Guinea Pigs Do Grieve (And How You Can Help Your Piggy)

Whatever people may say about animals; whee do grieve. Whee do feel loss. And whee aren’t too different from you hoomans in the way that whee grieve.

Whee feel loss deeply and quite often go into a period of mourning. For some piggies this can last days then they recover but are a little subdued. For others they have lost their reason for living. Some will be apparently unbothered by it but it is important to watch out for signs and symptoms of depression in guinea pigs. Many of them can point to more serious things like health issues so it is important to get a vet to check your piggy over first, before assuming it is depression.

Whee are not claiming to know it all but this is just from Mummy’s experience with her bereaved boys piggies over the years.

Symptoms

  • Lethargy – Not wanting to move around or do very much and behaving in a subdued manner. Not popcorning, etc.
  • Less Vocal – Reduced or no vocalization from the piggy. Without a friend to talk to they won’t feel much like talking.
  • And the most important of all, not eating. You should monitor your piggy after the loss of it’s cagemate. Assessing weight and watching them eat to make sure they are eating enough. Some will eat far less, while others will stop eating altogether. And you may have to get a vet to advise you on syringe feeding to help until they perk up.IMG_0204

Ways To Help

There are a few simple ways you can help a piggy that’s depressed but ultimately, guinea pigs are social animals and need companionship. When you and your piggy are ready, you should look into getting another friend for your piggy. Though it’s pretty tough, the piggy should come first. While you are looking you can:

  • Give them a pet safe cuddly toy to snuggle up to

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  • Spend lots of time with them. You are their biggest comfort.

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  • If your hooman knows their the piggy died of someΒ sort of illness. Clean out and disinfect all toys and cage thoroughly. Sometimes it is also a good idea to bath the guinea pig. They will however, need quarantining, for a short period of time to see whether they are ill before any introductions to other piggies can be made,

Losing a piggy furfriend isn’t easy. It’s horrible and confusing. But with all the things mentioned in this post you can make the time easier to bear.

Do you have any tips for grieving pets and owners? What did your hoomans do for you when you lost a furfriend?

Lets be thankful this Thursday for the wonderful furfriends around us on the blogosphere.

Nacho, Buddy & Basil

xxxx

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About hutchagoodlife

Tales and adventures from the hutches of British blogging guinea pigs!

Posted on September 5, 2013, in Piggy Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 113 Comments.

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had some tips on coping, but I dont. 😦 just know that you three piggies are very much loved.

  2. Great advice on piggy loss. Hope Nacho is young enough to bounce back quickly.

  3. right after cchoto baby passed away nom nom baby (new name for motu baby!) went into complete isolation and silence. he had stayed out of the cage for almost two days and wasn’t drinking enough water; he was eating but i could understand that he wasn’t enjoying i all that much. what broke my heart the most was the way he would look at me.. and i would immediately understand what that meant and i couldn’t control but burst into tears. but i had figured that i had to be strong if not for anyone but at least for him. so i started spending even more time with him. having said that i gave him his space and time to get over the loss and mashaALLAH within a week he had started improving and tried to be his old self.
    i am NO expert but here are my tips for helping your babies get over the loss:
    – clean up the cage
    – spend more time with them
    – giving them their space and time to recover while assuring them that you are there for them
    – cuddly toys (although it didn’t do much good for nom nom baby)
    i guess all these helps them in recovering from the loss.

    nacho, basil, and buddy hang in there and just know that you are always in nom nom baby and my mind at all times.

    peegie huggs and kisses from nom nom baby and tonsa love from me

    xxx

  4. Thank you so much for the piggy advice and with both MollySue and Annabelle getting older I worry about this very thing.

