This has to have been the most eff’d up week I have passed through. My dynamic has changed. The herd dynamic has changed. My rattie’s dynamic has changed. I also ended up with some wicked new cold virus and haven’t had insurance in months.

Coriander was the fifth guinea pig I attained. I got her from a breeder in Texas when I was visiting my parents. She rode all the way home to Phoenix in a plastic tube in the back seat. She was 2-3 weeks old so she seated herself in a tissue box, not even using half of it. I got her to try to deal with losing a very new guinea pig. Chira had an upper respiratory infection and died less than 2 weeks after we got her. I brought Cori home and she was Chai’s buddy.
My first three guinea pigs were Cabrielle, Coco and Chai. Cabby died in 2009. Chai is still here. Coco died after Cori.
Cori had been losing weight over the last 6 months. She was still eating like crazy. She just kept getting smaller and tighter… Like Iggy Pop. 🙂
Well, Iggy Puff ended up drooling for a few days and I know it was her teeth. I swabbed her mouth and found sign of infection judging by scent. Likely ulcers.
On examination her back feet were very red. My vet said this is an indication that she’s guarding something in her abdominal area and landing improperly. She wouldn’t let him palpate because she was way too tense. She tried to climb over my arm while we were in waiting and she couldn’t. She shook all over, trying to get over my arm and it just didn’t work out for her.
This was the “quality of life” discussion kind of appointment. Teeth need to be filed typically under general anesthesia. My baby was hypertensive: elevated heart rate and respiratory rate; eating without issue and declining nothing. She can’t go under. Whatever she was guarding in her tummy she couldn’t go under to fix.
The Vet and I went for euthanasia. I have been witness to this a few times now and they do the first shot with me, if I’d like, then take them to the back for the final shot that is meant to go into the heart. He poked her in the butt and she fell asleep within a minute.
“now that she’s down you wanna prod around and see what’s going on back there?”
“She definitely has a growth”
Cancer. Great. I’m not paying for a necropsy and a histopathology to tell me this. It all lines up. I have had rats with 7 mammory tumors growing and they eat and eat and eat to support them but by the time the growths were removed they were severely overworked with their heart and most underweight than you thought. As is, Cori was 589 grams
Average weight on a guinea pig is 900+

A few days later I had weighed Coco and asked if I could bring her in for a spay.
Cocaina had cysts. Back in February I had one of the vets want to spay her but I felt she was too underweight for this to be done. My other vet went to aspirate the cysts(confirmed with an ultrasound) and she flinched. It drained internally. I asked what this meant, because he kinda paused when he said he didn’t get it but felt for it again and it wasn’t there.
You can have an allergic reaction from a foreign something or other draining into a cavity. “within ten minutes or so we should see labored breathing and then …”
Wow. She was fine. No allergic reaction. We did manage that day to find a massive bladder stone that made it all the way down the urinary tract to become stuck as a urethral stone. We had to numb the area(flinchewwwbitses) and PRY IT OUT.
These have been called “Bonus Months”.
She didn’t die from that cysts rupturing.

So then, a few days after Cori I got Coco in for her evaluation. She was running circles in her carrier on the way with her back legs playing lame. She was in pain. In the waiting room she climbed all the way up my chest and kept mashing her muzzle into my cheek.
I can’t help you right now baby please stay calm and the doctor is going to see you. Just stay as comfortable as you can.
I put her back in the carrier. She circled a few more times and then tried to settle into a position, still kicking her back feet a bit.

In the triage room I finally got checked in by a tech and we waited. We being me and my 4 year old step daughter.
After about five minutes I looked down at the carrier because Coco wasn’t kicking her legs. He diaphragm was heaving about every 4.5 seconds like she was cramping. I didn’t see her taking breaths. I picked her up and she was going limp.
she comes back and said she didn’t see anyone.
I got Coco’s eye to roll just one time trying to stay awake with me. I couldn’t do anymore than that. I took her into the hall with me and saw them in the back and just froze
My vet took my girl to the back and I locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes crying. I’m pretty sure I know exactly what happened.
When I came back to the hallway he showed me the syringes where he pulled out that pale yellow/rose gold colored fluid from her belly.
Ruptured cyst.
I was here to get her spayed to try and she was dying in my arms and I didn’t do enough. I did what I could. At least it didn’t happen at home to find her dead later or her crashing and my living 40 minutes away from the clinic.
MY vet took me back to the back of the clinic. She was on the table with that little oxygen mask on. We talked. I gave her a kiss and told her I’m sorry and just stay calm but I know she was passed out long before I got back there. Even if she can hear me it’s all poop, eat and sleep so like she’d understand.
I asked skeptically that this was it? There’s not like an adrenaline shot or anything?
They kept listening to her heart and her breathing and they were both steadily slowing down. “I really think we should consider…”
DO it.
“did you want to leave the …”
No. She’s my baby.

