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CJayyPiggyGuide

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After losing a battle with my almost 3-year-old skinny pig (Hairless guinea pig) to dermatitis that went into the bones, I had decided to get a baby hairless guinea pig to keep my almost 2-year-old guy, company. I had taken the new baby guinea pig I named Phelix, to the vet. His penis had gotten stuck on the outside despite cleaning and lubrication, so I decided I needed some help with him. The vet had prescribed him meloxicam at .12 ml (the smallest dose I’ve ever had to give) for the swelling of his penis. I had given it to him just before going to bed, and when I woke up a bit early in the morning I noticed none of the veggie I left had been eaten. I lifted his house and he was already stiff cold, and quite frankly put, dead. I’m fairly sure he had a heart attack from the meloxicam, as I had actually given it to him the night after the vet visit, and not on the prescribed date of which he was totally 100% fine for. The vet has never in the history of me owning guinea pigs and giving them this medication, warn me about the heart attack risk. I guess this is a PSA of some kind to say meloxicam does have a chance of giving your guinea pig a heart attack. I only had Phelix for 4 days, so it was super devastating to find him passed. The breeder I got him from said I. could grab another one with no additional charge as it was such a fluke accident.
 

Piggies&buns

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I am sorry for your loss.
We can only guess as to what happened, but my initial thought would be an underlying health condition and not anything to do with the meloxicom at all.
 

PigglePuggle

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Very sorry for your loss, but meloxicam is perfectly safe for guinea pigs and indeed many other animals, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
Please be aware when posting such one-off coincidences that all forum posts are publicly visible, and although we are sorry your piggy died, we really would not want anyone to think meloxicam was not safe or stop giving it if an animal is in pain and the vet has prescribed it- it is an incredibly safe medicine, and having been on the forum for 2 years and heard of thousands of guinea pigs receiving meloxicam, you are the first and only person to ever suggest that it may not be safe.
We must always think when posting on the forum what an inexperienced person may conclude after a quick google search and reading only 1 or 2 posts, and meloxicam is generally very safe, well tolerated, and after many large scale published veterinary research studies is now "on label" as an approved guinea pig medicine.
 

Betsy

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I am sorry for your loss.
We can only guess as to what happened, but my initial thought would be an underlying health condition and not anything to do with the meloxicom at all.
That is my initial thought too as I have a piggie on long term Meloxicam and he's been on it for over a year.
 

Wiebke

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After losing a battle with my almost 3-year-old skinny pig (Hairless guinea pig) to dermatitis that went into the bones, I had decided to get a baby hairless guinea pig to keep my almost 2-year-old guy, company. I had taken the new baby guinea pig I named Phelix, to the vet. His penis had gotten stuck on the outside despite cleaning and lubrication, so I decided I needed some help with him. The vet had prescribed him meloxicam at .12 ml (the smallest dose I’ve ever had to give) for the swelling of his penis. I had given it to him just before going to bed, and when I woke up a bit early in the morning I noticed none of the veggie I left had been eaten. I lifted his house and he was already stiff cold, and quite frankly put, dead. I’m fairly sure he had a heart attack from the meloxicam, as I had actually given it to him the night after the vet visit, and not on the prescribed date of which he was totally 100% fine for. The vet has never in the history of me owning guinea pigs and giving them this medication, warn me about the heart attack risk. I guess this is a PSA of some kind to say meloxicam does have a chance of giving your guinea pig a heart attack. I only had Phelix for 4 days, so it was super devastating to find him passed. The breeder I got him from said I. could grab another one with no additional charge as it was such a fluke accident.

Hi!

I am very sorry for your loss but please be reassured that the meloxicam/metacam is not the cause of the death; especially not at such a low dose as to be bordering on ineffective in the case of cat metacam strength.
It is totally normal for your mind to desperately cast around in an attempt to make sense after a sudden and unforeseeable death and it is very normal to latch onto the first thing that is out of the usual; especially if it is anything you have done or given or if it is a specific symptom or medication. We are wired to seek any fault first and foremost in ourselves and our own actions.

It is much more likely that a highly bred piggy like your boy may have come with an underlying genetic condition (heart?) that would have been triggered by the added stress from the change to his life, the vet visit etc. but it would have been very much a lit fuse that would have gone off sooner or later anyway. Death in young newly acquired piggies is sadly not all that rare. :(
Unfortunately only a post mortem examination at the vets may perhaps give you the answer you crave. But rest assured that it is nothing you could have known, could have prevented or have done to cause the death.

