Bereaved sow during Coronavirus

Post Reply
Diamon14

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:46 pm


Hello everyone,

Yesterday morning, we unexpectedly found one of our sows, Nibbles, passed in her cage. The previous night she was showing no signs of acting different, so we were very surprised and are grieving. However, she left our other pig, Charlotte on her own, who is only 2 and a half. Nibbles was our 3rd pig and Charlotte is our 4th, so we've been through this before, and as soon as the remaining pig would show signs of loneliness, we would adopt another in order not to risk any health issues. But I live in New York, the US's epicenter for the Virus, and we are under a stay-at-home order. This is very tough as we are afraid of what will happen if Charlotte is left alone for too long.
As of now, she is eating and drinking and going to the bathroom normally. She spends a decent amount of time between her two hidey houses and comes out to eat and to greet us, and she is not acting too differently. Although when we found Nibbles, Char was staying far away from where she was laying and refused to go over there for hours. Maybe she had said goodbye hours before, since we have no idea when during the night Nibbles passed.
We have all been spending lots of time with her to help her through and have been monitoring all of her habits. Obviously we will be expecting some signs of grieving, I am just hoping it isn't too severe.
Is there anything more our family can do to help Charlotte in a time where we may not be able to adopt another pig? All we want to do is help her as much as possible without the ability to find her a friend for an unknown amount of time.
I also have always had trouble finding places to adopt guinea pigs in my area. Not a lot of shelters around here in general even have guinea pigs at all. I've also tried looking on Craigslist, Guineapigfinder, petfinder, etc. for people looking to rehome, to no avail. We have (unfortunately) gotten all 4 of our pigs from pet stores, because we were not able to find any up for adoption anywhere. Any other places that anyone could suggest I look would be amazing, although it may not be available to us for another month or two.

User avatar
Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:10 pm


I'm so sorry for your loss. You may find something useful here until others chime in with suggestions:
http://www.guinealynx.info/alone.html

User avatar
Mizz P

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:51 pm


I'm so sorry for your loss. What a terrible thing to wake up to. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area and also under lockdown due to the coronavirus. It sounds like you don't know what the cause of death was for Nibbles. Is your vet open and able to determine, so you can know if Charlotte is at any risk?

I have a solo guinea pig - he's been solo his entire life. Although he is a very happy, healthy, content 6-year old pig, I totally understand the desire/need to have a companion for Charlotte especially since she is used to living with another pig. I see a guinea pig rescue in Rochester, listed on facebook @rocguineapigs. As expected, they are also shut down because of the coronavirus, but it might be worth contacting them to see if you can be put on a list for when they re-open. Maybe try to keep Charlotte occupied with new types of toys - cardboard tubes or boxes, paper bags, etc. and resist the temptation to go overboard on treats! Otherwise, keeping a consistent diet and spending more quality time with her so she continues to feel part of a "pack" is probably best for all concerned. Again, my heartfelt sympathies.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:07 pm


I am sorry for your sudden loss. I hope the link Sef posted helps.

Diamon14

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:40 pm


Mizz P, thank you so much for the advice. Unfortunately Rochester is a 6 hour drive from where I am, I live on Long Island. So I don't think that is an option :(
That is a good idea to get a bunch of toys! I was looking for toys to order last night, and I could just use a box (she loves those), and she would probably just love a paper bag. I also put a fleece pad with Nibbles' scent on it in the cage that usually goes in their cuddly cup, and I put a stuffed animal in there.
Everyone else, thank you so much for the condolences & the helpful links!

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:11 pm


I think those are good ideas & sounds like she'll be ok with those and a lot of time with her peoples.

User avatar
Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2020

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:54 pm


Tunnels seem to be my guinea pigs' favorite toy. They like them all whether made out of cloth, cardboard, or plastic. You should be able to find one out there for less than $10.00.

I'm sorry for the loss of Nibbles. My best to you and Charlotte.

User avatar
Renonvsparky

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:14 pm


So sorry for your loss. You will have to become her new cage mate for the time being. I found that when I lost Scruffy, it helped me as much as it did the other piggies. Sounds like you already know that and are doing everything you can. Are the pet stores closed in your area? They aren't around here, although they did limit their hours and have put social distancing and extra sanitation rules in place (only a certain amount of people at a time in the store and hand sanitizer and wipes available to clean hands). Pets need supplies too and they recognize that.

