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How do I stop feeling guilty?

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TwoPiggies

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Some of you will know that I joined back in August to get advice about my very ill piggie Bob. I had been back and forth to the vets since the April as Bob was making a grunting noise when breathing now and then, had slightly sticky eyes and runny nose. I saw a pretty rubbish vet the first two times who said the breathing was nothing and first gave me stuff for conjuntivitis then gave me vitamins the second time. I then went away on holiday and Bob had really deteriorated by the time I came back and I could see he was in severe respiratory distress so I went back to the vets and asked for a different vet who said he had a severe URI and gave me baytril. I saw no difference in the week and went back and was given septrin. Bob then had xrays and they told me it was pneumonia also at this stage Bob could no longer wheek. At this stage I joined this forum and possibility of heart condition came up. I went back to the vets with info off guinealynx but the vet was pretty reluctant saying that it was lung disease which all seemed a bit confusing. He said he could refer me to Edinburgh Uni Small Animal Hospital but would give me no medication for Bob that day if I went for the referral. So I decided to try a diuretic. Sadly Bob died the following day it was the most horrendous thing I have ever had to deal with yet the way it happened was by no means peaceful and I has hysterical.

What I feel so guilty about is that if it was URI/pneumonia that I caused this. Normally my piggies have a water bottle but in the February I went to stay at my parents due to a university placement (for ease of travel) and because me and the OH had hit a rocky patch. My mum has 2 free range house rabbits that drink from water bowls and when Bob and Sam got out for their floor time he loved drinking from the water bowl (he had become a big drinker when ill). By doing this he ended up getting a really wet chest all the time and I didn't really think at the time this could lead to a URI. I just wish I realised. His fur even fell out of his chest while I was away on holiday.

I am so angry at myself for letting him get so ill and not getting a referral to the specialist vets sooner. He hung on from April to the end of August and his breathing was very laboured....it looked like very hard work. The only thing I can take comfort in is that he continued to eat the whole time even the morning he died. What makes me feel worse was that Bob was a rescue pig and I am unsure of his age when I got him and by the sound of it he had a horrible wee life to start with. We guessed he was about 2 but he was only with us for 11months and for 3 of those months he was very ill. I just feel so awful and guilty all the time and still cry almost every day.

Bob was the best piggie ever he would fall asleep on my chest for hours and always let me know when he needed the loo....he was just soooo placid and just wish he had a better wee life :(

This is the longest post ever but I just keep blaming myself and cry all the time. Has anyone else ever felt this sense of guilt with any piggie?
 

Hanwombat

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Aww hun you tried your best.

Ive felt guilty plenty of time with guinea pigs. My first guinea pig Fudge had continue dentail problems, diarrhoea, anorexia etc and as I was new to them I kept listening to the vets who were just milking me for their money and kept trying to help him - but I really should of have him PTS or seen another vets and in the end the poor guy had some sort of fit or something and all this stuff was coming out of his nose - was horrible. I forever regret this and now I try my hardest to help my guinea pigs but if I feel their suffering I let them go to sleep.

I had another guinea pig named Basil who stopped eating and the vets were on about checking his bloods etc and I didnt want him to be prodded with needles so I put him to sleep as well as I felt he wasnt going to get better.
 

Wiebke

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You are a caring mum and you did act to the best of your knowledge at the time. We have all made mistakes along the way and learned from them - and sometimes the lessons have been hard ones! You cannot be an all knowing owner right from the start; it's a learning curve. You can only try your best at any given time and treat your pets all with the love and care you currently have.

Bob has taught you a lot about guinea pigs so you can look even better after them in the future. He had your love and gave you access to knowledge in turn. That is a very precious gift.

Many of us more experienced owners have at one point or another lost piggies to an illness/condition that we would have a better shot at treating successfully now.
 
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lily 74

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Hi,

It's not your fault, gin pigs go down hill very rapidly when they are ill and you took him to the vets several times. The vet if anyone should of diagnosed his condition the first time, you had all the faith in them and were powerless to do anything else:(

Please don't feel guilty it sounds like you did all you could possibly do
 

TwoPiggies

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I hate that some poor wee animal has to be the one that has to bear the brunt of my inexperience.

I know it was the same as my rabbits when I was a kid and now my rabbits live in pure luxury just so sad that the first didn't have the life they deserved.
 

Wiebke

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I hate that some poor wee animal has to be the one that has to bear the brunt of my inexperience.

I know it was the same as my rabbits when I was a kid and now my rabbits live in pure luxury just so sad that the first didn't have the life they deserved.
That said - URI can be very persisitent even with the best of care and treatment, and it can still kill even when your piggy is being seen by an expert immediately and treated appropriately. I don't think that Bob did lose out.

