I'm not sure if this is the right board to post this on, but here we are I guess. This morning I had to put down my guinea pig (F, 4ish years old), Pancake, at the vet. She had been ill for a couple months, but this morning she was urinating blood and in pain. They found out that she had large bladder stones and, due to her age and weight loss, determined that it would be crueler to go through with a surgery than to put her down. I'm honestly so heartbroken and miss her so SO much already.
I'm worried about her cage mate, who is also a 4 y/o female (Philly) and has been with her since they were born. I don't think she understands that Pancake is not coming back yet, but I know in time she will come to her own understanding. I know guinea pigs tend to mourn each other and I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how I can help her through or what to expect. She is a nervous pig and doesn't really like to be touched (that's what happens after being stuck in Petco for a year, :( ), so I don't know if cuddles would be helpful or stressful. I also don't know if I should get her a new companion in a month or so. I don't want her to be lonely, but I also don't want her to reject a new cage mate.
Finally, I just have a quick note of what I learned (and I'm sure many of you already know) from this awful experience. I went into my vet (after doing some research on them) a few months ago to ask them to look at Pancake's butt, which was swollen and had an ulcer at the time. I thought it might be bladder stones, but since it was so infected at that point, the vet's did not think so. We put her on antibiotics and that cleared up the infection and ulcer really well! We went back a few times because the swelling didnt completely go down and the vet told me to keep her on the antibiotics. Up until this morning, that was the treatment (along with washing her butt since it was pretty urine covered). Had I followed my gut and asked for the X-Rays at that first visit *just in case* it was bladder stones, maybe they wouldn't have been so bad and she could have had a little longer to live (though, probably not). I just want to say, that if you think that your guinea pig MIGHT have bladder stones, it doesn't hurt to insist on the xray (if you can afford it).
Anyway, any advice, words of comfort, etc would be appreciated. I really miss my little Pancake...
- Supporter in 2018
At any rate, don't beat yourself up. You gave her an excellent home, I'm sure, and will provide Philly with one for the rest of her days. As Lynx said, you might consider finding her another companion.
Hang in there. Warm hugs coming to you.
Rest in peace, little Pancake. There are lots of other guinea pigs (4 of my own - watch out for Scatter. He's a big guy and loves to play leap frog. If he lands on you, he'll squash you flatter than a - well, a pancake, hahaha) waiting to play at the Rainbow Bridge with you and share the bountiful food.
I still miss Pancake horribly and will always have her in my heart. I hope she is in a better place and am at least glad that she's not in any more pain...I still tear up when I think about what my Dad said to her before we let her go. He told her she would finally get to see her mom again and her family...I really hope she did.
Also, I'm still hopeful that things will pan out without it, but has anyone tried the "buddy baths" thing? Is it worth a shot if they end up really going at it on Thursday? I feel like this is already so stressful for both of them, I'd feel kinda bad bringing a bath into the mix. :/
This is (a bit obviously) my first time introducing two pigs to each other, so I definitely appreciate any more advice... and thank you for the help so far!!!
- And got the T-shirt
Also, before you put them in the cage, you can put a tiny, tiny drop of vanilla on each nose. It'll take a little while to wear off, and in the meantime, they'll both smell exactly the same.
Don't rush the introductions. Do it in a large neutral area at a time when you've got hours to give to it. The last time I introduced pigs, it was 11 hours before I felt comfortable leaving them. However, that was an introduction of a pair to a single, and two of them were very dominant pigs. It doesn't usually take that long, but I always plan intros for a day when I've got nothing else I've got to do.
- Supporter in 2018
Something I think made all the difference for all 5, was they shared the floor-time space so had everyone's scent everywhere. Even after I adopted VB, she was allowed to run in the big cage so she was also used to their scents. I still had the problems with Fuzz when putting all 3 into the big cage together at the same time.
No real fights or arguments. The all agreed Peek was top pig (neutered male no less!).