Guinea Pigs/Loss of cavy


Hello, I had a guinea pig for 3 weeks when it got diarrhea pretty bad.  I took her to the vet who gave her some fluids and began treating her with Albon.  He also told me to begin feeding her Critical Care.  Last night I gave her some mixed with water.  I was holding her for about a half an hour and then I put her in her cage.  When I went to check on her around an hour later she had passed away.  I'm not really sure what happened.  She took the food pretty good and when I had her on my lap she was moving around pretty good,too.  Any thoughts? Do you think it could have had anything to do with the Critical Care.  I feel terrible and I keep thinking I did something wrong.

Diarrhea is a sign of a serious intestinal problem. Because these little guys are so small it doesn't take much for them to dehydrate.  When they become seriously ill as you little girl did, they succumb very quickly.

It's possible it was something she ate. But even with a necropsy that wouldn't necessarily give you and answer.  

This was not because of the Critical Care. Whatever it was, you had nothing to do with this. Don't beat yourself up with the "what if's" and try to figure out what happened. We just don't always know, and you did a valiant job of trying to save her. You did what you should have done, but it was just too little too late.  

I know how painful it is to fight so hard and lose the battle. I'm so sorry you lost her.  

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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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