  5. Great tips. You’re in good hands, Nacho. Hang in there, pal.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  6. Three is my magic number. Bonded siblings rarely die at the same moment. We’ve had youngish pigs taking care of our older pigs for years, including several sows who brought new life to boars who were six and seven (long past “A GIRL!!!” their thought was “A FRIEND!!!”). I’ve had fathers and sons who couldn’t stand each other in youth get on fine in old age. Sometimes if a boar gets along with one of a pair of bonded males, I’ve worked a *joint custody* arrangement (this was what I had to do with lonely Teddy at seven and Felix and Greggy at four — Felix was calm enough to be with Teddy, but Greggy was too high-strung to not be neurotic withou Felix; Felix stayed with Teddy during the day and Greggy at night when I was home and could monitor Teddy).

    • Three being my magic number for getting new pigs three years apart.

      • That’s a good point. While discussing the number three. Mummy did consider trying to bond all three of us but the reactions through the bars said it all really. Whee would not work out. Whee will have to do a post explaining fully but Basil was showing serious aggression signs and Buddy was petrified of Nacho (seriously he is 3x the size of him but was really frightened!)

        Nacho loves listening to the others and talking to his teddy at the moment.

        xxxx

      • Your only hope would be Buddy anyway, Basil seems like the type for whom aggression is the first response (and if it was the bars of his cage, totally justified). Buddy and Nacho might do better together in a lap on a towel someplace where no one can fall (my sister had a sow with a notorious wicked streak whose first response to meeting tiny baby Eleanor was to throw her off my lap onto the floor — “Bye hairball!”).

      • Buddy met on laps earlier and he was still scared. He doesn’t seem to realize how big he is!

        Basil and Buddy seem to be such good friends most of the time I’d hate to split them up. No one else would put up with Basil’s outrageous naughtiness!

        xxxx

      • Quite agreed, though sorry Buddy is scared. I wasn’t suggesting a permanent split, just the occasional playdate…as Basil, no doubt, screamed the whole time. Yeah…no.

      • Basil is terribly behaved sometimes! He is sulking now after he rolled in the dirt earlier and I had to clean him with grooming wipes and brushes!

        xxxx

      • But him being dirty was clearly ALL your fault. It never would have happened if you hadn’t noticed.

      • I know! That’s the last time I let them go on the grass when it’s not looking its best!

        xxxx

  7. We do hope that little Nacho isn’t alone for long but we have learned from you that they do need a cage-mate in order to be really happy. Meanwhile Nacho is getting lots of extra attention and we’re glad that he has a Mummy who is happy to do that for him!! We all grieve – you’re right about that – but each in his/her own way and time. Hopefully you’ll soon be celebrating a new member of the piggy family and new companion for Nacho then there will be smiles on those adorable piggy faces once again.

    Pam (and Sam)

    • That’s the hope. Whee have been squeaking to some hoomans with piggies to see what’s out there at the moment and there does seem to be some good things from one person whee know well.

      xxxx

  8. Hang in there Nacho! We are rooting for you.

  9. We believe that all creatures grieve when they lose a friend or family member. Moms need to give the surviving pets lots of extra loving and you can work through it together.

  10. Nacho it will be ok, you are loved! I am glad your teddy friend is helping for now.

  11. Grief in animals is very real. In my case, I suffered terribly when my sibling Sage was sick. I didn’t want to leave her. When she went to the Bridge I was was very unhappy. But with the help of June Buggie, I worked through my grief.

    I think when people accept that animals experience feelings such as grief, they are able to see us are more than just “dumb animals”.

  12. I’m sure your hoomans are doing everything they can to comfort all of you….
    Purrs, Sundae

  13. My mum had pets rats a long time ago and they too prefer to be in pairs… She said that each time one died the other died very shortly afterwards they were literally heartbroken. I hope little Nacho makes a new friend very soon. You’re doing the very best for him and he is still so young. He has all of us for spiritual support too. Bisous Bailey

    • Thank you! Whee are giving him lots of attention and cuddles to cheer him up. But he’s very quiet still. He did have a loud conversation with his teddy earlier though it was pretty one sided!

      xxxx

  14. When my late canine sister Lexi died, my humans thought I would be depressed, but I seemed to be ok. Then all of a sudden I refused to drink out of the water bowl that was next to where Lexi’s dinner bowl had been. I’d only drink from the outside bowl. t’s been almost a year, and I am just now starting to drink from the inside bowl. We all grieve in our own way.

