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Hardest decision time has come and I'm crying

(34 Posts)
fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Nov-14 00:26:56

DD1 noticed Coco staring at the wall tonight. Worse, behind her a huge puddle of pure fresh blood on a cabbage leaf. Like she had passed it there to be really easy for us to find. Picked her up and had a look underneath to check it had come from her (yep). I sat her on kitchen towel on a fleece and gave her a cuddle (she felt cold) and she snuggled in to the crook of my arm. DD1 cut her some cucumber and she ate that greedily, so that's something.

I gave Coco to DD1 to hold whilst I cleaned the hutch and I put a fleece in the bedroom with hay and I'm hoping the other girls will keep her warm tonight. I've put food in the bedroom for her and food near the doorway for the other 2 so they don't wander too far from the bedroom.

Just my luck, DH is in the States this week. DD1 sent him an e-mail and he has phoned me. Not much of a discussion me sobbing we need to 'do' something about Coco. I'm not putting her through surgery. DH I agree, she must be suffering. Put her out of her misery. Wait for me to come home if you want.

Coco is eating but hasn't got stuck into the bun fight at veg time for ages. I've had to give her a separate pile of veg or hand feed her on my lap. I wish she looked ill in her face. Her eyes are so bright. She has this way of making you feel like she is looking into your soul sad

I'm going to ring the vet in the morning and I expect the outcome will be that she will be put to sleep. Am I going the right thing? Am I being hasty?

Sorry for long post sad

HowsTheSerenity Wed 05-Nov-14 00:34:04

I'm guessing Coco is a guinea pig or rabbit?

Animals can't express their feelings like we can. Also they are a lot like small children. They compensate extremely well then deteriorate quickly.

I don't know has happened before and if this is a long term thing but I've always thought that the animal has no idea what's happening. It doesn't understand the trips to the vet,the constant poking, the needles, the tablets etc. if it is something that will drag on and is only a quick fix and will have to be repeated then perhaps it's best to say goodbye and end the suffering?

Whatever happens remember you are allowed to cry and be upset. Pets are part of the family.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Nov-14 08:14:10

Yes Coco is a guinea pig.

I stayed up until gone 2.30am and can tell you Millie had the first shift in the bedroom. When I got up this morning the girls had swapped confused no idea why they are not all sleeping together.

I heard some squawks when ironing school uniform so know Coco was still alive. I put a tomato in the hutch but that didn't please her. I got nattered at. Naughty Girl ate the tomato instead.

DD2 stroked her head before going to school and I just told her Coco might be going to the vets today because she wasn't well so make an extra fuss of her. I couldn't give her the whole truth destroy her day there's an activity at school today she is looking forward to.

Coco is nice and warm and has had some grass but gone back to the bedroom. Whereas the other guineas are munching their veg in the living area.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Nov-14 08:14:53

Yes Coco is a guinea pig.

I stayed up until gone 2.30am and can tell you Millie had the first shift in the bedroom. When I got up this morning the girls had swapped confused no idea why they are not all sleeping together.

I heard some squawks when ironing school uniform so know Coco was still alive. I put a tomato in the hutch but that didn't please her. I got nattered at. Naughty Girl ate the tomato instead.

DD2 stroked her head before going to school and I just told her Coco might be going to the vets today because she wasn't well so make an extra fuss of her. I couldn't give her the whole truth destroy her day there's an activity at school today she is looking forward to.

Coco is nice and warm and has had some grass but gone back to the bedroom. Whereas the other guineas are munching their veg in the living area.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 05-Nov-14 10:24:01

Oh, sad news, I've been following your other thread about Coco-Pig.

The blood is worrying (I know you said her previous wee was pink, blood tinged , but this sounds much more extreme)
It is nigh impossible to get them to drink if they don't want to (been there syringe feeding a stroppy small pig that didn't oblige) but it's good that she'll eat cucumber.

Hopefully your vet can shed some light on the lumpy bit she's got - do they have facilities to scan or X-Ray to see if there is a stone?

But then once you have an answer, you have to deal with the information.
I know you went through a nightmare ordeal with Fatimus so if your vet suggests surgery for X or Y you can say "I don't want to go down that road"

You know your piggies, you'll know yourself when it's time. I think the quality of their life is far more important than keeping an animal going when that quality is compromised.
They do bounce back from things, but as we're all aware with guineas, when they put their paw on The Bridge, often they don't look back sad

Good Luck at the vets. (Red Pepper hugs from the 70 hogs)

fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Nov-14 13:38:55

Thanks 70. Couldn't get a vet apt until 5.00pm so all day to stew.

Coco is now in the living room staring at the wall. I put the celery heart in front of her but she just had a tiny nibble. The other girls descended like locusts.

I've had a read up of other poor piggy on RWA site who had just the same symptoms but more extreme. Her owner was very brave and kept the thread open for a medical knowledge pov. Her piggy had constant rounds of Baytril but symptoms kept coming back. Eventually vet suggested x-ray under a general and she gave permission for surgery should he find anything while piggy was 'under'. Vet found lumps so opened the animal up but the lumps were calcified and stuck to bladder wall. This is not usual for bladder stones. A biopsy was sent to the lab. Bladder was flushed out and ab's and probiotic prescribed. Unfortunately piggy spent several day going into decline and passed away.