Her blood pressure was down to the point that the blood didn’t really enter the syringe when he tapped the heart. He just had to pull back the plunger to make sure he was there and then the blood showed up in the vial. There we go. A minute or so later she was gone.
In all reality she was gone five minutes ago but the body was still reacting.
I want my goddamn little mama back. She was the alpha.
Cabby was the asshole. Coco had diplomacy. Chai was tactical. Cori was a sub. Cori was also last paired with Skeeter, my hairless piggie.

Right now I am sitting up, thinking to myself on a head full of Benadryl and a Xanax.

Chai is now alpha. Skeeter isn’t sure who to trust. Mr Emerson has $1600 in procedures even invested into him and then there is Callie. I have four guinea pigs.

(why did I mess this up)
“it could have been inoperable when we found it this spring”
“it may have been inoperable now”
“It didn’t happen back then and these were your bonus months with her”
I know. She was my baby and everything is changing. 2 guinea pigs gone within 3 days. I can’t figure out how many pets I have when I keep deducting 1 and then losing track of what number I am on.
I started crying when I realize I’m cutting snacks into fourths.

That night when I got home they asked me for snacks and I told them
“I can’t talk to any of you right now you’re imposters!”
I hadn’t had 4 since 2007 when it was Cabby, Chai, Coco and Cori. Now it’s just Chai and a few newer ones.

Things were starting to get better but a couple of days later, Damien needed putting down.
Damien is a rattie of mine. He started showing dry peeling skin about a month ago. I also know this is bad as I had another hairless rat that died of a pituitary tumor and was ashy for months up to her death. Damien had been spending alot of time in his room lately (tissue box). He wasn’t responding to the treat call. He took forever to come out of there to have snacks or even acknowledge my voice.
I got him out of his room. He was corseted. My little tiny, shy baby man had a somewhat skeletal appearance with a tiny little hourglass waist. He wanted nothing to eat or drink. He just say next to his room, dazed.
We euthanized him at home. Look it up yourself. It involves Co2 . I don’t want to talk about it. He was less than a year and a half.
Now I have 1 rat: Little Bastard.
Now I have to focus on appreciating 1 rat and 4 guinea pigs.
In 1 week time circumstances took 3 and none of them died entirely on their own.

I spent this evening making Little Bastard a new hammock.
The day after I lost my Coco I ended up tearing down part of the guinea pig pen. She used to lie in a part of the “L” for her tummy a bunch. I disassembled that end.

Oh and 2-3 months ago I gave a guinea pig away. I had to 4×2 CC pens up. They were divided for behavioral issues. I got him a new home so that the older girls could get more room and encourage them to liven up. Now they are dead.

I started crying when I talked to my boyfriend that I didn’t know I’d need the conures so soon. I have two green cheek conures and I got them because I know if it hit me very hard about anything in the future with the guinea pigs, knowing their longevity, that I would probably want to get more guinea pigs.

Five years old is a good goal for a guinea pig. Coco was just coming up on 5 very soon. Cori was a 4 and a half.

I had a guinea pig that was nearly a lethal. She only had one small patch of pigment but her ear. She was all white and blind and her teeth were malloclused. She died at 2 and a half years because I had to put her down for a tooth root abscess. She wasn’t a good candidate for the surgery and she was very small. Most guinea pigs were larger than her at 4 months of age. Cici was my tiny, special girl and she died in 2009 winter. I got her on Craigslist in July of 2007 with another sibling that I sent to live with a vet tech and her mother.

Her mother, Callie, is one of my remaining four.

There is a really good website with losts of selection when you have post mortem on the agenda.
has what you would call Keepsake Urns that you use for pets that were anywhere from 1-3 lbs a healthy weight before their passing. I really want to get Coco something nice but I have this other part that tells me to get something modest and use the rest on either the rest of the herd or for Little Bastard’s Sleepy Bachelor Pad.

Then a few days ago when I started getting sick with this wicked cold thing I ended up having to trim Little Bastard’s lower incisors again.
He hates this (who wouldn’t)
He struggles (can’t blame him)
He rips his toenail halfway off when he’s trying to wiggle away (what isyour problem chill the heck down)

The next day I made the mistake of letting him out of his cage to go exploring. Tommy, my cat, ended up coming into my bedroom to tell my boyfriend that Little Bastard was in the kids room. Bubbie pulled a Lassie. He took James right to him. James called me to get LB out from under his kids’ bed. I did. Then I saw all the blood.
All the blood meaning bright red and even a bunch of blood had it been mine.
We worked downstairs for a full five minutes with the styptic to get it to stop. Animal, exploring= elevated heartrate=PUMPS OF BLOOD.
It just kept bleeding for what seemed like a hopeless forever. I almost passed out.

Now I owe $209 to the vet’s office. I need to get her an urn for when her ashes come in. I still have to drop $200 into the car to fix the coolant leak.
I want stay in bed for a day.
If anyone wants to help I have lost all sense of pride at this moment.
I had a job for 4 years that let me go in June. I’m still looking…