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The Highs And Lows Of A New Pig

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joanna0710

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Hi, I'm just new to this forum. I had 2 pigs for 6 years before I had my two boys so when they started asking for a pet I was delighted when a gp was too of their list. They are 10 & 7 so I felt they were a good age to manage the (supervised) responsibility of a pet. We decided to get them for their Christmas and selected two healthy looking sisters from a well respected small pet store . They kept them for the last 2 weeks (they also offer holiday boarding) in a hutch indoors and I picked them up late on Xmas eve. I put them in their new hutch with plenty of fresh hay and left them in our conservatory to settle in. Yesterday morning the boys opened up their presents which comprised of every thing a gp needs and then we took them in to quietly meet their new babies. It was love at first sight! and they were so gentle around them. We let them have a little cuddle and then left them alone in their new home to settle in. First thing this morning I sensed fudge seemed poorly. He was sitting in a corner while trixie was buried under hay as I'd expect. Her breathing also seemed laboured so I picked her up and she didn't even try to run away. There were clicking noises coming with every breath and as the day went on she developed a rattle. She died about 4pm. My son was destraught. He cuddled her and said goodbye . I'm so upset it's been such a horrible experience for them not to mention how poorly fudge must have been. Trixie seems fine at the moment. She's drinking and eating and is timid and flighty as you'd expect of a New baby. I've cleaned the cage and replaced bedding etc. What should I do now? What length of time should I wait to see if illness was contagious? I don't want Trixie to be scared and lonely as she's so young and so would consider getting another. what would u recommend ? Should I take this matter up with the pet store, and at least let them know there may be illness in their other pigs? I'm assuming Fudge died of an URI. Has anyone had a similar experience? I'm shocked how quickly she went from showing symptoms to passing away and if I'm honest anxious about it happening again as it has been such a sad evening. They were so attached to them in 24hrs! Thank you
 

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Oh dear, how awful :( I would take Trixie to a vet to have her checked over to make sure she isn't harbouring the same symptoms. After Trixie has had a week or two to settle over the loss of her cagemate it would be worth thinking about getting her matched with a new friend at a local rescue. If you can get your boys involved in that it may help turn things into a positive experience for them. A reputable rescue will also ensure the health of any new piggy, unlike a pet shop.

Hope this helps!
 

helen105281

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Hi, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry to hear about poor Fudge. It sounds like it was Pneumonia to me which can be contagious, so I would wait at least 2 weeks before looking for a friend and I would get Trixie checked out at the vets as soon as you can just to be sure. If she does develop similar symptoms ask the vet about diuretics in addition to any antibiotics you are given of they suspect there is any fluid on her chest.

I would definitely let the pet store know what happened, they may even cover any future vet bills. They will also need to check any cage mates for similar symptoms.

When the time is right, you could see if there are any rescue nearby who could bond Trixie with a new friend. You are guaranteed to rehome a healthy pig that way and they will help her choose the perfect match. Check out our recommended rescue locator.

Could you update your location on your profile as it will help with any advice we give.
 

joanna0710

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Thank you, that's exactly what I was thinking of doing. I'm kicking myself for not doing that in first place now but friends recommended this family run store and I readcgreat reviews about their boarding service. Maybe we were just incredibly unlucky
 

helen105281

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I think you probably were just unlucky though it is not uncommon for any pet shop pig to become ill soon after coming home sadly.
 

joanna0710

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I know
I've updated my location as requested. I can hear Trixie munching her pellets and drinking and chirruping away . it's so reassuring to hear that she's settling in and makes me realise she'd been so quiet, probably knowing something wasn't right with her cagemate.
 

Ryno

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Hi :) newbie as well... sorry to hear about your loss... poor Fudge. I also have two new young cavies, and one (Monti) has also been ill with pneumonia and has been under vet care for the past 2 weeks. Poor thing - he is getting better, but I don't think he is out of the woods yet. Peanut seems to be ok though :)

Good luck!
 

Jennifer D

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That's so sad :( What a bummer for your kids! It's nice that you were able to hold her and say goodbye- as sad as it is, I think that was the most important thing my parents had us do when it was time for our animals to pass on. I don't have anything else to add to what everyone else has said about the vets etc. I hope your piggy isn't sick and that you can get a new friend for her soon!
 

