How to Help a Dying Guinea Pig in 7 Easy Ways

Whether your beloved guinea pig is dying of old age or most common health problems like pneumonia, it’s always distress and pain for both of you. Usually, your little piggy is frail, so you’ll need to care for him. That’s why I’m here to guide you on how to help a dying guinea pig. 

In a nutshell, you can help a dying guinea pig by showing affection to him. Since he’s weak, hand-feed him with a special diet if need be. Aim at providing comfort and less strain without over-handling him. Clean their surroundings and ensure you administer medications as directed by your vet. 

In this article, I’ll discuss how to help a dying guinea pig to make their transition easier. Therefore, if you’ve been wondering how to help a piggy in a dying state, read this post to the end to learn the different easy methods you can adopt. 

How to Help a Dying Guinea Pig in 7 Easy Ways

how to help a dying guinea pig

The dying process can be distressing for some people. If you’re not mentally positioned to handle the grief, you’d be better off handing another person watch the little piggy for you. The best alternative to this is visiting the vet for the piggy to be euthanized. 

Here are the seven easy ways to help a dying guinea pig: 

1. Keep the Guinea Pig Wrapped in a Warm Blanket

You want to show affection last time by wrapping the guinea pig in a small, soft, thin blanket for extra warmth. While ailing, the animal could lose a lot of heat. This typically makes his body temperature drop drastically. 

However, keeping the piggy wrapped would keep off too much cold. Remember that he may frequently soil the blanket. So, keep a close eye and change the blanket when necessary. 

Also Read: How to Comfort a Dying Cat in 6 Simple Ways

2. Help the Guinea Pig to Eat and Drink

With the animal’s body growing weak, he may be unable to eat or drink. At this point, the guinea pig will need your help. 

You can pass the food and water from a spoon or syringe if he wants to eat or drink. 

Moreover, remember that the piggy may not eat anything other than solid food. So, provide a smoothie (probably a mixture of well-ground guinea food). 

Smoothie food is excellent because the piggy won’t use a lot of energy to chew before swallowing. If he doesn’t want to take anything, don’t force—leave him as he is. 

The food you give your guinea pig should supplement critical nutrients needed for the time. 

3. Show Affection for the Last Time 

Woman petting guinea pig

The best you can give your now-weak furry friend is love and affection. 

Stroking is a common way of cuddling the guinea pig. So, you can do that gently to keep him comfortable. He will probably notice the love being showered on him despite being unable to correspond. 

Being there for your pet means much. Spare enough time to keep him company at his weakest and probably the last moment of life. While with him, sing to him or keep talking comforting and relaxing words. 

You don’t want to overdo anything, even stroking or cuddling. Remember, the piggy is in pain and distress, and you cannot add to his already worse condition. 

Find Out: How to Keep a Single Guinea Pig Happy in 5 Ways

4. Provide Relief Medicine if Instructed by the Veterinarian 

Last-minute medicines may be great for your dying guinea pig. Until then, you should have talked to your veterinarian and received the go-ahead. 

Usually, pain-relieving drugs are recommended. You’re not trying to treat and cure anything – you are simply reducing the pain the little piggy is bearing. 

5. Separate Your Guinea Pig or Keep Him With His Companions 

There are two things you could think of: 

  • Separate your sick and dying guinea pig from the rest of the cage mates. 
  • Keep the guinea pig near the companions. 

Whether you go for the first or second option depends on how sick the piggy is. 

Furthermore, you should consider how the companions will feel when the dying piggy is around or away.

If you feel he’s too sick to be trampled on, it may be wise to separate him. You don’t want to make his friends sad in the second scenario. Of course, you should be sure they won’t make his fragile life even more distressing by roughing him up. 

6. Provide a Clean, Well-Ventilated, Quiet Space

The last thing you want to do is leave your dying guinea pig in a rowdy environment. Instead, find a spacious, quiet space and transfer him there. He doesn’t need disturbance as this would worsen his condition. 

Good ventilation is necessary because the animal can hardly breathe, especially if the illness is in the very last stage. The essence of keeping the guinea pig settled in a quiet place is to conserve the little energy left in him. 

Ensure that the cage is always clean. An ailing guinea pig can mess up himself and the environment he’s in pretty easily. So, keep an eye on and clean regularly. 

