Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

  1. #1
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    I just feel.. Empty. And guilty to boot.

    So, a little back story: I've been coming to this website for months, just as a guest as I didn't feel an account was necessary yet, getting advice from people and reading all about these wonderful animals.
    I built my cage based off of the information I got from here, got my first piggies, and loved every second with them. Even when they kept me up at night wheeking, even when they trashed my room with litter and poo that they'd get every where when playing, even when I have to deal with hay dust and allergies. It was worth it all for them, my precious little pigoos.
    I had two piggies, both females, one named Nidra and the other Fin. They are sisters and I've had them for just over 1 and a half years.

    Almost everyone in my family are pet lovers, we have just about everything (or at one point did), dogs, cats, birds, snakes, rats, mice, gerbils, fish, crabs, lizards - You name it! We take great care for our pets, we do tons of research, buy them the healthiest food, give them tons of things to play with, make sure they get their out time and exercise. They are family to us.

    So, on to what happened now.
    My pigs are kept in my room, away from the predatory animals of the house (save for my cat who is older and not interested in even looking at them). We are very careful with the doors, making sure nothing goes in or out if it's not supposed to. I have a lidless C&C cage (which I now regret to no end), and I keep my door closed all the time unless I am right there, except when the dogs or ferrets are out then I always close it. I was getting ready for work, going in and out of my room a few times, not any more than usual though, and I was being as vigilant as always. I took my lunch back to my room to put it in my bag when out of the corner of my eye I saw a fast, small, very not-guinea-pig-shaped brown blur in their cage. I turn to check the cage and to my horror my sister's ferret is in there. I snatched her out asap but it was too late; she ravaged Nidra's face to bits. Nidra was whimpering in pain and fear. We rushed her to an emergency vet clinic (it was 3 AM at the time). The vet looked her over and with a heavy heart told us she has lost both her eyes and they needed to be surgically removed. He warned us that there was a high risk of failure because of how guinea pigs are with general anesthesia. He couldn't do the surgery himself because he did not have the instruments required, and he knew maybe one guy who could do it. We are not in the best financial situation at the moment. I just got my job a couple weeks ago, my dad lost his a few months ago and only just got another job, and my mom is too ill to work. And with the high risk involved.. I (by no easy means) decided to have her euthanized.

    The loss of a pet hasn't effect me this bad in over a decade. I just don't know what to do, and while I try to tell myself it was a genuine accident and there's no point in blaming myself, I just can't stop beating myself up over it.

    So I guess what I really want to know, for better or worse, is this really my fault? Should I feel guilty? And did I make the right decision to put her down?
    I don't know. And I'm afraid to know the answer, though at the same time I feel like I need too.

    Sorry for the depressing first post. I've just been a mess since it happened.
    I promise to post happier threads about my surviving piggy and her new companion in the coming days.

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this.
    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

    PS: Fin is okay and she didn't get even a scratch on her, and the ferret only got a minor cut to her chin.

  2. #2
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,381
    Thanks
    395
    Thanks
    547 Rec'd/457 Posts
    Mentioned
    78 Post(s)
    Quoted
    405 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    First of all, I would like to express my sincere sympathies on your loss.

    In light of Nidra's injuries, and your current financial situation, I don't see any other real action you could have taken. At the very least she would have required extensive, and expensive medical care in the very near future and couple that with the lack of an experienced vet, you did what was necessary for your beloved girl.

    I'm sure you understand now that there are things you can do differently. A lid for the cage seems apparent to me to be an absolute must in your home, as there are other animals in it that can cause damage such as this.
    Having to put a beloved pet down is one of the hardest, and most heartbreaking things that someone may have to do. Many of us here know that pain first hand. Just know that you did right by her, no matter how much it hurts.

    I am happy to know that your other pig is ok. I'm sure you are too. The question now is, where do you go from here?


    Rest in peace at the Rainbow Bridge, little Nidra. There is no pain there. No house eagles. Only sunshine, warmth, green grass and the best veggies you could ever hope to find. The BEST furry new little friends that you're going to meet.

    And peace.

  3. "Thank you, Guinea Pig Papa, for this useful post," says:


  4. #3
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Thank you very much. It does mean a lot to me and I really appreciate the kindness. I was admittedly a little scared to post anything, people online can be quite cruel.