  15. It could be possible that Nutty missed Nibbles so much, he gave up. A human couple that has been together for a long time does the same thing. When one goes-the other isn’t far behind.

  16. Dear Nacho, I know you will miss Nutty, I miss him too. I wish I could help you, but all what I can do is send you a big hug. To handle grief and loss is a very difficult thing. Most only the time can heal it a little.

    • Whee hope so. I’m just so sad when it’s all quiet in my cage. I won’t popcorn, or wheek, or play. I just like snuggles and being close to my hoomans and the teddy bear.

      Mummy says I need to be a brave boy and she will take care of me

      Nacho
      xxxx

  17. Sending lots of love and light too all of yoooowoooowoooooo! xx Ku

  18. Hey Nacho,you will have a new friend I’m sure of that but in the mean time you could escape and come and stay with me for some snuggles,xx Speedy

  19. Thanks for sharing this valuable insight. Whee hope Nacho feels better soon. xxxxx Snuggles, Peaches, Daisy, Cinnamon and mummy.

  20. Vlad & Barkly's Dee

    We’re SO sorry for your loss! All of us in this family know how much it can hurt to lose a bestie. The hoomans hurt, and the cuddle buddies hurt even more. The cuddle buddies never forget, but the hoomans found it was helpful for them to get another cuddler for the one left behind. Hoomans seem to want to wait, when it might not be the best thing for the fuzzy one. We’ll pray that your pain lessens soon.

  21. Awww I bet they’re grieving too indeed 😦 but you’ll definitely cheer them up, they’re in such good care! Great share, they shouldn’t be left alone either after something so sad. Just like humans.

    • Very true. Whee find it sad that some people just give their piggies away after one dies. There are some really sad looking lonely older ones in rescues at the moment.

      So they lose their furfriend then their home and hoomans. Luckily our Mummy wouldn’t let that happen to us

      xxxx

  22. Poor piggies! I’m sure animals do have emotions, much more than some believe. It sounds like you’ve got it covered. Wishing you the best! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  23. Yow me sweet G-Piggiez me n Mum learned alot frum yer post!! We did not nose how deeply ya grieve fer another G-Piggie. Maybee yer Hu’Man cuud sing to Nacho…when me iz sad or sick Mum singz little happy songz she made up fer me. Dat alwayz cheerz me up…butt me iz not a G-Piggie so me not nose if diz wuud werk!!!
    WE iz sendin our LUB n furry guud wishez to all of ya speshelly sweet Nacho…
    *nose kissez* Nylablue

  24. I am so sorry for your loss! I, myself, have not directly observed an animal during a grieving period, but I do agree with you in the fact that our animals do, in fact, grieve! I have read many blog posts about siblings grieving for those who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and my heart tugs for them every time!

  25. We have no doubt that piggies feel loss.
    Hugs, Wyatt and Stanzie

  26. It is always so sad when a pet dies and a hard time for both, human and other pets in the family. When our Lurchi died I put him back in the cage that Luna can sniff good bye to him and knows what happened. We snuggeled a lot to comfort each other. Now she is a happy pig again with a new furever guinea pig friend.
    I am very sorry for you .
    Pia with Luna and Luigi

  27. I haven’t experienced this from up close. Most of the pets I really loved passed away at me parents’ place. It’s something horrible to go through, but it shows that animals have emotions and feelings to, despite what other people say.

