Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave kariwalbert's Avatar
    Joined
    Nov 01, 2011
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    30
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    5
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Unhappy Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    Some one needs to talk me down because I just returned from a 2 week vacation to find that BOTH of my guinea pigs have died. I am devastated. Especially because I can't figure out why. Help.

    I took both pigs to my mom's house for her to watch them. I set up a cage almost exactly like the cage they have here. They were in a temperature controlled room.

    Granted-one piggy was already sick with kidney disease-was on pain meds and critical care and had troubles walking due to arthritis the day before we left. I knew there was a good possibility she may not be here when I got back. I took her to the vet the day before and she was aware of her condition and that- if my mom, who was taking care of them while we were gone brought her in and she was in pain that I was prepared that she may have to be put to sleep. I said my goodbyes when I left, just in case. She passed 2 days after I left.

    However- what baffles me is why her cage mate, a very healthy 3-year old pig, died a week and a half later. According to my mom she was eating less than normal but was still eating and moving about the cage seemingly normal. She didn't really get any floor time, like what I give her, but my mom did make sure to pick her up and pet her every day- especially since she was not in a central part of the house (as she is at my house). So what could be the cause?

    My mom says she gave her all the food I listed- nothing out of the ordinary. Could it be from loneliness- the fact that her cage mate died on top of the fact that she was alone in a room by herself a lot more than she was used to? Or because I was away? I've heard of piggies getting depressed from loneliness and even dying but within a week and a half? The room she was in also had the cat's litter boxes in it- could that have contributed? The smell from the cat urine or even the cat litter dust itself? Again- she said she was acting relatively normal-although my mom did say she thought maybe she was lonely (so something in the way she was acting obviously made her think that)? In her naivety- she even went out a bought another guinea pig (from a pet store- I cringe!! If she only knew I'd never do that!) thinking it would be a companion for her-but she only but them together for a few hours and by that night she was dead. Was it stress?

    I'm having such a tough time not knowing why! My poor mom is just a wreck. She feels so terrible- of course i don't blame her I just wish I knew what the cause was- I think it would help me put them to rest.

    Any suggestions??!!

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,022
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Quoted
    187 Post(s)
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    277 Rec'd/180 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    The only suggestion I have is to have a necropsy done, but if it's been more than 12ish hours I believe it's too late. Beyond that, it's likely you'll never know why she died. I doubt it had anything to do with depression or loneliness. Guinea pigs are so good at hiding illness, it's likely that your mom just missed signs of illness. I'd keep an eye on your new pig since there was no QT, and your pig died unexpectedly.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave PumpkinPig's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    65
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Quoted
    17 Post(s)
    Thanks
    26
    Thanks
    18 Rec'd/16 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    I'm really sorry for your loss, kariwalbert. It's very hard to lose a guinea pig, both when it's something expected and unexpected. Like ClemmyOddieIndy said, it's very hard to know when a guinea pig is sick because they hide their symptoms. Maybe take your new piggy to the vet for a check up to make sure everything is ok with her? It's hard because you're upset over your loss (understandably so!), but it would probably make you feel better to take care of this new pig as best as you can.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MD
    Posts
    3,290
    Mentioned
    124 Post(s)
    Quoted
    356 Post(s)
    Thanks
    497
    Thanks
    582 Rec'd/536 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    Aww I'm sorry that this has happened. Its always hard losing a pet. Sometimes they can die without warning. They are really good at hiding illnesses. Since her mate died she may have died from loneliness. Sometimes if a guinea pig loses their pal who they are really attached to can get so lonely. Plus if there are no other guinea pigs around that doesn't help. Unfortunately there's no absolute way of knowing without an autopsy.

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave Bamysmum's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    114
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    23 Rec'd/11 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    There are so many 'what ifs??' and it's awful I know. I lost my darling Bams last month in the last 2 days of my 2 week vacation. I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for going away - I was almost not going to go as I've been very ill myself & I struggled to enjoy the holiday before I even knew what happened.


