males over the years, but none of ours has ever been neutered. My understanding is that neutering rarely helps where aggression is concerned. Your best bet may be to keep them separated for now, and eventually try re-introducing them in neutral territory under very close supervision. Some members have had success with a so-called "buddy bath" when all else has failed.

I would start by making sure Nugget has no hidden illness first, though.

If you do end up housing them together again later on, do avoid "closed" hideys like pigloos with only one door (easier for the targeted guinea pig to become cornered and unable to escape).

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:41 pm


I would start by making sure Nugget has no hidden illness first, though.

I was thinking this once I turned my PC off for bed. Also we had brother rabbits both male. We were told getting them fixed would calm them down but it had no affect on either of them. We tried many times to put them together but in the end had to keep them separate from each other. Not sure if guinea pig males are the same as rabbits. But as suggested I would take both boys to a guinea pig savvy vet to get health checks.

When ever one of our girls got sick the other would start picking on her. It was rather good in a way as in my opinion they can sense their cage mate is sick way before we could see it. So it was like a great alarm clock in that way. Keep us posted.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:48 am


In my opinion, neutering male guinea pigs, especially older ones is a futile, unnecessary and risky thing unless you want to house him with females. It does nothing but render him unable to impregnate a sow. Their personalities usually determine whether or not they can be bonded, unless there's a health issue as Sef mentioned. Mr Bubbles and Scruffy refused to bond because both have or had in Scruffy's case, dominant tendencies and both refused to yield to the other.

In Sammy and Dean's case, Sammy is content to let Dean rule the cage. Of course that can change, and if it does, I'll have to separate them. Barry Jenkins was paired with another PEW when he was taken in by the humane society and the bonding broke down. They had to separate them and I'm not in a position where I can try to bond him with another pig. His cage is right next to Sammy and Dean so he can see them, but he doesn't seem to give them the time of day. Sammy and Dean don't pay him any attention either so it's ok.

My advice is to keep them both intact and separate for now, make sure Nugget doesn't have any health issues and once that possibility is eliminated or resolved, try reintroducing them. If that falls, then you just have to accept the fact that they are meant to be separated.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:51 am


One benefit is that they will be much less likely to develop impaction issues.

rjespicer

Post   » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:32 am


We only have one boar. I was worried his personality would change once he was neutered but he is sill as feisty as ever.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:13 pm


Some people like to have a boar in their guinea pig colony and have him live in the same enclosure with the females. It supposedly gives the herd security much like community animals in the wild; where you have a dominant male that watches over his gals. In a case such as that, I would definitely get the boar neutered, but other than that I wouldn't take that risk.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:54 am


LOL, Renonvsparky! The only problem I see with that theory is that in most mixed herds I've known of, one of the females is the dominant pig!

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Kimera

Post   » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:41 am


Of course, in any herbivore herd, the leader is the most charismatic female. In typical herds males are absent, in families, such as in the case of guinea pigs, the alfa female is the leader, also in the most literal sense - she is the first in the line of walking piggies. She rules the other females; now wonder that this family system is called "the harem". The male is not the leader, but the partner of all females, father of all children, entertainer, peacekeeper and guardian.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:32 pm


That's what I meant. It's the same thing with all community animals, like a pride of lions. Although lions are strictly carnivore and not in any other way comparable to guinea pigs, the females do all of the hunting except for the occasional hunt for larger prey where they need the physical power of the male, 99% of the child rearing and most of the work of the pride, the male keeps the peace and acts as guardian. He's absent unless a female goes in heat or something threatens his gals. His presence gives them the security of knowing they are protected, but the matriarch female actually runs things.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:29 pm


That's what I meant. It's the same thing with all community animals,

Like like in sweet meerkats. Who aren't so sweet when threatened or when one of the other females have been out late at night and got into the family way. Sharp little teeth and hot little tempers!

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Lovemypigs
Supporter in '17

Post   » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:41 pm


Thanks everyone for the advice! Sorry for late response, however lots going on with new house closing and prepping for the move out of state in a couple months.

I have realized that the neuter idea is a bad one. I will be able to expand their cage once we move and will try buddy bath and re-intros then. If that doesn't work, I will put them side by side. Since I now have two water bottles with the split, I will be sure to try two of everything also. I do only use multi entrance hidey's (corner cabin) and fleece forests.

They have never been big on floor time and only enjoy being held for brief periods. I have been swapping them between the two levels and I think they both enjoy that. I do pet them a lot in their open top C & C and do inter act with them all the time in the family room.

Getting a health check for Nugget is a good idea.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:24 am


Sounds like you have a plan! Hoping somehow they eventually enjoy being with each other!

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