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Is it time to put him down?

juliab

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Hello! I have a three-year-old guinea pig that has been having breathing problems recently. He was inbred (which we learned after adopting him) so he has always had quite a few issues (polydactyly, excess nail-like material behind ears, on the nose, and on the soles of his feet). However, I have been able to keep up with all of this and it proved to not be much of an issue. But, every Winter he gets a cold. It normally goes away within a week and I just run a steam shower for him and sit in the bathroom with him for a bit to help unclog his nose. This year it turned into a respiratory infection (it has lasted for months and he keeps getting the little eye crusties)and it just won't go away no matter what we do. We were going to bring him to the vet, but he has two decently large tumors (one under his nipple and the other on his side). We decided from the very beginning that we were just going to try to make him comfortable for as long as he has left because he has so much health stuff going on already and we know inbred piggies don't usually live as long. The tumors don't seem to hurt him, although he doesn't like when we touch the one around his nipple. He is still eating a lot, he has not lost any weight, and he still likes to explore around the house so we figured it wasn't time to put him down. The past two days his breathing got a lot better to the point that we had passed because you can normally hear his little breaths from the next room. But then today, it got a lot worse and it's very labored and his heartbeat feels pretty quick. I can tell that he is congested and has a lot of snot up there because it sounds almost crunchy when he breathes, but the steam showers aren't working that well anymore and I don't know what else we can do to help him. I don't want him to suffer which is why I am so conflicted. He is such a happy piggie and I just can't tell if it's time to let him go. I would really appreciate any insight you guys can offer and any tips you might have on possibly helping him to breathe better.
 

Piggies&buns

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I'm sorry to hear he is poorly.
What medications have been given the respiratory infection? (guinea pigs don’t get colds)
What has the vet said about his tumours?
Ultimately his vet is the best person to guide you on his health issues and what the prognosis is.
 

Spaghetti & Noodles

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I can't offer any real advice, I would only say to trust your gut instinct, your vet should help you make a clinical decision but you know and love your boy best so follow what feels right to you. X
 

juliab

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I'm sorry to hear he is poorly.
What medications have been given the respiratory infection? (guinea pigs don’t get colds)
What has the vet said about his tumours?
Ultimately his vet is the best person to guide you on his health issues and what the prognosis is.
With the respiratory infections in the past, the vet always saw him afterwards because it would go away pretty quickly and never needed medicine. It always just sort of fixed itself. However, we discovered the tumors in early covid when pretty much everything was shut down and we weren’t able to make an appointment and they grew to a point where we decided to just make him comfortable and to not stress him out with going to the vet (we decided no surgery because we knew his life expectancy isn’t as long). They haven’t grown much since then and don’t bother him but when the respiratory infection started up again we decided to stick by our decision to just make him comfortable and to not stress him out any more than he needs to be, especially since we wouldn’t be able to go into the vets office with him to keep him calm
 

Merab's Slave

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I can only echo the advice given already.
So sorry that you are facing such a difficult situation.
Holding you in my heart
 

Wiebke

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Hello! I have a three-year-old guinea pig that has been having breathing problems recently. He was inbred (which we learned after adopting him) so he has always had quite a few issues (polydactyly, excess nail-like material behind ears, on the nose, and on the soles of his feet). However, I have been able to keep up with all of this and it proved to not be much of an issue. But, every Winter he gets a cold. It normally goes away within a week and I just run a steam shower for him and sit in the bathroom with him for a bit to help unclog his nose. This year it turned into a respiratory infection (it has lasted for months and he keeps getting the little eye crusties)and it just won't go away no matter what we do. We were going to bring him to the vet, but he has two decently large tumors (one under his nipple and the other on his side). We decided from the very beginning that we were just going to try to make him comfortable for as long as he has left because he has so much health stuff going on already and we know inbred piggies don't usually live as long. The tumors don't seem to hurt him, although he doesn't like when we touch the one around his nipple. He is still eating a lot, he has not lost any weight, and he still likes to explore around the house so we figured it wasn't time to put him down. The past two days his breathing got a lot better to the point that we had passed because you can normally hear his little breaths from the next room. But then today, it got a lot worse and it's very labored and his heartbeat feels pretty quick. I can tell that he is congested and has a lot of snot up there because it sounds almost crunchy when he breathes, but the steam showers aren't working that well anymore and I don't know what else we can do to help him. I don't want him to suffer which is why I am so conflicted. He is such a happy piggie and I just can't tell if it's time to let him go. I would really appreciate any insight you guys can offer and any tips you might have on possibly helping him to breathe better.
Hi!

Please contact your vet asap. Unfortunately, we cannot help you by guessing based on the filter of your own guesses without a hands-on examination (not that we are qualified to replace a vet).
You may want to ask your vet for mucus-thinning bisolvon powder in the hope of clearing the snot and easing the breathing.

Please also weigh daily and step in with feeding support if needed.

You may find the information in these two links here helpful; they discuss in detail the line between when you can still help (and what you can do) and when the line has likely been crossed.
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs
 

juliab

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Hi!

Please contact your vet asap. Unfortunately, we cannot help you by guessing based on the filter of your own guesses without a hands-on examination (not that we are qualified to replace a vet).
You may want to ask your vet for mucus-thinning bisolvon powder in the hope of clearing the snot and easing the breathing.

Please also weigh daily and step in with feeding support if nedded

You may find the information in these two links here helpful; they discuss in detail the line between when you can still help (and what you can do) and when the line has likely been crossed.
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs
Thank you so much, this was actually really helpful!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much, this was actually really helpful!
I am glad that I have been able to help you in this most difficult time. I can't give you the easy answers and assurances that you are craving but I can at least give you information that will help you whichever way things turn out.
 
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