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Weight Loss When to choose euthanasia?


New Member
Cavy Gazer
Jun 12, 2023
My beloved Puff came to our home on July 2021 after being rescued in Texas from a hoarding situation and was brought all the way to New Jersey with his brother Cocoa. At the time they were already adults about 1-2 yrs old.

We noticed that Puff was covered on a foul odor drool. On May 30 we took him to the vet. He prescribed Enroflacin .5ml twice a day for 21 days. I've also been feeding him Oxbow Critical Care 2-3 times a day via syringe. Along with 1g BenBac every 3days. Plenty of water via syringe. Plus I leave hay, pellets and veggies on his cage but he's barely eating those. I also separated him from his brother, who is a big fat bully.

On 5/29 he was 29.40oz and now he's 26.98 oz. Also he has begun dragging his back legs and barely stands. He doesn't make any noises, his breathing is normal, he loves eating from the syringe. I have noticed some of his pee is pink and his poops are big clumps.
Yesterday he was covered in the foul smell again. I'm not sure if it is drool or pee.

He loves being held, petted and purrs as he has always done before.
I'm a disable, single mom on a fixed income and can't spend huge amounts of money on the vet.
I'm just not sure if I should continue caring for him or put him down. I don't know if he's in pain or miserable.
It's a tough choice to make. 😭


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I feel absolutely horrible for you and for your pigs, having to make this decision.

I understand not having the money to take him to the vet. And please don't feel like I'm lecturing you, I am not. Part of having a pet is being able to take them to the vet when medical needs arise. There is definitely something wrong with him, and he NEEDS to see a vet. If you are unable to take him, you can try finding a rescue that you can surrender him to that will see to his medical needs. The more time passes, the less likely he is to recover. I would definitely supplement him with additional vitamin C, to see if it helps with his back legs. The benebac you should be giving him 1-2 hours after EVERY dose of antibiotic, not every three days.

That said, if you cannot bear to let him go (I also understand this) then you can use the Journey scale for measuring quality of life.

This will tell you what you need to know when considering euthanasia. I do feel as though if you read this, you will come to the same conclusion.

Only you know your pigs best. It is your responsibility as a piggie parent to provide what they need. Again, it isn't a lecture. I have been in your situation many years ago. I had no choice but to choose euthanasia, and ten years later it still breaks my heart.

I wish you good luck, and I truly do hope your beloved Puff comes out of this a winner. Please, keep us posted on how he's doing.
I wouldn't give up on him yet. While the weight loss isn't good, it's also not life threatening.

But some of the symptoms you describe can be signs of a vitamin C deficiency. I'd try treating for that first before I made any decisions about putting him down.

You can get some liquid vitamin C, Oasis Vita-Drops brand. You want to give him about 100 mg. per day for about a week, then cut back to about 35-40 mg. per day. I don't know what the current strength of the preparation is, but it used to be that 10 drops contained about 25 mg, so you'd need 40 drops.

Don't put it in the water bottle even if the instructions say to do that. Liquid vitamin C degrades almost immediately in the presence of light, and within an hour or so all you'll have is funny tasting water. You can dilute it with something he likes to drink and syringe it to him, and that way he'll be sure to get it all. My pigs adored watermelon juice to flavor things with, but they'd also take it with orange juice. Just add the vitamin C and a bit of flavoring to about 5-6 cc of water and give it to him.

The other thing is that a foul odor drool is often caused by a tooth problem. Did the vet check his teeth at all? It may be that he's taking an antibiotic that he doesn't need, and that's what's upsetting his stomach. And @Guinea Pig Papa is right that you should be giving the Bene-Bac about an hour after every dose of antibiotic. Once every three days isn't going to help much, if at all.

Good luck with him, and keep us posted.
Weight loss in pets can be a concerning symptom that may indicate underlying health issues. However, it's important to note that weight loss alone may not be a sole indicator for choosing euthanasia. The decision to euthanize a pet is a complex and personal one, and it should be made in consultation with a veterinarian who can assess the overall health and well-being of the animal.

If a pet is experiencing significant and unexplained weight loss, it's crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly. A veterinarian can perform a thorough examination, run diagnostic tests, and determine the underlying cause of the weight loss. Some potential reasons for weight loss in pets include medical conditions, dental issues, parasites, cancer, organ failure, or chronic illnesses.
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