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General Guinea pig is suddenly sick and I am unsure why. Seizure maybe? Heart attack?

kk292

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Cavy Gazer
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Okay, so a little history here so we know what we are dealing with. I?ve owned guinea pigs for nearly 12 years. I am by no means an expert but I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what I?m doing. I took a few years off from Cavies and then decided I wanted some again. Enter my beautiful teddy pig and his two cage buddies who were your standard run of the mill pet store pigs. Introduced them properly and the whole nine yards. Came home one day a few months ago to find that one of them had died. He was laying on his side with his feet in the air and his mouth open. No idea what happened because he was was playing and eating and running around the night before. We wrote it off as a heart attack. I had had these guys for about a year and 4 months. They were all estimates to be somewhere around two when we got them. Now I have another situation. My pretty little teddy boy is not doing so hot. About an hour or so ago I was laying in my room and out of nowhere he started thrashing and screaming in his cage. I had full view of his cage mate (who was just quietly sitting in their flipped over house) so I knew it was just him by himself thrashing. At one point his rear even came above the plastic bottom of the cage. I walked over to look at him and saw he was in the exact position of the other pig that I had previously found dead a few months ago. I accidentally hit the cage with my foot and he popped back up and then laid back down but on all fours. So I decided to watch for a moment and he just kinda wobbled and shook for a bit and then flip/kicked his feet out from under him then laid back down. Being standard procedure for me in these situations, I got another cage and quarantined him. Before I got him in the cage though he had another thrashing episode but not quite as bad. After transferring cages I noticed he felt cold. Now he?s always been colder than the other pigs as his coat blocks me from feeling his temperature a bit. But this was an unnatural cold. Not a dead cold just unnatural. His breathing seems very labored and he makes noises when he?s breathing. I?m almost positive he?s not going to make it through the night and I don?t have anywhere I can take him at this time of night either. I?m observing him for now and he stirs every now and then and tries to get up but he?s super wobbly and acts like there?s something on his head (like the bucking thing they do when you pet their heads). I?ve noticed in the new cage he?s having intense shaking fits but no thrashing. I?ve made it as comfortable as I can for the poor little guy. He has no interest in food or water either. He also looks quite tired. My cat seems quite concerned too. She?s always observed never touched or frightened them (they actually frighten her) and she was trying to observe and comfort him once I moved him to another cage. She took time to go see the cagemate as well. I?ve discouraged her from bothering either one of them for now so now she?s taken to comforting me but she does seem to notice something is up. I have heard coughing in the cage for a while now but it didn?t sound sickly (I?ve had piggies with URI?s) and it was usually at dinner so I had chalked it up to them eating too fast. They would usually eat their veggies so quick they?d forget to breathe. But they have food available all the time. If he?d gotten sick any other time I would be able to take him to the vet but again I don?t think he?s even going to make it through the night. I?m used to my pigs getting the 24 hour death where out of nowhere they get sick, stop eating and drinking, lose fur and die all within 24 hours. It?s usually the pet store pigs who get that too. I don?t think that?s what this is though and I?m going to be observing him as long as I can stay awake. I hoping maybe this can shed some light on what is happening and maybe provide me some closure. Thank you all
 

kk292

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Cavy Gazer
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Jul 21, 2018
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Joined
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UPDATE: so now that I’ve moved him I got a better idea of what the thrashing is. He’s death rolling?? He shakes and freaks out and then continually rolls over into a corner and whines and squeals. It seems very uncomfortable if not painful for him. I will keep updating as I see anything else. Also his eyes are dusty. Not crusty but they just have dirt and dust it looks like he hasn’t blinked out.
 

kk292

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Cavy Gazer
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UPDATE: He has past on. One last pretty big and violent seizure and he’s gone. He gave a few gasping exhales at the end and was biting at the air but he’s gone now and at least he isn’t suffering. I’m sad but I will be okay. I would still appreciate some closure on what this possibly was though.
 

Snugglybutt

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May 21, 2018
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Oh no! I'm so sorry for your loss. Is there a vet/school that takes in deceased pets and determines cause of death? The biology department at my school accepts pets from the community and offers this service for free as long as they can keep the body.
 
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