View Full Version : My guinea pig died :(

03-09-06, 09:28 am
Can anyone please tell me reasons my guniea pig may have died? I had 2 of them a female and male, and they have been together since they were small. We only have had them for 3 months. It seemed both were eating fine, the only thing I noticed is my female hid all the time and didn't seem to be growing at all. My male is nearly full grown already. Tuesday night I was holding both of them and they seemed fine. Last night my daughter went to clean their cage and she handed me the female one and the pig was twitching, and like gasping for air...eventually she just died in my hands. I felt so bad for my daughter...but really have no idea what could have caused our guinea pig to die. Any ideas? I don't want the same thing to happen to our male. :weepy:

03-09-06, 09:32 am
First of all, let me say that I am very sorry for your loss. :weepy:

You stated in your message that she was never very sociable, and you also said that she was not growing. I'm not trying to attack you here, because it's a little too late, but why would you not take this poor piggie to the vet at the first sign of her not doing well physically? There are a multitude of ailments that could have caused this. She needed medical attention, clearly.

valerie k
03-09-06, 09:33 am
Im very sorry to hear of your loss :weepy:

03-09-06, 09:36 am
The only way you are really going to know is to take the girl to the vet. Did you get the pigs at a pet store? Pet store are notorious for selling sick animals and may have given you one that was ill. I am sorry for your loss.

03-09-06, 09:41 am
I too am very sorry for your loss. As for not taking her to the vet earlier, well theres nothing that can be done now but can i make the suggestion that you take some time to look around this site and the associated sites as you might find the answer in one of the links. Can I suggest that you also use the medical info on guinea linx to give your remaining male a clean bill of health? We don't recommend buying from pet stores as far too often they sell sick animals and more than often the owners end up heartbroken. Guineas tend to hide their symptoms so when you notice something wrong generally its further developed than you think. All i can say is if you notice anything wrong with the male then take them to the vet quick as it may be your only oppertunity to. This website is the best for guinea info, for the sake of your pigs use it as much as you can.

03-09-06, 09:41 am
I need to add that you should get your male to a vet IMMEDIATELY - today! Please don't wait. If it was a communicable disease, he could possibly fall ill. I would not take any chances.

03-09-06, 09:41 am
The reason I never took her to the vet was because I had read that female guinea pigs were less sociable than males, and would hide more. When we did take her out of the cage and played with her she was fine, and would talk to us like crazy. I guess maybe I should have brought her in just to be sure. And yes I did get her from a pet store...a few people have told me that was my first mistake. Thank you for your concerns.

03-09-06, 09:44 am
I understand possibly not taking her in for the antisocial behavior. That's pretty common.

However, I don't understand owning an animal for three months, and ignoring that it is failing to gain weight. In the future, if your piggie isn't gaining weight and growing into a healthy animal every week, know that *something* is wrong and immediate medical attention is needed.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss. This is a sad thing to have happen. :weepy:

03-09-06, 09:47 am
I guess I just should have taken her to the vet...I just wasn't educated enough and was reading all these things about females tending to be smaller than males...and kept telling myself she was purring all the time so must be happy....I just feel terrible...and feel awful for my daughter who is devestated by this. I don't even think I should replace it now because our male is so much bigger....unless I get another cage maybe. Any suggestions?

03-09-06, 09:51 am
1) Remember that they are, indeed, herd animals. They need the company of other guinea pigs. Please consider rescue if there is one in your area, rather than purchasing from a pet store.

2) Please make sure that your male is healthy before introducing a new guinea pig. Get him to a vet first.

3) Make sure that the cage you have is appropriately large enough to house two full-grown cavies. If you need a larger one, either purchase it or build a C & C one, which is inexpensive and relatively simple to do! :cheerful:

Again, I feel so badly for your loss. I know that it is difficult. I applaud your efforts to learn more all the time about these wonderful critters.

03-09-06, 09:51 am
Let me begin by saying I am sorry for your loss and feel badly for your daughter having to see her guinea pig die.
I do believe though that when something is wrong with your pet, you can not, and should not wait to bring it to a vet. Obviously there was something wrong with her for sometime, not only emotionally but also physically. She should have been taken to a vet.

