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Guinea Pigs/My guinea pig has recently lost its squeak


I've had three guinea pigs for about 21/2-3 years now and recently one died because it stopped eating. Now the other guinea pig- about 4 days after the other died- has lost its squeak. It was always the loudest and squeaked whenever anyone came near the cage. Now when i come near the cage, i see it trying to squeak but just cant get anything out. It still seems to be eating- however it looks a little smaller than it did a couple weeks ago. Is it dying? Could it be related to the other guinea pig dying? We thought it might just be a cold so we've been giving it extra vitamin C. Is there anything else we can do? The third guinea seems perfectly fine.

These are the hardest type of answers I have to give and the ones I hate doing the most, only because I know you want something positive and comforting but that's just not always possible.

Guinea pigs age at different rates, just as humans do.  Some will live for up to six or seven years, others get old and pass way sooner. We can't predict who will pass when, and sadly when we lose a pet that just seems to die too soon it's so hard to understand.  

One of the signs of aging and preparing to leave us is weight loss. Guinea pigs don't get colds, and even if they do Vitamin C is not a treatment for anything. In order for vitamins to work they must be taken on a daily basis to help our immune systems stay healthy.

Vitamin C is pure ascorbic acid. It promotes good bone strength and health, but if given in large amounts it not only doesn't make us better, it actually can cause harm. The ascorbic acid can eat the membranes in the stomach and cause an ulcer. So taking large amounts to try to cure something is not wise.

As for losing her voice, she may well be getting weaker and ready to pass away. This has nothing to do with the other pig dying. It's just the normal course of life. Life is only temporary for all living things. We're here such a short time. For some that time comes quickly.

I know this isn't giving you the comfort you hoped for and I wish I could honestly say everything is just fine. But I would not be giving you a fair and responsible answer if I did so.  I think you are probably right, her time may be getting close.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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