I shudder when I think at how confined guinea pigs were kept during my childhood - everybody did it, and amazingly, piggies led happy lives even then!
 

Hanwombat

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I agree. My guinea pig Fennel who I lost over a month ago died from a URI. I've got plenty of experience with these as I have a guinea pig who died about 4 years ago but kept on getting them and Fennel just didnt show his symptoms until he was too bad and even with me treating him he just gave up
 

doglovinpiggylover

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awwww hon, you got it bad haven't you.

Please don't beat yourself up, you know that everyone on here is going to say exactly the same just with different words.

What you did for Bob to help him recover was tremendous, and even if you feel it was down to the water thing in the first place the love and care and attention you gave him during his last few months totally outweighs that.

I understand the guilt thing completely as i had it with my pepmeister who died of a bladder stone **** in Aug, but a couple of months before that i lost my salt to pneumonia that had started as a uri type thing according to the vets and it went on for about 2 months, but he also had trouble breathing one particular day and it became too much for me and i decided there and then enough was enough and even though i wasn't anywhere near ready to lose my boy i let him go due to the struggle for him with breathing.

I felt no guilt with salt at all as i know he didnt suffer. Bizarre really that i felt the guilt with pepper when he had his bladder probs going on for months on end and we tried just about everything, but i think the fact that nothing made a difference and it went on so long i felt for a period that i had let it go on too long.

Time is a great healer sweetheart, that is all i can say to you and like others have said, you have gained so much knowledge with Bob and his episode that he will never ever be forgotten and you will know what to do next time.

Just be kind to yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for rescuing the little fella in the first place and think how many more you can help in the future.

Rip Bob, at peace now x

x>>
 

Hollipop_19

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First of all, R.I.P Bob :(

You shouldn't feel guilty, after all, you did your best as soon as you knew he was ill to make sure he had the best care avaliable.

I recently had a piggy die :(
Waffles was about 8 weeks old and she was living in an outdoor hutch with her mum, 2 other females and 3 other babies. As he was so skinny I decided to bring her indoors with another female, Merlin. Waffles was a really happy friendly pig but she just kept getting thinner. One night I got her out and she was sat on my chest but then she just started twitching, and then had a fit. I quickly got my mum in and she got a bottle of milk & water and started to feed her but she wouldn't latch on properly. She managed about 1mm of drink. She died a couple of hours later. It was only after she died that we realised that her teeth were so awful, the reason she was so skinny was because she couldn't eat. She had 1 top tooth and 3 bottom ones. I now feel so guilty and wish I realisd this before hand. :(
 

doglovinpiggylover

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First of all, R.I.P Bob :(

You shouldn't feel guilty, after all, you did your best as soon as you knew he was ill to make sure he had the best care avaliable.

I recently had a piggy die :(
Waffles was about 8 weeks old and she was living in an outdoor hutch with her mum, 2 other females and 3 other babies. As he was so skinny I decided to bring her indoors with another female, Merlin. Waffles was a really happy friendly pig but she just kept getting thinner. One night I got her out and she was sat on my chest but then she just started twitching, and then had a fit. I quickly got my mum in and she got a bottle of milk & water and started to feed her but she wouldn't latch on properly. She managed about 1mm of drink. She died a couple of hours later. It was only after she died that we realised that her teeth were so awful, the reason she was so skinny was because she couldn't eat. She had 1 top tooth and 3 bottom ones. I now feel so guilty and wish I realisd this before hand. :(
Awww thats sad too, poor love :(
 

hot fox

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There's no guarantee that even if you'd been there and been able to get him to the vets, even the specialist vet, that the outcome would have been any different. We lost Theo just one month after we adopted our first three. Now I know a huge amount more than I did then, his symptoms were so random I still don't think we could have changed anything. A vet did take a look and said he had an allergic reaction rather like an analphyactic (sorry I can't spell) shock, a possible reaction to a sting... I have NEVER EVER in my life cried so much. It was so sudden and shocking, I couldn't believe a small furry rodent could induce such a violent reaction in all of us. But it happens.
The biggest factor I've learnt is that these little guys can go down hill very rapidly and will do their best to hide their symptoms. So take comfort from the views on this thread and try to be kind to yourself. It's terrifically hard to handle, but you WILL feel better in time, you need to give yourself time to come to terms with what has happened and grieve for the little guy. You did your best. X x
 

Wiebke

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I have yet to meet a loving pet owner who is not wracked by feelings of guilt and the urge of finding what could have been done right/better when a pet dies! It is par for the course and a sign that you are taking your responsibilties serious.
 
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