Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ask A Guinea Pig: Why Did My Guinea Pig Stop Wheeking?

Kathy asks: "I was a lonely rescued pig, and my humans brought me home a friend. Now instead of wheaking like I used to do all the time, I just sit and occasionally rumblestrut. My humans say they miss the wheaking. What should I tell them?"

Answer: Let's start by talking about what it means when your guinea pig wheeks. According to Guinea Pigs: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by Katrin Behrend, wheeking (or "squeaking," as she calls it) means: "Pain, fear, loneliness; begging for food (expressed towards humans only); warning" (p. 47). Insistent wheeking is more likely to be about food, while faint or timid wheeking is more likely about fear or loneliness (p. 43).

No lonely-wheeks for us. Only food-begging wheeks!
With this in mind, here are a few possible causes that could make a guinea stop wheeking:

* Your guinea pig was lonely before, but now has a friend. The rumblestrut could mean your guinea pig is interested in mating or establishing dominance with the new pig.
* Your guinea pig might have been hearing a distressing noise, like an air conditioner, but now it stopped.
* Your guinea pig may be sick. Make sure you check their weights regularly, and ensure that they're pooping normally.

Guinea pigs also tend to wheek more when they are babies. When Lola was a baby pig, she wheeked every single night, all night. But now she is grown, and we luckily do not have to put up with it as much. 

5 comments:

  1. Sometimes when we let Sugar and Cinnamon out on the basement floor, when they go in different directions, and get separated, they wheek a high, piercing, clear wheek. Is that loneliness?

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  2. Hi i was wondering why my cloe stoped wheeking since i bougth her from the store she doesnt wheek or move or play at all i think shes sad :(

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    Replies
    1. Does Cloe have another piggy, or is she all alone? She could be sad if she's all alone. Or it's possible she just needs time to adjust to her new surroundings. Make sure you've looked into all the possibilities we suggested in our post.

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  3. My Guinea pig of two years always wheeked morning and night when veggies were due. Since she's been bonded with a baby down she's now stopped wheeking. Will it return?

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