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Thread: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

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    Unhappy our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    I apologize if this is long and thank you in advance. I need somewhere to vent and maybe get some help understanding a few things.
    Questions:
    - Is it normal for eyes to be open when they pass? It seemed as if they closed a little as we held him.
    - And the strangest to me was that he had some poop stuck to his butt as if he was in the process of pooping when he died? (it was like mushy wet poop [possibly diarrhea] not his regular poops) He didnít have diarrhea when he was alive or anywhere in his cage. Can anyone please tell me if thatís normal or what could have caused that.
    - Also Iím just worried that he wasnít actually dead but in some paralysis/shock state and just couldnít move? Is that possible? All Iím really sure of is that he wasnít moving at all and for the next few hours he remained the same... motionless. At times it seemed like I felt his tummy move like breathing but when I asked somebody else to feel they said they couldnít feel anything so I thought maybe it was just all in my head. Something just keeps telling me he wasnít dead or at least not completely and maybe I could have done something...


    A little backstory: My sister got Ginney for my nephew for Christmas (Dec. 2018) He named him ďGinneyĒ. He initially was for my nephew but we all took care of him and loved him like he was all of ours. He was 3 months when we got him.

    Dec. 11 2021: We lost our Ginney 😢💔 (he was 3 yrs)
    It was a regular Saturday & Ginney wasnít acting any different. He didnít give us a reason to suspect that it might be his last day... We decided to go get groceries some time around 3 something. When we left he was drinking water and eating hay. We came back around late 4ish and my husband went to go check on Ginney. He called me over and told me that he didnít look too good because he was just laying there on his side (there were times where he would do that and give us a scare but he would just be sleeping, this time it felt different). I called his name but he didnít move. I gently shook the cage a little bit and nothing... thatís when we knew he was gone. When we picked him up he wasnít cold nor stiff but he was limp, maybe it wasnít long that he had passed? We wrapped him up and I tried to keep him warm in hopes that maybe he would wake up and start moving. I wanted to try CPR or something but my husband told me what if I make it worse so I didnít. We checked for a heartbeat as best as we could because honestly we werenít sure exactly where and we didnít feel anything. I also checked his tummy but I didnít see nor feel it moving.

    His eating habit was off for days prior to this and was losing some weight... some days he would eat okay, other days he would eat just a few bites and wouldnít want anymore. I thought maybe he just wasnít in the mood for whatever I was giving him or just wasnít hungry in that moment. He would drink water okay.

    I cried and cried. I felt and still feel so guilty. What if I just didnít go to the grocery store that day and stayed home with him instead. He would probably still be here. I should have spent more time with him, played with him more. I should have paid more attention to him. I should have taken him to the vet as soon as I noticed something was off. I wish that I could go back in time and fix everything. At least tried to do cpr or something because now it will always be in the back of my mind like What If... most of all Iím so sorry that I wasnít there and he was alone... I know I could have done better for him and I really regret that. I definitely have learned some lessons from this situation but I did love him very much.

    I Love You and Miss You So Much Ginney

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    - Is it normal for eyes to be open when they pass? It seemed as if they closed a little as we held him

    Yes this is normal. To be able to blink/close the eyes the muscles have to contract so most animals have their eyes open after they pass as generally most muscles will go into a relaxed state when they pass.

    - And the strangest to me was that he had some poop stuck to his butt as if he was in the process of pooping when he died? (it was like mushy wet poop [possibly diarrhea] not his regular poops) He didnít have diarrhea when he was alive or anywhere in his cage. Can anyone please tell me if thatís normal or what could have caused that.

    Yes this is also normal, once again muscles relax so if there is poop waiting near the exit of the bowels they will come out when they pass. The poops being very soft may just be because they may have been the type of poop they re-eat to digest again or they may have just been "half baked" and not quite at the stage they usually would have come out.

    - Also Iím just worried that he wasnít actually dead but in some paralysis/shock state and just couldnít move? Is that possible?