    Yes. That is the same thing I keep telling myself. But guilt doesn't release its claws very easily. My mother did have some emergency money, my sister was willing to give up all her savings too. It would have been tough, but we could have done it. However, the high risk was the biggest thing. We could have ended up spending thousands and she most likely would have passed anyway. *Sigh* I know the logic, I just can't accept it I guess. Maybe that's why I posted this, I needed to hear it from someone else, someone who wasn't a family member that would do anything to not hurt me.

    Definitely. It just sucks to have had to learn in the hardest way possible. But now I know, never leave anything to chance.. Never.
    It's hard to feel like I did right by her... I just can't get the image out of my head. I am not a squeamish person, but this shocked me to the core like nothing has before. I get shaky and nauseous every time it forces its way back into my head.

    I am too, of course, it could have been a lot worse. My sister was telling me of a case where a ferret attacked a guinea pig and both of them died from their injuries. So I am thankful that Fin and Kia (the ferret) are okay.
    I go on, I have to for my pets, for my family, for myself. No matter how hard it is.
    And as much as I didn't want to go out to shop for another guinea pig I forced myself to anyways, because Fin was already displaying bad signs, and she needs me now more than ever.

    Yes, she's in a better place now. I just wish so badly that she didn't have to experience what she did, and that she could have lived longer. It's always hard when they die young and in such a brutal way.
    At least she'll get to be with her son now, whom died shortly after birth (it was an accidental pregnancy).

    Thanks again, I feel a bit better already. *Hugs*

  5. #4
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,381
    Thanks
    395
    Thanks
    547 Rec'd/457 Posts
    Mentioned
    78 Post(s)
    Quoted
    405 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    I know what you mean about the "claws of guilt". I had to put one of my boys down last year, and even though I know it was the right thing to do, I have not (and will not) forgive myself for it.

    You loved Nidra. Squeamish or not, you loved her and seeing her that way is shocking to you in a way that little else would be. It's a normal reaction. You need to try and move past it, and try your best to remember the happier times, and create new ones with Fin and her new cagemate. No pig deserves any less than a long, happy healthy life but the sad truth of it is that it doesn't always happen. We all hope that they will pass of old age in their sleep. That is absolutely what these sweet little creatures deserve.

    I was fortunate in that my first two pigs had fairly long lives. My first boy passed suddenly at roughly the age of 6 1/2, and the other boy I lost last year in August, though having to endure 18 months of dental surgeries, was 3 months shy of his 7th birthday.

    I do hope Fin and her new cagemate have long, happy and healthy lives. May I offer a suggestion, however? Instead of "shopping" for a new cagemate, check your local shelters or look for a rescue near you. You may very well find a homeless little girl who could really use yours, and Fin's love.

  6. "Thank you, Guinea Pig Papa, for this useful post," says:


  7. #5
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    4
    Thanks
    493 Rec'd/415 Posts
    Mentioned
    155 Post(s)
    Quoted
    231 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Regrettably it really does not sound like you had much choice other than to put her to sleep. Even if she were to survive, guinea pigs with missing eyes are prone to infections in the remaining cavities, and given it was a ferret bites that were the caused of the injuries the chance of infection setting in on any of the wounds on her face would have been quite high.

    My condolences for your loss.

  8. "Thank you, Soecara, for this useful post," says:


  9. #6
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    I am so sorry to hear that. I hope you and your boy got to have many great times together before they passed.


    Come to think of it, this is only the second time we've had to put a pet down at a young age. Despite how many animals we've had, they all lived long or fairly long lives, and died of natural causes due to old age.
    Of course, of course. You're right. I guess I'm just surprised because I've seen some of our pets with some pretty gross problems (mainly tumors, rats get so many of them) and haven't felt much but sadness for them.


    I'm glad to hear they've lived long, happy lives. Minus the dental surgeries, I hope they weren't too hard on him.


    Thank you. I'm sure they will. I'll be danged if I'm going to let another thing like this happen ever again.
    Ah, when I say 'shop around' I don't mean actually shopping at pet stores. I avoid buying animals from pet stores, especially large chain ones. The first thing I did was check the shelters, they only had one, and it was a male. So I then checked Craigslist and a couple of piggy finder websites for any one rehoming pigs, it was a no go there. Then I checked the only pet store here I trust for buying actual animals, a local shop with two locations. They do not buy and sell pets en-masse, they take unwanted pets, quarantine them and check them for problems, then rehome them once they have confirmed that they are healthy and social. The first location I checked only had a male, the second location had two males. I didn't mean to, but I fell in love with this little black skinny pig, so I decided to go ahead and take him. I knew from researching vets here before getting my original piggies that there are plenty of vets with experience in neutering guinea pigs, just not with delicate operations like what Nidra needed. So I plan to get him neutered once he is comfortable in his new home, then he will move in with Fin.