  28. Aww Nacho we love you and know it is sad, we hope you perk up soon 😦 xoxox

  29. Great advice. My mum had an ornament Guineapig that she let me borrow for Snuggles to cuddle up to when Peaches died. I didn’t leave it too long before getting another piggy – Snow – because I had to put her needs first, even though I was grieving

  30. I am so sorry to hear about Nutty. I am still grieving for Peaches and she went over the rainbow bridge in September, I still say night to her. I am very, very sorry for your loss. I hope nacho will be okay. Daisy can’t live without Cinnamon so if anything happens to him, I will have to get another pig asap. She stopped eating and drinking and was hardly moving when she had her first operation and was in a separate cage to him. I had to put them back together. He usually goes with her just on trips to the vets nowadays, otherwise she behaves in the same way and hardly moves.

  31. Hi, my guinea pig died on Thursday. She was going in for a second bladder stone removal surgery, but when the vet opened her bladder she found that she had grown a large cancerous tumor since her last operation and they had to put her to sleep. My other little girl seems ok, shes eating fine but seems to be sleeping more than usual. I’m going to a rescue center tomorrow to see if i can find her a new friend. my girl that passed away was the loud one that always wanted attention and the girl i have has has always been quiet and much more skittish than her sister and sometimes nippy with her sister. Can any of you advise me on how to introduce her to another guinea pig and the chances of it being successful? Im planning to keep going to the center until i can get her a female friend about 3-4 years, so i don’t start a cycle of one passing away and having to find a new one for the lonely one. Thank you. x

    • Firstly I am so very sorry for your loss. There is nothing in the world as difficult as losing a beloved pet.

      My best advice regarding bonding is to read through this guide, which taught me how to bond piggies – http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/faq-introducing-and-reintroducing-guinea-pigs.38562/

      Then, as your piggies are sows you might want to read this one too, I’ve never bonded girls myself so cannot really advise – http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/sow-behaviour.38561/

      Something worth bearing in mind is that you could adopt a neutered male as well as a female. This would mean much less chance of needing to get another friend soon and starting that cycle over and over again. Alternatively you could find a pair of bonded girls and do the same. Creating a group or herd can be a very good option for a grieving piggy and often you don’t realize quite how lonely they are until they regain their spark when they find a friend. I really do wish you the best of luck with everything

      ~ Amy

      • Thank you so much for you reply, I actually cried when i read it last month lol. I got a new pig almost 4 weeks ago after a woman told me she found a guinea pig a bin a couple a few months before and hadn’t been able to find her a home. The woman was lovely, though it was obvious that she didn’t know much about guineas and had been feeding her solely hay and cucumber and had kept her in the cage she had found her in, which was about the size of a cat carry case. Anyway, i took her to the vets the next day for a check up and she clipped her nails and told me she was quite healthy (except for a minor eye injury that apparently should right itself) despite me saying that she breathed as though she had a cold. She is still breathing like this, she sounds quite nasally and kind of hoots like an owl at times. it’s a difficult sound to describe. Ive never heard this in any of my pig before but she doesn’t seem ill at all. could this just be a noise that she makes and nothing to worry about? Also, one of her feet looks quite deformed, it’s all curled in and she kind of walks on the side of the foot and she cant jump up on anything or hold the bars on the enclosure with it. she had VERY overgrown nails, could this have permanently deformed her foot? is it possible this will right itself? it deffinitely doesn’t seem sore at all. She’s also an abyssinian, and when i brush her coat she has alot of dandruff which comes out with pieces of fur attatched. Do you know if this is normal? ive only ever had short haired pigs. sorry for all the questions and the essay ive written, lol, im just needing a bit of advice from someone who knows a bit about them.
        Thanks so much

      • I don’t want to panic you but I really don’t like the sounds of the hooting. This is a sign of a URI or Upper Respiratory Infection. Often a course of antibiotics can clear this but left alone it does have the potential to be fatal and even with treatment can also be fatal. I speak from experience here as I lost a piggy last year to recurring URI’s. You can find more information in my guide here – https://hutchagoodlife.wordpress.com/a-hoomans-guide-to-guinea-pigs/emergency-and-illness/
        But that will definitely require a vet trip and preferably to a specialist or exotic vet. You will need to ask them to listen for fluid on the lungs and provide a diuretic if there is any and a course of strong antibiotics and probiotics to go with that.

