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Thread: Guinea pig palliative care

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Maggie.'s Avatar
    Aug 17, 2017
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    Guinea pig palliative care

    Today my baby August was found to have a large 2cm (a bit less than an inch) tumor. I took him into the emergency room when I realised he was rapidly losing weight. They could not see if the tumor has spread because of bloat, and his blood pressure was not good enough for them to feel safe doing any bloodwork. The surgery would be risky, and even if it would succeed there was a high chance that August would pass away a few days after from pain after the complicated procedure. His blood pressure also indicated he does not have a high chance of recovery. I decided to make the difficult choice to simply give him palliative care and not proceed with the surgery. Except for the weight loss, he currently has no other visible symptoms. He runs around, he eats just fine, he comes when called. I got medication to keep him comfortable and pain free until he no longer has a good quality of life. I don't know if that will be days or weeks, but I'm trying not to focus on it and treasure every moment he's still with me. Mostly, I just wanted to share this experience, to know I'm not alone. Also I want to know everyone's opinion as to what I should do after my piggie passes, leaving his half brother alone. What would be my options? They're both 4 and a half years old.

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  2. #2
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    May 12, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
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    Re: Guinea pig palliative care

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. It just is not fair for these sweet, innocent little creatures. You are not alone.

    Back in 2016, I lost my original boy Pooper at about 6 1/2 years old. His brother Sly was not quite 5 years old at the time. There was no question that I would not leave him alone.

    I made the mistake of getting a pair or 3 week old babies. I don't regret THAT decision, but as most people know boar trios don't work out. I had hoped it would work in my case because they were so young that they would bond easily. They did, and it was amazing. For 5 months, until Punkin hit puberty. That ended it.

    What to do when you're down to one pig largely depends on what you intend to do in the future. If you plan to keep pigs for awhile my best suggestion would be to find a rescue near you, and see if you can set up a meet and greet with another boar. It would be great if they were a similar age if you don't plan on keeping pigs beyond these but it isn't a requirement for them getting along.

    You COULD keep him as a single pig but at 4 1/2 he probably still has a couple of years ahead of him and that can be lonely especially since he's always had a friend.

    You could also bond him with a baby. Those pairings generally go well as the original pig is always the boss. There WILL be a power struggle when the young one hits puberty however.

    Lastly, and personally I couldn't do this, but you could find a rescue or another family who is left with a single pig to take him and bond him with another pig.

    I have been left with a single pig three times in the last couple of years. I have been extremely fortunate in that introductions in my case always went extremely well.

    I do hope you have plenty of time left with your ill little one. It is so absolutely heart wrenching to watch them slip away.

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