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Xmolxlie

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Hi,
My guinea pig Foxy is 4 1/2 years old, and in the last couple of days he’s seemed to lose interest in food and not be as bothered about even his favourite veggies, he’ll have a few small bites and give up. He’s also been more lethargic and sleeping in his safe space that he enjoys. I was worried and took him to the vet, who is known The Guinea Pig Vet and highly recommended on here. She diagnosed him with the most likely cause being renal failure, as the blood count in his urine is off the scale and with the weight loss and lack of appetite it’s a big concern. She’s estimated that I may have to have him put to sleep in the next few weeks, and has given me some medicine to try to help improve his kidney function, and some critical care to syringe feed him. I guess what I wanted to ask is has anyone been through a similar situation? What did you do and were there any things that helped? Did anything help your pig to pull through and make it a lot longer than their prognosis?
 

Claire W

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I’m sorry for the diagnosis :( I once had a piggy with kidney failure. Sadly we had to have her pts on the day of diagnosis as she had lost an awful lot of weight and had stopped eating and the sparkle had gone from her eyes :( All you can do is be guided by your piggy and your vet. When piggy is giving up on life and they know longer have a quality life, I think that’s sadly the time to say goodbye x
 

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I'm really sorry you have had this diagnosis. I have experience of a piggy living for 18 months after diagnosis but the renal decline was only just starting and I noticed no drop in appetite from her for the entire 18 months. In fact she was at the vets for a bald strip down her tummy and some weight loss. She was diagnosed with ovarian cysts and renal failure as a secondary condition picked up from elevated protein in her urine. She dropped about half her weight but carried on living a normal piggy life until her last day when she collapsed (possibly a stroke but hard to know for definite) and we had to rush her to the vet.

It's always hard to know when to call it a day for a beloved piggy. There's a fear of doing it too early when piggy isn't ready and we could have more time with them and equally a fear of leaving it too late and perceiving that they suffered in any way. All I will say is that you know your piggy best, better than the vet, better than anyone on here and if you are making decisions based on what is best for your piggy and you right now then it will never be the wrong decision.
 

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I will add that I had a piggy recently with an internal mass, likely something sinister. I went to the vet because of weight loss and loss of appetite. He was still feisty. We put him on pain relief and he gained a lot of weight but 2 weeks later lost it all and lost his appetite again. The idea was that if pain relief helped him he would remain on it until he was ready to give up and then I would take him back so the vet could help him on his way. I was hopeful that we could have months rather than weeks but having that plan before we started treatment helped me to follow it when it suddenly all went down the pan.
 

Xmolxlie

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I’m sorry for the diagnosis :( I once had a piggy with kidney failure. Sadly we had to have her pts on the day of diagnosis as she had lost an awful lot of weight and had stopped eating and the sparkle had gone from her eyes :( All you can do is be guided by your piggy and your vet. When piggy is giving up on life and they know longer have a quality life, I think that’s sadly the time to say goodbye x
Thank you ❤️ I’m hopeful we can have a little longer together, he did seem a bit perkier when he got home and I want him to have plenty of time with his bonded mate Kovu, thankfully he’s eaten some veggies tonight which he hasn’t for a couple days, and I’ve syringe fed him quite a bit of water, I’m cautiously a little more optimistic tonight than I was earlier, but I’m also going to make sure I stayed checked in to if/when the best time is to say goodbye x
 

Xmolxlie

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I'm really sorry you have had this diagnosis. I have experience of a piggy living for 18 months after diagnosis but the renal decline was only just starting and I noticed no drop in appetite from her for the entire 18 months. In fact she was at the vets for a bald strip down her tummy and some weight loss. She was diagnosed with ovarian cysts and renal failure as a secondary condition picked up from elevated protein in her urine. She dropped about half her weight but carried on living a normal piggy life until her last day when she collapsed (possibly a stroke but hard to know for definite) and we had to rush her to the vet.