Biopsy report arrived after piggy had gone to the Bridge. Result was bacterial cystitis had caused the bladder to ulcerate.

So sad, interesting but upsetting reading for me. Her poor piggy was a rescue too and a brown self just like Coco sad

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 05-Nov-14 13:48:49

Can you print that RWA article off for the vet (or the link to it). Not to say "Coco has this " but the symptoms and the investigation.

The RWA guinea does definately sound like a very complex case that they couldn't have known until they got in surgically.

Has your vet done a culture swab (of the pee or the urethra) to see if there is a bacterial involvement?

Her quality of life is what's important and sometimes I think (with animals and people) that just bbbecause something can be done doesn't mean it should be done.

We all want to do the best and throw everything at it in the hope of turning the corner. But as you've been through it with Fatimus, it is a huge decision to make,
Hopefully your vet will have a good outcome and crossing fingers that your piggie improves.

They do this don't they- burrow under your skin and ripppp your heart out.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Nov-14 14:36:06

Well our printer doesn't work anymore story attached there but I was thinking of tactfully mentioning RWA piggy. I imagine vets are like doctors, you know " I went to Uni for X years but you know the answer because you Googled" hmm

Good point about taking a swab, I shall suggest that. Normally I can rely on Coco to pee, what's the betting she holds on to it. Maybe I should wear my pyjamas wink for encouragement.

I am wondering who I'll see. There is Belgium vet - brilliant but a bit eccentric, Spainish vet very kind and I know her personally or another Spainish vet did Fatimus stitches and loves guinea pigs.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 05-Nov-14 15:31:47

Speaking personally as a HCP (people not pigs) I am not offended if someone brings in an article , providing they don't slap the paper onto my lap and say "I've got THIS " .If they say "I've seen this, would it work" whether it's a dressing or surgery, I will take on board and take action, unless it's something that would harm them.

It shows they've had a search (as will the RWA article. ) There's alot of information out there (OK, some of it is rubbish) but YY, there's no harm in being informed .

And the writer of the article has printed it to make other owners aware.

Good that your vets are Guinea- Inspired (I do wince at the attitude of some vets to piggies)
I would love for my guinea-pigs' vet to be my Dr , he listens, he handles the pigs with care and he obviously is fond of the little demons.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 05-Nov-14 19:35:32

Back from the vets, prospects not good as expected.

Option 1 Put her to sleep straight away.

Option 2 Do investigations

Option 3 Blindly give Baytril and Metacam and review in a week.

In short I went for the 3rd option. I didn't feel strong enough to go for option 1 given that I have nobody for moral support IRL --dig a hole deep enough--`. Epilepsy put me in hospital a couple of weeks when DH was abroad so I don't want to repeat that.

Coco did a good pee on the table and the vet tested for blood. There was lots of it. But the only way of a true test for bacteria from bladder is to put a needle direct into her bladder. The lump on her vulva is unusual and may or may not be cancerous. The only way to find out it a biopsy.

We agreed there was no point in doing investigations if the results would lead onto surgery which I didn't want for her and the vet agreed was unlikely to be in Coco's best interest.

There is the possibility that Coco has bacterial cystitis and the lump is benign and unrelated. This is why the vet suggested 'blindly' giving ab's and pain relief in hope. But if she stops eating, has a major blood loss again or is in obvious pain she is to be pts.

Btw is didn't need to mention the RWA piggy.

Coco was a good girl and had her medicine. She hated the taste of each and had a grape to take the taste away for each. Tomorrow will be a challenge when knows what's coming wink

Coco had a lovely greeting from the other piggies when she was put back in the hutch. They knew she had been to the <whispers> v.e.t.

dietcokeandwine Wed 05-Nov-14 21:34:40

Fortified I have been reading your Coco threads too and just wanted to post to say I'm thinking of you all. Poor little pig, and poor you sad

Such a tough situation. I think I'd have done the same as you under the circumstances. I only have to think about one of my foursome going to the bridge to get tearful.

Sending hopeful thoughts, some virtual parsley to Coco and cake to you and your family.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 05-Nov-14 22:54:11

i think in the circumstances, giving her the medications and review is the next logical step.
Probably within a week you'll know one way or t'other how it's going to pan out.

It'll be bad enough getting the poor soul to take medications, to make her undergo investigations and tests seems like a huge ordeal for a little animal.

Hopefully she'll carry on eating, you'll be out in the garden with your scissors and popping down to Tesco to but 'nice things' for her.
You're given her the best shot but as you know , when the time comes, you need to make that decision with your vet and your lovely guinea-pig.

(It's awful when you're thinking "Please get better" and "Please die" at the same time sad )

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Nov-14 12:27:50

How is Coco today?

guineapiglet Thu 06-Nov-14 20:15:01

Hi Fortified and hi all,

So very sorry to hear about poor Coco, these little girlie pigs really suffer with their little bodies, most of my girls ended up with cysts or lumps in that area, and it is horribly distressing watching them suffer so much sad - it is a waiting game, but us humans want so much to give our dear guineas time to recover and get better, I really hope she does rally, but they go downhill so very quickly and once they stop eating it is a never ending battle trying to get food into them.