JackJack1

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How really sad for you all and how awful for Trixie to have all t his happen to her. I would definitely get her seen by the vet asap, as they can develop symptoms and go downhill very quickly, when they look OK one minute and then poorly the next. I would also let the pet shop owner know as they will need to quarantine the guinea pigs until they are sure everyone of them is OK and not caught anything.

Hope you find a new friend for Trixie soon and I think letting the boys help choose a new friend will help also. Although you will need to explain to them the one they pick might not necessarily be a personality match for your guinea pig. If you forewarn them, then they will not be disappointed when they pick a guinea pig and then find out they are not a match.
 

Freela

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Awww, what a sad introduction to having pets! Unfortunately, a lot of pet store pigs have been exposed to bacterial illnesses, and it doesn't take long for a respiratory illness to weaken and kill a guinea pig. I'm so sorry that you and your children had to go through that. I have three kids myself, around the same age as yours, and remember how distressed they were the last time we lost a pet, so I really feel for you all! I agree with keeping an eye on Trixie to make sure no illnesses have been communicated, and seeing the vet just to rule it out, or especially if symptoms develop. It's always a good idea to have a quarantine period before introducing pigs from different places who may have been exposed to different illnesses, so bear that in mind if you introduce a new friend. When we lost half of our original pair of guinea pigs, we came home with a younger pig and kept her separate from our surviving pig for about two weeks, so we could make sure that no one was carrying any communicable diseases. After that, we introduced them on neutral ground and luckily they got on very well. There is some great info here on introducing pigs when you get to that stage. Again, so sorry for your loss, and hope all goes well for Trixie.
 

joanna0710

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Thank you! Trixie is well and acting like a new skittish pig should. She eats and drinks as soon as it dark and calm in the house but isn't really touching her fresh food. She's definitely eating hay and her pellets as I've been keeping a close eye on quantity given. How much water should the average 10 week old drink in a day and what is a good weight . I'd like to keep a close eye on both. Vet has checked her and said there are no signs of any illness but to keep a close eye over next few days.
 

Guinea-pigGaga

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Welcome to the forum!

However, I understand that you intend to keep your guinea pig/s in your conservatory?!

Conservatories are not a suitable environment in which to house guinea pigs, and/or other animals, unless temperature controlled! However, the temperature in conservatories continuously fluctuates - Guinea pigs do not tolerate sudden changes in temperature well. . . It is quite possible that Fudge became too cold! Nevertheless, at this time of the year, a ten week old guinea pig should only be housed indoors, or in a heated outbuilding!

I'm sorry for your loss!
 

joanna0710

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Welcome to the forum!

However, I understand that you intend to keep your guinea pig/s in your conservatory?!

Conservatories are not a suitable environment in which to house guinea pigs, and/or other animals, unless temperature controlled! However, the temperature in conservatories continuously fluctuates - Guinea pigs do not tolerate sudden changes in temperature well. . . It is quite possible that Fudge became too cold! Nevertheless, at this time of the year, a ten week old guinea pig should only be housed indoors, or in a heated outbuilding!

I'm sorry for your loss!
Thank you for your concern. My conservatory is a triple glazed small heated room that is temp controlled by thermostatic radiators. I was aware that pigs can't tolerate temp fluctuations. As they are young I am keeping them indoors at least until milder spring weather.
 

Gizi

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I'm so sorry for your loss. x This is another reason to not buy from petstores and rescue instead.
Hope all goes well :)
 

Pippy & Daisy

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Sorry to hear this; it must have been so upsetting for all involved :( you and your boys sound like great pet owners. I'm sure Fudge appreciated the love she had for even that short time. I really hope Trixie stays healthy and you find a friend for her without too much trouble. From all the good things you heard about the pet store it sounded like you probably were just unlucky, but I'd definitely avoid buying from there again, especially as pet stores usually know very little about their animals. I know some rescue centres let you take your piggie in to find a suitable cage mate so that might be an option? That way your boys can be involved in helping find a new pet. Hope all goes well from here on in, seems Trixie got very lucky to have found such a loving family :) x
 

Chopsticus

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Definitely let the store know since it happened so soon after the purchase.
Pneumonia? Dang, I never even thought of that. I just lost 2 piggies and come to think of it, 1 of them, maybe both, breathed noisily at times like after running.
I lived in London and the vet was on the same street and said don't worry about guinea pigs getting cold. Well they were visibly much happier when I plopped them in my bed. And they get sicker at the colder part of my room.
 
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