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Sudden Death

Casady R

New Born Pup
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I had two piggies about 6 months ago and both were well fed with hay and had fresh water. I take them out of the cage and let them roam around my room for exercise but make sure they don't eat anything while they are out. One afternoon I left for work and didn't come back until the next day only to find Bugsy laying on his side, barely breathing with a yelllowish liquid stain on both corners of his mouth. I tried giving him water and he wouldn't take anything. I held him up right and placed him on the ground to see if he could try to walk and he passed away almost immediately.
On Sunday, one of my other Guineas had a similar situation. I hadn't seen him in about 12 hours and came into my room and he was laying on his left side limp and barely breathing. I picked him up and his left eye was closed and there was some sort of discharge from his left nostril. He kept opening up his mouth wide almost like he was choking. He was having a hard time breathing so my boyfriend tried to perform CPR through a straw for a while which seemed to improve his awareness, but it was only a matter of time before he too passed.
I am not sure what caused either of these deaths. I clean their cage religiously once a week, feed them fresh hay and water every day, and there has been no sudden changes of temperature. If this is preventable I want to do what I can to make sure it doesn't happen again.
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

Adult Guinea Pig
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Hi, I am sorry you have suffered these losses. It is, I am afraid impossible to say what caused them. I think true sudden death is really very rare. usually piggies have had symptoms of something being not quite right that can be very subtle and easy to miss. The more time you can spend observing your pigs the more you can pick up on little changes in their behavior that may indicate something is wrong; things like them not being as quick to come forward when food arrives, being a little more picky about what they eat, changes to the amount they drink, not being as active as usual, being a bit grumpy, etc

It would also be a good idea to get your other piggies checked by a vet for any underlying issues.
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
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I am so sorry for your losses. :( Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure what happened. Being floppy, unable to stand, discharge from eyes, nose, or mouth are all symptoms that I have seen from pigs when they passed on and I think it has more to do with the body shutting down than the specific cause of death. Guinea pigs are prey animals and are very good at hiding illnesses until they are far advanced... it's also possible to have an underlying heart problem or something similar without any visible symptoms. Out of the pigs I've lost over the years, most passed suddenly after appearing fine the day before, so it's quite possible that there were no real early warning signs to pick up on.
 
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