It's always hard to know when to call it a day for a beloved piggy. There's a fear of doing it too early when piggy isn't ready and we could have more time with them and equally a fear of leaving it too late and perceiving that they suffered in any way. All I will say is that you know your piggy best, better than the vet, better than anyone on here and if you are making decisions based on what is best for your piggy and you right now then it will never be the wrong decision.
Thank you so much ❤️❤️ I’m very glad to hear your piggy managed to live 18 months past diagnosis! That’s amazing given the usual prognosis for renal failure, she sounds like a real fighter. I’m sorry you lost her though 💞 Foxy’s appetite has actually picked up a little tonight, he’s eaten more tonight than he has for a few days, don’t want to push him and make him eat too much and upset his stomach though, but I’m feeling a little more comforted that he has some quality of life left. ☺️
 

Xmolxlie

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I will add that I had a piggy recently with an internal mass, likely something sinister. I went to the vet because of weight loss and loss of appetite. He was still feisty. We put him on pain relief and he gained a lot of weight but 2 weeks later lost it all and lost his appetite again. The idea was that if pain relief helped him he would remain on it until he was ready to give up and then I would take him back so the vet could help him on his way. I was hopeful that we could have months rather than weeks but having that plan before we started treatment helped me to follow it when it suddenly all went down the pan.
That definitely does sound a good idea thank you, I might see if pain relief is available, I’m not entirely sure what the tablets I have for him are for, they’re called benazecare and I think she said they were to help improve kidney function. One can only hope 🤞🏻 I know when the time comes what I need to do, and also that I need to get a new friend for my other pig Kovu pretty soon after, it’s just so hard to see our beloved pets go through these things 😓 Thank you both for the help and advice though, I greatly appreciate it ❤️
 

Wiebke

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Hi,
My guinea pig Foxy is 4 1/2 years old, and in the last couple of days he’s seemed to lose interest in food and not be as bothered about even his favourite veggies, he’ll have a few small bites and give up. He’s also been more lethargic and sleeping in his safe space that he enjoys. I was worried and took him to the vet, who is known The Guinea Pig Vet and highly recommended on here. She diagnosed him with the most likely cause being renal failure, as the blood count in his urine is off the scale and with the weight loss and lack of appetite it’s a big concern. She’s estimated that I may have to have him put to sleep in the next few weeks, and has given me some medicine to try to help improve his kidney function, and some critical care to syringe feed him. I guess what I wanted to ask is has anyone been through a similar situation? What did you do and were there any things that helped? Did anything help your pig to pull through and make it a lot longer than their prognosis?

Hi

Unfortunately, kidney failure in guinea pigs is not an area that can be treated well and definitely not reversed. At the best, medication can slow it down a little but it very much depends as to how advanced the failure is. :(

Please concentrate on creating lots of precious memories and quality of time spent with your piggy. You can pack a lifetime's worth of love into just a moment. The more you use whatever time remains positively, the more you both get out of it and the less time you waste fearing the end instead of filling it with love.
This guide here doesn't make the easiest of reading but it can really help you in how you deal with this situation in a constructive way. It contains a chapter on looking after a terminally ill piggy with all the aspects that play into it: A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs
 

My Piggies

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I'm so sorry for the diagnosis 😔
I had a piggy, Violet, who had kidney failure, among other things. She was put to sleep last month, but lived 4 months after her initial diagnosis. She was full of life for those four months, but went downhill very quickly.
Sending massive hugs to you and your piggy. I hope you have many more happy days with Foxy 💕:hug:
 

Xmolxlie

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Hi

Unfortunately, kidney failure in guinea pigs is not an area that can be treated well and definitely not reversed. At the best, medication can slow it down a little but it very much depends as to advanced the failure is. :(