I hope you decide to take the other one to the vet to check his health--a guinea pig should not die at such a young age, there was/is something going on.

03-09-06, 09:55 am
I am also curious was either of these piggies fixed?? THey can get pregnant at very young ages. Maybe she got pregnant and was having complications with being so young and frail herself...?????

03-09-06, 09:57 am
I too am sorry for your loss.

I'm not going to "get on your case" about any mistakes you may have made. What's done is done and we all start somewhere. Unfortunately, you and your daughter had to suffer a horrible loss before you found a reliable site to help you and your pets.

I do feel that your male should see a vet as soon as possible. I also feel it would be a good idea to have a necropsy done on your female. That way you will know exactly why she died and know if your other GP is in any danger.

Guinea Pigs are sociable animals. You male will be lonely now that his friend is gone. You absolutely should build a bigger cage (as shown on this site) and then adopt a same sex friend for him. I know that Wisconsin and the Chicago area is choked with homeless GPs ready for adoption. We would be able to help you rescue a great new friend (or 5). That way you can avoid the petstores and give a homeless animal a new life.

Whatever you do don't get another female unless you get your male neutered or the female is spayed. There is a HUGE GP overpopulation problem. The last thing anyone needs is for more babies to be born right now. You (and your daughter) also do not need the heartbreak of a sow dying from birth complications, still born babies or any of the problems that can arise from breeding.

03-09-06, 09:57 am

TOTALLY off topic, but I noticed we're the same age.

Do you have pics posted of your cage anywhere?? It sounds awesome!

03-09-06, 09:57 am
That's the first thing I noticed. A male and female together for 3months? Pigs can get pregnant as young as 4weeks and their gestation is a little over 2months. That makes them way too young to give birth and usually means a death sentence unless you rush them to the vet as soon as they go into labor.

03-09-06, 10:13 am
Okay...both my female and male were fixed...no worries of babies.
I will look into rescue for finding a playmate for my male.
I also have an appointment to take my male to the vet this afternoon...I'll let you all know what was said.
I know we have washed his cage out really well, and all of his food bowls and I got a completely new water bottle, because I didn't want to take a chance of him getting sick as well. Thank you all for your help.

03-09-06, 10:15 am
Good job Joylam! Please keep us updated.

It's great that your male is neutered. A rescue in your area would LOVE to adopt you a girlfriend for him. I swear nothing makes rescuers happier then neutered Guinea Pigs.

03-09-06, 10:16 am

It is the open-mindedness of people like you that makes this forum such a great place! You're doing all the right things. Please keep us posted on everything, ok? :)

03-09-06, 10:28 am
I'm so sorry!

I just experienced death last week with my first piggie. We only had her 2 weeks. We think she had an illness when we got her and didn't realize it.
We found her at a petstore.

Be sure to take your other one to the vet soon.

Good luck.

03-09-06, 11:22 am
I am so sorry for your loss.

It will be impossible to know exactly what went wrong unless you bring her in for an autopsy.

I was really surprised when I joined this site and found out that so many piggy illnesses where actually very treatable, and vet visits very worthy with a sick pig. My uneducated self had thought that they would be too small to respond to treatment. Fortunately, I found out the truth the first week I owned a guinea pig, and not after something happened.

Please don't be too hard on yourself.

Also, GL has some of the best care advice out there. I would go over it with a fine tooth comb. One important thing to do to try and detect early problems is to weigh your pigs at least weekly, and check them over everyday.

03-09-06, 11:47 am
Im sorry to hear for your loss. My condolences.:weepy:

03-09-06, 12:02 pm
Okay...both my female and male were fixed...no worries of babies.

I'm confused. You say you'd had them both 3 months and they were small when you got them? It sounds like they were too young to have been 'fixed.' Did you actually have the female spayed and the male neutered?

03-09-06, 12:12 pm
I'm confused. You say you'd had them both 3 months and they were small when you got them? It sounds like they were too young to have been 'fixed.' Did you actually have the female spayed and the male neutered?

It is sort of strange, I have also never heard of a petstore selling altered guinea pigs. I have with rabbits, but not guinea pigs.