Coco was such a happy girl, and a very lucky one too - she has had such a lovely time with your family, and whilst I am hoping she will continue to be with you, want you to know am sending you and all your guineas lots of empathy and support - I think giving a little, beautiful creature a kind home with lots of love, is the kindest and most special thing we humans can do - they dont ask for much and they give so much back. And they smell so gorgeous. Sending you wine for strength and courage. - If there was a parsley emoticon would send that for Coco XXX

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Nov-14 21:20:26

Hi guineapiglet , where have you been hiding yourself?

I'm hoping "No news is good news" with Coco.
They are complex little animals with their hierarchy (I'm discovering again the delights of three guineas after two) and their funny little ways.

I was reading an old Peter Gurney book , he said that sows that had bred were protected from some of the common 'gynae' problems that non-breeders could be prone to, but this didn't mean that owners should use this as a reason to breed.
Coco had bred before she was rehomed and my two girls were Mum-Pigs so I'm hoping this affords all these sows some sort of protection.

Parsley hugs to Coco , Naughty and MilliePig

guineapiglet Thu 06-Nov-14 22:12:17

Hi 70 lovely to get your news and so glad your 'threesome' is working out I am still veryenvyandenvyandsad that I can't have any more guineas at present but am still having cuddles with lonely guinea nephew up the road......girls are such chatterers and very addictive.

my ds (14) now wants a pet raven
blush

hope all well fortified love to all xx

FernieB Thu 06-Nov-14 22:15:18

Fortified - I hope that Coco is comfortable and happy and eating enough. Poor little piggie. Probably the best thing is to give meds and see. Some virtual handholding and parsley for you both. ����thanks

FernieB Thu 06-Nov-14 22:16:55

A pet raven! That sounds like a great idea confused

guineapiglet Thu 06-Nov-14 22:44:55

No Fernie, they are beautiful, bright and so,so clever....if I lived in a castle with acres of land...maybe.
Give me a SFA any day. Google Pikas...have just been watching David Attenborough, like a cross between a guinea and a rabbit. I want some!

Xxxxsorry to hijack fortified we are all rooting for Coco xxx

fortifiedwithtea Fri 07-Nov-14 03:24:34

guineapiglet DD2 has a toy raven called Merlin after seeing the real thing at the Tower of London. They are huge. And it was an excuse to re-live my childhood and buy her the book Arabelle's Raven. 70 you must remember Bernard Cribbins reading those books on Jack-o-nary. Happy days smile

Naughty an Millie were very protective of Coco after the vets yesterday. She went to sleep in the living room sandwiched between them and resting her head on Millie's bum. Now if that's now a soft pillow , I don't know what it grin

I think she is feeling the benefit of the Metacam. She was interacting more with the other girls Thursday I'm posting at stupid o'clock Friday she took her medicine surprising well. The system is Baytril, whole grape to take the taste away. Metacam, half a grape (leaves the rest), takes the taste away.

Thanks for all your kind messages everybody. Sending on virtual peppers and parsley to Coco smile

guineapiglet Fri 07-Nov-14 07:15:20

Week...spooky coincidences here fortified...ds also has said toy raven from the tower.Thor. He travelled back on the Tube and was much admired but is now frankly rather moth eaten, but still much loved. And we have all the Annabelles Raven books We love them. and I remember them on Jackanory I loved the drawings!
But wouldn't swap a guinea for a raven!!!!grin

So glad to hear Coco is being swaddled and cared for by her pals and glad you are getting food into her. Mashed up cucumber always worked a treat..oh and curly kaleblush.. Keep strong looking after her, you are a vair experienced guinea mum and know how to cosset them!! Xxx

FernieB Fri 07-Nov-14 07:46:33

grin At the Millie bum pillow. I have a jaw problem at the moment and have been encouraging Smoothpig to snuggle on my shoulder to keep it warm - works a treat.

Hope Coco is doing well this morning.

fortifiedwithtea Sat 08-Nov-14 22:36:56

Coco has spent all day fluffed up in the bedroom facing the wall. She's perked up this evening after being given her pain relief and is snuffling in the hay with the other girls.

She had a clear wee on a towel whilst on my lap but her poo is too short. She is drinking normally and eating Burgess pellets and hay but is being very picky about veg. She will only eat naice salad leaves, cucumber, sweetcorn, grapes and a bit of carrot. No longer wants to eat celery, tomato, peppers, the list goes on sad

guineapiglet Sat 08-Nov-14 22:48:10

Keep going fortified you are doing a grand job with her, let her be picky if it helps as long as food going in and through the gut. Would grass help? A few handfuls might tempt her? Lots of TLC it sounds like she is being well loved, bless her brew for you xxx

Itsjustanotherday Sun 09-Nov-14 20:44:21

How is Coco doing today fortified?

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