Sudden Death in Sleep? :(

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Post   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:03 pm

Hi guys,

One of my two guinea pigs, Banoffee, died suddenly yesterday. She was eating, running around and snoozing in her hammock as usual yesterday. In the evening I went to give them both a fuss and Toffee ran out from their hidey place to greet me but there was no sign of Banoffee. I thought she was just being shy so I lifted the hidey roof and stroked her. She was cold and rock-hard. Her little eye was open and her back leg was stretched out, she was on her side. She looked like she normally looks when she relaxes but she was dead.. It was completely unexpected, a shock.

Do you guys have any idea how she could have died like this? She was just over 3 years old and showed no signs of sickness.

C Cole-Chakotay

Post   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:04 pm

I'm sorry to hear about Banoffee. I don't know why she passed on. She may have had a heart attack or stroke. Other than that, I have no idea. Again, I'm sorry to hear of her passing.

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Post   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:05 pm

Guinea pigs are very good at hiding their illnesses. In addition, they can suffer fatal strokes and heart attacks that strike without any warning, even pigs like Banoffee who are in the cavy equivalent of early middle age. Many of us pig folk have experienced these shocking losses. I'm very sorry about Banoffee.

(Posted at the same time as C. Cole-Chatokay, same info.)

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Post   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:08 pm

I am so sorry for your loss.


Post   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:03 pm

I'm very sorry you lost her, it is shocking and so sad. As mmeadow said, many of us have experienced the same. I know that doesn't make it better but it happens, and any number of things could have caused her passing. Without a postmortem by a qualified vet you really will never know for sure.

You will want to give Toffee extra attention. 2 reasons- 1) watch carefully for the slightest sign of illness, it can be so very subtle. Something caused her mate to die and since you don't' know what it was be very careful for a while. Maybe weigh her each day and watch how much she eats/drinks/poops peas etc.

2) Guinea pigs can and do get depressed due to the loss of a cage mate - give Toffey extra time and love, extra treats whatever she likes but especially time with you, Depressions can cause then to not eat properly, and as you know they are so fragile. The slightest differences can cause problems. Again I am so sorry you lost her

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Post   » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:04 pm

I have nothing new to add to what was posted above. Without a necropsy, you will never know what happened to her.

I send my sympathy and hope the two of you can recover soon. Rest in peace, little one. You are loved and missed.


Post   » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:26 am

Thank you so much guys, it's reassuring to hear that this isn't completely unheard of.

I've been giving Toffee extra strokes and cuddles, I can't really tell how she feels though. She's eating ok but seems to be retreating a bit more than usual. I'm not sure how much she's drank over the last 24hrs so I'm going to keep an eye on that now.

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Post   » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:28 am

You might want to read over for now. Guinea pigs are social animals so I hope you consider a companion (check your local rescues).


Post   » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:54 pm

Thank you. I've contacted local rescues, hopefully Toffee will have a cage mate soon :)

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