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Our little girl dies after short and sudden illness

Rosyautumn girl

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Hi all, I was wondering if any of you might be able to offer some advice as to what could have possibly happened to our beautiful girl Autumn who sadly passed away on Saturday evening. We are so sad and I am still shocked by her fast deterioration and death, she was 4 years old and seemingly healthy one day, squeaking, popcorning and zooming around, and then the next day was very poorly. I took her to the vets after 2 days as she wasn’t eating and was very slow on her feet. Her findings were: she was dehydrated, her heartbeat was below normal and her belly felt very watery, but otherwise no obvious signs and her temperature was normal. She was too weak to be sedated so she suggested a course of antibiotics, a prebiotic treatment for her digestive system and some critical care liquid feed. We took her home and for the next 2 days did everything by the book, trying to get food down her was very difficult. She was always a very fast and jittery piggy, and never liked being handled, but I could easily pick her up, put her on my lap and administer the medicine and food. It was Saturday night when I put her on my lap that I saw her take her last breath, she died in my arms 😔

I think what I am asking you all is if anyone might know from the symptoms I’ve mentioned what the illness could have been and what she died of. I keep thinking over and over again if it was something I did wrong, was the stress of going to the vets the start of her downfall? Or did I not go to the vets quick enough (I thought she might just have a bug and would get better)?, was me handling her when she hated being handled too much for her and caused her extra distress? I keep thinking that maybe if I had just left her she might have naturally recovered, but if she wasn’t eating surely I had no choice but to take her to the vets?

I keep thinking about her and miss her so much. And my heart breaks too for the little friend she’s left behind, poor Rose seems very lost without her little friend, it’s so sad. I thank anyone in advance who could possibly offer me some advice or ideas about poor Autumns premature passing. Thank you.
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m so sorry for your loss.
I’m afraid it’s not possible for us to say what happened.
Piggies hide their illnesses and they can creep up and even with prompt and correct vet care and treatment, it’s sometimes not enough. You did the right thing by taking her to the vet, leaving them and assuming they will get better is rarely helpful.
It’s absolutely not anything you’ve done though.
Look after Rose and ensure she keeps eating.

You may find the guides in the link below helpful for yourself and for how to look after Rose while she is grieving
Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
 

Rosyautumn girl

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Thank you so much for your message. I know what you’re saying, it’s just horrible not knowing how she died. I am trying to take comfort that I did all I could towards the end of her life, and also glad that she got a few cuddles before she passed as it was something we was never able to do with her, so at least she knew what a cuddle was.
Rose is still eating ok thank god, she is just very quiet (not a squeak from her since Autumn went), and maybe I’m overthinking this but I sense she is really nervous around me, possibly upset with me, as ultimately I’m the one who took her little friend away.
I have cleaned out the hutch this morning, first proper clean since Autumn went but I have kept the snuggle sack she was in for Rose as I read somewhere that it can be comforting for those left behind to still have their scent, do you think that’s ok? Thank you again 😊
 

Bill & Ted

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I’m so sorry you’ve lost Autumn, sending you hugs.
Please don’t think you did anything wrong by handling her, you had to feed her the critical care food. I lost a piggie in February, I have no idea why he died, just found him lying there in the hay one morning. Piggies can hide their illnesses so well, it’s only when they are very poorly it becomes obvious to us that they are not well.
Sleep tight little lady 🌈
 

Rosyautumn girl

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Hello everyone, oh god thank you so much for your kind messages, it really is such a comfort. I find that many people don’t show too much sympathy for losing a piggy, they think ‘it’s only a guinea pig’, but I had got so attached to her, and my heart is breaking for Rose 😔
i am so sorry Jerry Tom and Bill & Ted for your recent losses too 😔♥
 

Freela

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I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard not to have clear answers. Unfortunately, a lot of guinea pigs do go from seemingly fine to passing away really quickly... the last two pigs I've lost seemed fine the day prior, a little off in the morning and passed by nightfall, regardless of whether I was able to get them an urgent vet visit or not. Please don't beat yourself up, it really wasn't anything you did (taking her to the vet or not taking her earlier, etc.) You absolutely did the right things for her and aren't to blame for what happened. ((HUGS)) to you.
 

Rosyautumn girl

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Thank you so much Freela for your kind message. They really do leave us far too quickly don’t they? Hopefully shes running around wild and free over the rainbow bridge 🌈💕 or my daughter says she’s gone to be a butterfly, which is a lovely thought. Thank you again ♥
 

David Piggie Lover

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The pain of losing a loved piggie is sometimes reflected in our feeling why.
Some questions are never answered and that can hurt
You did all what you can and you should and will be proud of that. They are small complicated little loves.
Pls take care your piggie would have known you loved her. That's important xx
Autumn RIP little love.x
 

Shelley anne

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I am so sorry for your loss, I fully understand how sad this is. Its not just a piggie, its a soul, as important as any other soul, be it a human or a guinea pig. You will always be bonded by love. Rest assured. we will meet our beloved Piggies again one day. You did your absolute best and this piggie will know it was loved and that her life mattered.
 

Rosyautumn girl

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Thank you Shelley Anne and David piggy lover 💕 Again all these messages mean so much, and do start me off blubbering again! Feels strange without her little squeaks each morning and her waiting in her little spot for her food ☹
 

Roselina

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I’m sad to hear about Autumn - part of the grieving process is that we wonder ..what if/ why/ if only ....BUT you did the best you could for Autumn. She was clearly loved and cared for . Look after yourself and Rose .
 
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