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Thread: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Unhappy Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    Hello everyone, I am new to this forum as of today. I am coming to you all with hope that you can shed some light as to why my guinea pig Hamilton died about a week ago. He was two years old.

    I honestly don't know what could have happened to him. I'd taken excellent care of him. He had a decent sized cage and was housed alone, but honestly he was out of his cage playing with me more than he was in it! He was fed carrots daily, and always had food, water, and a clean cage. He never showed any kind of signs of being sick or ill... I did notice he wasn't drinking as much a week prior to his death,, I didn't think much of it and just thought it was the water bottle acting up so I bought him a new one..

    He was totally fine the day before his death though, he was running around and squeaking like he always did whenever I'd enter the room. My mother said that it's possible he had something wrong with him from birth, but wouldn't we have noticed that?
    He was purchased at a pet store, but he looked totally healthy.

    It just is so confusing and heartbreaking that this had to have happened to him, and to me. I loved Hammy more than anything else in the world.

    Do you guys have any ideas as to why he died?
    Feel free to ask me any question about him and how I kept him housed and stuff, I will answer honestly! I just want to know how my baby died..

  2. #2
    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    The only thing that will tell you for certain what happened is a necropsy. Everything else is just speculation, but yes, it's entirely possible he had a congenital defect of some kind that went undetected until he died. Perhaps a heart issue. It's unfortunate, and I'm sorry for your loss, but there likely wasn't anything you could have done to change the outcome, unfortunately.

    Had you been weighing him weekly? Were there any changes to his appetite? Anything at all that in hindsight might have been a symptom?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    I never weighed him.. I never really thought to! He was eating normally , He didn't drink as much though, and he wasn't as active now that I think about it. He wasn't like laying there, but he didn't run around as much as he did before..

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    Cavy Slave Silverbeat's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    In addition to what Paula said, how long did you have him? What kind of food were you feeding? Hay? Any other veggies other than carrots?

    I am sorry for your loss. Guinea pigs are very good at hiding their illnesses, because they are prey animals and behaving sickly makes it easy for predators to single them out.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    I had him since he was 2 months old
    Um, I gave him Wild Harvest Guinea Pig food, timothy hay cubes and loose timothy hay in a bowl.. I only gave him carrots as veggies because that's the only kind he would eat for some reason. Every time I tried feeding him other veggies he wouldn't eat them. Even if I left them in his cage!

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    Cavy Slave brindyzoeycandy's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    I'd hate to tell you this, but his nutrition was very poor - Wild Harvest is extremely bad food - carrots aren't good to be fed daily and should never have been his only source of vegetables.

    I am very sorry for your loss.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    I appreciate you telling me that, brindyzoeycandy.
    I thought Wild Harvest was good for him.. I'll make sure never to feed it to my baby piggy I have now.. I had no idea carrots were not supposed to be fed daily,, I had read somewhere that it good to feed them it daily..

    Thank you very much for your advice.

    Also, is ecotrition a good brand of Guinea Pig food? It is what I am currently feeding to my piggy and I want to make sure it's good for him.

    I've read that it makes guinea pigs healthier to have a friend. If I give all most constant attention to the guinea pig, do they really have to have a friend?

    Thank you, again.

  8. #8
    Cavy Slave Silverbeat's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    Guinea pigs are herd animals, and do best with more of their own kind. Even though you spend a lot of time with your piggy it can never replace or reset that safety-in-numbers mindset that guinea pigs have. I would strongly encourage you to adopt a friend for your pig.
    Ecotrition isn't the best, but it isn't going to hurt your pig to finish off the bag you have. When you buy food again you'll want to look for Sweet Meadow, Oxbow or KleenMama's [available online] When your pig is over 6 months old you'll need to switch him/her/them to a timothy-based pellet.

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave brindyzoeycandy's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    You're welcome. Once again, I really truly am sorry about the loss of your piggie.

    Ecotrition is also a bad food. Anything with coloring, seeds, nuts, etc. is basically going to be pure crap. Look into either Kleenmama's (only available online at kmshayloft.com), Oxbow, or Sweet Meadow.

    Guinea Pigs really are social animals, and I personally feel that no amount of human contact can make up for it; even if you are with your piggie as much as you can be, there is at least going to be an 8-12 hour period where you are sleeping and can't be with him/her. I see you live in Florida; there are many rescues in Florida that have Guinea Pigs available for adoption.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    Thank you very much, once again.

    I am going to the pet store later and I will look for those brands of food

    I am going to also look for a large cage so I can get my Oreo a friend! My mother agreed to it. Before she believed that guinea pigs didnt need friends, but this website changed her mind, so thank you for that! I will look at a rescue to find a nice little male guinea pig for him

    Would it be better for me to get an older guinea pig or a baby? The one I have now is approx. 2-3 months old and very friendly.

