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Behavior Guinea Pig Dealing with Death

PeetaNewtAce

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Oct 29, 2013
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Hi everyone-
Yesterday one of my two guinea pigs passed away. They were not cage mates, and on the rare occasion (such as I took them both outside to play in the yard) they would interact without being in separate cages. Their cages were connected, and they usually "talked", but never really played outside the cage much. Despite this, I feel as though my surviving guinea pig is dealing with depression. I connected the two cages together so that Ace, my living guinea pig, could have a much larger area to play and run, because he'll be alone for a while (haven't decided if I wanted to get a new one once I feel I'm ready or to wait until I finished college). For the most part, he has been acting like himself, running around, hopping when I give him food or hay, squeaking to me, but he has been staying in Newt's (my guinea pig that passed) side of the cage for a while since I combined the two cages, and he has been sleeping in Newt's old hut a lot. I don't know if it's just curiosity or he knows that Newt is gone (I let them say goodbye to one another). He also just laid down when I let him out for his free floor time. I'm not sure what to think. Any ideas?
 

korryn92

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Firstly, I am very sorry for you loss. It is very hard to loose a pet because they are part of the family. Since I have no kids yet I tend to think of mine as my babies.

I also have a pig dealing with the loss of his friend. I had 2 boars who were cage mates when one passed away because of a stone that ended up getting lodged in his urethra and the vet was not able to save him even with her best efforts. My guinea pig seems to be eating and drinking fine. Before I changed the fleece out of the cage that had his friends scent on it he wasn't himself. He would lay in his friends favorite spots and barely play. After I changed out the fleece he seems to be doing better. He doesn't play as much, but it is to be expected since he has nobody to play with. He still gets excited for cuddles and veggies like usual.

He has been becoming more himself as time passes. He even popcorned a couple of times today. I would try and maybe stay to the regular routine maybe, I read that helps somewhere but can't remember. I stuck to the regular feeding schedule and cleaning schedule that Oreo is used to. I make sure to give him cuddles. I made him a teddy bear to cuddle with if he wants to when he is in the cage but he hasn't used it much.

I would just give him some time to mourn, just like a human needs time to mourn so do our pets. If you haven't changed the bedding I would do that too because that helped Oreo quite a bit. If you did then maybe take out the hut you passed away piggy had to help not have as much of his scent in there to remind the healthy one of his passing so his feelings can heal. I even switched the pigloo out to one that my passed away pig hadn't used in a long time to minimize his scent in the cage.

Just make sure you keep an eye on him with eating and drinking. My vet made sure to ask that question to see how Oreo was doing with the death of his friend because sometimes they get so depressed they just don't feel like doing anything. So give him some time, maybe limit the passed away pigs scent from the cage and play areas, and show lots of affection. Piggies need cuddles anyways, and it might even help you feel better too.

I am getting mine a new cage mate because he has never lived in a cage by himself and I know he would become depressed eventually and I want my Oreo to be happy. Just remember if you do get another pig, you are not replacing the passed away one so don't feel bad because you are looking out for you alive pig and I think his friend would be happy that his friend is happy.

I hope you are able to feel better soon, losing a pet is very hard. (((hugs)))
 

PeetaNewtAce

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Thank you, this helped a lot. I'll have to wait a few days before I get paid to change the bedding though. He has been acting normal, drinking normally and eating normally for the most part (to be honest, I have been preoccupied with myself dealing with Newt's death), but I have been spending time with him today and last night as well. He seems to be doing fine, but was sleeping in Newt's igloo. I'm not sure if he misses him or is just interested in having the new space, because they didn't live together, but in cages next to one another. I'll just have to see how it goes for the next week or so to make any set conclusions. Thank you again for your advice and for the hug!
 

korryn92

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
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Joined
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Messages
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Glad I could help :) One good thing came from my piggies death, I can help people help their piggies recover from the loss.

Hope you and your piggie are able to heal quickly :) I find cuddling with my live guinea pig when i get sad helps, he always cheers me up.
 

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