Noisy Pig - I'm going crazy

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:51 am


I've had noisy pigs before but Piper has brought it to a whole new level. I'm at my wits end, and I'm afraid I'm going to snap. It all started in June when I went on vacation. Piper stayed at a sitter. After she returned home she would, around 6 AM, start to grab the wire of her cage and rattle it. I would wake up and give her a Oxbow Vit C treat to shut her up. This went on for a few weeks, and once she had her treat she would stop. Then it started to progress to earlier and earlier. She would get the treat and then about 10 minutes later start rattling again.

Now she starts around 2 AM, and it continues non-stop all night. She only stops when she gets a treat (not hay), and it only works for about 10 minutes and she's to rattling it again. I work 11.5 hours 6 days a week. I work as a teacher in the mornings and in marketing in the afternoon and evening. These past two weeks it's interfering with my job. One of the classes I teach is a difficult class with complex topics, and I've realized the past two weeks I've just been making my students confused and stressed out. I listen to my recordings of lecture and I don't even know what I'm saying. I'm feeling physically exhausted, emotionally exhausted and psychologically exhausted. I'm going on the little bit of sleep I can get before she starts, and the few minutes between her rattling. I'm even noticing my health is starting to be impacted I feel sick all the time and I think my ulcer is back. My boyfriend won't stay nights, and the plan to move in with him was scrapped in August because he said he can't deal with her. I have nowhere else to put her but my bedroom. I've never surrendered an animal before, but I can't continue like this. I also know if I surrender her she'll just do this to the next person, and who knows if they'll keep her, surrender her or sell her for snake food. I've honestly grown to hate her (and I feel awful saying that), but I imagine anyone dealing with her would. I've had pigs for 12 years, and I've never dealt with something like this before. I've had pigs who woke me up every few hours, but never like this. I wish I could return to the days of a midnight wheek session by my other pigs. The weird thing is she doesn't do it during the day. Even when she's out in her cage during the day trying to get my attention, she doesn't do it. She does it early morning and she'll continue doing it until mid morning, and then she stops.

This morning at 5:00 AM, after 3 hours of her nonstop rattling I put a clothes basket over her pigloo that kept her from getting to the bars. That worked, but I don't think I can do that all night because she'd not have water. Also, the first thing she did when I let her out was run over and start rattling the bars. It's like an OCD thing.

Edited because I realized I've had pigs 12 years. I got my first in 2009, and I've had 6 girls over that time.

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:45 am


She has trained you well! If it's a C&C cage, thin sheets of plexiglass or similar generally work well (on the inside of the cage) to stop bar-chewing. I would think it could be cut to fit other types of cages as well.

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:54 am


It's a Midwest cage. I'll see what I can find for plexiglass. It's so hard for me to get to the store with my work schedule. But, I can't handle it anymore. I've stopped giving her treats for over a month. In fact, I've completely cut off the Vit C treats and just doing veggies, and hoping she would stop. She won't. She's just getting worse. I've tried every behavior modification trick I know from my time as a dog trainer, none worked.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:57 am


Is she a lone pig? Maybe company would help.

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:14 pm


She is a lone pig. Her cage mate died last fall. I'm done with pigs after her, so I won't get another. I'm horribly allergic to them and hay. I've not been able to breath normally since 2009. But, I kept feeling like I shouldn't let them be alone and it just continued a never ending cycle of pigs (mostly trios, until now). I've looked for a new home for her, but not had a lot of luck. She actually seemed perfectly fine until she went to the sitter. She didn't really have behavior changes prior. They did have two pigs, and she did interact with them. They were debating if they wanted to keep her, but they decided three was too many.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:41 pm


Ditto to what Sef had to say. Unfortunately, giving her treats encourages the behavior. Ditto on the thin plastic to cover the wires. If it is shifting, shaking wire sides, securing abutting sides tightly with ties so nothing can shift might help. Make sure lots of hay is available.

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:09 pm


Ha! I think she must've read this. For the first time since early July she woke me up at 5:30. I don't mind 5:30, I can handle that.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:37 pm


Ha! Do remember not to reward her. I hope the late morning is the first of many!

