I have a new prairie dog..is this normal? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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I have a new prairie dog..is this normal?

From what i've read, it IS normal until there is some discipline. But i'm so disheartened. I didn't see this forum till my vet told me about it, and here i am. I picked up pd yesterday. My big cage comes tomorrow from amazon, the midwest critter nation. Now i know, its probably been stressful for it, and i'm all about the benefit of the doubt, but i guess i need some encouragement that SHE WILL STOP BITING ME AND DRAWING BLOOD... in her pouch on our chest, she's ok. pretty nice.. we listened to the vet and took her in a SMALL room, the bathroom, she said, pick her up, put her down, a bunch of times, don't let her associate your hands with being put in the cage.. well, ok, other times she bit cuz i was going to put her away. In the bathroom, she was ok.. letting me pet her, then squeeked when i picked her up, but then back down, then i massaged her, she rolled over, she loved it...almost fell asleep, she seems to like a FIRM touch/massage...the SECOND, and i mean SECOND i stopped massaging, she turned and squeeked and BIT ME...then chased my daughter to bite her... what the ?????????? i don't know what to do..I scooped her up in a heavy towel and put her immediately in her cage as i was BLEEDING FOR THE THIRD TIME... if i don't wind up with some crazy infection, i'll be thanking the Lord... please help me, my daughter is crying because she doesn't want a mean prairie dog. She is about 6 months old. Got her from a pet store.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 10:44 PM
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Sounds perfectly normal to me. She needs time to chill out and get used to all the changes. Not to mention, have time to get used to you. If someone sucked you out of your house with a giant vacuum cleaner, shipped you to a noisy, smelly pet store for months, and then boxed you up and sent you to a completely strange environment where people were trying to pet you - you'd probably be a little stressed out too.

Get the new cage set up, get her in it, and then just let her make it her home for a while. Interact with her from outside the cage for a few days to let her get comfortable with her surroundings. Prairie dogs respond to you talking to them, and will be much happier once she knows she can feel safe. Then do brief outings in a controlled space. The moment she begins to act up, put her right back in her cage and try again later. Patience and persistence. Keep interactions calm and quiet, with limited distractions. Slowly work your way up to a more free approach.

There's quite a bit of info on socializing with prairie dogs if you go back through some of the earlier posts.

She sits in her corner, singing herself to sleep.
Wrapped in all of the promises, that no one seems to keep.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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thank you so much. I'm just sort of freaking out over here. My daughter (she is 13) and i were all set to take her back today, but we are going to give her more of a chance. She isn't a typical teen with pets. She takes care of ALL her pets, she has her own saltwater tank, a fire bellied toad, a baby turtle, a rat (her 5th one, shes owned rats since she was 4) and then i have 2 dogs and 5 birds. We do love our pets and have NEVER gotten rid of a pet. I'm trusting that this WILL get better, but again, bloody body parts really are throwing me a curve ball as i've never had blood drawn, rats have nipped, but not a FULL OUT ATTACK where i was hunted down and chased by a prairie dog...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 05:08 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about the situation you are experiencing with your prairie dog. I'm not sure if you've received any direct assistance with this already, but I'd be happy to help you with your new addition to make a plan to help you through this transition. It is hard to explain everything here, but if you contact me directly, I'd be more than happy to help you see if this is the right fit and what can be done to help calm the situation and help you be successful. My name is Gena Seaberg and I can be reached at [email protected] or at 425.870.1729. There is a lot of caring for these animals properly and many pet stores have no interest in helping with what it takes to be a proper caretaker. Many people I discourage from taking them on because it takes just the right situation although with some education up front, people can learn to be successful. You're already in the frying pan so to speak, but the good news is that you haven't had her long so maybe we can turn the behavior around if you haven't been helped already. I'm happy to help and wish you luck if you've already gained assistance. Take care.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gena... I may take you up on that... I took Luna to the vet, and she told me to get her a friend RIGHT AWAY.. That we probably could not give her all that she is looking for, sooooo, we did. Now have stella. stella is a little older and sweeter, but shy and timid. Luna is young and is obnoxious. But now luna is already becoming MUCH sweeter and I see what the fascination is. She'll jump in our lap and is very determined to get her loving..I still have a bit of the problem of her getting very angry when we stop. but we've quit panicking, and she has started giving us her angry voice before she trys to bite. If she barks and goes to bite, she goes immediately in her cage and she'll run on her wheel FAST AND FURIOUSLY... lol. She has a big ball that she likes to use also, but also spends plenty of time free roaming in a room. Not completely free, but free enough, "get outta there luna, DON'T chew that, LET it go, GIMME!" lol. Stella has only been a member for 3 days, so she's still pretty shy, more shy than i'd like. They are in the BIG midwest critter nation cage, the double, with hay, a wheel, an igloo house, fresh greens daily (kale-romaine-spinach-parsley cilantro) they don't like the last two..lol. sweet potatoes and carrots on occasion. Anyway, things are a little better.. Let me think about questions and i'll shoot you an email. Luna is a CRAZY chewer..she's ripping all our clothes to pieces when she is on us...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 10:29 AM
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I'm here for any and all questions that help you successfully live a long and happy life with your girls! It was definitely the right move to get Luna a friend as they are far better in pairs of same gender. I help with many behavioral aspects of their care as well, but my main area of expertise is their nutrition in captive settings.
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