I love guinea pigs, and around 6 years ago I purchased a pair of lovely fellas who were litter buddies from birth, called Stewie and Charlie. There were best of friends most of time apart from when Stewie (the dominant one) became frisky every few months :) Unfortunately Stewie passed away naturally around 2 years ago which was very sad and I was a bit worried if Charlie would be ok without his pal. He was fine, and has been very spoilt ever since with his big selection of foods and had become very demanding to be given his grass by rattling his cage with his teeth to make as much noise as possible even though he's just a little chap. Also, as he got older he just loved to come out for cuddles every night on his favourite blanket(s) for hours at a time. It was a perfect life.
About a year ago he became very poorly and was unable to eat as he wasn't able to close his mouth properly so the food just fell out. He lost lots of weight very quickly and the prognosis was not good; the vet sedated him and found growths behind his front teeth and over-grown back teeth. These were sorted out under anaesthetic which is always a risk with small animals, but he recovered fantastically well from the operation and returned to normal completely and has been a veracious eater and happy soul ever since. The weekend before last, I noticed that although he was keen on his food he was unable to pull it into his mouth properly, although he was ok with was short grass and when other food was manually guided in. This was similar to what happened before, we went to the vets on last Thursday who found a small infection on the roof of his mouth and spurs on his back teeth. He again went under anaesthetic which is actually the 3rd time in his life, and they removed the spurs. However this time, he struggled to come round from the anaesthetic and was unstable when he eventually came home. He didn't look right and only ate little bits on top of the critical care feed he was having to try and get him eating again. He never did, and just became poorlier and poorlier and although he was given medication, it didn't help and he developed pneumonia during Friday and Saturday. By 4pm on Saturday he was unable to stand up, so there was no choice but to take him to be put to sleep as he was in distress; he was buried in my garden on Sunday evening with full ceremony and many tears.
I realize that many people won't understand it, but I am utterly heartbroken and the sense of grief is overwhelming and unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. I also feel extremely guilty that had I not taken him to the vets, he may still have been alive although he had started to lose weight through not being able to eat properly last week.
I just wanted to share this on here with everyone to try and help my grieving and sadness.