    No it isn't, even if he was paralysed for a small period of time the lack of oxygen would mean he would not have been that way for long at all. If he wasn't breathing he was gone. Gastric movement post mortem is normal, gases continue to form from bacteria continuing to do their thing and those gases can cause intestinal movement. Even if you aren't sure of your ability to find his heart beat I can assure you if it was there you would have been able to find it even with no experience.


    It sounds like he really did go very suddenly, don't beat yourself up about going out, even if you were home with the speed at which he went there was almost certainly very little that could have been done for him even if you were standing right there ready to act. I have had a guinea pig suddenly take a turn and pass when I was in the same room, I honestly had no idea anything was wrong until I looked into the cage and saw her in a very bad way. She passed before I could even think about calling the vet.

    Sometimes these situations happen awfully fast and the trauma has us reeling, it is natural for us to try and assign blame in these situations. Often we push that blame onto ourselves, but sometimes the hard truth is there is no blame to lay and there is nothing anyone could have done to change the outcome. Take solace in the facts that he was loved for as long as he was with you, and you did the best you could to give him a good life regardless of how long or short it was. My condolences for your loss.

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    Cavy Slave ZiggyDiggy's Avatar
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    Re: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    Iím so sorry for your loss, I have been fighting a pneumonia with one of mine and sadly right after I read this I got home and gave her some love and went to shower and when I came out of the shower she had very very clearly passed away and was layed flat out on her side. Her friends were all lying around her. I just got finished burying her. My heart goes out to you, Iím crying with you. Hardest thing Iíve had to do in awhile. I took her from a man whoís kids didnít want her anymore, and I only had her for 2 months but she touched my heart in a way Iíve never had. May your sweet Ginney Rest In Peace with my Louise and all the others. Donít blame yourself at all! It sounds like your baby was so so loved!

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    Re: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    - Is it normal for eyes to be open when they pass? It seemed as if they closed a little as we held him

    Yes this is normal. To be able to blink/close the eyes the muscles have to contract so most animals have their eyes open after they pass as generally most muscles will go into a relaxed state when they pass.

    - And the strangest to me was that he had some poop stuck to his butt as if he was in the process of pooping when he died? (it was like mushy wet poop [possibly diarrhea] not his regular poops) He didn’t have diarrhea when he was alive or anywhere in his cage. Can anyone please tell me if that’s normal or what could have caused that.

    Yes this is also normal, once again muscles relax so if there is poop waiting near the exit of the bowels they will come out when they pass. The poops being very soft may just be because they may have been the type of poop they re-eat to digest again or they may have just been "half baked" and not quite at the stage they usually would have come out.

    - Also I’m just worried that he wasn’t actually dead but in some paralysis/shock state and just couldn’t move? Is that possible?

    No it isn't, even if he was paralysed for a small period of time the lack of oxygen would mean he would not have been that way for long at all. If he wasn't breathing he was gone. Gastric movement post mortem is normal, gases continue to form from bacteria continuing to do their thing and those gases can cause intestinal movement. Even if you aren't sure of your ability to find his heart beat I can assure you if it was there you would have been able to find it even with no experience.


    It sounds like he really did go very suddenly, don't beat yourself up about going out, even if you were home with the speed at which he went there was almost certainly very little that could have been done for him even if you were standing right there ready to act. I have had a guinea pig suddenly take a turn and pass when I was in the same room, I honestly had no idea anything was wrong until I looked into the cage and saw her in a very bad way. She passed before I could even think about calling the vet.

    Sometimes these situations happen awfully fast and the trauma has us reeling, it is natural for us to try and assign blame in these situations. Often we push that blame onto ourselves, but sometimes the hard truth is there is no blame to lay and there is nothing anyone could have done to change the outcome. Take solace in the facts that he was loved for as long as he was with you, and you did the best you could to give him a good life regardless of how long or short it was. My condolences for your loss.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and answer my questions. I know it was a lot so I really appreciate it. You have really given me some peace of mind and made me feel better, as this was my first time dealing with something like this and was not sure what to do/expect. Thank you for your kind words, I really needed to hear that.

