Maybe the sunlight was only there for part of the day and you haven't been able to see that because you are gone at work for that part.
Not trying to lay blame, just help you think.
Did you have frozen water bottles for the pigs to lay next to? Some people do this and wrap them in socks for the pigs.
- Partners in Crime
I am absolutely to blame. That's the saddest part of this story - it IS my fault & I have to live with that. I KNEW the heat was going to break records that day - it was all over the radio. I made the decision not to go home to check on them during the day. It was a mistake, but it was absolutely my fault & I will never forgive myself.
No frozen bottles. No cotton to get off the fleece. Nothing! :(
I want to tell you that this post certainly has raised my awareness about guinea pigs tolerating heat.
I am in NY state and the last two days we have close to 90 degree temps. That is very atypical for this area at this time of the year. It was a big jump in temperature...we went from the 70s the days before way up to 90.
My guinea pigs were feeling the heat yesterday...they were all sprawled out and drank way more water than is normal. I made up frozen water bottles and put them in the cages.
They did rest near the bottles for some of the day.
Seeing how they reacted to the heat, combined with reading your story, I have decided that I am going to buy air conditioners for their rooms to help them stay cool.
Maybe 10% of the deck had sun, the rest is in pretty deep shade from the roof built over it.
The pigs spent time pancaked in the sun! Like, they'd go over there and sprawl in it in close proximity to another pig just to stay in the sun. (I have boars, so this is Not Done.)
I also assumed that they were smart enough to get OUT of the sun, but I really dont know now.
Poor CJ (my PEW) had purple ears and a slightly elevated temp when I finally removed him after 20min. He was not pleased to be picked up from his nap and probed with a thermometer.
I re fenced the deck to exclude the sun.
I am wondering if your pigs fell asleep in a sun patch, or wanted to bask in a sun patch and just didn't move. Mine sure as heck weren't about to move today.
Don't beat yourself up too much. There's so much that's out of our control, even when we provide the best care.
I'm glad to hear all of your pigs recovered. Sometimes I have to move my boys out of the room they are in because when it gets hot the room is ridiculously warm.
It was an accident.
- Supporter in '11
Your post has reminded me to do something I've been doing whenever we have heatwaves in our area. I've been posting on the Pets section of craigslist heat warnings for piggies and telling people what to do to avoid problems - including the frozen water bottles etc. I've had lots of people thank me. Not everyone knows to even look for information on heat problems. It's something other people may want to think about doing for their area. Hopefully a copy of my old post is still around.
- Cavies 'n Cobwebs
Lynx beat me to it!
Also a note to UK owners or others in more temperate climates. Just because the temperatures may not reach those of elsewhere in the world doesn't mean your pigs can die from heat stress. If the temperature and/or humidity rises much over what they are used to, your pigs can still suffer. Heat stroke deaths still happen if housed inside or out and sudden rises in temperature are not something piggies are built to cope with.
Earlier this year Thistle Cavies have already had to help in dealing with 2 piggies with heatstroke rushed in as an emergency. Sadly it was too late for one an the other died shortly after.
- Sewing for a Cause
Perhaps this could benifit you and others, something I started doing last year when we first moved here. It would get up to 80-82(F) in the pigs room for 3-4 hours of the day. Since we don't use the other half of the apartment during those times it was senseless turning on the A/C at that time, and I didn't have many of the quart or gallon ziplocks left I usually put under stools.
Instead I frozen sheets of water in cookie pans and rectangle cake pans and put them in huge ziplock bags. The 4 gallon bags are great if you can find them as two cookie sheets of ice will lay in them and it's not all lumpy for the pigs to walk on like ice cubes. Then I slip them under the Cage Blankets so they lay on the coroplast. The bags are insulated by the coro and blankets so they do last a good 8 hours for us and the pigs can sprawl out anywhere on them without getting freeze burned skin.
Thanks for the idea.
- Partners in Crime
My heart sank when I saw the post about the heat coming. I am on pins and needles, praying I never see another story like mine.
Thank you all very much.
PS. Cavyhouse: What a wonderful thing you do for them. What does your ad say? Maybe I could post one in San Diego in Bucky's name!
- Cavies 'n Cobwebs
Sounds like a good idea putting a warning up in Bucky's memory. :·)