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My Guinea Pig Died Very Suddenly And Disturbingly?

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Katy Felix

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i used to have two piggies, Maxy and cocoa. Maxy sadly died last night... he was fine only four hours earlier, popcorning, running and eating. Then I went to give him and coco bean their dinner, and he was lying in his pigloo. I scooped him up, and he was still alive. I cuddled him in a towel, but then he squeaked and kicked so I lay him down on my lap and he liked it more. He could still kick and move, but he couldn't get up. I lifted him up but he flopped back on his side, the same side and he couldn't go on the other side. He kicked, twitched, and convulsed for a long time, and we couldn't get him to a vet, beacaue ir was Sunday and our emergency vet (the only one within two hours' drive) doesn't treat small animals! I called for my mum and she said there was nothing we could do :,( she eventually said she would take him to get put to sleep. She said I couldn't come, and I didn't think I'd be able to handle it either. So he was quietly eased out of his pain, but why did he die? He was healthy, nothing stressful happened... he kicked the whole time.. was he in pain? Please answer :(
 

Guineapigfeet

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*hugs* I'm so sorry.
I'm afraid I can't say what it might have been other than a stroke maybe which can happen with no warning and I really can't answer the worst question. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can shed some light on what may have happened, but without a postmortem it will all be guesses.
 

Wiebke

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i used to have two piggies, Maxy and cocoa. Maxy sadly died last night... he was fine only four hours earlier, popcorning, running and eating. Then I went to give him and coco bean their dinner, and he was lying in his pigloo. I scooped him up, and he was still alive. I cuddled him in a towel, but then he squeaked and kicked so I lay him down on my lap and he liked it more. He could still kick and move, but he couldn't get up. I lifted him up but he flopped back on his side, the same side and he couldn't go on the other side. He kicked, twitched, and convulsed for a long time, and we couldn't get him to a vet, beacaue ir was Sunday and our emergency vet (the only one within two hours' drive) doesn't treat small animals! I called for my mum and she said there was nothing we could do :,( she eventually said she would take him to get put to sleep. She said I couldn't come, and I didn't think I'd be able to handle it either. So he was quietly eased out of his pain, but why did he die? He was healthy, nothing stressful happened... he kicked the whole time.. was he in pain? Please answer :(
I am so very sorry; it is very upsetting when a piggy dies unexpectedly because you are always left with these massive questions. Unfortunately, without an expensive post mortem by a vet, you will never know what exactly caused his death. It is good that your mum took him to be put to sleep, as we was obviously in some amount of discomfort. But it is impossible to tell how much was reflex and how much was pain as his body was breaking down.
Guinea pigs can unfortunately die very suddenly and unexpectedly at any age. Most often, it is a heart attack or a stroke (which is what could have happened with your boy); but other stuff can happen, too, like with humans. :(

BIG HUGS

Please don't beat yourself up - you have done what you could, and that is all that is required of you. You DID sit with him and tried to comfort him, and you enquired about the vet. It was very brave of you, as sitting with somebody who is in possibly in pain and dying takes courage. By doing so, he could feed off your love for him.
It is just your bad luck that it was a weekend. If it is any consolation to you, any vet would have recommended to have your boy put to sleep anyway, just perhaps a little bit sooner as you could have got there quicker, but in the big scheme of things, he didn't suffer for too long, so please don't feel guilty and bad about it. Things are never quite straight forward when an emergency happens - and it usually happens at the most inconvenient time.

Feeling like you have failed your boy and asking why are very much things that we all go through at the onset of the grieving process for a beloved pet that has died unexpectedly. It is the other side of the same coin that is love and responsibility, and it very much speaks of what a caring piggy mummy you are!

If you struggle with your thoughts of your precious boy fitting and struggling, please start a diary. Write down you feelings, but also write down your precious memories, as and when they come; just little snippets of the things you shared, quirks or special experiences. This will hopefully help you to work out your bad memories, but by remembering also the good things, you will hopefully gain your boy back to have a place in your heart forever that is not tainted, but filled with love and the joy of having had him in your life and having filled the time he had with you with love. You can never control how long you have a beloved pet or person in your life, but you can make the time you have had with them matter. As you are a caring person, there must be surely lots of things that have mattered in your boy's life!

If ever or whenever it feels right for you, you are welcome to post a tribute in our Rainbow Bridge section to share your special memories and pictures with us. Just to let you know that it is there for those who would like to make use of it and that there is a place you can share with people who understand what you are going through.

If your boy has a companion, here are tips as to what you can do for him: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
 

Katy Felix

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Thank you so much. Your replies really are helping me feel a lot better. I am very glad that you say the vet would have suggested it anyway, I was really upset. His buddy, Coco, is a little down, but he understood what happened. Thank you guys so much.
 

Liane

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I am very sorry for your loss. It can be very distressing to see a piggy die in this way, especially if it's the first time. Sometimes piggies die unexpectedly and we don't always know why. A stroke is the most likely cause in this instance, and there's absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent it. From my own personal experience of witnessing the passing of seven of my Guinea pigs, what you describe seems very much like an involuntary reflex and/or muscular spasm, and while it is distressing to see, I don't believe your little boy will have been aware of what was happening, and was already beyond even the best veterinary care. There's literally nothing else you could have done for him, I'm so sorry.

Take comfort in the fact that he was happy in the lead up to his passing, and that you did right by allowing your Mum to take him to be put to sleep.
 

Freela

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I'm really sorry for your loss! Unfortunately small animals can get sick and pass very quickly... without a postmortem it's going to impossible to know for sure, but since it was so quick a sudden heart attack or stroke might be possible. They can happen suddenly at any age. It really seems as though you did everything you could, and I really don't think a vet visit earlier would have made any difference. ((HUGS)) to you, and again I'm so sorry.
 

Katy Felix

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I'm really sorry for your loss! Unfortunately small animals can get sick and pass very quickly... without a postmortem it's going to impossible to know for sure, but since it was so quick a sudden heart attack or stroke might be possible. They can happen suddenly at any age. It really seems as though you did everything you could, and I really don't think a vet visit earlier would have made any difference. ((HUGS)) to you, and again I'm so sorry.
Thank you.. I will never forget him. This site is helping me tremendously.
 
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