        Regarding the skin issue, you should probably read this – http://www.gorgeousguineas.com/indentification.html and see which one matches, but again a vet trip would be in order.

        For the foot it is possible it is deformed slightly now but I wonder is it at all swollen or scabby? This could be what is know as bumblefoot. Again a vet can advise.

        I’m sorry if this seems like a lot of information but mites is very easily treated and bumblefoot takes awhile but is easy-ish too, my real concern is that hooty breathing. If there are no other symptoms you can catch it early and nip that URI in the bud though.

        An exotic vet would be best but if you are in the UK there is a list of recommended vets that are worth checking here – https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-vet-locator/

        I really hope this helps and please keep me posted on your little ones

        Best wishes

        ~ Amy

  32. I’m really sorry about your wee pig. 😦
    Ill phone again tomorrow. Is there anything specific i should be making sure they do to check for a URI? the vet i have is a small animal specialist in scotland and shes amazing, but she was on holiday and i got another vet id never been to before and im not sure how good she is with small animals. She did squeeze her throat and it made her cough and she said that can be a sign of an issue, but she thought it was very mild and nothing to worry about so didnt want to give her antibiotics. Im worried im being a hypoconondriac, but it deffo doesn’t sound right to me. If it was a URI would she not have developed more serious symptoms by now? shes been like that since i got her last month? When i took her the other week she didnt make the noise so the vet didn’t get to hear it…pure typical. lol. Is there any way i can post a wee video on this of her making the noise if i can get one to get your opinion since you’ve had to deal with it alot yourself?

    Thank you.

    • You want to ask them to listen to the lungs and listen for fluid. With a URI you can have low level symptoms for a long time which is what happened with Nutty. He had crackly hooty breathing for about 6 weeks and the vet kept telling me he had a cold. Then I went to a specialist who said it was a URI. He had about 5 URI’s in his life and the last one was just after he lost his cage mate so he just gave up living which was heartbreaking. If you want to post the video to youtube or another hosting site then give me the link I am happy to listen to it and see if I can help. It may also help if you can record it to show your vet. When under stress in a place like the vets they hide their symptoms much better which is always frustrating!

      ~Amy

      • It wasn’t my own vet, she thought it was just a cold she couldn’t hear anything dodgy when she listened with the stethoscope. Shes still making the noise though, but im struggling to get a video because my phone has such poor sound quality and she quietens when i put the phone close to her face. I have an unopened bottle of septrin that i had from my old piggy. Do you think i could possibly just give her a small dose for a few days myself? Maybe just a 0.5ml dose or something to clear anything up or is that daft? I’m going to phone and make the first appointment available for my own vet, it might not be for a good few days though. X Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

      • Sorry I was away for a short time due to family issues. How is your little one? Did you get them to a vet?

        xxxx

      • Heyy. I hope everything ok with you and your family. Yeah i got her to the specialist eventually. She heard the sound and agreed it sounded odd and shes heard it in a few guinea pigs before and thought it seemed like sinus issue but it didn’t seem to cause problems in the other few pigs shed met . She checked with the stethoscope and couldn’t hear anything wrong. I feel much better, it really is an alarming sound. Shes also alot older than the last vet told me, shes 4 and has cysts in her little ovaries. Wee soul, means she was kept on that tiny shoe box cage for the best part of her life. 😦 made me feel like crying lol. Thanks so much for your help btw amy. Xx

        Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

      • Morning. The vet just thinks its nothing serious. Ive made another appointment for my own vet, but the first time available is Friday night. Im starting to worry a little. I think shes sleeping a little more than usual and she didnt come out wheeking at me when she seen me wake up and climb out of bed this morning, which is unusual. I have septrin from my wee pig that died. Do you think it would be safe for me to give her a little dose for a few days? Maybe like 0.5ml? Im worried that Friday isn’t soon enough and i have an antibiotic sitting unopened anyway? Xxx

        Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  33. Nice guide, I think Nacho is better now? Your guide is very knowledgeable. Can you share what you did to him? Thanks.

