Newly bereaved guinea pig

VJ&Flower

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I wonder if you would be able to advise me please? I’m on holiday at present and have been informed that very sadly one of my Guinea pigs, Vinnie, has passed away during the night (they are at a boarders). My guineas are (were) just over 3 1/2 years old.

My concern is about the remaining guinea pig, Flower (male). I know guinea pigs are better off with company however I am not really in a position to get another hutch mate for him. Ive realised my garden isn’t wonderful for guinea pigs in the summer (very hot and not much shelter apart from round the side of the house away from everyone) so Id prefer not to get into a cycle of having more guinea pigs. My local rescue is not doing any bonding currently either.

Flower could live with my mum, who has a Guinea pig boar pair and live alongside (but not with) the others. Or I could keep him as a single guinea pig at home. Once it’s Autumn I would bring him into our utility room which has been really nice temp and kept the Guineas near us.

I would really appreciate advice on this.

With very best wishes and thanks
 

Siikibam

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Hi there. First off I’m sorry for your loss. It must be harder because you weren’t there. But take heart you’ve done him a great service in the time he’s been with you. Unfortunately they can hide illnesses too well.

With regards Flower, I would say please do see about getting him a friend. There are some rescues that will let you ‘foster’ a pig to keep your love one company. Once your pig passes away, you then ‘surrender’ the foster back to the rescue. It would be really unfair to keep him alone for what could be another 3-4 years. They need constant companionship of their own kind, which no amount of human interaction can replace.

If push comes to shove then his living alongside your mums pair is better than being alone.

I’m sorry it seems to have come at an awkward time. When you feel ready you’re more than welcome to post about your boy in the rainbow pets section. Do take care of yourself too.

Human Bereavement - Grieving, coping tips and support links for guinea pig owners and their children
Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
 

VJ&Flower

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Thanks so much Siikibam, I really appreciate your kind words.

I have emailed my local rescue as well to ask their advice and see if they do have any suggestions. I know they are incredibly busy at the moment and probably won’t answer for a few days (I emailed straight away the morning I found out).

It’s so true about Guineas hiding their illnesses. The lady looking after the pigs was so shocked she said Vinnie was so active (he was!) the time he was with her before he passed.
Thanks again xx
 

Siikibam

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Have a look at the rescue locator and see if there are any others you can contact. Piggies in general travel well so don’t be put off by their being a little further out.

I hope you get a solution that works for you all soon. Glad the info helped ☺
Rescue Locator
 

Pigoles

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The other option is to find Flower a new home ... as sometimes there are lovely 'piggie slaves' here on TGPF with wonderful, caring homes searching for a match for their own bereaved piggies? Or good rescues would bond her with a new friend and closely advise on the care/accommodation when rehoming guinea pigs ... and she could have a lease of life in a new home?
I realise how hard that suggestion will be to read, but the prospect of giving a loved piggie the chance anew with a bonded friend in a kind new home is sometimes the most loving last gift you can offer. I hope you find a solution that works for you and your piggie.
 

piggieminder

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I am so sorry to hear you have lost Vinnie. You have had lots of good advice above, I can't add to it but send you my very best wishes at a difficult time.
 

VJ&Flower

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Thanks so much to all who have replied to me, I really appreciate it.
I have had a reply from the rescue saying they are not bonding at the moment due to covid. I have written back to ask if Flower would be bonded if I surrendered him to the rescue. I would be prepared to do this to ensure he wasn’t lonely. Flower is a boy BTW - just has a more feminine name due to my girls insisting on it!
It’s quite a lot to think about when we’re away, it would be good to know there was a way forward for when we return. It all feels pretty up in the air because of covid too.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be many rescues in my area (Hampshire)

thanks again everyone xx
 
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