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Feeling guilty about my guinea pig's death

MaryKou

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My 3 and a half years old guinea pig, named Koui, just passed away in my arms.
For 5 months now she had a problem with her foot, most likely a pododermatitis. But here in Greece, we don't have specialized vets for guinea pigs. Most of them actually no nothing about their health care. I took her to 3 different vets but nobody knew what to do, they gave me plenty of antibiotics and foot creams, but nothing worked.
The last couple of days I noticed that she wasn't eating or drinking water. Then I noticed that when moving, she was actually crawling. I took her to the vet, but of course nothing.
I fed her with a syringe and she had it happily and drunk some water all by herself. The next morning she was much worse. Her body was cold, her eyes half closed, she wouldn't even eat the lettuce. I was supposed to go to a new vet but I couldn't find him, so I just kept Koui in my arms all day covered in a blanket and kept petting her. I tried to feed her again but she wouldn't take it at all.
After many hours, while I was holding her I realized that she wasn't breathing anymore.

I can't help but feel guilty, so so guilty. If I had noticed earlier that she wasn't eating and fed her with the syringe, maybe she would be here with me right now. I don't think I'll ever get over this feeling, I feel like I just let her die..
 

Siikibam

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So sorry for your loss. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you feel you can’t do anything for your piggy.

I think by the time they refuse syringe feeds it’s time, so you shouldn’t feel bad. I’m prey the vets couldn’t help you either.

You were with her in her last moments and that truly counts - she was loved. Take care of yourself and please try and stop blaming yourself. You did the best you could with the resources you had ❣
 

Wiebke

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My 3 and a half years old guinea pig, named Koui, just passed away in my arms.
For 5 months now she had a problem with her foot, most likely a pododermatitis. But here in Greece, we don't have specialized vets for guinea pigs. Most of them actually no nothing about their health care. I took her to 3 different vets but nobody knew what to do, they gave me plenty of antibiotics and foot creams, but nothing worked.
The last couple of days I noticed that she wasn't eating or drinking water. Then I noticed that when moving, she was actually crawling. I took her to the vet, but of course nothing.
I fed her with a syringe and she had it happily and drunk some water all by herself. The next morning she was much worse. Her body was cold, her eyes half closed, she wouldn't even eat the lettuce. I was supposed to go to a new vet but I couldn't find him, so I just kept Koui in my arms all day covered in a blanket and kept petting her. I tried to feed her again but she wouldn't take it at all.
After many hours, while I was holding her I realized that she wasn't breathing anymore.

I can't help but feel guilty, so so guilty. If I had noticed earlier that she wasn't eating and fed her with the syringe, maybe she would be here with me right now. I don't think I'll ever get over this feeling, I feel like I just let her die..
Hi!

HUGS

The first encounter with death can be a rather frightening experience!

Please do not feel guilty! When your girl stopped eating and drinking, her body had already started to close down and she was in the process of dying and no longer able to process any food.
Cold guinea pigs have icy feet and cold ears but still a warm body. If a guinea pig is feeling cold to the touch then the blood circulation is no longer working. Multiple organ failure is the natural way of dying and it is a lot more physical and slower than people who have never experienced death before would assume. Gently drifting away in one's sleep is RARE.
From what you are saying, your girl has had one of the more gentler passings and you have kept her warm and comfortable throughout the whole period, so you have done the right thing. A vet would not have been able to help once the body has started to close down; she was already a piggy that was coming to the end of her life anyway. :(
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment (the last chapter deals with piggies going into multiple organ failure so you can put your experiences hopefully into more of a perspective)

Feelings of guilt are typical for the onset of the grieving process, so what you are going through now is not a reflection of failure but an expression of you being a caring and loving owner.
Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children

Looking After a Bereaved Guinea Pig (if you have a piggy companion to look after)
 

Swissgreys

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Be kind to yourself.
Your piggy was clearly very loved and you did an amazing job caring for her and getting her the best treatment you could.
She died knowing she was loved. :hug:
 

VickiA

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I’m so sorry. You clearly loved and cared for her and did all that you could. Be gentle with yourself as you grieve. The “what ifs” are part of the grieving process, I’m afraid. Don’t let the end spoil your memories of the lovely time you had together.
 

piggieminder

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I am so sorry. Please don't blame yourself, you did all you could for her and she had a wonderful life full of love with you.
 
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