    My sister-in-law who was charged with my baby girl's care declined a necropsy after my stupid husband texted her to on Facebook without consulting me (I was ill in bed in the hotel room) and by the time I found out & said 'please do - I need some answers!' too much time had passed. The head vet spoke to me on the phone days later & read out some notes that the emergency vets had made when Bams was admitted for declining food (that was the first sign at which my sister-in-law could recognise she needed a vet) and I was made to feel terrible as he suggested all these things that could have been done wrong with her long term care clearly knowing nothing about our situation & care standards. I was left with more questions than I started & no answers.


    I guess this past month of regrets has reminded me of 1 thing. You can't change the past but you can change the present.


    In my case I now have 2 girl piggies left who need my vigilance to identify if whatever took my Bams could be infectious as an upper respiratory infection was high on the list of suspects. I'm also thinking hard about which vet do I trust to check & treat my fuzzy bubs as it's clear not all vets are equal & I'm moving house in a week away from my trusted emergency vet (who had saved Bams life in the past but for some reason not explained to me Bams was not taken too despite his name & phone no. being top of the contacts list).


    It's hard but if there's a little guy out there that needs you in the here & now then perhaps focus on them & try to eliminate anything that may have caused the death from the current situation. That's what I'm trying to do. Ultimately though - nothing will ever fill the loss. Take care & hang in there.

  6. #6
    Cavy Slave kariwalbert's Avatar
    Joined
    Nov 01, 2011
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    30
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    5
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    Unfortunately it's been about 5 days since she died so I doubt I'll be able to have a vet do a necropsy done. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    The worst part, I think, is that I feel guilty about this new piggy- I don't really know if I want to keep her- which makes me heart sick- I can't imagine taking her back tot he store but in the past 4 years I've had 3 piggies and none have lived more than 2 years (one was apparently older when I got her, then these past 2, one of which had kidney disease like I mentioned, the other- no clue). Plus- how can I ever go on vacation again and leave them with my mom again? I'd worry the whole time that they would die again- I don't put my mom in that position either. But then who would I get to take care of them??!! Like Bamysmum said I feel extremely guilty for having gone now in the first place- but what can you do?

    So instead of being able to grieve for my 2 that died I am racked with guilt over not wanting this new one and what to do with her. Shes just a little baby. Which makes me feel worse. It's really not like me to not want a guinea pig but I just don't know if I can go through it all again. I wasn't even gonna bring her home, I didn't want to get attached- I was going to leave her at my mom's but I was worried that something in that room is what made the others sick and I felt like I just couldn't leave her there.

    Has anyone ever heard anything about the effects of cat litter and it's dust? Besides loneliness, it's the only thing I can think of that may have been a cause.

  7. #7
    Cavy Slave Bamysmum's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    114
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    23 Rec'd/11 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    This is a page I used to help me choose which litter to use for my rabbit:
    http://www.rabbit.org/journal/1/liver-disease.html

    It discusses the different types of litter material available and though this info. relates to rabbits I felt there was enough info. to help me choose a non-toxic option for my guineas as well. This info. does assume that the rabbit will be in close contact / proximity to the litter though when assessing safety factors so I'm not sure if your piggy just being in a room but not in contact with litter 'x' would be enough to have a toxic affect?

    There are so many factors that can combine to take a life finding the culprit may be impossible.

    Not wanting a new piggy sounds very logical. If you need to re-home, re-home. But perhaps give yourself some time so that your making decisions when you feel less torn by what's happened.

  8. #8
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,022
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Quoted
    187 Post(s)
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    277 Rec'd/180 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    Quote Originally Posted by kariwalbert View Post
    Unfortunately it's been about 5 days since she died so I doubt I'll be able to have a vet do a necropsy done. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    The worst part, I think, is that I feel guilty about this new piggy- I don't really know if I want to keep her- which makes me heart sick- I can't imagine taking her back tot he store but in the past 4 years I've had 3 piggies and none have lived more than 2 years (one was apparently older when I got her, then these past 2, one of which had kidney disease like I mentioned, the other- no clue). Plus- how can I ever go on vacation again and leave them with my mom again? I'd worry the whole time that they would die again- I don't put my mom in that position either. But then who would I get to take care of them??!! Like Bamysmum said I feel extremely guilty for having gone now in the first place- but what can you do?

