Time to let him go


New Born Pup
Jul 31, 2020
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Hello everyone,

This forum has been an amazing resource for me and I am very grateful for all the information provided. I’ve been rereading a lot of topics and thought it might be good to open a topic and write some of the things running through my mind down.

My 5,5 year old (castrated) boar Jona has had some very rough times. I adopted him 4 years ago from a rescue, he came from a very bad breeding place where he experienced a lot of trauma. He’s had negative associations that have stayed with him his entire life. I adopted him to accompany my then two sows, whom he loved very much. A few years ago he got an abcess that developed, burst and healed on it’s own and I was at that time unable to provide him the needed medical care due to my own mental health going downhill after losing my two sows and two hamsters in a fairly short time frame. The last two years he has been spending his days with Fiep, a lovely sow that I introduced to Jona when she was only a few weeks old.

Last december my mental health had come to a point where I was unable to take care of myself and started slipping more and more in the daily care and I decided to bring the piggies to live with my parents temporarily so I could be sure that they would be taken care of. I visited a few times to cut their nails, trim their hair and cuddle. One day my mother called in panic that Jona was fitting (which was most probably a stroke) and she was afraid he would pass away soon, at that point I had temporarily (which a few months later turned permanently) moved in with my partner and thankfully was able to straight away head to my parents. Thankfully when we arrived he seemed to be doing ok-ish again and we brought the piggies home with us, afraid that he could pass away at any moment.

But he got better and fully recovered, and after a few weeks thanks to the help of my partner we were able to go to the vet to get him and Fiep checked out. She noticed in our story that some signs pointed towards him maybe being in pain due to arthritis and bumblefoot and prescribed painkillers to see if it would change anything, which turned out to greatly help him and make him much more active again. Within a few weeks though we got the bad luck of receiving a batch of hay that turned out to have lice in them, so back to the vet for treatment. Fiep and Jona both got better fairly quickly and were ok for quite a while. When we were at the vet then I had pointed out that I felt like the scarred tissue from his former abscess had been swelling up again, and indeed it continued to grow in the weeks to come.

The last few months we went to the vet many times to clean and flush his abscess and try oral and later topical antibiotics. The abscess had multiple compartments and it went with many ups and downs. The vet advised strongly against surgery because she had little faith in him surviving anesthesia. In the end what worked was flushing his abscess with saline and putting antibiotic salve inside the abscess twice times a day and it finally improved and partially healed while only some small pieces stayed the same. Throughout this all his weight stayed stable and he kept his excitement for food and was able to move much better with the painkillers.

But a few weeks ago he suddenly started getting bald patches, treatment with stronghold didn’t work and the fungus test was negative. He looked quite beat up but was doing well in behaviour and weight, even improving quite a bit now that his abscess had healed a bit. Last weekend his health went downhill greatly, he was visibly feeling quite bad and I was unsure if he would get through the day. Monday we went to the vet again, explaining all the new symptoms. She felt and noticed his bladder being huge and rockhard, she made x rays and it showed stones in the kidney and a lot of sludge in the bladder. However to get a better view an ultrasound was needed, for which they were not experienced enough with piggies and she referred us to the academic animal hospital in another city.

Wednesday we were able to get an appointment and received amazing care and a very thorough examination. It was very special to meet such good doctors. Jona and Fiep were admitted for the day so that Jona could get blood tests and an ultrasound. While we were waiting on news my partner proposed we’d go to the rescue that day rather than wait ‘till the date we had planned, in case things would go bad. Right before we arrived we received the call. Jona has stones and sludge in both kidneys, bladder and blockages both from the kidneys to the bladder and the urethra itself. For which they were unable to do anything anymore, and we were advised to put him to sleep within the week.

After a lot of crying we went into the rescue with dozens and dozens of amazing little piggies and were able to find a little girl (whom we named Lily) to take home, we then picked up Jona and Fiep from the hospital and after some rest we introduced them. It was the most loving and fast introduction I’ve ever experienced and all three piggies are visibly so so much happier with each other. It feels good to see Fiep happy again, as she had been getting more and more depressed due to the stress of Jona’s illness. And to see Jona being a little bit more active again and have a few more good moments and rumble struts and cuddling up with Lily is worth gold.

Yesterday we were able to call our own vet and make an appointment for her to come to or house monday afternoon to put Jona to sleep.

I have been taking care of Jona everyday for hours these last months. Cleaning and treating his abscess, giving him painkillers, salving his feet, helping him poop, massaging his belly and giving him as much love as I possibly can. Knowing that I was slowly losing the battle. These last days and coming days the piggies have been my sole focus and my partner and I have been doing everything we can to make him as comfortable as possible and spoil him as much as possible. Thankfully it seems to help, he has improved just a little bit and has a bit more good moments. But it hurts a lot to sometimes see him suddenly sit still and be in pain.

I know that it is time to let him go, to prevent him from suffering further. But it is so incredibly hard to accept that choice, especially when he is now walking around so much more and rumblestrutting and eating and drinking as best as he can with lots of excitement. Every time he has a pain episode it breaks my heart and reminds me of how bad it really is though… I feel torn, exhausted, depleted and heartbroken. Trying to stay calm and strong because he is also fighting so incredibly hard and deserves so so much more.

This post has gotten very long and incoherent, but I think it’s good to have written things down a bit. I am not sure what to ask from you, other than maybe a little bit of support. And to again thank you for all the knowledge shared here on this forum, it has really helped me and Jona greatly.


(Attached pictures from the last few days. Jona is the black and white lunkarya, Fiep the golden agouti lunkarya and Lily the three colour abyssinian beeb)



Forum Donator 2020/21
Jul 31, 2017
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I’m so sorry that your time with him has been so eventful. But I’m pretty sure he’s grateful that you took him from the hideous environment he was living in before. You’ve given him a good life and done the very best for him that you could. I know that doesn’t make it easier, but the act of giving them rest is very selfless.

Enjoy the weekend with him. Have lots of cuddles (if he likes them) and give him the food he likes. All the best for Monday 💕


Teenage Guinea Pig
Aug 6, 2019
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Somerset UK
So sorry to hear that you’ve had such a stressful time. It sounds like you’ve done everything you possibly can for him and that he’s very loved.

Like @Piggies&buns has said I hope you enjoy your weekend with him and he gets spoilt rotten. Good luck for Monday :hug:


Staff member
Nov 1, 2013
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Cheshire, England
It’s never easy to make this decision but you’ve clearly made it with such love that it will never be wrong. Enjoy your precious time together. Huge hugs.


Junior Guinea Pig
Mar 28, 2018
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Derby, UK
Your story has brought tears to my eyes...what a story of love and care. I will be thinking of you on Monday when you send him on his journey, he will take with him all the love you have given him 💜