I know it's too late, my piggie passed away 3 days ago, but I can't stop thinking what was the REAL cause of her death, because it happened so quickly. I can't stop blaming myself and asking if I did something wrong, if the vets didn't do the right thing to help her...
A little pre-history:
I have 2 pigs, both females. October last year I moved to another city and left my pigs for a couple of months to be taken care of by my parents.
When I finally got home to take them with me ( in December) I've noticed one of my pigs (almost 5 years old) had lost weight. I could feel her bones.
Because she was eating and drinking and had no other sings of a serious illness, I just thought my parents didn't give them enough food. After the holidays I took my pigs to my new place with me and I kept an eye on her every day. She was even eating too much, always hungry, always wheeking, happy and playful.
Another 2 months with no sings of an illness.
Until 3 days ago... At 5 pm /Friday/ I gave the pigs some carrot, she was eating and wheeking for food and moving around the cage.
7 pm - I wanted to put some new hay when I saw her looking strange. She was laying on her right sight, couldn't stand on her feet. I grabbed her from the cage and saw her stomach was HUGE! I mean really huge and I noticed a big lump on her right side... I thought she had bloat...
I took her immediately to the vets. They did an X-ray and found 3 big masses / tumors/ inside her body.. I don't even remember where exactly where the tumors located because I was in a shock.. It seemed the masses were pushing the organs and that's why she was so swallen. 4 vets said there's nothing they could do, no operation possible because the masses were diffusive, big, because she was old,etc..
They gave her some pain medication and told me to observe if she's eating , pooing and drinking water.. and perhaps she could live some more if she is eating and so on... or if she is in a pain, I should consider putting her down.
I brought her home, put her in another cage with some towels around her... She couldn't stand on her feet, her eyes were blurry, almost shut...
Everything happened for about an hour and a half!
I held her in my arms and tried to handfeed her , but she didn't want! She was so lifeless.. When I finally felt that she was getting colder and colder I knew she was dying... She passed away 30 minutes after we got back from the vet. Perhaps peacefully, because I don't know if she was in pain!
I'm feeling so guilty and heartbroken... I still don't undestand how this could be possible - 2 hours before that she was eating and moving and everything seemed ok.
I hadn't seen any MASSES on her and she was not swallen, because a couple of days before I examined her whole body, clipped her nails,brushed her hair and so on...
Is it possible this tumors to get so huge in a couple of days?
What happened to my pig?!?
What was the real cause of her death? The vets didn't tell me she was dying right in this moment!
Have someone experienced anything similar?
Here's her X-rays photos if you want to take a look at them. I myself don't understand what's in the photos.
I know only a necropsy could reveal the real cause of her death, but anyways... I'm so confused and I can't seem to feel peace in my heart.
RIP, my baby girl! I miss you lots!
Here's my sweet little girl ...
I am so sorry for your lost. What was your piggies name? I am so glad she passed in your arms, what a comfort it was for her to have you holding her whilst she went from this world to the next. RIP wee one now in perfect health and running free forever young.
Did you weigh regular? Was she losing any hair? Was she passing blood? I hope you find the answers you seek and manage to find peace, as far as I can see you did everything a good piggy parent/ slave should do.
Hoping someone with more piggy knowledge will be able to help you. Sendig hugs and healing vibes to you and your remaining piggy. Who give lots of cuddles too till she had grieved the lost of her friend. She was gorgeous and such a sweet face.
I'm very sorry you lost her. I know how much it hurts.
It's very possible that the tumors were growing back when your parents were caring for your pig and that's why she was losing weight. Did the vet say what kind of tumor he/she suspected it to be? I know there are some lymphomas that grow very rapidly.
I had a beautiful American Eskimo dog that suddenly seemed more lethargic for a week. Then she stopped eating and I took her in. I wasn't really super concerned at the time, but the vet noticed her gums were pale and took her for an Xray. They found a huge lymphoma in her chest (so big that it was displacing her heart back several inches). They told me to put her down because they felt the tumor would be blocking her breathing in a few days (that's how fast they can grow).
It sounds like there was nothing more you could have done for your pig than what you did.
I am so sorry for you loss of your beautiful pig. WICharlie said it so well; I too suspect these tumors were growing when your parents were taking care of your pig. Sometimes you just don't know what is really wrong with them until the last minute.
Please do not beat yourself up over what has happened, perhaps you could learn from what happened; weight loss is usually the first sign something is wrong, although in your case even if your pig was taken to the vet when your parents had them, your vet may not have been able to find the cause of the weight loss.
