Yesterday morning, we unexpectedly found one of our sows, Nibbles, passed in her cage. The previous night she was showing no signs of acting different, so we were very surprised and are grieving. However, she left our other pig, Charlotte on her own, who is only 2 and a half. Nibbles was our 3rd pig and Charlotte is our 4th, so we've been through this before, and as soon as the remaining pig would show signs of loneliness, we would adopt another in order not to risk any health issues. But I live in New York, the US's epicenter for the Virus, and we are under a stay-at-home order. This is very tough as we are afraid of what will happen if Charlotte is left alone for too long.
As of now, she is eating and drinking and going to the bathroom normally. She spends a decent amount of time between her two hidey houses and comes out to eat and to greet us, and she is not acting too differently. Although when we found Nibbles, Char was staying far away from where she was laying and refused to go over there for hours. Maybe she had said goodbye hours before, since we have no idea when during the night Nibbles passed.
We have all been spending lots of time with her to help her through and have been monitoring all of her habits. Obviously we will be expecting some signs of grieving, I am just hoping it isn't too severe.
Is there anything more our family can do to help Charlotte in a time where we may not be able to adopt another pig? All we want to do is help her as much as possible without the ability to find her a friend for an unknown amount of time.
I also have always had trouble finding places to adopt guinea pigs in my area. Not a lot of shelters around here in general even have guinea pigs at all. I've also tried looking on Craigslist, Guineapigfinder, petfinder, etc. for people looking to rehome, to no avail. We have (unfortunately) gotten all 4 of our pigs from pet stores, because we were not able to find any up for adoption anywhere. Any other places that anyone could suggest I look would be amazing, although it may not be available to us for another month or two.
I have a solo guinea pig - he's been solo his entire life. Although he is a very happy, healthy, content 6-year old pig, I totally understand the desire/need to have a companion for Charlotte especially since she is used to living with another pig. I see a guinea pig rescue in Rochester, listed on facebook @rocguineapigs. As expected, they are also shut down because of the coronavirus, but it might be worth contacting them to see if you can be put on a list for when they re-open. Maybe try to keep Charlotte occupied with new types of toys - cardboard tubes or boxes, paper bags, etc. and resist the temptation to go overboard on treats! Otherwise, keeping a consistent diet and spending more quality time with her so she continues to feel part of a "pack" is probably best for all concerned. Again, my heartfelt sympathies.
That is a good idea to get a bunch of toys! I was looking for toys to order last night, and I could just use a box (she loves those), and she would probably just love a paper bag. I also put a fleece pad with Nibbles' scent on it in the cage that usually goes in their cuddly cup, and I put a stuffed animal in there.
Everyone else, thank you so much for the condolences & the helpful links!
Spending more time with her is definitely gonna help both of us. She hates being picked up, but once shes in our arms she LOVES the attention, and shes been getting a lot of it. I'm not 100% sure if they are closed, but we are trying to limit our exposure as much as possible. Some must be open, or else how would people get their food? We need to see if there are any, but right now we are focusing on her and possibly finding an adoptable in our area. This is very tough but we will make do.
- I dissent.
I don't know your exact location, Diamon14, but you might keep an eye on Petfinder once things settle down:
Renonvsparky, I totally understand where you are coming from. Shelter pigs and rescues always come first, but the ones in the pet stores need adopting too! Even though it is supporting the people that put 5 of them in 1 15 gallon tank and get them from breeders, encouraging them to provide more :/
Sef, yes I feel horrible for the piggies that end up in a pet store. Most people that end up buying them do not give them the proper care :( I have been keeping an eye on every site that I've found in my hours of searching, but I also have my heart set on the one shelter on the island I found that has a couple of older pigs.
daisymay, thank you so much to you for the kind words and condolences. She is up there with her best friend Coco who she lived with her first couple of years, and her new friend Callie who was Coco's best friend before her! They are eating tomatoes and peppers up there.