03-09-06, 12:16 pm
I bought them both from two different Petco's and on their paperwork it says they sold me a Spayed female & a Neutred Male. I called both Petco's today to make sure, and they said they do not sell any guinea pigs that aren't fixed.

03-09-06, 12:19 pm
I bought them both from two different Petco's and on their paperwork it says they sold me a Spayed female & a Neutred Male. I called both Petco's today to make sure, and they said they do not sell any guinea pigs that aren't fixed.

I have no doubt that is what you where told, but I have never ever heard of a petstore fixing guinea pigs like this, least of all a petco. Out of curiosity, how much did you pay for them, what Petco is this, and how old where you told that they where? Generally, altering a guinea pig is rather expensive, I can't see petco doing it if they are going to take steep financial loss.

03-09-06, 12:23 pm
I was told both the male and the female were about 6 months old....and I paid $39.95 for each of them. The Male was bought at Petco in Mchenry, IL, and the female was bought at Petco in Vernon Hills, IL.

03-09-06, 12:27 pm
Very interesting... It does not sound like enough though to include altering, but does seem a little more then typically guinea pigs go for. I hope you don't mind, but I posted a side note to a thead on Guinea Lynx about Petco, asking if anyone has heard of them neutering all pigs in IL stores.


03-09-06, 12:32 pm
No I don't mind at all....please let me know if you get any replies.
I'm going to the Petco in Vernon Hills at lunch today and I'm going to act interested in buying another female guinea pig and see what they tell me....

03-09-06, 12:38 pm
That is probably a good idea. Ask if they know when they where neutered, and by who. Another factor to consider is that there are not very many vets that are very knowledgeable about guinea pigs, and how to properly neuter them. Generally for those that know how, they sure do charge enough! ;-P

I sent an email to Petco CHQ about if their pigs are all neutered in the IL area?

03-09-06, 12:45 pm
I'm so sorry. I'll prayer for you tonight.

03-09-06, 12:50 pm
Thank you, let me know if you get any response from them. If I find out either of them weren't I'm going to do something...because if my female died because she was pregnant too young.....and my daughter had to go thru that trauma....I'm going to be so mad. Thank you again for all of your help.

03-09-06, 12:59 pm
I just called both the Vernon Hills Petco and the Mchenry Petco.

Both stores said they do not spay/neuter their GPs and they know of no stores that do. The Mchenry location did have to put me on hold to find out for certain though and when I first asked she said she believed they were. But the fact is they do not!

03-09-06, 01:10 pm
That is just lovely.....I have the receipt that they wrote write on there that they both were. I never would have put them in the same cage otherwise. I have 7 children...believe me didn't want more guinea pigs. I'm calling them right as we speak.

03-09-06, 01:20 pm
It sounds like they mixed them up with ferrets or something.

03-09-06, 01:21 pm
Okay....I just got off the phone with Petco in Mchenry and you are right he told me the same thing when I called. I let them know the name of the salesperson I had and what he had told me and what he also wrote on the receipt. The general manager said that he would talk to him and see why he would tell me that. I know exactly why he would tell me that, because when I went there I wanted to get another female, but they didn't have any so a neutered male would have been the next best thing, right? Anyways the manager said that if I wanted another guinea pig to come in and they'd give me a discount on one. I told him that won't work because I can't put two males together and don't want another female with the male. So then he said he'd cut me a deal on a guinea pig with a cage....I told him I have to think about it. I'm not too hip on getting another pig from a petstore. Can't bare to put my children thru anymore disappointments. I really appreciate all of everyones help on here today...I'm guessing my poor female died because she was pregnant at too young of an age. Thanks again.

03-09-06, 01:26 pm
:hug: I am so sorry you and your family had to go through this, not even to mention the poor female. I know you must feel terrable and so angry.

I do not even know what to say except I would go to the extreme if I was you and had actually document stating they were both altered. There is no reason for this to of happened, and all because an employee of a petstore once again did not know anything about the animals they were selling. :weepy:

Giving you a discount on another pig---you have to be kidding!!!!?????