    So instead of being able to grieve for my 2 that died I am racked with guilt over not wanting this new one and what to do with her. Shes just a little baby. Which makes me feel worse. It's really not like me to not want a guinea pig but I just don't know if I can go through it all again. I wasn't even gonna bring her home, I didn't want to get attached- I was going to leave her at my mom's but I was worried that something in that room is what made the others sick and I felt like I just couldn't leave her there.

    Has anyone ever heard anything about the effects of cat litter and it's dust? Besides loneliness, it's the only thing I can think of that may have been a cause.
    If you DO decide to keep the pig, and want to go on another vacation you could consider a pet sitter or taking them to a boarding facility that has a small animals room.

    Things don't really die of loneliness, there is some cause of death. Loneliness can make animals more susceptible to illness, or can cause animals to starve themselves. But, they don't just drop dead because their lonely.

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location
    La Honda, Ca
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Quoted
    34 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    47 Rec'd/39 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    While guinea pigs may not die of loneliness, I have seen them get very depressed when they lost a buddy. THey can get so depressed that they quit eating, and that can lead to huge health problems. We've had several guinea pigs in our rescue that were headed downhill fast until we paired them with a new buddy. Whether or not that could cause your remaining piggy to die in 10 days , I don't know, but my guess would be it could. But it sounds like your piggy was eating some at least.

    So sorry it had to happen.

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MD
    Posts
    3,290
    Mentioned
    124 Post(s)
    Quoted
    356 Post(s)
    Thanks
    497
    Thanks
    582 Rec'd/536 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    Well I didn't mean it like that of course their not just gonna drop dead from loneliness. But like you said they can starve themselves among other things and eventually die.

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave kariwalbert's Avatar
    Joined
    Nov 01, 2011
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    30
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    5
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    Quote Originally Posted by CavyHouse View Post
    While guinea pigs may not die of loneliness, I have seen them get very depressed when they lost a buddy. THey can get so depressed that they quit eating, and that can lead to huge health problems. We've had several guinea pigs in our rescue that were headed downhill fast until we paired them with a new buddy. Whether or not that could cause your remaining piggy to die in 10 days , I don't know, but my guess would be it could. But it sounds like your piggy was eating some at least.

    So sorry it had to happen.

    I agree- I don't think it was strictly loneliness but a combination of things- loss of her cage mate (who had been sick for awhile, which I think she sensed, she started sleeping with her the last two weeks or so which she's never done before), change of environment (although they were set up in a cage almost identical to their normal one it was still at my mom's house and in a back room that was not central to the house), she had been eating less of her veggies over the past two weeks also (but she was still eating- she would just eat her favorites like tomatoes, cucumbers, or any fruit treats- she starting leaving the lettuce, peppers and cilantro) but still eating plenty of hay and pellets- but who knows, maybe she was starting to get sick?

    plus the fact that I was not there- just a change to their routine.. Who knows- maybe if I was here after Mo died it might have made a difference.. Maybe not. I guess I'll never know.

    i think I am going to keep the baby. I'm gonna give her a couple weeks to get used to me then I have a friend who needs to redone her son's pigs so they'll be her cage mates. That way no one will ever be alone.


    I wish we we had somewhere near me that would board them. My sister has a friend who was a vet tech- maybe I can pay her to watch them while I'm gone next time. She'll have more of a trained eye.


    thanks for all the kind words and thoughts

  12. #12
    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2013
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    4,014
    Mentioned
    186 Post(s)
    Quoted
    392 Post(s)
    Thanks
    627
    Thanks
    869 Rec'd/749 Posts

    Re: Why did both of my piggies die while I was away?

    That's sad, I'm very sorry for your losses.

User Tag List

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •