Sunday, December 20, 2015

How Do You Know When It's Time To Euthanize A Guinea Pig?

The humans have had to make a lot of hard decisions lately surrounding Buffy's health. A few weeks ago, they brought her in to the vet after she had been exhibiting lethargy and had been losing weight. An X-Ray revealed a uterine tumor that the vet diagnosed as cancer. They sent her home with some medicine, and told them to bring her back in in a few weeks. She had started to gain weight on the medicine at first, but after the course of treatment ended, her symptoms reappeared.

When the humans brought her back in, the vet explained that she wasn't a good candidate for surgery and gave them two options: to euthanize her, or to send her home with some painkillers and other meds to make her more comfortable.

The sad truth is, every guinea pig owner will have to face this question at one point or another; it's part of owning any pet (except for maybe a bird, some of which can outlive their human owners). The humans decided not to euthanize her just yet, and brought her back home, where I have been sleeping next to her and watching over her every day.

I've been sleeping next to Buffy, guarding her pigloo while she rests.
I will chitter at anyone who gets too close to her.
Buffy is in what can be considered a guinea pig hospice at this point, and the humans have been providing her with palliative care. She has regained a bit of weight now that she's back on the meds, but still has to have Critical Care a few times per day. She isn't in any obvious pain, and still enjoys coming out of her pigloo for treats and to hang out with me.

So how do you know what the right decision is under these difficult circumstances? The right decision in a situation where all of the options are bad is the decision you can live with. The humans didn't feel that putting Buffy down at that point was the right call because even though her condition is terminal, she isn't in pain, and with the meds, she can still enjoy nibbling on a blueberry, following me around, and chin scratches.

With Lola, the humans knew it was the right time because she was unable to eat on her own or with assisted feedings, and was in obvious pain on her last day. In that circumstances, it was the humane thing to do. But with Buffy, she isn't quite at that point yet, and the humans are committed to ensuring that her remaining time is as comfortable and happy as can be.


  1. Oh dear Buffy, I hope you get better.

  2. Sebastian and Oliver send gentle wheeks, nuzzles, and love.

  3. Our thoughts are with dear Buffy. We've gone through this countless times and it never gets any easier. Take good care of your precious friend,Broccoli.

  4. Oh, we're so sorry that you're going through this again! You sound like you're being a good friend, Broccoli.

  5. Poor Buffy. My guinea pigs, Bella, Kenley, Tilly, and Lola all send her gentle nuzzles her way. Will Broccoli be getting a new friend if Buffy leaves us?

    1. She thanks you for the nuzzles. :-) We were thinking that it may be time to get a new piggy, but we haven't decided anything for sure yet.

  6. We recently had to make the decision with one of our piggies. He started to do better and then just stopped eating (we were feeding him special food that he initially loved) and didn't want to do anything except rest in his pigloo. He let us know that it was time, but it's still a difficult decision to make. :(