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Past Guinea Pig's Cause Of Death?

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Winnie15

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Until recently I have had two guinea pig's that were given to me by some friends who felt they weren't giving the pigs the home they deserved. They were about 5 years old at the time. I had them for about a year before noticing quite a bit of blood on their bedding one morning. I checked out the pigs before noticing that one of them had blood around her bottom. I then researched this wondering if she was on heat or something like that, when I realised it probably wasn't that I went to the vet. My guinea pig was prescribed some medicine which I gave as instructed, the blood then seemed to clear up.
About a month later I unfortunately found her dead one morning in her bed. I realise that she could well have died from old age as she was 6 or 7 at the time but I was just wondering if anyone knew anything on what the blood around her bottom was about? The vet said she didn't really know but it could have been cystitis? I would just like to know if there is anything I could have done to prevent this or what it actually was?
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Wiebke

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I am very sorry for your loss. The bleeding could have come from either the urinary tract (perhaps an aborted bladder stone or something with the kidneys; cystitis or urine infections are more often bloody urine), the reproductive system (i.e. something wrong with the womb or an ovarian cyst) or something not right with the guts (less likely).

In any case, you have done the right thing to have her seen and treated by a vet. As the antibiotic treatment seemed to work, there was no immediate reason why you should have pushed for an x-ray or scan.

Sadly, you will never know now; the only way you could have found out would have been a pretty expensive post mortem that may have given you the answer - or not, as things may have fallen out. Not knowing what caused the bleeding, it is also impossible to say whether it was connected with her death either as a direct cause, a contributing factor or just as a coincidence. :(

Please don't beat yourself up over it! You have not failed your girl and she lived to a good old age. There is only so much you can and should do as a good owner, and you have done that. You are NOT required to be an omniscient supermum!

Please don't feel guilty and see your doubts as an expression of your love and your sense of responsibility. We are always left reeling when a piggy dies unexpectedly and have the need to find out why so we can make sense of what has happened. ;)
 

Kerrie74

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Very sorry to hear about your guinea pig :(

It's funny how you posted this, I had to have our adopted sow put down in February, we got her around October last year, she came to us bloated, the rescue should have taken her to the vets, they didn't, we took her and the vet was saying it was nothing to worry about, but as time went on we found blood around the cage, could never find out which it was coming from as there were 4 sows, by the time we noticed she was really ill she had lost around 200 in weight, was still bloated and the poor things body was shutting down. I then asked another rescue about it as they seem to know what they are doing with their guinea's, they said they didn't think it was bloat, that it could have either been an ovarian cyst or a UTI :/ I feel bad because I felt there was something more to it, but I trusted the vet. Don't know how old she was with her being adopted, I was told 2 - 4 years old :/ but the rescue don't seem to know about guineas if though one of them owns 3, I had to set her straight about the cage size she had hers in, far too small. I do wish people would only rescue animals they that have some experience or knowledge with.
 

Winnie15

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Thank you for your concern, now that I think it definitely could have been UTI or an ovarian cyst like your pig as the vet mentioned that she could possibly have one of the two. I didn't know at the time of getting her but she also could have been bloated. On her last day she was out on the lawn in her run and maybe that didn't help if she was bloated before I got her. By the way I definitely agree with the rescue pigs thing, if people adopt a pig they need to know how to look after it. Thanks for your help.
 

Winnie15

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I am very sorry for your loss. The bleeding could have come from either the urinary tract (perhaps an aborted bladder stone or something with the kidneys; cystitis or urine infections are more often bloody urine), the reproductive system (i.e. something wrong with the womb or an ovarian cyst) or something not right with the guts (less likely).

In any case, you have done the right thing to have her seen and treated by a vet. As the antibiotic treatment seemed to work, there was no immediate reason why you should have pushed for an x-ray or scan.

Sadly, you will never know now; the only way you could have found out would have been a pretty expensive post mortem that may have given you the answer - or not, as things may have fallen out. Not knowing what caused the bleeding, it is also impossible to say whether it was connected with her death either as a direct cause, a contributing factor or just as a coincidence. :(

Please don't beat yourself up over it! You have not failed your girl and she lived to a good old age. There is only so much you can and should do as a good owner, and you have done that. You are NOT required to be an omniscient supermum!

Please don't feel guilty and see your doubts as an expression of your love and your sense of responsibility. We are always left reeling when a piggy dies unexpectedly and have the need to find out why so we can make sense of what has happened. ;)
Thank you very much for this response, I have just been worried about what I could do better with my pigs now and in the future. I will also definitely be monitoring my existing pig's weight much more closely as that could have been a very good sign to catch early with my other pig.
 

Kerrie74

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No problem, it's good to get input from other people. I've had lots of great advice in regards to Sheamus who is currently ill with bladder stones.
 

Freela

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I'm sorry for your loss! Blood around the bottom is either from the urinary tract or from the reproductive tract. She may have had a urinary infection (blood mixed with urine can look quite bloody!) or she may have had a uterine infection or ovarian cyst or even a uterine tumor. There's probably no way to know for sure, and her passing away may not have been related to this at all, as she was an elderly guinea pig. If it cleared with antibiotics, it was probably an infection of some kind and not a mass. Weighing often is a good idea because it can help to catch any early problem, but diagnosis is sometimes tricky, especially in an elderly guinea pig.
 

Winnie15

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Okay thanks Freela, I have been monitoring my current guinea pig's weight carefully for any signs of weight loss as I didn't do this with my last pig.
 
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