    • Nacho is a lot better which is mostly down to the fact that whee brought home a new friend for him. But mostly whee just spent lots of time with him until he recovered.

      Like hoomans guinea pigs take time to recover but often a new friend will speed up the progress.

      Whee hope this help you and please feel free to ask any questions you might have

      xxxx

  34. I just lost my 2 month old guinea pig yesterday….. and I have another guinea pig who is searching for her….. I don’t know what to do to comfort him because he doesn’t want me to hold him….. what else can I do to make him know that I’m here for him….

    • Just being there for him is all you can really do. I would recommend getting her him a friend as soon as possible. As he sounds very young there is a good likelihood he will accept any friend put with him so another little boy his age would be perfect. The big thing is to quarantine him and any new piggy from each other for two weeks. This is so they do not pass any illness they may be carrying to one another. I hope your little one feels better soon and I am very sorry for your loss.

      xxxx

  35. I am 13 and I lost one of my piggies yesterday and I am finding it really hard to cope and I am just crying all the time. Pleas can someone give me some tips how to get over my piggie teddy thanx

    • Losing a pet is never easy.

      It can sometimes be hard for others to understand how much the loss of your pet may get to you and it is not uncommon to hear ‘it was only a guinea pig’ , ‘you can easily get another one’ etc. As with any loss it is important for you to have someone to talk to who understands how you are feeling and what the loss of your pet has meant to you. This could be a parent or guardian or a friend or school teacher. Whoever you feel comfortable speaking to.

      However, just as when we lose a person we love they would ultimately want us to move on with our lives and be as happy as we can – it is the same for the pet we have lost – they too would want us to move on, be happy. Remember the good times and keep them in your heart. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it was just a piggy.

      Please don’t feel alone, so many of us are out there who know what you are going through. You are welcome to comment here any time and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

      I am so sorry for your loss and me and the boys are thinking of you at this sad time.

      ~ Amy

      • Thank you so much for your advice it really helped me. But my outher piggie is really sad and everything I tried above is not working but he is 9 years old and we don’t won’t to get another piggie because well u know. Is their any thing else we can do to try and make him happie

      • Firstly, he has lived to a very good age already so you’re obviously a brilliant owner! Now if none of the above is working then it may be worth getting him vet checked to make sure nothing serious is wrong

        Next I would suggest spending lots of time with him and giving him lots of toys and treats to distract him
        Our toys page might help – https://hutchagoodlife.wordpress.com/a-hoomans-guide-to-guinea-pigs/break-the-boredom-time-for-toys/

        If you have a friend with guinea pigs you might want to arrange some sort of play date and put them in cages next to each other for a little while so they can chat and that might perk him up.

        I really hope this helps but please ask if you have any other questions

        xxxx

      • Thank you so much this helped me so much. But my other piggie is really sad and all of the above is not working and he is 9 years old so we don’t wont to get anothere piggie because you know. is their easy thing we can do to try and make him happie

  36. Hi this seams to be helping him a lot he lovs the mirror. Thanck you so much fore your heilp. My friend seas it is bad to feed piggies lettis and selarie but I feed mine it should I carry on feeding theim it or should I stop?

  37. I lost one of my piggies yesterday and although it’s very sad I accept that it was her time and she is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge. She had a UTI which has progressed into something the vets couldn’t diagnose without an x-ray. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it long enough to have her x-ray and she died in my arms at 2am today 😦 I took her to the emergency vet to be sure and they confirmed that my little piggy had passed. She was 5 years old. I’m worried about my other piggy as I don’t think she knows Katie is gone and she is looking for her although she knew she was sick and I also think she knew she was dying because they would just lay there snuggling when Katie wasn’t with me, how will she find out?