Please concentrate on creating lots of precious memories and quality of time spent with your piggy. You can pack a lifetime's worth of love into just a moment. The more you use whatever time remains positively, the more you both get out of it and the less time you waste fearing the end instead of filling it with love.
This guide her doesn't make the easiest of reading but it can really help you in how you deal with this situation in a constructive way and make the most of it. It contains a chapter on looking after a terminally ill piggy with all the aspects that play into it: A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs
Thank you so much! 💞 I definitely will and I’m glad I know now, and I’m hopeful we can prove the odds wrong and have Foxy at least have a few more months of health before the end, but I’m glad I know in advance so I can prepare myself, as I know I’ll need to get his wifey Kovu a friend fairly soon after, and I think I would’ve really struggled to do that had it come completely out of the blue. But having said that I prompted a friend recently to get her guinea pig a new friend after one passed unexpectedly, and took her to get one, and I know she’ll prompt me too and come with me if I ask 💞 it just feels so wrong, having to think about these things before they’re gone, and feeling like you’re “replacing” your piggy even when they’re a truly irreplaceable character, but I know it’s what you have to do to take care of your surviving piggy’s sake.

I’ll read the guide when I’m a little less teary, and thank you ❤️ I’m hopeful I have at least a few months of love left with Foxy, he’s eaten quite a bit tonight sat with me, more than he has for a while. I’ve also ordered some nice new fleece liners as I’ve always wanted to try them, and wanted to make his home environment as comfy and cosy as possible, and a bunch of new fleece beds too, and hides, so he feels safe and protected 💞
 

Xmolxlie

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I'm so sorry for the diagnosis 😔
I had a piggy, Violet, who had kidney failure, among other things. She was put to sleep last month, but lived 4 months after her initial diagnosis. She was full of life for those four months, but went downhill very quickly.
Sending massive hugs to you and your piggy. I hope you have many more happy days with Foxy 💕:hug:
Thank you so much, I’m so sorry to hear about your lovely Violet, I hope you had some great last few months with her! I’m hopeful I have some with Foxy too, and I’m also hopeful like Violet he will be full of life until the very end! I hope he’s able to just go to sleep cuddled up with Kovu one night and not wake up, rather than having to take him to the vets to be put to sleep, but either way I’m going to take Kovu with me if that’s the case so she’s with him until the very end ❤️💞
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much! 💞 I definitely will and I’m glad I know now, and I’m hopeful we can prove the odds wrong and have Foxy at least have a few more months of health before the end, but I’m glad I know in advance so I can prepare myself, as I know I’ll need to get his wifey Kovu a friend fairly soon after, and I think I would’ve really struggled to do that had it come completely out of the blue. But having said that I prompted a friend recently to get her guinea pig a new friend after one passed unexpectedly, and took her to get one, and I know she’ll prompt me too and come with me if I ask 💞 it just feels so wrong, having to think about these things before they’re gone, and feeling like you’re “replacing” your piggy even when they’re a truly irreplaceable character, but I know it’s what you have to do to take care of your surviving piggy’s sake.

I’ll read the guide when I’m a little less teary, and thank you ❤️ I’m hopeful I have at least a few months of love left with Foxy, he’s eaten quite a bit tonight sat with me, more than he has for a while. I’ve also ordered some nice new fleece liners as I’ve always wanted to try them, and wanted to make his home environment as comfy and cosy as possible, and a bunch of new fleece beds too, and hides, so he feels safe and protected 💞

I have found that it helps me to turn the clock back to zero and cherish every day more with a beloved as a special gift, whether that is just a few days or weeks or a year; or even 5 1/2 years after a husboar of mine nearly died from unusual post neutering complications and had been given up by his (general) vet but then went on and had the happiest of lives with up to 13 wives at one point...

Knowing that time is precious helps you to do and say everything you want and will make the time after the passing easier because your grieving process actually starts the moment you get the bad news; this moment corresponds to the shock part of a sudden death, only that it is spaced apart with a terminally ill piggy and the grieving process is more drawn out. When you can do some of your grieving actually before the death itself, you will find the experience less overwhelming. You do not grieve any less overall but you have that huge gift of being able to make the most of the remaining time, as bittersweet as it is.