03-09-06, 01:26 pm
DO NOT even think about accepting another piggy from them, under any circumstance. Please, I'm sorry to get a little snippy, but you would have to be out of your mind, knowing that if you get a guinea pig from the store and support them, some homeless piggy will remain that way. :weepy:

Your rescue GP will be spayed/neutered, and that will be INCLUDED in the price. Please, please do not buy another one from this pet store.

03-09-06, 01:30 pm
Definitely boycott the petstore, they deserve it.

Also, pet store cages are crap. Do you have a C&C yet? If not, you should really build one before adopting a second pig. Also, do some more research on guinea pigs, because you have been really misinformed by the pet stores. There is no problem with keeping two males in one cage, as long as there is enough room, which is why you need a C&C (not to mention all the benefits of exercise).

If I were you, I'd call them back and tell them that you are so traumatized, you're never going to shop there ever again. I wonder if you could at least get a refund, $40 per pig is a LOT. You could put that money towards a good rescue.

03-09-06, 01:31 pm
Not all rescued pigs are altered-it depends what rescue you get them from.

I would not even consider what he is offering you-----nor can I believe he even said that:ohmy: . If I went through what you and your family just did and that happened to me and I had paperwork stating I "bought" something and that really was not what was "sold" to me I would take it higher than just the manager at the store.

03-09-06, 01:34 pm

I agree with what you said - on all counts. :)

03-09-06, 01:35 pm
Males can be put together. I have 3 together and I know a few people who have around 6. You do have to watch cage space slightly more. My 3 are in a 2x7 but they are rowdy, high energy boys and one of them would probably get along with a calmer cage mate in just a 2x4. I also had two older boys in a 2x3. If you don't know c&c cages yet those sizes are in grids and a grid is 14" long so a 2x3 is 28"x42" and is the minimum for 2 pigs to live without arguments. It would be best to do a 2x4 minimum for 2 boys.

03-09-06, 01:44 pm
:hug: I am so sorry. I also had a bad experience with the petstore. First off the gave me a sick piggy that died 2 days later. Then after I brought him back, I got one that I had to take back due to fighting. Fighting to where he drew blood on my much younger piggy. So, I picked out a much more mellow piggy, and I was told all they sold was males. Well, about 3 months later, we had babies. I didn't know about adoption, and I will NEVER buy a piggy again. I called the store to let them know that they sold me a female and she ended up getting pregnant, and all they said was, "We don't sex them, our specialist does". What kind of a specialist doesn't know how to sex piggies?? Made me so mad.:mad: I ended up getting my boar neutrered. I think pet stores need to have a more trained person if they intend on selling any pets to people. I know pet stores will always sell pets, but they should also post adoptables.

03-09-06, 01:53 pm
Don't forget that I told you there are TONS of GPs up for adoption in both Wisconsin and Illinois. There are also a few rescues there. I know the Rescue in Illinois has so many GPs that they literally cannot take more in until they adopt some out.

Through a rescue you are much more likely to get a healthy GP, a properly sexed GP and great support and info to boot. Look on Petfinder http://petfinder.com to find lovely GPs near you once you are ready.

We can also help you find a vet to neuter your boy so you can adopt a female if you want to go that route.

If it were me, since the store actually gave you written info that the GP they sold you was neutered, I would take it to manager, district supervisor and eventually corporate if necesary to get them to pay to have your pet neutered. If you make them pay it hits them where it hurts (the wallet).

DO NOT get another animal from them no matter what.

03-09-06, 02:00 pm
Where are you at in IL? I am coming to accept I have far too many guinea pigs. I really can't fit these cages in this apartment and we are really considering finding homes for a few. I just kept rescuing them and not finding homes for them until I had somewhere around 40sq feet of cages stacked on top of each other. As much as I hate to part with any of them I think we might have to.

03-09-06, 02:19 pm
Oh I'm not done with the store yet...believe me...and if I have to go to headquarters I will do that as well. I just told him I had to think about it....it will be a cold day you know where before I bought another guinea pig from there or any other pet store. I looked into rescues in my area...and right now most of them aren't really close to me. The closest is about 1 1/2 hours away...and they have one adult female and one adult male....want someone to adopt them both...not sure I want 3 guinea pigs at this point. I think I'm going to just keep the one male I have...until I get more educated about them. Coming on this forum has really helped. Guess I should have done this a lot sooner, maybe what happend to my female could have been prevented. I have 7 children so I really don't think the male that I have will be lonely...they fight all the time on who is going to take him out and play with him!