If your pig could talk she would say that you gave her the best care, a lot of love, and more important peace and comfort in your arms during her final moments on earth.
Now she is in perfect health, munching hay to her hearts content, and making new friends to play with at the rainbow bridge.
Thank you so much for your kind words and support!
No, they didn't know what kind the tumors were, neither if they were malignant or not, but I suppose they were malignant because they were so much and so big, spreading all over her... I remember vet said something about one tumor pressing the liver, other the stomach... that's why the stomach was so big.
It's so sad because her friend misses her too. They didn't get along too well, often had little fights, but now when she's gone, my other pig seems depressed. She is laying in her house all day. The other night she even started squeeking so loud, she was definately "calling" her friend. It broke my heart again.
Perhaps I should get her a new friend, although I'm still not ready to take another pig.
I've read somewhere that cancer is not very common in guinea pigs. Is that correct?
Daisymay, no, no blood passing, no hair loss. Perhaps the only thing except the weight loss was too much water drinking. For the past 2-3 weeks , I noticed that she was drinking lots of water, but I never knew this could be a symptom of something serious.
When I told the vet about the water, she said that maybe one of the tumors was pressing the adrenal glands , or something like this, I don't quite remember much from that awful evening.
It sounds like your other pig is grieving for her friend, which makes the whole situation sad.
Perhaps until you are ready to get her a new friend, give her lots of attention, and maybe a stuffed animal (the ones that are sold for human babies) that she can cuddle with, may help. Also weigh her every day to watch for weight loss, and make sure she is eating, drinking and eliminating ok; you may have to handfeed if she is losing weight.
Don't beat yourself up. I lost my pig, Alan, to a tumour a couple of months ago and there was no tell tale signs until it was pretty much too late. They hide any discomfort REALLY well. Terrifyingly well.
He'd always had a very rounded tummy (he could look pregnant from certain angles if he'd just eaten) and I suspect now, looking back, that the tumour was why. He was also a chubby guy though. Only when he stopped eating despite being excited for food did I know something was wrong - his weight and behaviour were normal until then. It turns out, like your girl, his insides were being bent out of shape by the tumour and in his case it meant that food was getting backed up on its way to the stomach.
My vet told me that even if I been psychic and had gotten him diagnosed sooner, the only option would have been to try steroids to try to shrink the tumour a bit and make him more comfortable as its position made it far too dangerous to operate in his opinion. It sounds like the same case here. And steroids only work for so long, if at all.
Your pig was able to pass at home in a safe environment being held by someone who loved her. I would say that is the best you could have done.
i'm sorry you lost your little one.
I would not have guessed they could grow so quickly (would also have guessed bloat). I am so sorry you lost her. It sounds like there would have been nothing you could have done. You have our sympathy.
Like clairey, I had a pig develop a tumor, and by the time we found it, it was too late. I have no idea how fast it grew; I just know I took that pig to the emergency vet for an ear infection on a Sunday, and the vet found nothing more in the exam. Two weeks later, I found this pig bleeding from her rear end, and the vet was able to palpitate a huge mass in her uterus.
Sometimes a pig will go downhill within hours. I agree it is very hard to cope with a situation like that. I am so sorry you lost your sweet little girl so quickly.
We have a new pig. She's absolutely adorable! I named her Rosie.
From the pet store told me she is 2 months old / I know pet stores are not good, but in my country there are no rescues or shelters, so the only place where you can take a guinea pig from is from a pet store/
She seems younger to me,though. She only weights 170 grams. I saw something strange on her belly and when I brought her to the vet, they told me it's some particle from the navel string. It looks like a small wound with a scab. The vet told me it will fall down itself.
So, a part from the navel string means what? Perhaps 1 month old? I've never had so small pig...
When do you think it's a good idea to gather the new one with my other pig? The other is also a female. 2, 5 years old.
Here's Rosie... Somehow she reminds me of my precious pig that passed away...
Quarantine for at least two weeks in a separate cage, ideally in a separate room.
If your new baby is so young that the umbilical cord stump is still attached, then she was taken from her mother too soon, and you may have some nutritional issues to work out (ie she is not getting her mother's milk, and may need extra calcium...) But I am not familiar with the specifics on that.
ETA: she sure is a cutie. I ended up doing the same thing a year ago, when I lost a pig in her prime: went out and found another one of the exact same breed. Turned out he had a nearly identical coat pattern, too, and that was merely a happy coincidence, as I had no idea what he looked like when I arranged for the adoption.
She is awfully cute. I hope she has a good life with you. Read over www.guinealynx.info/diet.html to help her grow well.