At-home euthanasia?

Ginna Watson

Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:14 pm

Our 4-year-old female guinea pig, Truffle, just died from anorexia. The vet did surgery to remove a bladder stone and to check her teeth for possible malloclusion, but with no luck -- despite syringe feeding and watering, she died a week after the surgery. I decided not to have her euthanized, preferring to let her die peacefully at home, and gave her loving support and a peaceful environment. Unfortunately, she began to siezure as she was dying, and I panicked and took her to the vet to be put to sleep -- she died in the car on the way.

Now I feel terribly guilty that I didn't choose to euthanize her after realizing she was going to die. I liked the idea of a peaceful, natural death, but I'm haunted by the feeling that I let her suffer instead -- even though she hadn't shown signs of suffering until the siezures.

She was a tough "fighter" pig -- she lived for several weeks without eating or drinking, unlike her cage mate who died earlier this summer after only a day of not eating or drinking.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:52 pm

I understand many or most deaths have the siezures you describe. I do not know how painful it is.

I'm so sorry you lost Truffle. I know you will miss her.

User avatar
Cindy in MI
Supporter in '05

Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:40 pm

Ginna, I do not know this to be a fact but I do believe that the seizures are a part of the dying process in many cases. I believe that the animal is so far gone at that point that they are not really aware of what is happening and are not suffering - just a part of the body shutting down. I also think that in some cases the observed seizuring is actually the process of agonal breathing, which is part of the process. I've seen it in cats, guinea pigs and hamsters. No doubt, it can be a difficult thing to watch but I think that the part of the animal that is aware is already gone. So please don't beat yourself up over this.

I am sorry for your loss of Truffle.

Ginna Watson

Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:41 pm

Thanks for the info and understanding -- it helps.


User avatar

Post   » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:26 am

Ginna, don't kick yourself. If you had decided to euthanize, you'd have spent the rest of your life questioning if it was the right decision. Sadly, that's the nature of life and death. No decision like that can ever be black and white. I know she was a very special pig and occupies a special part of your heart.

User avatar
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:59 am

I've had a few pigs die at home, now, and seizing is fairly normal. It is traumatic to watch, but I agree with Cindy in MI that its not something they're aware of.

I am sorry for your loss.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:07 am

The first time I had a long-haired guinea pig. I loved it. It's a wonderful, grateful animals. I thought I would never be in a situation that I think is the end and we need to euthanize him.
However, Čupko (as we called him) was ill. At a time when we noticed that something was happening to him, and later noted that refusing food is a tumor with metastases in the epigastrium. Veterinarians were not optimistic, they gave him subcutaneous injections of painkillers. However, the pain stopped for about two hours and then continued.
Looking at it as a sufferer, I was thinking about the need to make life easier for him and sedate him. That was a painful experience. Did not survive two days on therapy, died last night.
I'm sad that he's gone.I believe that the human animal put to sleep if there is no chance of a cure, and thus relieve the pain. I have thought about it, for myself I would never leave an animal to suffer. It's their only advantage, they do not have to suffer.[/img]

Post Reply
27 posts