    I'm still fairly new to the guinea pig game, so if there is anything wrong with my plan or something I overlooked/didn't know, do let me know please.


    Whoops, that was a much longer reply than I meant. Sorry~


    Talking with you has made me feel so much better though. This was just what I needed. Thank you so, so much. I am in your debt. <3

  10. #7
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Yes, the vet did also mention the high risk of infection, and the other problems that could occur after surgery. It's just hard, even knowing it was really the best option. Especially because of how easily it could have been prevented.

    Thank you very much, Soecara. It means a lot. *Hugs*

  11. #8
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,762
    Thanks
    4
    Thanks
    493 Rec'd/415 Posts
    Mentioned
    155 Post(s)
    Quoted
    231 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Just make sure to keep the boar separate for at least 3 weeks post-op, this is to allow any remaining sperm to die off.

    Because he is a skinny you will probably want to get a good file for your girls nails, this is so you can keep her nails blunt so if she were to mount him while in heat she wouldn't scratch up his back. Otherwise just look up the care needs of skinnys, there isn't too much that is different to regular guinea pigs other than skin care, temperature etc.

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


  13. #9
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 09, 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,514
    Thanks
    71
    Thanks
    1,538 Rec'd/1,267 Posts
    Mentioned
    583 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1141 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Stop beating yourself up! You made a mistake, a lapse in judgment, and it had tragic consequences. It happens to all of us sooner or later. You made absolutely the right move in having her euthanized, as painful as it was and continues to be.

    We never anticipate just what a big piece of the heart these wonderful little furry creatures capture. Every death, no matter what the cause, leaves that empty place in ones heart. I have had four cavies cross the Rainbow Bridge in the past few years, all of different causes......one was left in a hot car, one had repeat dental work and anesthesia, one had pneumonia, and the most recent died suddenly three weeks ago of unknown cause........I believe that it was an intracranial hemorrhage.

    When a cagemate dies suddenly, the remaining piggy doesn't grieve. It just knows that its friend is gone. Even though it may be hard, I believe that the best course of action is to find a new cagemate as quickly as is practical, so I applaud you for doing this. In my case, my Sparky (neutered) is very bonded to his humans and seems to be coping pretty well, but I can tell that he misses Chip and is lonely. The dilemma is who his new friend should be: a young boar who may just liven up the old boy (3.5 y.o.) but who may very well want to challenge Sparky as he moves through puberty, or bring a 2.y.o. female home for him. I'm hoping to allow Sparky to choose his new cagemate. Both sources of potential new roommates have agreed to permit us to bring Sparky for a meet-and-greet. That won't guarantee compatibility, but should eliminate hate-at-first-sight (or smell). The issue will come when they are both placed in what has always been Sparky's cage. The cage needs to be revamped and refurbished, so this is obviously the time to take care of that.

    So, you've made a decision on the little black skinny? That's interesting.......people often turn their noses up at the idea of a skinny, and yet they are adorable in person. I have only interacted with one and thought him the cutest thing ever! Our choice will probably be limited to a young Aby boar, or the two year old Teddy sow.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Fly free at the Rainbow Bridge, Nidra.

  14. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," says:


  15. #10
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Okay. Thank you for the heads up. I was going to keep them separated anyway since I wouldn't want her to accidentally hurt him while he is recovering, but I had forgotten about their sperm lasting three weeks.

    Alright. I do have guinea pig grooming supplies. I keep their nails blunt because I have sensitive skin (and I'm actually allergic to a lot of animals), plus their nails get stuck in bedding like fleece. One of our favorite things to do together was to have them chill on my lap while I gently brushed their fur. It was so calming for us both. Nidra liked it the most, and needed it the most too because she had medium length fur.
    I figured as much, but I am doing more research anyways. I have a hairless rat and so far the care for them is very similar.

    Thanks for the advice, reassurance, and condolences. <3
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend (and happy Easter if you celebrate it).

  16. #11
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Okay, okay! ^^' I will do my best to let it go.

    I'm sorry to hear that. R.I.P to all your precious piggies. And of course you're absolutely right. Accidents happen as no one is perfect, I know this. And the guilt is fading away, slowly, but surely.

