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Possible Tumor/ Can't Walk

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jd7493

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Hello,

I wanted to ask if anyone can tell me what might be wrong with my pig. Her name is Cookie and she's approximately 6 years old, we got her about a year ago and she has had chronic U.R.I that we have always treated. A few weeks ago we noticed her stomach was very hard, so naturally I did some research on it and found out that it could be a minor bloat. Once we thought we had figured out the problem we bought Simethicone and gave her the proper doses, as well as giving her regular massages with a vibrating toothbrush. We noticed it was getting a lot better but now it seems to have come back worse than before. This time she won't drink water and isn't eating much and is overall just not acting like herself. She stopped walking most of the time and was fully laying down a lot which is really uncommon for her, she is also not pooping. This morning I went to check on her and I noticed that she was sort of shuffling herself so I picked her up and put her on the bed and noticed that she wasn't walking, just hopping and shuffling herself. This all leads me to believe that it's a tumor and I'm trying to avoid taking her to the vet because I know for a fact they'll tell me she should be put down. She doesn't seem like she's in pain but I can't be certain. Thank you for any help, please let me know what I should do.

Sincerely,

Josh
 

Wiebke

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Hello,

I wanted to ask if anyone can tell me what might be wrong with my pig. Her name is Cookie and she's approximately 6 years old, we got her about a year ago and she has had chronic you.R.I that we have always treated. A few weeks ago we noticed her stomach was very hard, so naturally I did some research on it and found out that it could be a minor bloat. Once we thought we had figured out the problem we bought Simethicone and gave her the proper doses, as well as giving her regular massages with a vibrating toothbrush. We noticed it was getting a lot better but now it seems to have come back worse than before. This time she won't drink water and isn't eating much and is overall just not acting like herself. She stopped walking most of the time and was fully laying down a lot which is really uncommon for her, she is also not pooping. This morning I went to check on her and I noticed that she was sort of shuffling herself so I picked her up and put her on the bed and noticed that she wasn't walking, just hopping and shuffling herself. This all leads me to believe that it's a tumor and I'm trying to avoid taking her to the vet because I know for a fact they'll tell me she should be put down. She doesn't seem like she's in pain but I can't be certain. Thank you for any help, please let me know what I should do.

Sincerely,

Josh
Hi and welcome

Please a) start syringe feeding her asap and b) take her to a vet as she is quite obviously in a fair bit of pain if she is no longer eating properly and not mobile.

I am very sorry, pts/euthanasia is always a heart-breaking decision, but you have to put your piggy's wellbeing before your own desires. It is also not a given without a vet having seen and examined your piggy properly to see whether an operation is possible.
Being free of pain and getting any necessary vet care is one of the basic animal rights, even if that means consenting giving a cherished pet the last and most heart-breaking loving gift that you can, to free her and to spare her any unnecessary suffering.

I have been there myself multiple times and know how tough it is facing up to the potential loss of a beloved piggy. Please don't fail your piggy because you struggle to face your own worst fears. Be strong for your piggy's sake!
 

jd7493

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Thank you for your response, I already started syringe feeding her the medicine and water and shes eating a little hay. She started to poop within a few minutes, but it's a very unformed diarrhea like texture. I will be taking her to the vet as soon as possible, but that likely won't be until Monday as there not no vets open that take guinea pigs over the weekend. She also started to get more mobile but still seems unstable with her walking. If the vet recommends euthanizing her I will consider it, but I feel like she could make a recovery with the proper treatment. Shes already acting more like herself so that's a really good sign to me. Trust me though, I have had to deal with putting pets down because of pain, just last year I had to put down all three of my dogs due to cancer, it's a nasty thing but it's not right to let them live with a horrible quality of life.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your response, I already started syringe feeding her the medicine and water and shes eating a little hay. She started to poop within a few minutes, but it's a very unformed diarrhea like texture. I will be taking her to the vet as soon as possible, but that likely won't be until Monday as there not no vets open that take guinea pigs over the weekend. She also started to get more mobile but still seems unstable with her walking. If the vet recommends euthanizing her I will consider it, but I feel like she could make a recovery with the proper treatment. Shes already acting more like herself so that's a really good sign to me. Trust me though, I have had to deal with putting pets down because of pain, just last year I had to put down all three of my dogs due to cancer, it's a nasty thing but it's not right to let them live with a horrible quality of life.
Please have her seen on Monday, but keep her as comfy, warm (but not hot) and fed/watered as you can. Make sure that you change the cosies or spot clean any loose bedding in the area she is sitting/lying in most of the time twice daily to minimise urine burn. If she struggles to keep herself clean, gently wipe her bum area with a soft damp cloth and check the foot pads regularly for caked poos and signs of infection. Guinea pigs with limited mobility struggle to take the weight off their front legs. Weigh her daily at the same time to monitor her food intake.

