I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this or not, but I'm just a wreck.
My beautiful Marlene died yesterday. She had been struggling with a UTI, then stomach issues after the antibiotic. I feel so much guilt thinking of the things I *should* have done that I'm a mess. I took her to the emergency vet on a Saturday when I noticed the blood in her urine and coming out of her vulva area. We did an x-ray, no stones and no obvious ovarian cysts. He also did an ultraound, nothing obvious or apparent and so he diagnosed it as a UTI. He prescribed her Baytril, no probiotics. The blood stopped, though her poo was a little runny. A week later, she had a follow up appointment at her usual vet who decided she should stay on the antibiotic for one more week. He also gave us Bene Bac which he told us to use every third day. He didn't mention her weight, she was still eating well and acted really spritely, playing with her toys, wheeking up a storm, acting ravenously hungry so I didn't really worry about it. I left her and her cage mate, Amy, with my parents over Thanksgiving and when I returned, I could tell she had lost weight. Added on that, I thought I saw blood in her urine again. So back to the vet again, this time my husband took her (I wish I had...). The doctor was concerned over her small poos and gave her Reglan. My husband mentioned just two days ago that the vet commented on her weight loss, but didn't tell us to do anything specific to help out besides the Reglan.
That was last Friday. Tuesday, we took in a urine sample when we finally caught it - we still don't have the results. Wednesday morning, she seemed fine, ate a carrot/cucumber and some lettuce. When I got home from work, she was terribly ill. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't come out of her home. I got on here and saw that I should feed her mashed up pellets and water using a syringe and so I did so all night Wednesday (even through the night) and the next morning (yesterday) she was unable to even lift her head. I rushed her to the vet and by the time we got there, she was laying on her side - dying. The vet said we should put her to sleep and so we did.
I am heartbroken. She was only 3 years old. I feel that I should have done more besides repeated vet visits. I should have feed her by hand, I should have weighed her, I should have researched all this before it was too late. But I didn't and my beautiful Marlene is gone. The doctor believes she had kidney disease and that we did all we could do, but I don't know.
I feel so guilty and now Amy is alone. I don't feel like I can even think of another pig after Marlene and the trauma that we went through with her. I'm not even sure if I should be allowed to get another pig given the fact I let Marlene down.
It all went so fast. A month ago, Marlene wasn't even sick.
- And got the T-shirt
But don't blame yourself. Your vet could have done a lot better with instructions to you. And please don't let that keep you from getting a buddy for Amy. She needs another pig, and it's no disrespect to Marlene if you get another. There are guinea pig rescues around you that would help you find a suitable friend for Amy.
Thank you for the info Lynx. I've begun reaching out to a couple of rescue organizations in the area. If you know of any in the Chapel Hill area in NC, please reach out to me. I weighed Amy for the first time (god I wish I had known to do that with them before) and she's a big girl (2lb 3oz)! I'll keep an eye on her.
Thanks for your kind words. I'm still feeling guilty, but with time I think our family will feel at peace.
Baytril is a very powerful, broad spectrum antibiotic and will absolutely wipe out a guinea pigs natural gut bacteria. I find it absolutely insane that vets prescribe it without at least informing about how probiotics will counter this.
Don't let the guilt get you down. When I first found guinealynx and read all the posts I felt like the worst person in the world. I was doing a million things wrong. The important thing to remember is that you loved her and truly wanted the best for her. Now she is free from all the pain, and she would probably want the same for her family.
It's also the reason I'm getting scared about a companion again for Amy. I can't imagine going through it again...