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:57 pm


I hope she continues to allow you to sleep! I had to booby trap my cabinet to keep the cats from banging it trying to get it open so I feel your pain.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:32 pm


Try having 12 of them squeaking up a storm and rattling their cages to wake you up to feed them. I love it though. They can do that anytime.

daj

Post   » Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:36 pm


Sounds like that pig is not happy. If a really good home with other pigs could be found, that might be best for both of you. I would check with the local vets to see if they have any suggestions for possible homes.

daj

Post   » Mon Nov 08, 2021 6:17 pm


Also, how big is the cage, and what does the animal have to do all day by itself while you are out working 11.5 hrs.? How much attention is it getting? If it lost its mate, sits alone in a cage all day and then is expected to be quiet when you come home, this sounds pretty bleak. What stimulation does it get? I believe I would be rattling that cage too.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Mon Nov 08, 2021 6:22 pm


I was thinking the same thing. Its nothing personal. I don't mean anything bad by this and I don't judge, but maybe both of you would be happier if you found her a new home. If you decide to do that, keep in mind about the perils of "free to a good home". You can read about it here:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=69095

Don't feel bad if you have to find her a new home. Not everyone is made to have guinea pigs as pets. Also, don't feel bad about charging a rehoming fee, as that is one of the best ways of preventing evil people from getting their hands on her for their sinister purposes. If you want to appease any guilt you feel over charging a rehoming fee, you could donate the money to your local animal shelter. You could also give the person the choice to donate the money themselves and provide you with a receipt as proof. Whatever you decide, I wish you and Piper all the best!

daj

Post   » Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:51 pm


Sorry if I am persisting too much. But, this one has been nagging at me. I don't mean to sound judgmental, and I apologize if my take is off, but in my experience pigs rattle the cage when they want/need attention. Putting up plastic will be shutting off one of its only means of communicating with you, and if it's suffering from a lack of stimulation, it will just be frustrating and stifling the animal even more. What it's doing is not normal or indicative of a contented, happy animal. It must be as exhausting for it, as it is for you. You detailed things from your perspective, but you didn't speculate at all on what the animal might be experiencing. If you feel hate, that is not good. It's easy to imagine from what you've written, that she could be suffering and depressed.

I can understand not wanting to get another mate in your situation, but what you have said really makes me sad for that animal. It makes me think of a fish in a small jar or a bird in a small cage. I can't bear to look at either. I hope you can find some solution that will be better for both of you.

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:26 am


She's actually been fine since I posted this. It was the reinforcement of behavior. I used to be a dog trainer, and grew up with horse trainers, so I should've known better than to reinforce the behavior in the first place. Unfortunately, I did because in the moment it was the easiest thing to do, and it started the pattern that spiraled. It wasn't that she was unhappy or depressed, it's that she was trained if she made enough noise I'd breakdown and give her what she wanted. Don't worry about her, because she is a content and happy pig. She's just a major brat.

When I wrote this I was going on little sleep, and lots of stress. I don't "hate" her.

I did try to rehome her after her cagemate died. But, it's hard to rehome. I'm not sure if it's different in other parts of the country, but here it's rare for someone to easily rehome a small animal.

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:31 am


Oh, and to answer your question on cage size, it's a Midwest Cage. She used to be in a 2x4 C&C, but after Bambi died I decided she didn't need something so large. I work from home, and spend most of the day sitting next to her. Most of my recorded lectures involve at least some interruption by her. She's not being neglected or ignored (I can sense your concern from your post, but I promise she is fine). Like I said before.. she's just a brat.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:38 am


I'd take her if you lived closer. She'd have a cage mate here. I have 3 females in one cage, which is a bit much. It would be better in my situation to have 2 pairs rather than a trio. Not so much that I would get another girl for that reason alone, but I might be inclined to take in one more girl if the opportunity presents itself. Not many shelters with single guinea pigs in this part of Missouri.

ClemmyOddieIndy

Post   » Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:18 am


I live in central Iowa, so a bit too far. I wouldn’t want to rehome her far away because she is a dominant pig and I’m not sure how well she would match with another. I’d want to be close enough to take her back if she doesn’t match.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:44 am


Glad to hear things have improved for her, ClemmyOddieIndy.

For new parents, for example, getting babies to fall asleep in a crib can be undermined by various choices they have made (like always sleeping with parents, aiding the baby in sleeping, not allowing it to learn how to put him/herself to sleep). Glad you could evaluate things and make changes so you are both (probably) happier.

Sleep rocks :-)

daj

Post   » Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:01 pm


Since she had a mate and then was alone, and then she was with others when you vacationed and is now alone again, I can't help wondering if this has something to do with the behavior starting when she came back from the sitter. I don't know if mirrors or cuddly toys might help with pigs that might be suffering separation anxiety, but maybe there is something along these lines that would help sooth her. I do know pigs long for the companionship of others of their kind, so I would want to be sensitive to what your pig might feel in her guinea pig world. My bottom of the order became noticeably happier when I took two rescues who pay him all the attention he was previously missing. We treat them as best we can, but still, they're taken for our satisfaction first. It's hard to comprehend all they are truly deprived of by not living as nature intended.

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