Loss of a piggie in the herd

Darcey15

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This evening we lost one of my piggies. She has been poorly and to the vets with UTI so just started antibiotics & metacam. Brought her inside to keep an eye on her but this evening she started fitting and died very quickly.
Shocked is an understatement but as I brought her inside and the herd are in the shed they are non the wiser.
My question is should I take her to the shed so that the others know she has passed? I have done this before with pairs but I dont know if there will be any impact on the herd dynamic or what the best thing to do is. The others (5 of them) are all fine.
Advice very welcome.
 

Swissgreys

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I am so sorry for your loss.
It is never easy, but it sounds like you did everything you could and her passing was quick.

I would definitely take the body outside and let your other piggies see it.
They all react differently, but I feel it is important that they know and can say goodbye.

In my limited experience usually 15 - 20 minutes i enough time to leave her with them.
But of course others may have different opinions.
 

Darcey15

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I am so sorry for your loss.
It is never easy, but it sounds like you did everything you could and her passing was quick.

I would definitely take the body outside and let your other piggies see it.
They all react differently, but I feel it is important that they know and can say goodbye.

In my limited experience usually 15 - 20 minutes i enough time to leave her with them.
But of course others may have different opinions.
Ok - thankyou for your reply. I'll take her down there now. Feels like the right thing to do albeit not a very nice feeling at all 😥
 

Merab's Slave

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When Merab died in surgery I brought her home and placed her in the cage with her 3 cage mates.
After a brief sniff they all took themselves to other end of the cage.
It seems to depend on the piggies how long they need.

I was expecting Jemimah and Priscilla to tussle for top pig position but to my surprise they decided to share the role.
They do seem to know how to sort out their own hierarchy.

So very sorry for your loss.
Be gentle with yourself as you grieve.
Holding you in my heart
 

Darcey15

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When Merab died in surgery I brought her home and placed her in the cage with her 3 cage mates.
After a brief sniff they all took themselves to other end of the cage.
It seems to depend on the piggies how long they need.

I was expecting Jemimah and Priscilla to tussle for top pig position but to my surprise they decided to share the role.
They do seem to know how to sort out their own hierarchy.

So very sorry for your loss.
Be gentle with yourself as you grieve.
Holding you in my heart
Thankyou very much for that ❤
 

Siikibam

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I’m sorry for your loss. The quick ones are the worst. Take good care of yourself and I hope you can find some comfort in your herd.
 

Darcey15

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Thankyou for your kindness.

I have just come back after around 30 mins with them all. Laid her down and each one came over to see her. They were walking all over her, licking her (even her eyes & ears) and tugging at her hair. One of them sat on top of her for a good 10 mins. They then proceeded to eat my snowboot laces & climb my legs which is a sign they want feeding so i took her away, fed them and put warm snugglesafes in. Feels nice to have done that & eased the shock a bit.
 

Wiebke

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This evening we lost one of my piggies. She has been poorly and to the vets with UTI so just started antibiotics & metacam. Brought her inside to keep an eye on her but this evening she started fitting and died very quickly.
Shocked is an understatement but as I brought her inside and the herd are in the shed they are non the wiser.
My question is should I take her to the shed so that the others know she has passed? I have done this before with pairs but I dont know if there will be any impact on the herd dynamic or what the best thing to do is. The others (5 of them) are all fine.
Advice very welcome.
Hi!

I am very sorry for you loss. It is likely something underlying that caused the UTI symptoms but what you report is typical for the body closing down. It can sometimes happen with frightening suddenness and speed. :(
Fitting is pretty common for the very last stages when oxygen deprivation hits the body; your piggy is thankfully by then pretty much out of it and it is harder to watch. Somebody has called this stage 'running to the Rainbow Bridge'.

After a sudden death, please show the body to the herd so they'll know and can take their leave; you don't have to leave the body for very long - it can get a whole range of different or no reaction at all.
When a piggy dies slowly, they will often remove themselves from the group as best as they can in a cage situation. The group will take their leave beforehand and will keep an eye on procedings from afar. In this case, don't be upset if there is not much of a reaction as the leave taking has in essence already happened.

You can find more information on the dying process, what you can do for bereaved piggies and for yourself during and in the wake of a death in the guides in this link here. They will perhaps help you being able to answer some questions of yours. Unfortunately with a post mortem examination by your vet the biggest question of all, what has caused her death, cannot be answered and may never be answered.
Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
 

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So sorry you lost one of your herd, sending hugs x
Sleep tight little one 🌈
 

Darcey15

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Thankyou all for your kind comments and to @Wiebke for your comprehensive reply especially about the fitting. I have never experienced that before and certainly wasn't prepared. It was quite something to watch the herd react to her. Clara sat on top of her with front legs outstretched over her for a good while.
Roma has been buried now next to Domino & Lightning so we all feel a bit better. Thanks again x
 
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