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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  35 years in practice
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my guinea pig has just died tonight only 2 years 8 months old,

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my guinea pig has just died tonight only 2 years 8 months old, always had fresh food, dried food and fresh water and plenty of hay. I have been on holiday and somebody else was taken care of them have a boy and girl, the boy is the one that has just died. He was on his back, breathing very heavy and seemed to have a fit before he died, this morning by all accounts was fine out and about. Can you tell me what he died off.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 7 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. I'm so sorry to hear about your pet. It sounds as if you took wonderful care of him.
Guinea pigs are very delicate when sick and can hide their illnesses for some time before even an observant caring owner might notice something's wrong.
Did any of the commercial foods you fed him contain Vitamin C? If not, or if the food was old, it may have contributed to his problem. When sick guinea pigs ae stressed they can easily go into cardiac and respiratory arrest which would look exactly as you've described.
I hope this information helps prevent problems with your remaining pig.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
the food was all fresh and the dried food was what they always had. Can you tell me if some of the fresh food that i had left with the carers of my pigs had got old would this still cause the same problem he was so healthy when I left 2 weeks ago and my son had been playing with him this morning and he seemed fine. I have always had pigs and they have lived for a very long while some till they were 5-6 years old and I am very careful with their food.

Thank you for assisting as I am very upset, would my other pig be ok without her mate as do not know whether getting her another companion would be a good idea incase they did not get on

Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 7 years ago.
The issue is age of the the food containing vitamin C. Two weeks could not have been long enough to allow the vitamin C content to deteriorate to the point of allowing scurvey to develope. It sounds as if you are quite experienced in guinea pig care, so you must know how quickly illnesses can progress in these little fellows. It is not an easy task to determine the cause of death even upon necropsy (autopsy) in these tiny creatures. All we can really do at this point is look at diet and husbandry practices. As you are well-aware, guinea pigs are quite messy and if they are not kept sanitary, problems can occur quickly.
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