Trigger warning: talk of pet death
As I write this, my guinea pig is dying. His name is Squeaky, and he’s 7 1/2, which is well into old age for a guinea pig. In the picture above he’s the one trying to climb over his best friend Zippy, who died a year ago.
I knew his time was coming soon. He’s been struggling for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve been feeding him lots of treats, which he has enjoyed. This morning when I got up (yesterday morning by the time you read this), and he didn’t come out of his house for breakfast like he always does.
When guinea pigs are close to death, they’re unable to hold themselves up on their little legs to walk. He could drag himself along a bit with his front paws, but that was it. I took him out of the cage to cuddle with me. He took some food and water then, but then lost interest.
I didn’t think he would last long. He didn’t seem to be in pain, but he clearly wasn’t comfortable. The hours passed, with him sitting on or beside me, and it just got harder and harder. There was no question that he was dying; I just wanted it to be over quickly for his sake.
After a number of hours of cuddling he started getting agitated; some guinea pigs prefer to be alone to die, and Squeaky never was a big cuddler. So I put him back in his cozy house in his cage. He’s still breathing, but not moving much. He seems more peaceful now. I hope it doesn’t take too much longer.
I was surprised when I woke up this morning and munchkin was still hanging on. He ate a bit of celery, but he’s still clearly in the process of dying. I hope he can go soon.