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Heart Failure

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Junior Guinea Pig
Apr 8, 2012
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I did post this in the early hours of this morning but due to a forum error my thread was lost.
So i am writing it all out again!

Two weeks ago today I opened my girl piggies' playhouse to find that Ruby had suddenly and unexpectedly
passed away. I was in complete shock as she had shown no clinical signs of being poorly; I was lost for emotion,
it was horrible. :(

I phoned up my amazing vet (John Chitty) as soon as they opened and asked the receptionist to get him to contact me
asap. He phoned be back shortly after and said to bring Ruby in straight away and that he would do a post mortem for me.
I am so grateful to have such a great vet. So we dropped Ruby off for her post mortem and just over an hour and half later; I
received a call back from John.

The PM revealed that Ruby had an enlarged heart with fluid on her heart, resulting in her passing away from heart failure.
I just could not understand how there were no signs that she was unwell, she was very healthy - well she appeared to be just fine.
Ruby had a hernia for the past year and half which we closely kept an eye on and got checked every now and then to see if all was well.
She was quite a big chunky girl too, at her heaviest she was 1.4kg but at the time when she was died she was 1.35kg; she hadn't lost any weight or anything.
She was always heaviest in the summer what with all the grass and dandelions she ate!

I found out the other day that Ruby actually passed away on the day of/around her third birthday. I did not exactly know the date as our friends who we got them
from conviniently forgot their date of births. Obviously now I am pro rescue and only adopt piggies from rescues but at the time I was not aware of rescues. I also
found out from the 'friends' that Ruby's mum passed away at a similar age to what they believe was a heart related condition. So it could well of been a hereditary
condition maybe? who knows :(

I have Ruby's half sister and her half brother, so i am hoping that it isn't hereditary as I can't bare to go through the same thing again. Luckily Daisy and Jasper had a
different mum to Ruby but they apparently shared the same dad? their dad is still alive and is about 6/7 so i am hoping that they too will live long happy healthy lives.
I cannot believe that Ruby has gone, she was so lovely.

Here are some pictures of my gorgeous girl; who was taken far too soon.

Ruby - 1/12/2011 - 1/12/2014




I am very sorry for your loss! Acute heart failure in apparently healthy guinea pigs is sadly not all that rare. I have lost two even younger piggies to this, and it has come as a bad shock each time. :(

It is quite difficult to diagnose heart problems as not all conditions will show symptoms, nor will they react to heart meds. Some heart problems can come from inbreeding or indiscriminate breeding.

Ruby was a gorgeous golden girl! I hope that her siblings will live longer.

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet, beautiful little girl. Huge hugs at this sad time.

Sleep well little one

RIP Ruby
x x
I'm really sorry. Let me know if you would like details of the symptoms to look out for with her siblings, I have 6 heart pigs.
I'm really sorry. Let me know if you would like details of the symptoms to look out for with her siblings, I have 6 heart pigs.

Thanks, Although I know what the symptoms are, have been researching it online (guinea lynx etc). I've had two bunnies who had heart disease so am quite familar with picking up on things. Ruby literally had no symptoms, it was very sudden and unexpected :( I would of noticed if there was a symptom. Luckily I think the other pigs will be just fine, well I hope so anyway :(
I'm so sorry- what a shock, she was a beautiful girl! A friend of mine also recently lost a healthy-appearing pig to what was probably heart failure (though she didn't have the autopsy to confirm.) ((HUGS)) to you!
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's always an extra shock when they are so young and healthy. Sleep tight little one x x
I am rarely thankful for Fergie's heart problems but, compared to what you had to go through, I am grateful that we know about his illness & can intervene to a certain degree. What an awful situation for you. It's situations like yours that make me think about having Fergie's brother Bumble x-rayed to see if he also has a heart defect. At my local vet, it only costs about £40 & it'll put my mind at rest although I have to balance that against the risk of him having a GA. Just a thought. Your girl was beautiful, I'm sorry you lost her.
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