    • Sadly, this also happened with us. It’s extremely tough on the piggy. They will feel lost and confused and may become depressed. The best thing to do is deep clean everything you have to remove the scent and avoid confusing them. Then your piggy will probably very much like a new friend.

      It’s hard finding a new piggy after losing one but it’s the best way to come to terms with the loss and put your piggy first.

      Have you thought about this at all. We are happy to advise or help in any way.

      xxxx

      • Yes I have and I want to get her a new friend, but my parents won’t let me do so even though I take care of them. Until I can figure out what to do I keep her beside me so she doesn’t get lonely (and she does the same thing for me :P). I don’t know how to convince my parents to get another piggy since they’re still on the fence about moving the piggy cage upstairs so she’s not as lonely :/ Cocoa is also scared of the teddy bear I put beside her, she will just avoid it or be suspicious of it :/

      • Maybe you can ask your parents to speak to me? If they email me via the contact us page then I can explain it to them on your behalf. Alternatively show them this article about grieving guinea pigs and explain that they need companionship.

        Some piggies aren’t fond of teddies. You can always try play music to them quietly to soothe them and lots of hugs instead πŸ™‚

        xxxx

  38. Hi my piggy lost his two top teeth and he had struggle eating things but we blended his food up so it is like baby food. But yestaday I thought until his top teeth grow back how can I ceep the bottom ones from not over growing because he can’t bite things so therefore can’t ceep his bottom teeth short. Do you have any ideas. It would heilp me a lot

  39. I lost my Frankie a month ago now who was 5 years old. Her sister Chelsea is all alone and really greived for her soul-mate just as much as me and my partner, who are just about now coming to terms with her abscence. I am in a bit of a dilemma as although Chelsea appears to have come to terms with the loss, now gotten used to being on her own – even more fuss and attention than ever before.

    I have read conflicting advice about whether it is okay or not to have just the one piggy and in some ways I am convinced of this, yet can’t help feeling guilty that Chelsea no longer has a mate to talk to or snuggle up next to. I live in a flat and there are inflexible riles about pets, and although allowed to have them, my support worker has said that it is best not to get another piggy in case Chelsea does not take to them.

    I understand her concerns, and certainly wouldn’t want Chelsea to have to re-acquaint her little self with another friend, especially now that she is in her fifth year, yet is this the right thing or not?

  40. My guinea pig died yesterday leaving the other one alone. They have been together since birth I don’t know what to do. Will he be ok alone?

  41. I’m distraught and just need a piggy person to talk to. My Piggy of 4years old just passed away. Isn’t that too soon? I thought I was doing my best to keep them healthy and happy. I really thought we’d have more time together. I’ve had her and her sister since they were 6wks old. I came home from work and they normally call for food and when I went to greet them Pepper had passed and her sister Pudding just sat there. Pepper has been making strange sounds calling for me at all hours not just feeding time and Pudding, like myself, must have sensed Pepper was not herself the last two weeks. Pudding occasionally bullies Pepper but Pepper was more dominant, now I think Pudding was curious as to what was wrong with Pepper and not infact playing her odd bullying games. Pepper has always been more grumpy in general but happy too. She was running around popping and happy last night. It has been very hot here the last week but she was acting weird before that shortly after her pedicure at the vet. With the heat I’d leave all the windows open and my mom would go to my house everyday to check on them while I was at work. The last few days haven’t been too hot though so I’m not sure if it effected her or if she caught something at the vet when having her pedicure or if it’s old age? She’s not the best bred piggy (just from the pet store) and often they aren’t that healthy. I spoke to the vet about her behaviour and they said it’s not necessary to bring her in if she’s happy and just to see how it goes. I didnt want to traumatise her with a trip there for nothing, now I regret it. I’m taking her there tomorrow to get some feedback and to be cremated 😒. Now pudding sits alone which is my next problem however she was cheeky with her sister nevermind a new pig so I truely think that’s not an option…any thoughts please I’m beside myself with guilt and grief.