    That's always what I have heard. So I kept an eye on Fin, and when I saw that she hadn't left her corner in hours, I knew I had to force myself to get her a new friend asap. She is already doing better. They are separated but can hear and smell each other, they have been chattering on and off for the last five hours. I'm really happy she is doing good so soon after what happened.
    Thank you. I've always had a tougher shell, hence why I was so surprised at how hard this has been for me. I guess even I did not realize how much Nidra meant to me. I'm happy for the times we got to spend together, even if they were short.

    Aww, poor Sparky. I hope he starts to feel better soon (and you too!). I hope for the best for him, and that he gets along splendidly with his new cagemate, whichever piggy that may be.
    I'm not sure about pigs, but for rats whenever I needed to move a new one into an existing rat's cage (after prior introductions of course), I would do a thorough cleaning and revamping (like you are saying) using white vinegar to get the smells out, then rinsing/wiping it well with water, and lastly letting it air dry. That way it doesn't smell of either of their scents, and they get to meet on new, equal ground. It has worked very well for all the rodents I've done this with (mainly rats but also mice and gerbils).

    Yeah, I definitely see a lot of people dislike hairless animals, but I have always had a huge soft spot for them ever since I first saw and got a hairless rat when I was 10. And I honestly love the way skinny pigs look like little hippos with furry snouts. I had never seen a skinny pig in person before, we don't live in a very populated area so rarer breeds of pets are very hard to come by. Loving hairless animals, I of course wanted a skinny pig but never saw one for sale until now. So even though he is a male, and I was really looking for a female, I just had to snatch him up.

    Nothing wrong with that. While rarer and unique breeds are always a treat to own, at end of the day it's the individual life that counts, not special colors or breeds. <3

    Thank you so much again. You have been a huge, huge help! And little Caly too! (my new skinny~<3). I was worried sick about Fin and how she'd cope, but seeing her walking around her cage, wheeking, eating and drinking again has been a big relief. I'm glad she has taken a liking to Cal already, and he to her.

  17. #12
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 09, 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,514
    Thanks
    71
    Thanks
    1,538 Rec'd/1,267 Posts
    Mentioned
    583 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1141 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    You know, I never said, welcome to the Forum! As you have discovered, you have come to absolutely the right place to find other like-minded folks who love and treasure cavies. Few people (even if they're animal lovers) understand why we think guinea pigs are so special and why we love them. Please do stick around and contribute. We always appreciate people who stick around long after they have gathered the information they were seeking. I know I stuck around to pay forward in any way I can.

    Perhaps after Cal has gone through a quarantine period and until you can get him neutered, you can put him in a divided cage where he and Fin can communicate through the separating grid? Alas, I don't have room for a larger cage and will have to put mine together after an introduction. It sounds as though Fin has perked up already and is excited about her potential new roommate.

    Kudos to you for moving in a positive direction and in putting Fin's happiness first. It sounds as though you are doing everything right and that the new match has every indication that it will be successful. Don't forget to post pics!

  18. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," says:


  19. #13
    Cavy Newbie Kannarith's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    6
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Thank you. I am going to post in the introduction forum some time later, so I just figured people can say their welcomes there. But here is fine too, I don't mind.
    I see a lot of that first hand, having almost always owned rats at one point or another. I was still pretty surprised to see it from my own family though. I won't say who, but when they were told that I would have gone through with the surgery if the risk wasn't so high they responded with "For a guinea pig?!" That was pretty hurtful, to be honest.
    I intend to stick around, but I can't make any promises.

    That's exactly what I'm going to do! Thanks for the suggestion though. c: She certainly has, I'm surprised how well she's taken to him already, but I'm very happy for it. They both want to get to each other already, it's going to be a while yet though my piggies.

    Thank you so much. I try my best to always look forward and be positive, and after what happened I definitely did not want to even risk anything happening to Fin.
    Fin has always been a very social Cavy, she gets along well with nearly every other piggy she meets. I can't say about Cal, but so far he seems excited about the new Cavy next door. So hopefully everything works out great.
    I will when I get the chance to take some shots of them. Is there any specific place to post pictures here?

  20. #14
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 09, 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,514
    Thanks
    71
    Thanks
    1,538 Rec'd/1,267 Posts
    Mentioned
    583 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1141 Post(s)

    Re: Lost my favourite girl last Friday

    Quote Originally Posted by Kannarith View Post
    Is there any specific place to post pictures here?
    No, you can just include them within a post. Mouse over the icons at the top of the dialog box to the right of the "break web link" with the red X and the next one is "insert image".

User Tag List

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
  •