You can find our full practical but sensitive information on loss, grieving and supporting a bereaved piggy via this link here. It will hopefully make the process easier on you and your piggies: Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
 

Freela

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((HUGS!)) So sorry for the diagnosis. We have one piggie, Leela, who was diagnosed with one enlarged kidney and one 'bumpy' but smaller kidney last January. The vet suspects either a mass on the big kidney or (more likely) polycystic kidney disease, which is an inherited condition where the healthy kidney is overtaken by multiple cysts until the kidneys are no longer able to function. So we pretty much know that renal disease is in her future, although right now she appears perfectly fine. Our goal is just to make the most of her time and as long as she is happy and doing normal guinea pig things, we will let her be. Once her kidney function declines enough that she feels rotten, we may have to help her to go, but if she's eating and drinking and behaving normally I'm going to make the most of it. It's hard going day to day knowing that this could progress rapidly at any time, but at the same time I keep reminding myself that Leela has no idea she has a terminal condition, she just knows how she feels right now, so as long as she feels good right now, it's a good day for Leela and that makes it a good day for me. I don't know what her blood levels are because the vet didn't see much point in following them along, but as I said, she was diagnosed last January and still seems fine in September. She's 4.5 years old, I'm hopeful for her to make it to at least 5, fingers crossed!
 

Xmolxlie

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I have found that it helps me to turn the clock back to zero and cherish every day more with a beloved as a special gift, whether that is just a few days or weeks or a year; or even 5 1/2 years after a husboar of mine nearly died from unusual post neutering complications and had been given up by his (general) vet but then went on and had the happiest of lives with up to 13 wives at one point...

Knowing that time is precious helps you to do and say everything you want and will make the time after the passing easier because your grieving process actually starts the moment you get the bad news; this moment corresponds to the shock part of a sudden death, only that it is spaced apart with a terminally ill piggy and the grieving process is more drawn out. When you can do some of your grieving actually before the death itself, you will find the experience less overwhelming. You do not grieve any less overall but you have that huge gift of being able to make the most of the remaining time, as bittersweet as it is.

You can find our full practical but sensitive information on loss, grieving and supporting a bereaved piggy via this link here. It will hopefully make the process easier on you and your piggies: Death, Dying, Terminal Illness, Grieving and Bereaved Companions: Information and Support for Owners and Their Children
Thank you so much for your kind words 💞 I definitely made sure to make the most of the time I had left, unfortunately Foxy crossed the rainbow bridge this morning, but he slept on my chest for nearly 8 hours beforehand, and then I decided it was best to put him back in his cage with Kovu (she’d also been cuddled up with us for a while, until she started to get restless and wanted to go back in her cage) so she could cuddle up to him, I think he was waiting to be with her to pass cuddled up in his safe space in his cage. I think the hardest part of owning piggies is knowing I now need to do what’s right for Kovu, and get her a friend, I’ve decided I’m gonna get two baby female pigs to be with her, as she’s getting older too, and I don’t want to be in this position with a single piggy in the next couple of years.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much for your kind words 💞 I definitely made sure to make the most of the time I had left, unfortunately Foxy crossed the rainbow bridge this morning, but he slept on my chest for nearly 8 hours beforehand, and then I decided it was best to put him back in his cage with Kovu (she’d also been cuddled up with us for a while, until she started to get restless and wanted to go back in her cage) so she could cuddle up to him, I think he was waiting to be with her to pass cuddled up in his safe space in his cage. I think the hardest part of owning piggies is knowing I now need to do what’s right for Kovu, and get her a friend, I’ve decided I’m gonna get two baby female pigs to be with her, as she’s getting older too, and I don’t want to be in this position with a single piggy in the next couple of years.

BIG HUGS

Piggies often pass away as soon as you set them down, if only to go to the toilet. But you can have the consolation that you have given Foxy all your love.

If you can, consider rescue dating. There are loads of piggies in rescue, including lots of neutered boars desperately looking for homes. This way, you can make sure that Kovu can have a say in who she wants to be with and you come home with a piggy only if acceptance or a full bonding has happened.