Her poos reflect what has happened a day or two earlier, depending on how slow the guts are working, not what you are doing now. If your vet finds that she has still got quality of life, then you may want to ask for a painkiller and gut stimulants. You may have to take it day by day if necessary and be prepared to let her go when her time has come; concentrate on keeping her as well and as comfy as you can until then.

I have lost my dad to terminal bone cancer after a three year struggle. I guess I have got it a bit easier in that respect with letting my piggies go if and when necessary, as nothing can ever be as bad as that. Although I am always very relieved when they can just pass away at home at the end of a long life that has been as happy and fulfilled as I could make it.
We simply cannot choose what we or our pets come up against. It takes courage to face that. But once you have faced the worst, it can't usually get any worse. The pain of the loss never gets any easier, but you can learn to a certain degree how to deal with the various stages of the grieving process better.
 

jd7493

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Thank you again for your response, I already have been cleaner her butt and making sure there isn't too much on the fleece where she likes to lay, as well as keeping her warm wrapped up in blankets on my bed. I've already come to terms that this will be a day to day thing, and actually thought that she would die naturally last night as she got so bad so fast, but now shes seeming to get better. If it's her time then there is simply nothing i'm going to be able to do to stop that except keep her comfy, and if it's not she'll live to see hopefully another year or two. I'm terribly sorry to hear about your dad, that must have been terrible to go through, and you are right that losing a guinea pig can't be harder than that. You've been a lot of help and I can't thank you enough, I will keep you posted through the next few days.
 

jd7493

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I wanted to let you know that we were able to get her into the vet and they found a large tumor in her stomach. They didn't recommend putting her down because she didn't seem to be in any pain but they said she probably didn't have too long left. Unfortunately today, that was found out to be true. We found her lying in her house about an hour ago, we said our goodbyes and buried her. I wanted to thank you for your help, but unfortunately nature had taken its course, at least shes at peace now even though I already miss her.
 

Gem789

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I wanted to let you know that we were able to get her into the vet and they found a large tumor in her stomach. They didn't recommend putting her down because she didn't seem to be in any pain but they said she probably didn't have too long left. Unfortunately today, that was found out to be true. We found her lying in her house about an hour ago, we said our goodbyes and buried her. I wanted to thank you for your help, but unfortunately nature had taken its course, at least shes at peace now even though I already miss her.
I'm very sorry to hear that xx
 

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You are right she is at peace and you should comfort yourself that you did everything you could to make her feel comfortable and loved.

Weibke sorry to learn about your Dad. How absolutely awful for you and traumatic! I lost my Dad to bowel cancer. He only suffered for 6 weeks. It was very aggressive that was 12 years ago and I lost my Mum 18 months ago to a sudden catastrophic heart attack while I was on holiday celebrating my 50th birthday. You are right in that once you have been through the worst time in your life and come through the other side losing a guinea pig, although very sad, isn't ever going to be as bad as that.
 

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I wanted to let you know that we were able to get her into the vet and they found a large tumor in her stomach. They didn't recommend putting her down because she didn't seem to be in any pain but they said she probably didn't have too long left. Unfortunately today, that was found out to be true. We found her lying in her house about an hour ago, we said our goodbyes and buried her. I wanted to thank you for your help, but unfortunately nature had taken its course, at least shes at peace now even though I already miss her.
I am very sorry, but good that you have had her seen by vet, so while you will be sad, at least you know that you have done your best for her and that she has not suffered unnecessarily.
Cancer in guinea pigs is sadly incurable.

You are welcome to post a tribute with pictures in our Rainbow Bridge section if or whenever if feels right for you.

Here are our tips on what you can do for any companions: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
 

jd7493

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Thanks everyone, it's just really strange looking into the cage and only seeing the original two again. Going to take some getting used to.

Rest in Peace Cookie.
IMG_1056.JPG
 

jd7493

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Yeah, the little Cookie Monster was a sweet one. I wanted to ask if there's anything I can do for the other two, they just seem quiet now; kind of like they're waiting for her to come back. I don't know if I should just give them time to get over it or be holding them more or if there's something else I should be doing, I just think they really miss her.

Here's a picture of the three of them together if you'd like to see
IMG_0177.JPG
 

Wiebke

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Yeah, the little Cookie Monster was a sweet one. I wanted to ask if there's anything I can do for the other two, they just seem quiet now; kind of like they're waiting for her to come back. I don't know if I should just give them time to get over it or be holding them more or if there's something else I should be doing, I just think they really miss her.

Here's a picture of the three of them together if you'd like to see
View attachment 61815
Here are our tips for bereaved companions: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig

Acute pining is very rare in groups as the remaining piggies have still got company, unless one was extremely close to the deceased piggy; but they will nevertheless grieve and be very quiet for some days.
I experience this with my whole piggy room usually going subdued for a day or two, and the actual group being quieter for longer. :(

Give your two time to mourn and give them space to do so. You can do all the cuddling once they pick up with their normal life again, if still somewhat subdued. ;)
 
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