You may find this guide here helpful as you struggle to cope with a larger dose of guilt/failure than is usual for the onset of the grieving process due to the circumstances: Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
 

Little Ones

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I’d definitely say it wasn’t the Meloxicam. One of my pigs has been on the incredible dose of 1.4ml twice a day with no adverse reactions. It’s simply an anti-inflammatory and pain relief. It’s highly likely there were underlying problems which caused this. Pigs are very good at masking illnesses. Or that there was something wrong genetically, which is possible considering you bought from a breeder whose aim is to sell more rather than care about any health problems. This is one reason why we advocate against using breeders on this forum.
Meloxicam is so important for guinea pigs who are poorly as they need the pain relief. The idea that they cause a heart attack is based on no evidence at all. So many people on this forum use this medication and never had a problem.
Either way, I’m very sorry for you loss. I wouldn’t recommend taking the replacement guinea pig from the breeder though. Go to a local rescue and have them bond your remaining pig with a new pig, if they offer dating. That was you can ensure they will like each other, too.
 

CJayyPiggyGuide

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Hi!

I am very sorry for your loss but please be reassured that the meloxicam/metacam is not the cause of the death; especially not at such a low dose as to be bordering on ineffective in the case of cat metacam strength.
It is totally normal for your mind to desperately cast around in an attempt to make sense after a sudden and unforeseeable death and it is very normal to latch onto the first thing that is out of the usual; especially if it is anything you have done or given or if it is a specific symptom or medication. We are wired to seek any fault first and foremost in ourselves and our own actions.

It is much more likely that a highly bred piggy like your boy may have come with an underlying genetic condition (heart?) that would have been triggered by the added stress from the change to his life, the vet visit etc. but it would have been very much a lit fuse that would have gone off sooner or later anyway. Death in young newly acquired piggies is sadly not all that rare. :(
Unfortunately only a post mortem examination at the vets may perhaps give you the answer you crave. But rest assured that it is nothing you could have known, could have prevented or have done to cause the death.

You may find this guide here helpful as you struggle to cope with a larger dose of guilt/failure than is usual for the onset of the grieving process due to the circumstances: Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
I’m fairly sure it was a heart attack, as meloxicam in humans alike causing increased risk. Additionally, he was fine on the Friday I brought him home from the vet when I didn’t give him the medication. I gave it to him Saturday when I got home, and I’m fairly sure he passed a couple hours directly after the medication. I phoned the vet and she did say it does have a chance of giving pigs a heart attack, but it rarely rarely happens.
 

CJayyPiggyGuide

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I’d definitely say it wasn’t the Meloxicam. One of my pigs has been on the incredible dose of 1.4ml twice a day with no adverse reactions. It’s simply an anti-inflammatory and pain relief. It’s highly likely there were underlying problems which caused this. Pigs are very good at masking illnesses. Or that there was something wrong genetically, which is possible considering you bought from a breeder whose aim is to sell more rather than care about any health problems. This is one reason why we advocate against using breeders on this forum.
Meloxicam is so important for guinea pigs who are poorly as they need the pain relief. The idea that they cause a heart attack is based on no evidence at all. So many people on this forum use this medication and never had a problem.
Either way, I’m very sorry for you loss. I wouldn’t recommend taking the replacement guinea pig from the breeder though. Go to a local rescue and have them bond your remaining pig with a new pig, if they offer dating. That was you can ensure they will like each other, too.
We don’t have any local rescues who carry rodents. The only time we have ever had guinea pigs at the spca was a pre-bonded pair, but both my boys at the time were happy and healthy. For the medication though it’s a rare chance it causes heart attack, but my veterinarian did say it was most likely a fluke reaction to it, as heart attack from meloxicam can and does happen. It’s the only pain killer/anti inflammatory they have available for guinea pigs here though. Meloxicam in humans alike increases heart attack risk. I didn’t say in the thread, but he was prescribed it for Friday, but I had given it to him on Saturday where I’m fairly certain he died just hours after giving it to him, because he was already stiff and cold when I found him passed. I have used it in my other guy several times as a much higher dose, but certain guinea pigs are just susceptible.
 
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