7. Take the Guinea Pig to the Vet for Euthanasia 

For some reason, pet parents may not get that time to stay with their beloved guinea pigs as required. Hence, they cannot care for their furry friends when dying around the clock. 

In such instances, take your animal to the veterinarian. Some vet clinics can look after your critically ill pet until they die. That’s an option if you can handle the expenses involved. 

Otherwise, simply ask the vet to euthanize the guinea pig. Euthanization is the most ethical way to end a dying guinea pig’s life and spare him and you the distressful suffering and grief. 

Most people opt for this method. It’s easy, less painful, and incurs fewer costs. 

How Do You Save a Sick Guinea Pig? 

Guinea pig in grass

You can save a sick guinea pig by ensuring he receives prompt veterinary care. Always inform your veterinarian in case of symptoms of sickness. Early sickness diagnosis is crucial for prompt veterinary care, and it’s much easier to cure symptoms at this stage. 

Visit the veterinary clinic the moment you discover your little one is sick. The vet will examine the symptoms and prescribe the medicines for the sickness. 

Besides, the veterinarian will guide you on the crucial supportive home care to keep the guinea pig calm and comfortable when he’s sick. 

Remember not to give your piggy strong antibiotics like:

  • Penicillin
  • Ampicillin
  • Erythromycin 
  • Tetracycline 
  • Clindamycin 
  • Vancomycin. 

These are powerful antibiotics that could further harm your guinea pig’s health. 

Your vet should tell you that. He should prescribe soft antibiotics with mild side effects on your guinea pig’s body system and functions

You may also administer emergency treatment. But only if you have contacted your vet and directed what medications to give and how. 

It’s also essential to Keep a fully-equipped small first-aid kit for your guinea pig’s emergencies.

When giving liquid medications, use a syringe for administration. 

Always remember to shake the medicine well before administering. 

Why are My Guinea Pigs Not Moving or Eating? 

Your guinea pigs are not moving or eating because they’re seemingly sick. Not moving or not eating are non-specific disease symptoms that indicate your little piggy has an underlying condition. It could be anything – which is why you should reach out to the vet immediately for a check-up. 

Note that a guinea pig who is not eating or moving is seriously sick. Therefore, he requires urgent medical attention.

While taking the piggy to the clinic, provide fluids and calories to sustain him throughout the journey. You may have to help the guinea pig drink the solutions using a syringe or water bottle. 

The vet will give the animal a thorough physical examination. From their observations, tests or radiographs could be done to investigate the problem. 

Some common diseases that could make your guinea pig not move or eat include: 

  • Dental disease 
  • Liver disease 
  • Cancer 
  • Kidney disease
  • Toxins 

How to Humanely Kill a Dying Guinea Pig

You can kill a dying guinea pig primarily by euthanizing it. Vets and experts recommend the humane euthanasia of guinea pigs as a safe, humane, and simple method of terminating a dying guinea pig. Usually, you can take the sick animal to the vet for the procedure.

The table below outlines the different methods of euthanizing a dying guinea pig: 

Euthanasia Method Description 
Asphyxiation using CO2 The CO2 is dispensed in a non-precharged chamber, and its flow is controlled at 30%-70% of the chamber volume per minute. 
Different methods are employed to confirm the animal’s death, including bilateral thoracotomy, exsanguination, major organ harvest, and decapitation. 
Inhalant anesthetic overdose A gas anesthetic is used in a precision vaporizer with an induction chamber and waste gas scavenger. The gas is introduced into the equipment until the respiratory arrest of the animal occurs. 
Similarly, bilateral thoracotomy, exsanguination, major organ harvest, or decapitation is done to assure euthanasia. 
Vital Perfusion under injectable anesthesiaSpecific drugs are used to induce anesthesia, and verification is done by lack of response to a stimulus. 
Injectable anesthetic overdose (Pentobarbital)100 mg/kg or more Pentobarbital injection is administered. You monitor the animal for lack of heartbeat to assure successful anesthesia. 
Best ways to euthanize a dying guinea pig

Final Thoughts

When it comes to a beloved guinea pig nearing the end of its life, it’s essential to provide comfort and support for an uninterrupted end-of-life period. Therefore, knowing how to help a dying guinea pig will make your work easier.

In whatever you do, remember to be gentle to your dying friend. After all, it’s their final moments on earth. Therefore, they need to spend these moments at ease.

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