They interact, they sleep next to each other, they eat hay together -- in fact, often exactly paralleling each others' behavior.
On a less happy note, Barley recently had a lump that grew very quickly. It was successfully removed last week, but we have the results from the histopathology report, and the lump was malignant. The diagnosis is lymphoma, which is what we lost Frost to almost two years ago. We are hoping that the chemotheraphy drug Elspar (L-asparaginase) is available again, but we are going to take him in to a vet oncologist at K-State for a consult.
The steroid treatment did a great job of giving him high quality of life for a solid month. Right up until the end, he was happy and playful. Tuesday night, you could tell he wasn't feeling well. Wednesday morning, Jim found Barley and Lenny snuggled through the cage wall. Barley couldn't stand up. He died soon after.
We're pretty heartbroken, and Lenny, who loved his frenemy, is mourning. Barley was my boy, the one who would run to the side of his cage the second I walked in the door. He was smart and inquisitive and a total sweetheart. I'm glad he was able to have a good month, but wow, I wish we could have had more time with him. He wasn't yet three.
In that way that guinea pigs in need have a habit of showing up when you're ready to take one in, the humane society in Lawrence, Kansas, had a single pig in need of a home. I wasn't quite ready yet, but Lenny will need a buddy. I met Slater on Friday and immediately knew he had to be ours. I picked him up today. He was found abandoned with four other pigs on the front steps of the shelter one morning. I don't know if he'll stay a Slater. We'll see.
Here is his first new-home picture:
The worrisome question we have is whether lymphoma can spread virally like it can in cats? Barley seriously bit Frost, who died of Lymphoma. Should we be concerned about Lenny, who seriously bit Barley?
- For the Love of Pigs
Hope the Slater/Lenny match goes well. It will cheer Lenny right up.
Something the vet said did make me think: "Our best goal with our pets is to keep them feeling good as long as possible. That's not the same thing as keeping them alive at any cost."
Slater and Lenny are still in separate rooms. We thought we'd give Slater a couple of days to settle in and get used to his surroundings. Lenny knows he's around, I think. He doesn't seem quite as down today.
I don't think Slater is more than three months old. I had forgotten what it's like to have such young ones around! He goes back and forth between being skittish and popcorning like a maniac.