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New guinea pig died suddenly

Jerry&Todd04

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Hello, I am new to the forum and am sadly here as I got my two guinea pigs- Ben and Jerry- on Sunday. Sadly, this morning I woke up to Ben dead on the floor. I am devastated and have not stopped wondering how this could have happened. They are on the science selective guinea pig pellets, have constant hay and have gotten fresh veggies every morning since they came. The night before Ben died they got one tomato, quarter of a corn on the cob and some slices of bell pepper. I did get him from a pet shop, as I could not find any in any rescues, so I am wondering if it was just bad breeding? Though he was in the shop for about a month, so why did he die when he came to us?
His brother is very sad over this and has not come out of his hide. I will be getting him a new friend on saturday as I don’t want him to be left alone, but i would like to prevent this from happening again.

Sorry for the rant. Is there anything I could have done wrong on accident, such as temperature, food, etc, or do you think he likely had something wrong with him?
 

weepweeps

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I’m so sorry for your loss. Such a shock for you. I’m sure it wasn’t anything you did wrong. Please don’t blame yourself. I had a young piggy pass away at the end of last year. He was only 4 months old. I too wondered what I had done wrong. I think they hide any illnesses so well. I hope you find Jerry a new friend soon. Take care.
 

Claire W

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I am so sorry for your loss :( Sadly, guinea pigs can die from heart attacks or strokes at any age and I suspect this is what happened here. Being pray animals, they also hide their illnesses very well and by the time we realise something is wrong, it’s often too late so he could have had an underlying health problem. It’s sadly impossible for us to say how Ben died. Only a post mortem carried out by a vet is the only way of finding out what happened.

Please don’t blame yourself, you did nothing wrong x
 

Jerry&Todd04

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thank you so much, we have been ringing places to see if they could do a postmortem but it seems impossible where I live. I just hope if it was me who made a mistake that I won’t repeat it .
 

Freela

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I truly don't think it was anything you did wrong. Guinea pigs can die suddenly of heart attack or stroke, even at an early age. Some pet store animals have also been subjected to stress or illness exposure prior to coming home... again, nothing you've done wrong.

((HUGS)) and I'm so sorry, what a rotten start to having guinea pigs!
 

Wiebke

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Hello, I am new to the forum and am sadly here as I got my two guinea pigs- Ben and Jerry- on Sunday. Sadly, this morning I woke up to Ben dead on the floor. I am devastated and have not stopped wondering how this could have happened. They are on the science selective guinea pig pellets, have constant hay and have gotten fresh veggies every morning since they came. The night before Ben died they got one tomato, quarter of a corn on the cob and some slices of bell pepper. I did get him from a pet shop, as I could not find any in any rescues, so I am wondering if it was just bad breeding? Though he was in the shop for about a month, so why did he die when he came to us?
His brother is very sad over this and has not come out of his hide. I will be getting him a new friend on saturday as I don’t want him to be left alone, but i would like to prevent this from happening again.

Sorry for the rant. Is there anything I could have done wrong on accident, such as temperature, food, etc, or do you think he likely had something wrong with him?

Hi and welcome

BIG HUGS

Unfortunately, the stress of a move to a complex new pet home can sometimes trigger the genetic time bomb that some piggies are living with. Outdoors piggies are also more exposed to dying from fright if a predator or rats/mice are try to get into a hutch. Heart attacks, acute heart failure or strokes can sadly happen at any age in piggies with a disposition for it. It is always a very upsetting experience.

Intense soul searching and feelings of failure or guilt, or red-hot anger if you identify another person and project those feelings outside instead of back onto yourself are all very much par for the grieving process that any respons owner will go through. It is not an expression of you having done something wrong but an expression of you caring about your pets and beloved ones.
You can find more helpful practical information to help you make sense of your strong feelings in our grieving guide, which also contains further resources, including what you can do for the companion piggy: Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
 

Jerry&Todd04

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Thanks so much everyone, I am still grieving and probably won’t be better for a while, and I can also tell Jerry is quite lonely. I know it is probably not my fault, but he was so happy just the night before it’s hard not to feel like I did nothing wrong.
I will be getting Jerry a new friend in the next few days, I really hope he becomes lively and happy again. I put Ben back into their pen to say goodbye and Jerry immediately came out and was chattering and walking all over him, and even popcorned a bit, so I know he is really missing Ben.

Thanks everyone for the kind words, it has definitely helped and I desperately hope this will not happen again. It’s so hard to lose pets.
 

Wiebke

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Thanks so much everyone, I am still grieving and probably won’t be better for a while, and I can also tell Jerry is quite lonely. I know it is probably not my fault, but he was so happy just the night before it’s hard not to feel like I did nothing wrong.
I will be getting Jerry a new friend in the next few days, I really hope he becomes lively and happy again. I put Ben back into their pen to say goodbye and Jerry immediately came out and was chattering and walking all over him, and even popcorned a bit, so I know he is really missing Ben.

Thanks everyone for the kind words, it has definitely helped and I desperately hope this will not happen again. It’s so hard to lose pets.

How to introduce new guinea pigs. I would not expect any difficulties at this age but you need to do them on neutral ground outside the cage (i.e. the regular territory). Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

If you care, the loss of a pet is never something you walk away from lightly. The sudden mystery deaths out of the blue (which are sadly not all that rare) are very hard to deal with because one cannot brace for them.
Be kind to yourself in the coming days, give yourself time to grieve and if necessary seek support from a pet bereavement help line or email service; any members who have struggled with their own grieving and done this have come back with a positive experience. ;)
 

tabelmabel

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I'm sorry to hear your sad news. Please rest assured you wont have done anything wrong at all - pigs that are healthy just seem to go on and on for years with no special efforts required at all - i have had pigs that have got to 5 and 6 yrs and never ailed a thing and then, like you, i had a young pig last year just die very suddenly at a year old with no warning at all.

And now i have a young pig that is struggling to clear a URI, whilst her cagemate remains hail and hearty.

There seems no rhyme or reason to it. It does knock your confidence and make you question every single thing you did but, honestly, a pig destined for long life can withstand all kinds of things, whereas others are just destined not to be with us long at all.

Take time to get over your loss and be gentle with yourself.
 

Bill & Ted

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I am so sorry to hear you have lost one of your little piggies, please don’t think it’s anything you’ve done. It sounds like it’s come out of the blue or an illness that was already there. They are notoriously good at hiding illnesses because they don’t want to seem weak or poorly to their clan or predators in the wild.
I once found one of my dear piggies had dead overnight and been perfectly fine the evening before, it’s an awful shock so I know how you are feeling. Main thing now is to concentrate on your remaining piggie, make sure he is eating and weigh him daily at the same time so you know he is eating enough food. He will be feeling very sad and bereavement can put them off eating altogether very occasionally.
You can give him a few treats (his favourite foods like coriander or carrot, whatever he enjoys) for a couple days to coax him to eat if he is a bit off it x
 

Jerry&Todd04

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I'm sorry to hear your sad news. Please rest assured you wont have done anything wrong at all - pigs that are healthy just seem to go on and on for years with no special efforts required at all - i have had pigs that have got to 5 and 6 yrs and never ailed a thing and then, like you, i had a young pig last year just die very suddenly at a year old with no warning at all.

And now i have a young pig that is struggling to clear a URI, whilst her cagemate remains hail and hearty.

There seems no rhyme or reason to it. It does knock your confidence and make you question every single thing you did but, honestly, a pig destined for long life can withstand all kinds of things, whereas others are just destined not to be with us long at all.

Take time to get over your loss and be gentle with yourself.
thank you so much, this has really helped
 
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