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Hi, I'm Tisha. =]


Cavy Slave
May 7, 2012
My name is Tisha and I own an orange white crested piggy named Lawrence. He's at least 4 years old -I say this because his age was never confirmed, all I can tell was that he seemed full grown when I rescued him and no one has ever been able to determine his true age. Anyway, I've had him for over 3 years now and both my husband and I love him terribly.

My joining for this community is bitter sweet. Lawrence has been having some health problems. One morning, last week, my husband noticed he wasn't eating and seemed sluggish and wasn't pooping solid. Knowing how fast a guinea pig's health can turn in one night, I made an appointment with a guinea pig specialist for the same day. The vet discovered he had an infected mammary tumor on one of his breasts. She prescribed some pain medicine, antibiotics and a dietary supplement meant for piggies in critical care. She told me if he wasn't better with this regimen by next Thursday, then he would not survive surgery and would have to be euthanized.

For 3 days he barely improved. My husband and I were a wreck. Even the thought of potentially losing Lawrence scared us terribly. I knew a guinea pigs life span is generally at the minimum of 4 years but I wasn't ready to say goodbye - not without a fighting chance. Which is why I don't care what the costs are as far as surgery and treatment.

Even though since last night his appetite, energy and personality have all completely returned and he seems like he is in fact able to have surgery - I still cry at the thought I might lose my little man. I'm still scared the vet might find something that would determine he was still unfit to go under and have this awful tumor removed. Or worse - him attempting surgery and not surviving from complications somehow. The stress is making me think of so many worst case scenarios and I hate it.This would totally devastate me considering he seems like his old self again.

Anyway, I've browsed these forums for a couple years now - on and off and felt like I should finally make an account for moral support. During my grieving ups and downs these last few days I realized non-piggy owners just don't get it. People who have never had rodents just think that's all they are and that is far from the case when it comes to cavies. I've cried about this with close friends and family members and some people make me feel stupid for paying for treatment and feeling this way at all and I hate it. They don't get how anyone can love something that isn't a cat or a dog like a family member. The only person I have to talk to is my husband but he's trying so hard to stay strong and I hate when I make him upset when I start crying.

If you have a similar story - please share, I would love to hear.

Or if anyone has any tips and tricks of anything else I can do for him until he sees his doctor again on Thursday, please share as well.

I apologize for the length - and thank you!
Hi and welcome. I really do not have anything to add, but just wanted to say hi and tell that while I can not offer any advice I have a willing ear.
Thank you - I appreciate that. :)
Welcome to the forum -- I'm sorry it's under such stressful circumstances but you sound like an adoring piggy mom and Lawrence is lucky to have you caring for him. One of our piggies, Picckalo, is a special needs pig and requires a lot more medical care than the other three. We've been lucky that most of our friends and family either agree with or at least understand why we adore our piggies so much, but we definitely meet people who don't understand why we'd pay money to help one of them. Why not just go out and get a new one? Ugh.

Picckalo has bonded most strongly with my husband, so when he has to get something done my husband is always a wreck. For what it's worth, it helps me and my husband both for us to talk about when we are stressed about one of the piggies. I had to let him know that he didn't need to put on a brave face about it, especially with Picckalo. Everyone here will certainly understand!

I hope it goes well and we're sending prayers and lots of encouraging Wheeeeeks from the piggies for Lawrence to do well in the surgery and be stronger after and for you to have at least another four years together!
I'm so glad Lawrence seems to be improving to the point where he'll be able to have the surgery. You're among people here who fully understand just how precious piggies really are. My husband and I were both basket cases when Mufasa died after only 15 days (we have two new piggies now), so I can't even imagine the prospect of losing your little buddy when you've had him over three years. Here's hoping this will all have a happy ending.
Thank you :)

It's nice to find a place so welcoming with people so understanding.
Welcome, Tisha. My recommendation would be to be sure that your vet specializes in exotics. There are a lot of dog and cat vets that will treat guinea pigs but aren't experts at treating them. Some antibiotics are dangerous for guinea pigs and performing surgery on them is more challenging since they are so much smaller than dogs and cats. I'm sending lots of positive thoughts for your little guy.
Thanks - and she is. The office is more specifically a small mammal avian office and she's been in the area for over 10 years with a ton of cavy and rabbit experience.
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