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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11456
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Just came back from vacation. Left my 6 year old guinea pig

Customer Question

Hi, Just came back from vacation. Left my 6 year old guinea pig with a ceramic bowl full of pellets. Usually leave 2 bowls but forgot this time. Came back today, after 5 days, and she passed. Is it possible I did not leave enough food? She was slowing down a bit and staring off before I left, and she was getting bloated so much so she could barely make it into her iglo.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. Thank you for requesting me. I am so sorry for your loss of Cheerio.
If a guinea pig goes without eating for more than twelve hours, the digestive system shuts down, and the guinea pig can die. So if Cheerio completely ran out of food, that is a possibility. However, I don't think that's what happened. At age six, she was elderly. That bloating you described often occurs in older guinea pigs due to a heart condition or kidney failure. The poorly functioning organ cannot remove fluids from the body, and bloating results. Both conditions are fatal. I suspect that Cheerio passed due to heart or kidney failure.
There's no way to be sure without having a vet do a necropsy, and often definite results are not obtained even then, but given all the circumstances, I suspect this is what happened. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. Again, I am sorry for your loss.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I'm just checking to see if you needed additional information. I truly believe that it wasn't lack of food, but more likely, heart disease, but if you have more concerns, let me know.