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Guinea pig died 1st day home

Doodleloo

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Hi there, I'm new here. We adopted our first guinea pig yesterday from a friend of a friend who was too sick to take care of her guinea pig anymore. I researched the hell out of guinea pig ownership and was so prepared. The guinea pig came with all her stuff, her own cage, food, little hut. I only bought a hay feeder and food bowl, some chew sticks (which she didn't touch), and then made her fleece bedding from clean fleece. She was in rough-ish condition when we got her, her nails were overgrown and curled and I believe her teeth were overgrown as well. I trimmed her nails and gave her a bath (the previous owner told me to) and she seemed fine! She didn't eat since we brought her home. My 4 year old fell in LOVE with her. She would just sit on his lap and seemed very calm being held. She was not manhandled at all and was supervised the entire time. Last night after I gave her fleece bedding she burrowed under and got cozy, and this morning I found her there dead. The household is heartbroken.
I am going to adopt a new pig (or 2 if they are bonded) from the SPCA. It's the only thing keeping my 4 year old from a break down, he is so sad to lose her. Yesterday he said, "She is the most magic baby girl in the world!"
So I am here to ask, do you think she was already sick and the move was enough stress to do her in? Is there something I did that I should not have done? I don't want to repeat mistakes and hurt any guinea pigs. I am going to disinfect everything like a mad man before another one takes up residence.
Thanks in advance for the help.
 

Wiebke

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Hi there, I'm new here. We adopted our first guinea pig yesterday from a friend of a friend who was too sick to take care of her guinea pig anymore. I researched the hell out of guinea pig ownership and was so prepared. The guinea pig came with all her stuff, her own cage, food, little hut. I only bought a hay feeder and food bowl, some chew sticks (which she didn't touch), and then made her fleece bedding from clean fleece. She was in rough-ish condition when we got her, her nails were overgrown and curled and I believe her teeth were overgrown as well. I trimmed her nails and gave her a bath (the previous owner told me to) and she seemed fine! She didn't eat since we brought her home. My 4 year old fell in LOVE with her. She would just sit on his lap and seemed very calm being held. She was not manhandled at all and was supervised the entire time. Last night after I gave her fleece bedding she burrowed under and got cozy, and this morning I found her there dead. The household is heartbroken.
I am going to adopt a new pig (or 2 if they are bonded) from the SPCA. It's the only thing keeping my 4 year old from a break down, he is so sad to lose her. Yesterday he said, "She is the most magic baby girl in the world!"
So I am here to ask, do you think she was already sick and the move was enough stress to do her in? Is there something I did that I should not have done? I don't want to repeat mistakes and hurt any guinea pigs. I am going to disinfect everything like a mad man before another one takes up residence.
Thanks in advance for the help.

Hi!

I am very sorry; but overgrown teeth are a death sentence if they are not seen by a vet promptly - they keep growing very quickly if they are no longer being ground down evenly by the very abrasive silica in the grass hay or fresh grass, which should make around 80% of the daily food intake. The premolars at the back form spurs that bridge and trap the tongue or more rarely burrow into the walls of the cheek. This causes the normally self-sharpening front to no longer meet and to overgrow, too. :(

Not your fault at all so please don't feel guilty, just sad that you couldn't take over in time to save her life.
The piggy was very quiet because she was likely already very lethargic from lack of food and most likely sadly already dying. :(
You are welcome to post a tribute in our Rainbow Bridge section if you feel that it helps your child.
Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children

Please do not keep single piggies; they are group animals and are not wired to live on their own! Sadly 16 years on, Switzerland is still the only country in which it is against the law to sell, adopt or keep any group animals as singles, including explicitly guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Facts - An Overview
Companionship
Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?

Here is our New Owners guide collection link, which you may want to bookmark and use as a very helpful resource, which specifically addresses all the areas we get the most questions and concerns about. it also contains family guides as well as help in learning to understand guinea pig behaviour, make friends with them (including a spot of piggy whispering), learning what is normal and not, weekly health monitoring and how to spot illness early on plus of course the usual care, diet, housing and enrichment guides. Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Bill & Ted

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Oh I’m so sorry for you x
It sounds like this piggie had major health issues especially if she had overgrown teeth, as this impacts on their ability to eat enough food to survive which in turn them effects their gut flora, at that point it can be a very fast downhill decline. I would say do get two Bonded piggies as they are social animals and don’t thrive on their own.
Looking forward to seeing your new little ones soon x
 

LMPigs

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This is very sad for you all.

I think Wiebke has given you all the important advice above, but do come back with any questions and to let us know when you get your new pets as well.
 

EJMA82

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Oh gosh so sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was already past the point of recovery. Don’t be hard on yourself. Definitely adopt more piggies, this forum is a massive fountain of information. Welcome 😊.
 

Doodleloo

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Wow thank you all so much. I am so glad I'm part of this community now! Thank you Wiebke for that information and advice, especially about needing more than one. So 2 it is! I just feel so bad for that poor girl. I'm glad she's not suffering anymore but I sure wish we could have made her better.
I look forward to coming back here once we have our new babies. We're just waiting on the SPCA to call us. Thank you all again so very much for your replies.
 

VickiA

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I’m sorry for your sudden loss. It sounds like she was in bad shape so please don’t feel as if it was anything you did. Good luck in your plan to adopt a pair of piggies. Please let us see photos when you’ve allowed new arrivals to settle in.
 

artcasper

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Aww what an awful shock for you and your family. I agree, she was probably very poorly before you got her and if her teeth were in a bad way :(
Great that you are going to adopt a pair, they must have a friend to 'talk to'.... Good luck and look forward to seeing the photos once they are with you.
 

Merab's Slave

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Welcome to the forum.
So sorry for your loss - what a horrible thing to experience.
The Rainbow Bridge thread is a place where you can post a tribute to your piggy.
I know you only only had her briefly but she sounds as if she had already made her place in your hearts.
Be gentle with yourselves as you grieve
 

Swissgreys

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Wow thank you all so much. I am so glad I'm part of this community now! Thank you Wiebke for that information and advice, especially about needing more than one. So 2 it is! I just feel so bad for that poor girl. I'm glad she's not suffering anymore but I sure wish we could have made her better.
I look forward to coming back here once we have our new babies. We're just waiting on the SPCA to call us. Thank you all again so very much for your replies.
You did everything you could.
And take comfort from the fact that your guinea pig knew love and kindness and a clean, safe home before she died.
 

Freela

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I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds as though she was in rough shape when you took her in... overgrown teeth in guinea pigs is a serious problem an the fact that she seemed so calm was probably lethargy from being sick. Don't blame yourself, you did nothing wrong here.

I can't add anything to Wiebke's excellent advice, except to give you my condolences and say that I hope your next experience with guinea pigs is a much happier one!
 
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