Rest in peace sweet Georgiepig

George died on Tuesday May 17th after being admitted by the vet for examination of his mouth.  He had lost more weight over the weekend, down to 980 grams (from 1340 two weeks previously), and I couldn’t get him to take food from the syringe.  I was already administering oral gel to help combat mouth infection and had started him on septrin, an antibiotic, a couple of days earlier.

The vet checked his mouth under anaesthetic and explained to me that he had a really bad mouth infection, and whilst I had done the right thing for him, they would keep him in for stronger medication and round-the-clock feeding.  He managed to get through the night and was weak but nosing at some grass when I phoned on the Tuesday morning, but passed away around 1 pm.

I’m really sad that he struggled to stay with me and called to me when I handed him over to the vet, and I wasn’t with him when he passed.  But if I hadn’t taken him to the vet and he had passed away in my arms, I would forever have blamed myself for not seeking vet attention in time.  So I can’t win.

After she’d looked at his teeth, and compared the xray with the one she’d taken the previous year, the vet advised me that generally the molars were getting longer and causing his jaw to be pushed further apart in normal use, even with the attention I’d given to his teeth.  The back molars were impacted and she’d trimmed the tops off further to give them a chance to release the pressure.

This episode of molar overgrowth had happened earlier than expected.  We’d been trimming his teeth (between the Cambridge Cavy Trust people and, after training, by me) every three months, and he wasnt due for another trim till about now.  So the teeth overgrew badly in less than the time they usually got to a ‘long’ length.  It seemed I would have had to trim his molars every month, as well as what I was doing to trim his incisors twice a week.  I have to say I found that daunting.  Trimming a guinea pig’s molars is not a comfortable thing for them to have done to them.  I was beginning to wonder how much Georgie would hate it.  Would his quality of life have suffered?

So in all, Georgie had a congenital condition which with the help of both qualified vets and cavy specialists I managed as well as we could.  Yes, guinea pigs with this condition can live longer, but most of them don’t live nearly as long as George and he had a happy and productive life, and brought pleasure to a lot of people through his presence on the Rodents With Attitude forum.  There are no words to describe how I’ll miss him.

George 13.06.2007 - 17.05.2011

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One thought on “Rest in peace sweet Georgiepig

  1. You absolutely did the right thing for G. As you say, if he had passed away at home, you would have been tortured with guilt that you didn’t bring him to the vet. Sadly, guilt is an inevitable part of grief over the death of an animal buddy, as I’ve learned through the death of Mariusz. The best you can do is recognize the guilt for what it is — irrational, but inescapable.

    He had a wonderful life full of love and treats, thanks to you. I know very few people who would have gone to such lengths to love, care for, and spoil him. Of course he deserved every bit of it. He was a gorgeous, sweet, intelligent, gentle, polite, charming, and funny little man. You were so fortunate to have him, and he to have you. The bond you had with G was unusual, and delightful to watch, even remotely.

    That photo is one of the best, if not the best, photo of G. It captures all of his traits. “Mummy, I’m being super cute right now just for you.” ❤

    I'll always love and miss sweet Georgie.

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