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave brindyzoeycandy's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    Are you going to build a C&C cage? There, honestly, is no pet store cage that is big enough. The min. for two boars is a 2x4, but 2x5 is preferred.

    To be honest, I'm not really sure whether you should get an older Guinea Pig or one of a similar age. This link will probably help you, though:
    Guinea Pigs Social Life

    Since you live in FL - the link below is a Florida Guinea Pig & Rabbit rescue called 4 Lil Pigs n Buns.
    Welcome to 4 Lil Pigs n Buns, Inc.!

    And here is a Petfinder search of Guinea Pigs in FL -
    Pet Search Results: Adoptable Guinea Pig Small Pets in Saint Petersburg, FL: Petfinder

  12. "Thank you, brindyzoeycandy, for this useful post," says:

    BFarnsey (09-13-10)

  13. #12
    Cavy Slave CavyCrazyLady's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    I am so sorry for your loss and am glad you are looking into good piggy care for your current pig.

    You can look on Petfinder.com to find him a friend. A rescue group will also be able to help you find good foods that you can buy in your area.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    To brindyzoeycandy:
    Yes, more than likely I will try and build a C&C cage, or have my father build one if I cannot manage.
    Thank you so much for all the links! I really appreciate all your help.
    Hopefully my piggy will be able to bond with another piggy.

    To CavyCrazyLady:

    Thank you very much<3 I want to make sure I give the piggy I have right now excellent care, and not be as ignorant as I was with my other piggy.

  15. #14
    Cavy Slave brindyzoeycandy's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    C&Cs aren't really that hard to make. If you are making just a one-level w/out a stand you don't really have to use zip ties and you can just connect them together with the connectors. Be aware, it gets really addicting to remodel your cage!!

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    Cavy Slave Silverbeat's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    If your pig is fairly young, an older boar would probably be the best fit. Before you go adding anymore cagemates tough, you really need to take your current pig to a cavy-savvy vet to guarantee the sex, and make sure that if whatever your other pig had wasn't contagious.

  17. #16
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    So sorry to hear. There can be so many reasons and one of the key things with piggies is to always weigh them. A decrease in their weight often will tell you before it's too late there may be something i.e. teeth or an infection or some sort you may be able to have you vet determine for you. I weigh them once a week but with my other little guy I weighed three times a week and the vet will usually take those weights when you take the little guy in. It really helps him too and might just give you a little time to get him better if there is something they can do. It is very sad and I too had a piggie that died and to this day have no idea why. He was very well looked after but did have medical problems all the way through his little life and I got home one day to find he had crossed over the rainbow bridge.

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    Cavy Slave BFarnsey's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    A bunch of thoughts on this.

    First, I'm so sorry for your loss. Raising him from that young and seeing him go at such a young age must hurt something fierce.

    On nutrition, I usually feed 1 baby carrot per pig every other day. They absolutely love it, but I have to be a good Papa and make sure they eat some less sugary veggies, too. Dark leaf lettuce is great (No iceberg - It's just crunchy water, no nutrients). Ly made up this terrific nutrition chart you can use to find what veggies can be fed more often than others. Here's the link http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...ants-list.html

    On a friend, DEFINITELY get another piggy. Nothing can make up for the cavy-to-cavy love, no matter how much attention we may give to them. I've adopted two pigs and two buns from the Rescue brindy talked about, 4 Lil Pigs 'n Buns. They are incredible, really take care of the animals they have there, and have lots of information. So if you live in Central Florida, definitely look into them. Using Pet adoption: Want a dog or cat? Adopt a pet on Petfinder is great to find piggies in your area. Just try to make sure they're coming from a rescue. At this site, we do everything we can to inform and educate about the dangers of "purchasing" from breeders, so please make sure the piggy is coming from a good place.

    Now cage. Again, on what Brindy said, if you do a C&C cage, I'll warm you in advance that the urge to remodel just doesn't stop. I have an entirely new cage every couple weeks. It's a lot of fun to do and the piggies seem to enjoy going into what looks like a new area to them. My current cage is unlike anything I've seen in the gallery because I've changed and tweeked it so many times that it was hard to not be completely original. I strongly urge you to do a C&C cage because there's just so much you can do with it and it's so easy. Just remember to score the coroplast before you try bending it or you'll be in for a rough time.

    And I think that sums it up... I wish you luck in your future piggy endeavors and I can't wait for you to post pics of what you come up with!

  19. "Thank you, BFarnsey, for this useful post," say these 3 members:

    blackarrow (09-13-10), Duffinvt (09-13-10), Silverbeat (09-13-10)

  20. #18
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea Pig Died Suddenly.. Why?

    If I can make a C & C anybody can. Although now I do have help. Lots of pain in my bones and joints. But if I had to I still could.

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