It’s been hard around here without my little man.

His health suddenly went into decline on a routine inspection. I noticed he was a little light in grams and I weighed him, confirming my suspicions. I monitored him for a few days and got him into the vets office.
Labs were ran and I was instructed to keep him on Critical Care diet. He also received Subcutaneous fluids for dehydration. Blood was negative for infection and sent out to be checked for proteins etc.
I believe I was feeding him twice a day at 8mL supplement. If he began to hold his weight for a day then I would back off 1 feeding for a day and see what happened. I wasn’t expecting him to gain. I just wanted him to hold.

everything I am recalling is being entered in January 25th, 2012.

Weight history:
11.23 794g
11.24 780
11.25 760
11.26 769
11.30 733
12.04 709
12.05 713
12.06 721
12.07 737
12.08 712
12.09 709
12.11 722
12.12 697
12.13 686

I had high hopes for a fleeting moment in December.
December 7th I took him back in for a recheck. He had been taking a compound from the Apothecary over the weekend for suspected hyperthyroidism since nothing was found to be wrong with him. His weight started slowly going up but my boy just wasn’t himself yet. On examination the veterinarian felt a mass. We had an ultrasound ran. Polycystic Kidney disease in one kidney. Documentation isn’t very good for this condition with guinea pigs but with cats, dogs and people it says the best treatment next to transplant is just pain management. His weight went down again over the next few days. I contacted them about pain management and left a message for my usual vet to get back to me. He was taking a few days to collect information and see if any colleagues had ideas or if we could find any other publications. Emerson was starting to snub snacks, food; he was staying in his hidey all the time.

At home we had talks that once he dropped below 700 grams we had serious discussions ahead of us. It didn’t take long. Within 1 day he dropped roughly 30 grams and was going to be in need of fluids again. We gave him one more day to snap back and he didn’t. The pain management topic was brushed aside and we made a choice here at home. During the last feeding Emerson wasn’t very responsive. He didn’t even fight me. He still had dried food on his lip from earlier in the day. I could move his head around loosely with my fingers like he was a puppet. He let the food sit in his mouth and wouldn’t chew. Instead of letting him go through the night in his condition to be taken to the vet the next day, we euthanized him at home.

I don’t like talking about this. I never wanted to be a god. I can’t stand to watch suffering and I live with my choices. It’s an anesthetic overdosing of co2. You put them to sleep and then you take away their air and replace the oxygen with an easily available household gas.

I called the vet the next day. I got them to go through Emerson and see what they could. I didn’t get charged for a necropsy. I said I didn’t want a panel done on him or get his ashes back after a cremation. I said have him. He was always the most interesting case and with the PKD it should make for interesting documentation. My vet speaks at conferences several times during the year and leads them on occasion  for reptiles as well.

They emailed me with their findings:

Emerson had a tumor encircling his small intestine. I do not think it would have been
surgically correctable and its location would have made it very difficult to detect short of
an exploratory surgery. I do not think ultrasound or additional radiographs would have
detected it. A barium series may have detected it but that is uncertain. I do not know
what kind of tumor it is but the most likely one is lymphoma.

To which I replied back and asked if there was in fact a polycystic kidney or if the ultrasound results were misinterpreted because the diagnosis was peculiar.

Emerson did have a large cyst on the cranial pole of
the left kidney

There is nothing that can do him justice to what he brought into my life. I did write a long email to Petco about their Think Adoption First approach within the store, as that was where I got him on adoption.

Me and Sick Boy

Emerson at our first vet visit to staple his neck closed