Diamon14

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:44 pm


Thank you again everyone.
Spending more time with her is definitely gonna help both of us. She hates being picked up, but once shes in our arms she LOVES the attention, and shes been getting a lot of it. I'm not 100% sure if they are closed, but we are trying to limit our exposure as much as possible. Some must be open, or else how would people get their food? We need to see if there are any, but right now we are focusing on her and possibly finding an adoptable in our area. This is very tough but we will make do.

User avatar
Renonvsparky

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:02 am


I'd always go with the adoption over the pet store but if there aren't any to adopt and she needs a companion then you should break down and get one of the pet store ones. They need loving homes and care too. There are measures you can take to limit your exposure. Just get in what you need and get out quickly. Wash your hands and everything when you're done.

Diamon14

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:17 pm


We have contacted everyone that we could find with a single guinea pig, and today I found a shelter a half hour away that has piggies under "Other Pets". They said they are not open to the general public but that we could set up an appointment to meet the female piggies they have. So that is exciting. The 4 others we have had in the past (including our remaining girl) were all from pet stores because I was a kid and didn't know where to look, but now that me and my 2 siblings are almost 20, we are very willing to drive a good distance to adopt one in need of a home! Thank you so very much :)

Diamon14

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:19 pm


And as of right now, our bereaved piggie Charlotte is doing surprisingly well. We are giving her lots of attention and love during this time, and shes eating normally, squeaking loudly for food and very energetic :) We just want to be safe then sorry. She might even be happier with a friend.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:31 pm


I hope something works out for you.

User avatar
Renonvsparky

Post   » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:26 am


Yes. I hope it does as well. To clarify what I said before about pet store pigs; shelter pets should always be the first choice. I learned that from the great people on this forum. 3 out of my 4 guinea pigs are rescue piggies. My one remaining pet store bought pig is Mr Bubbles and I am extremely grateful to have had him the past 3 years. He's a great little guy and I'm thankful for his good health and happiness. We would never have become part of each other's lives if my wife and granddaughter hadn't walked into that Petco store and picked him out. So while I'd always look for shelter pigs before pet store ones, I wouldn't dismiss getting another one from a pet store if none were available at the shelter.

User avatar
Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:44 am


Unfortunately, buying guinea pigs from pet stores just perpetuates the cycle by encouraging the pet store to restock its "inventory."

I don't know your exact location, Diamon14, but you might keep an eye on Petfinder once things settle down:
https://www.petfinder.com/search/small-furry-for-adoption/us/ny/long-island-city/

User avatar
Renonvsparky

Post   » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:01 pm


I understand. The victims in that cycle are the poor little piggies. I just wish there was something that could be done to clean it up so that we could get guinea pigs from the pet stores without supporting the folks who treat them so cruel.

User avatar
daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:30 am


I am so sorry for your lost of Nibbles. RIP little lady, run free in perfect health and forever young. Eat the sweet grass and watch over your slave and friend Charlotte. Reunited with your friends. Sending hugs to you,siblings and Charlotte.

Diamon14

Post   » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:57 pm


Update: I had contacted a few people on craigslist and various adoption sites and only heard back from one person, but we were looking for an older piggie and all she had were under a year old. As of now, Charlotte is acting pretty much the same as she was before Nibbles passed, which is amazing, but I know she would probably love it even more with a friend. I still need to call the shelter and set up an appointment, but I have been avoiding going out because of how many cases there are in NY.
Renonvsparky, I totally understand where you are coming from. Shelter pigs and rescues always come first, but the ones in the pet stores need adopting too! Even though it is supporting the people that put 5 of them in 1 15 gallon tank and get them from breeders, encouraging them to provide more :/
Sef, yes I feel horrible for the piggies that end up in a pet store. Most people that end up buying them do not give them the proper care :( I have been keeping an eye on every site that I've found in my hours of searching, but I also have my heart set on the one shelter on the island I found that has a couple of older pigs.
daisymay, thank you so much to you for the kind words and condolences. She is up there with her best friend Coco who she lived with her first couple of years, and her new friend Callie who was Coco's best friend before her! They are eating tomatoes and peppers up there.

Post Reply
18 posts • Page 1 of 1