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Diarrhea Vet concern- resulting in loss of my Guinea pig

nwright

New Member
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Dec 4, 2023
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Dec 4, 2023
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Hi Guinea Pig Friends,
I’m in need of some support. I feel as though the recent death of my Guinea pig could have been prevented and am not sure what I should do. Should I let the vet know, or should I just do nothing?

I brought one of my pigs in to an Emergency vet hospital where students work and veterinarians oversee their work. Since this was at night 2 students were working on my pig. My piggy was having diarrhea and wasn’t interested in food or water. He was slightly lethargic but still on all 4s, looking around, curious, and cuddly. He was still on all 4s when we arrived and looking around.

Nearly 4 hours after I brought my pig in, they came back with an extravagant plan for what we suspected as GI stasis and possible dental issues. They wanted to sedate him, do bloodwork, float a feces sample, give him X-rays, and keep him for 2 days.

I asked if they could just give him medication for GI stasis, that way I could take him home, and then do a follow up. They claimed at that point he was still stable and went to check whether I could take him home. They came back to tell me that my piggy was fine & that they would give him meropitant and subcutaneous fluids. After giving him the medication they brought out my pig, critical care, Gabapentin and Meloxican for pain.

I got him home and noticed he looked even worse than when I brought him in. He was falling over, wouldn’t move, and was cold. In hindsight i should have taken him back in, but they said he was fine and I’d already paid almost $400 for the visit. I heated blankets up in a dryer sat in front of a heater, gave him the first dose of pain medicine as recommended, snd he died ab hour after being home.

I feel like if they would have given him fluids immediately, or had they checked his status before discharging him, this would have been prevented.

I loved this pig fiercely. He greeted me with morning kisses, he talked all the time, he was funny, he rearranged his cage, he was a great cuddler, and best pal I could ask for. He wasn’t even 2 years old yet. I also just lost a friend 2 weeks ago to cancer, so it feels tremendously painful.

Do I have the right to be upset with the cart the vets gave my Guinea pig?
 

4boipigs

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Feb 12, 2021
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If you're concerned about the care, it would be fair to call the ER, inform them your pet passed away, and see if you can discuss your concerns with the vet or someone else like a practice manager. Be kind and don't let grief overtake you during the call.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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My sincerest condolences for your loss.

I completely understand your grief, having lost one of my boys suddenly two months ago. Sometimes, there is no answer. Obviously I have no first hand knowledge of your situation. What I CAN say is that guinea pigs can, and almost always do, go downhill very, very quickly. Oftentimes, when we finally realize there's a problem very little can be done.

In his case what happened, if he went downhill that quickly, was likely something that couldn't be prevented. That said, they should not have told you that he was fine. Personally I would have had the x-rays done at a minimum, as that could have painted a much clearer picture if it was stasis.

As @4boipigs suggested, you can definitely call and have a conversation. But don't let grief overrun you. I also share in your losses to cancer, as both my stepmother in June and my sister in November were both taken by the big C.

Guinea pig medicine is nowhere near as advanced as it is for cats and dogs but there are things that can be done. That said, sometimes there just isn't an answer. While I understand that is of no comfort, I hope you find some in the fact that you gave him the best two years he could have possibly had.
 

Squiggles

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So sorry for your loss, but like Guinea Pig Papa said, sometimes there is no answer, and as we who love our animals and want to do everything we can, we feel helpless.

I had a guy that passed the end of November. For two years, he was losing weight, way faster than what he should have, and even the exotic vet had no clue. Someone in the community of guinealynx told me their story, and recommended I put him on thryoid medication, so I did. It worked for a few months, being on 0.1, because the dose was unsure, and then he began to fall again. He had reached back to 900g then fell, plummeted, actually, to the 670s.

I took him to the city with a specialist, and finally his thyroid came up. On a scale of 0.1- 1.3, he was a 6.0. A 6. I changed the dose with this vet, and he did well for a while. In October, the plummet began again, but this time, adjusting the dose, didn't help. He was doing well, aside from the rapid weight loss and as he dropped, his stools became smaller.

In his last 48 hours, he went from eating everything to nothing. They can be perfectly fine, and then out of nowhere, they can go straight downhill. Once he stopped eating, even the syringe feeding of the Emeraid, I knew I had to let him go. I took him to the ER to send him on his next journey, but I didn't have to. He started to twitch and then died in my arms as I signed the papers.

They are such fragile creatures, and I'm sure you did everything you can. I told you this story because I want you to understand that there's no need to feel guilty. I did. I was angry at the previous vets that they hadn't found this earlier, but pigs can hide their illness for so long.

I debated if i wanted to take him to another vet, to find maybe another medication, even within those 48 critical hours where he showed me he was slowly going, but I knew I couldn't do it and I had to let him go. He made the choice for me when I was up against the difficult one.

Your buddy knows you loved him and tried everything to keep him with you.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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