I am surprised to hear that about keeping two males together though....because every book I read said they will fight. Does any one else on here have two males in the same cage?

03-09-06, 02:20 pm
I actually live in Wisconsin, and work right over the border in Illinois.

03-09-06, 02:26 pm
There are many on the forum who have been very successful housing two boars together. :)

Just take your time, try and relax and recollect yourself. You have time to get him a friend. I would do as you stated and try to learn as much as you can about them. This forum is full of very knowledgable people who can help you and answer any questions you may have along the way. If you take the time and read past threads they have tons of good facts there also. You will find your boy a friend in time, it does not have to be right away.

Keep looking and checking back at the rescues that surround your area, many will even put your name and number on a waiting list if you are wanting a certain sex, hair type etc. Good luck to you and again welcome to the forum.

03-09-06, 04:25 pm
I also am very sorry for your loss and what you are going through.
Just to let you know, I have 2 boys living together (they are both approx
4 months old) and besides the occasional purring one does when the other
"bothers" him.. they have NEVER fought. Good Luck

03-09-06, 04:40 pm
I believe you could actually sue Petco for this. Not that you would, but you could. Make them pay all the vet bills and pay to have your current one neutered (if that's what you want). Absolutely do NOT let them have their vet perform the neuter though - it must only be done by someone very experienced in neutering guinea pigs.

After you've taken them to the cleaners, go out and adopt another male (or a female if you male has been neutered) :-)

03-09-06, 04:57 pm
I was thinking the same thing as Voodoo and Mummy when I read what the outcome was of your phonecall. This is absolutely outragous! Get them to pay you back for the female AND pay to neuter the male. That way you will never have to worry about this problem again. I agree this is something you could sue for and win.

What a "stupid" petstore. This is definately going into my classic screw up memory banks. I am so sorry your family had to go through this, however I am glad that the truth has been unfolded.

I am so sorry your family had to go through with this. As for rescuing, please be patient, it is guaranteed that with a couple such irresponsible stores in your area, lots of piggies are to be had, it is just a matter of tracking them down and finding them!

03-09-06, 05:11 pm
I agree that it is a terrible thing that the pet store did, and I hope they make rectification in some way.

That said, I also think that people are a bit sue-happy and too quick to scream "lawyer" over things that may not necessarily be unlawful. Were they deceitful? Yes. Were they wrong? Yes. Were they unethincal? Yes. Do I think that lawyers' fees, court fees, and all the other messes that come with a court case should be instituted? ABSOLUTELY not.

03-09-06, 05:52 pm
I think that lawyers' fees, court fees, and all the other messes that come with a court case should be instituted? ABSOLUTELY not.

In Canada, 15 years ago, no one sued for anything. You could have a doctor come up to a family after surgery and say "Im sorry _____ did not make it, I decided 1/2 way through the surgery to go out for popcorn and a movie, and well, the supporting staff did not know what to do". And the family would have been horrified, outraged, upset, hurt, but probably would not have sued, afterall, "what can be done".

Indeed, we looked upon our American Neighbours like nutcases for suing so much, it just was not us.

That has changed, A LOT, a neighbour of mine just successfully sued for breaking her ankle on a poorly maintained step out her back door. She knew it was poorly maintained, but decided to use it anyway. Oops, it is the landlords fault right?

Blah. I get what you are saying, about maybe it isn't worth it, and honestly, I would not sue for this unless Petco is unwilling to do the right thing and make proper restitution on their own first. I feel that reimbursing the female piggy and paying for a neuter are fair. Their actions in all likelyhood caused the death of an animal that they "sold". They should be held accountable for this, is it a million dollar lawsuit with the majority being for pain and suffering? No, but common, if big petstore chains are not held accountable, they will never do the right thing.

In Ontario we have something called "Small Claims Court". It is a lot like the court T.V. shows, in that there are no lawyers present. They actually are not allowed. I feel that this is a very appropreate action to take in this case, but then again, maybe I am a newly Sue Happy North of the boarder Neighbour!