Give her time to do her own grieving first.

This guide here also contains a chapter on rescue dating and how it works: Rescues (Adoption and Dating), Shops, Breeders or Online? - What to consider when getting guinea pigs

Our recommended guinea pig rescues locator: Rescue Locator
 

Xmolxlie

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((HUGS!)) So sorry for the diagnosis. We have one piggie, Leela, who was diagnosed with one enlarged kidney and one 'bumpy' but smaller kidney last January. The vet suspects either a mass on the big kidney or (more likely) polycystic kidney disease, which is an inherited condition where the healthy kidney is overtaken by multiple cysts until the kidneys are no longer able to function. So we pretty much know that renal disease is in her future, although right now she appears perfectly fine. Our goal is just to make the most of her time and as long as she is happy and doing normal guinea pig things, we will let her be. Once her kidney function declines enough that she feels rotten, we may have to help her to go, but if she's eating and drinking and behaving normally I'm going to make the most of it. It's hard going day to day knowing that this could progress rapidly at any time, but at the same time I keep reminding myself that Leela has no idea she has a terminal condition, she just knows how she feels right now, so as long as she feels good right now, it's a good day for Leela and that makes it a good day for me. I don't know what her blood levels are because the vet didn't see much point in following them along, but as I said, she was diagnosed last January and still seems fine in September. She's 4.5 years old, I'm hopeful for her to make it to at least 5, fingers crossed!
Thank you so much 💞 I really hope Leela has a full life ahead of her, but I also hope that when it comes to it you take comfort in knowing you’ve done everything you can for her, and given her an amazing and fulfilling life. Unfortunately Foxy crossed the rainbow bridge this morning, although I’m thankful he did when he did, as he’d really gone downhill and I didn’t want him to have to suffer, and I knew much longer and I’d have had to take him to be put to sleep. He had many cuddles with his friends and family for about 8 hours before he passed, he slept on my chest for about 8 hours and then he spent his last couple hours cuddled up with his friend Kovu in his favourite special place in his cage. It’s really hard, and I’m grieving a lot, but he had less than a week of feeling very ill and under the weather, and I’m thankful for that. Last weekend he was still enjoying all his favourite foods, and living life to the full, and that’s all I can ask for really. ❤️
 

Xmolxlie

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BIG HUGS

Piggies often pass away as soon as you set them down, if only to go to the toilet.

If you can, consider rescue dating. There are loads of piggies in rescue, including lots of neutered boars desperately looking for homes. This way, you can make sure that Kovu can have a say in who she wants to be with and you come home with a piggy only if acceptance or a full bonding has happened.

Give her time to do her own grieving first.

This guide here also contains a chapter on rescue dating and how it works:
Rescues (Adoption and Dating), Shops, Breeders or Online? - What to consider when getting guinea pigs
Thank you 💞 I’d held him for so long, and I knew I wanted him to pass with Kovu and felt she needed that too. I’ve left him in the cage with her most of the afternoon, as I felt she needed that and she’s been sleeping next to him protecting him, and he’s going to have a nice burial in a few minutes.

Thank you I’ll definitely have a look at that, unfortunately where I live there is a distinct shortage of guinea pig rescues, I live in Derbyshire pretty much in the middle of nowhere, as I searched for them last month looking for a rescue pig for my friend, who also had a bereaved Guinea pig. I think some of my closest are about 1-2hours away, and when I last checked barely any of them had any available piggies. I will definitely do some more research before considering buying one for her 💞❤️
 

Xmolxlie

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This is a picture my friend took, when they were still very young, but I adore this photo. Foxy is on the left, and Kovu on the right. Rest in peace Foxy, you’ll be missed so much ❤️💞
 

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Lady Kelly

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So sorry for your loss. Glad that you got to spend those hours cuddled up together, he will have passed knowing he was very loved. Be kind to yourself
 
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