    • Hi Candice, firstly I’m so sorry for your loss. Unless you’re a piggy person, it’s hard for others to understand what you’re going through. Honestly though, as hard as it might be, guinea pigs are very social animals and it is probably a good idea to consider contacting a rescue and trying to adopt a friend for your piggy. This will also provide a distraction for you and help with the healing process. Guinea pigs do not often deal well with being alone, especially if they are used to company so it’s best to move quickly under these sorts of circumstances. I hope I have helped and please feel free to comment any questions you might have

      • Thank you very much. I was going insane not knowing what happened to Pepper so I had the vet to an autopsy after she assured me it would be done in the most gentle way possible. She said Pepper was extremely healthy but she had a cancerous tumor that burst in her kidney and killed her instantly it was unfortunately something we could not prevent or cure as it was inoperable. I felt a bit better that it was something I couldn’t save her from but it’s still hard. Pudding is a very jealous and defensive piggy. Even with her sister she was very temperamental. So I am worried by getting another it will make her feel worse/threatened. The vet seemed to think a friend might not be the best idea in her case because she can be so aggressive and we are worried she’d attack the new piggy so I would possibly have to keep them separate anyway. She has been eating properly and she has even popped now and again. She also talks to me quite a bit. I leave the radio on all day and my mom goes to visit her midday most days. The difficulty is I’d need to find a piggy around her age because I’m nervous Pudding will pass and leave the new younger piggy behind and then I’ll have to get another piggy for that piggy and I’ll just keep going. It’s a very difficult decision:( I don’t know what to do. There also aren’t proper rescue centres here in South Africa.

        Thank you for the kind words.

  42. My Guinea Pig Pretzel just past last night, and my other piggy Oreo is devastated. She keeps chirping like a bird and I read online that it means she is “Calling For her Mother.” Is the only thing I could do is spend time with her? Because I usually get home around 9:30 pm on week days. Therefore I try my very hardest to spend time with her when I can and home!

    • It’s probably best to consider getting a friend for Pretzel as guinea pigs are very social animals. Alternatively, getting lots of toys and spending time with them is helpful to get them through the grieving process

  43. My guinea pig starts squeaking very loudly in his cage and when we try to pick him up he runs and when we do pick him he bites and squeaks i thought maybe he was upset because my other guinea pig died but im not sure. Could there be something wrong with him?

  44. Our 4 year old Taj left us about 3 weeks ago and my heart aches reading about everyone’s losses. Memories are slowly starting to bring smiles now versus tears and guilt. Our other 4 year old Koa looks exactly like Nacho! But I suspect something is wrong. He’s lethargic and isn’t finishing his vegetables. I wonder if I should look into adopting a baby guinea or a little older female. Do you have any advice?

    • I would definitely consider adopting a friend for Koa. Often guinea pigs need that friend to bring them out of their shell again. However I would say a vet trip might be in order first, just to make sure something else isn’t going on first. Please let me know how it goes

  45. My piggie has all of a sudden become lethargic and I have no idea why… Could it be from another pig in the cage picking on her?

    • Often guinea pigs are very good at hiding illness so if your piggy is showing signs then this needs to be checked. It could be a variety of things. Anything from old age to a serious illness so I’d really recommend taking her to the vet to get checked out and be on the safe side. Please let me know how it goes

  46. We took your advice after seeing no improvement in Koa and the vet found his back molars overgrown. To get back there, they also cut his bottom incisors very short. He seemed ok after that but came out with one cloudy eye which we then treated with a topical antibiotic. He still wasn’t eating on his own, and with our recent experience with Taj, we decided to feed him Critical Care. The next day, he didn’t want food or water. By the time I realized he also wasn’t making a lot of poo, the vets had closed. Koa passed the next morning. I am so heartbroken and feel responsible for how he must have suffered. I miss my boys so much….

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