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Thread: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

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    Cavy Slave
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    Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    My 4 year old Petie Pop stopped eating last Friday. After hand feeding an watering all weekend we made it to the vet on Monday. His x-ray showed extreme bloat and a severely englarged cecum. I have been giving him simethicone, metoclopramide, cisapride, metronidazole & metcam for pain relief. He stopped allowing me to hand feed him slurries and critcal care and water yesterday. I have been administering fluids subcataneously since last night. He now whimpers when I pick him up and no longer wants me to touch him as I know he thinks of pain with me. I do not want him to suffer but I do not want to give up. What would you do? Has anyone had success with severe bloat and cecum bacteria?

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    Cavy Slave AmberCalzone's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    If he's in so pain that you can't touch him, I think I would let him go. To me, from the information I have, it doesn't sound like he wants to fight anymore.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    Severe bloat is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Sometimes it can be turned around, sometimes not. His not wanting you to touch him is not because he associates you with pain, it's because he's hurting and doesn't want to be touched.

    What I don't see in that medicines list is anything that stimulates in the lower digestive tract. That may or may not help him, since this has been going on for several days. Cisapride works on the upper GI tract, but not on the lower.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd probably have him put down. Even if he recovers, he'll likely be very prone to bloat again, so it just becomes a cycle of pain and nursing him, only to have him relapse again.

    Just for future reference, if you have a pig with bloat, get it to a good vet immediately. There are some things you can do in the early stages that may help -- vibrating pillow, exercise, etc.

    Did your vet say anything about the severely enlarged cecum? It sounds like this could have started from an intestinal blockage, and if that's the case, I'd definitely have him put down now if he were mine. He's too debilitated for any surgical removal, and that's not usually successful anyway.

    I'm sorry he's so ill. Do let us know how he gets along.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    My heart goes out to you. I have had to make the same decision many times and believe me I know what you are going through. My opinion is as long as there is life there is hope but I sometimes believe that animals just give up. In my many years of working in a veterinarian clinic we were asked how do I know when it's time. Our answer was always when your pet has no quality of life left. We defined quality of life as eating, drinking, and just enjoying life. I do believe that sometimes you can pull a pet through a crisis by force feeding and administering fluids and medications. The question you have to ask yourself is this in the best interest of my pet. Unfortunately only you can answer that question.

    If you feel that Petie Pop is truly suffering the best thing you can do is tell him how much you love him and let him go. I know it's easy for me to say that because it's not me going through this terrible time. I will say a prayer for both of you.

    Many hugs to you.
    Last edited by Kelsie; 11-26-14 at 03:05 pm.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I've never dealt with bloat, but I have dealt with making these decisions. I don't give up until the animal dies, or is dying in front of me (like uncontrollable hemorrhaging). But, everyone has to live with the choices they make, and I have to live with mine. Whenever I am questioning I think back to when I was a child and we had a horse go down with founder. Her hooves cracked open and puss came out. She couldn't move or eat. She would grind her teeth in pain, and she smelled like death. The vet wanted us to euthanize her, but my mom refused. People who heard about the mare thought my mom was crazy, and was abusing the mare by keeping her alive. My mom would roll the mare at night to try to keep her bed sores from becoming infected and to treat them. The mare recovered. Her hooves grew in without any signs of founder (usually they get ridges), and she lived for decades. That's not the only time we chose not to euthanize, when everyone else said we should, and the animal recovered. Now, for all those stories I have others where the animal did not recover and did die after prolonged pain. But, since you never know what the end outcome will be I prefer to be optimistic because there is always a chance they will get better. I had a horse with a 3% chance of survival, survive.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. But, you have to make a choice that fits with your moral and ethical beliefs. You are the only one who has the live with that choice, and everyone owes it to you to be supportive of whatever choice you make.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I agree that in this case it would probably be kinder to gently help him pass.

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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    Thank you all for your advice and thoughts. I just picked up some extra pain relief and smaller sub Q needles. He is telling me it is time, but I just do not want to question myself later and say, "Should have I tried harder and longer"? His brother died 2 years ago of a brain tumor, during surgery. He had been mis-diagnosed for several months and I could never forgive myself for his anguish and pain. He had to have his eye inoculated to relieve the pressure. They cannot tell why the cecum is so enlarged with all of the gas and fermentation, but they believe he may have a tumor. I have had to expel his anal glands on a weekly basis for about 4 months. If I had put him down tonight I would have wondered if it was the meds side-effects and should have waited. Tomorrow if he stills hows pain I will dis-continue the SubQ and no longer try to force the meds and give him a double dose of metcam. If he seems to have a torsion I will then make the decision. Just still have this questioning/nagging feeling that I am missing something and not doing all that I should.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    His suffering has ended. He began to seize in pain so I gave him a dose of metcam and unfortunately he inhaled it in his lungs and drowned. I am sad beyond words and will now have this guilt to bear.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I'm sorry for your loss.

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    Cavy Slave AmberCalzone's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I am sorry for your loss :/ Poor baby.

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    Cavy Slave PopcorningPigs's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    That's terrible, I'm so sorry. you've been through alot you did all you could... :(

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard when you are ready and willing to administer whatever they need, and their little bodies give out. Peace by with you and your boy.

  13. "Thank you, WheekedGoodPigs, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I'm sorry for your loss. Don't carry any guilt, you did more for him than 99% of the people in the world would've. You clearly are wonderful guinea pig guardian.

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I'm so very sorry for your loss, you did so much to try and help him but it was just his time. RIP little Petie Pop.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    Your precious little boy is now at peace. You did so much for him and you should never feel guilty. He was very blessed to have someone like you as his owner. Petie Pop you were very well loved and you will never be forgotten. RIP little guy.

  17. "Thank you, Kelsie, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Kenna18155's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    Don't feel bad. So many people would never have gone to the lengths that you have--taking him to the vet, giving medications, and treating him like a family member in a time of need--and he was so blessed to have you as a parent. I'm sure his life was full of joy. He was going to pass away inevitably. The way he did it makes no difference now. Like you said, his suffering has ended. What else could you have done? You had the best intentions, and it was up to fate, not fault. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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    Cavy Slave pigmommy89's Avatar
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    Re: Dying Piggie- Moral dilemma- need advice-support

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Please don't feel like you killed him with the metacam. At the point he started seizing he was already actively dying. It's hard to watch, but that has been my experience with guinea pigs through the years.

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