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    Re: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyDiggy View Post
    Iím so sorry for your loss, I have been fighting a pneumonia with one of mine and sadly right after I read this I got home and gave her some love and went to shower and when I came out of the shower she had very very clearly passed away and was layed flat out on her side. Her friends were all lying around her. I just got finished burying her. My heart goes out to you, Iím crying with you. Hardest thing Iíve had to do in awhile. I took her from a man whoís kids didnít want her anymore, and I only had her for 2 months but she touched my heart in a way Iíve never had. May your sweet Ginney Rest In Peace with my Louise and all the others. Donít blame yourself at all! It sounds like your baby was so so loved!
    Omg no :( Rest In Peace to your Louise 💛 my condolences
    Yes, it definitely was hard and still is. I knew when this day came Iíd be sad, I just didnít know how hurt I would be since it is my first time dealing with something like this. I definitely understand because Ginney touched my heart dearly. Youíre a great person for taking her in. I hope Ginney and Louise are somewhere happy with all the others. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and respond, I really appreciate it.

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    Re: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    I am so very sorry for your loss of your beloved Ginney. I see that most of your questions have been answered.

    My first time I had to deal with losing one of mine, he had been ill but not critically so, for some time. Roughly six months. He was never diagnosed correctly unfortunately, and in the end I do believe it was a combination of old age and CHF.

    I always get up at 6am (in the case if having an ill pig it's even earlier) One night, I was out late working and I was angry about it. I didn't get home until after midnight. I checked on Pooper, as I always did, and he was just chilling in his pigloo. I gave him some scratches, told him daddy loved him and that I would see him in the morning.

    And then I slept in. On purpose. Because I was mad. And Pooper got up at my usual time, and waited at the bars for me for his usual morning treat. When he realized I wasn't coming, he turned around to go back to the cage to sleep. He never made it.

    He had been gone about an hour when I got up and when I saw him I knew immediately. He was in a similar state to your Ginney. And, like you, my heart was absolutely crushed. I have never gotten over his passing nor forgiven myself for not being there when he left me. I have never gotten over any of my boys passing. I miss them every single day.

    It's okay to grieve. They are not "just a pet" or "just a rodent". To some people, they are their everything.

    Rest in love and peace, sweet Ginney.

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    Re: our Ginney died and I have some questions pls help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    I am so very sorry for your loss of your beloved Ginney. I see that most of your questions have been answered.

    My first time I had to deal with losing one of mine, he had been ill but not critically so, for some time. Roughly six months. He was never diagnosed correctly unfortunately, and in the end I do believe it was a combination of old age and CHF.

    I always get up at 6am (in the case if having an ill pig it's even earlier) One night, I was out late working and I was angry about it. I didn't get home until after midnight. I checked on Pooper, as I always did, and he was just chilling in his pigloo. I gave him some scratches, told him daddy loved him and that I would see him in the morning.

    And then I slept in. On purpose. Because I was mad. And Pooper got up at my usual time, and waited at the bars for me for his usual morning treat. When he realized I wasn't coming, he turned around to go back to the cage to sleep. He never made it.

    He had been gone about an hour when I got up and when I saw him I knew immediately. He was in a similar state to your Ginney. And, like you, my heart was absolutely crushed. I have never gotten over his passing nor forgiven myself for not being there when he left me. I have never gotten over any of my boys passing. I miss them every single day.

    It's okay to grieve. They are not "just a pet" or "just a rodent". To some people, they are their everything.

    Rest in love and peace, sweet Ginney.

    Oh no :í( thatís so heartbreaking and I totally understand.
    I wish I had been there so he wasnít alone. I donít think Iíll ever forgive myself for that either. He really was more than ďjust a petĒ and I loved him very much. Thank you for reading and responding, and for sharing your story with me. I appreciate it.

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