How Can You Help Your Dying Guinea Pig and Prevent Pain?

As much as we love our guinea pigs, they do not live forever. 

Many small animals do not have a very long life. 

This means that we are going to have to say goodbye to our beloved furry friends at one point or another. 

If your guinea pig is dying, you are likely looking for ways to make them as comfortable as possible and prevent any pain they may be experiencing.  

If your guinea pig is dying, it is normal to feel sad and want to comfort them. Wrapping them in a blanket and giving them plenty of affection will help them stay calm. Offer tasty treats and freshwater. If your vet has prescribed pain medication, give them the medicine to keep them comfortable. 

Helping your guinea pig when they are dying is often a somber affair. 

It is, however, a part of life, an inevitable part of being a guinea pig owner. 

Being there to make your cavy as comfortable as possible is a great act of love to give them at the end of their life. 

Let’s look into keeping your guinea pigs as comfortable and pain-free as possible when they are dying. 

how can i help my dying guinea pig

How To Keep My Guinea Pigs Comfortable When They Die

Death in guinea pigs is natural and inevitable. 

As loving guinea pig owners, we keep healthy guinea pigs and work to keep them alive as long as possible. 

However, death is a part of life and will eventually happen to any beloved animal. 

When the time comes, it helps keep our pets as comfortable as possible.

Sick guinea pigs are usually uncomfortable and maybe even a little scared. 

It helps to comfort them with a soft voice, a warm blanket, and the company of their fellow guinea pigs. 

Keeping them in their normal surroundings helps to keep them calm because of the familiar smell. 

The life expectancy of a guinea pig is 5-7 years. 

We strive to give them happy lives, but eventually, they will pass. 

It helps to provide them with as much comfort as possible and prevent severe pain in their last days. 

If your vet has prescribed medicine to help with pain, it will help them transition from life to death. 

How To Tell If My Guinea Pig Is Dying

Sometimes a sick animal will be having a challenging time. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean they are dying, but it’s essential to look at other common signs of your guinea pig passing on. 

Guinea pigs die from a variety of things. 

Untreated infectious diseases or viral infections will eventually kill guinea pigs.

Sometimes guinea pigs die from old age. 

There is no way to stop it, but there are ways to keep them from a great deal of pain. 

Our family pets are extremely loved and will be missed when they’re gone. 

The best thing to do is give your beloved guinea pig a peaceful death. 

If your guinea pig is getting older, we recommend familiarizing yourself with common signs they may be dying. 

This will help you plan accordingly and keep your guinea pig comfortable. 

Behavior

Guinea pigs usually start to show some irregular behavior when they are dying. 

This may be abnormal bodily functions, hunched posture, irritability, and lethargy. 

If you have depressed guineas, they may be more lethargic and tired and may need more affection and exercise. 

If the lethargy is accompanied by loss of appetite, increased body temperature, or severe diarrhea, there is cause for concern. 

While guinea pigs do get sick from time to time, it is essential to provide basic care by bringing them to a professional to address any potential illness or bacterial infections. 

It is an upsetting time caring for your sick or dying guinea pig, but we owe it to our beloved pets. 

Age

Often, the age of guinea pigs will help determine how close they may be to the end of their life. It also will help rule out other issues. 

Guinea pigs live for 5-7 years on average. 

This is affected by the quality of care they receive in their life. 

Factors like a clean cage and a calm cage environment help prevent potential health issues that may shorten their lifespan. 

Regardless of the level of love, care, and affection they receive, all guinea pigs will eventually die. 

Knowing how old your guinea pig is will help you to prepare to comfort them and be ready for when death in guinea pigs occurs. 

Expert Opinion

Get an expert opinion if you are unsure of your guinea pig’s age and don’t know whether they are dying. 

Most veterinarians will see guinea pigs, but it helps to research and find one before you need one. 

This way, if something serious occurs, you already know who to call to see your beloved cavy.

A vet will be able to get a better idea of the guinea pig’s age and determine if there are any underlying health issues like a bladder infection or potential bacterial skin infections. 

Sick guinea pigs tend to seem down and may refuse to eat. 

These are similar signs to a dying guinea pig, so it’s best to get an expert opinion to see if the issue is treatable or not. 

Coping With Losing A Guinea Pig

When your guinea pig dies, you and your family will likely be dealing with a great deal of loss. 

This is especially true if you had a special or close bond with your pet before they died. 

It is also very difficult for children to deal with the loss of a pet. 

There are many ways to prep and cope with the loss of your guinea pig. 

Here are a few ways to deal with grief when your guinea pig dies:

  • Determine the age of the guinea pig. This helps every cavy parent to know when to expect the loss. This allows more preparation and planning to give them a peaceful death and say goodbye. 
  • Talk to young children about their feelings. It helps to explain their beloved cavy friend won’t be around forever, so the death doesn’t come as a huge shock to them. 
  • Make a memorial for the deceased guinea pig. If you bury your guinea pig, set up a special stone or marker for you and your family to visit and remember your cavy. Read more about what we suggest you do with your guinea pig’s body.
  • Get proper pain medication from your veterinarian. If your guinea pig has a condition causing lots of pain, take them to your vet to get the proper pain management, so they are as comfortable as possible. 

Tips For Comforting A Dying Guinea Pig

Comforting your dying guinea pig is very sad. 

As a cavy parent, it is important to provide as much relaxation and familiarity as possible. 

Chances are your cavy friend is very scared and will need as much comfort and affection as you’re able to give.

Wrap Them In A Towel

Holding your beloved cavy friend in a warm blanket or towel helps them feel comforted and safe. 

Sometimes a little affection goes a long way, especially when your guinea pig is in their last moments. 

Use a soft fabric to make it as comfortable as possible, but make sure your guinea pig isn’t getting too hot, which may add to their discomfort. 

Keep Them With Their Companions

Many guinea pig owners report their dying guinea pigs to be much more relaxed when around a familiar environment with their hutch companions. 

This helps to reduce stress and help them feel safe. 

However, if the cage companions are bothering the dying guinea pig, we recommend bringing them out of the cage, so they’re able to relax. 

Some guinea pigs will even die of loneliness if kept away from friends for too long; check out our article for more information.

Provide Pain Medication If Advised By A Vet

If you have a pain medication prescribed by your family vet, give it to your guinea pig as needed for pain management. 

Depending on the health condition of your guinea pig, they may be in a great deal of pain. 

Avoiding this is the main priority. 

Giving your piggie pain medication may help for a peaceful transition. 

Pain relievers like ibuprofen are specially formulated for humans and are not safe to give to guinea pigs. 

In addition to them not being formulated for guinea pigs, cavies are much smaller and may cause even more health issues. 

Give Them Fresh Water And Special Treats

If your guinea pig is still eating and drinking, supply them with plenty of special treats and freshwater. 

Generally speaking, it is not wise to give your pet too many guinea pig treats as it may cause obesity. 

However, since this is likely the last few days or hours of their life, it is perfectly fine to spoil them a bit with their favorite treats and snacks. 

When guinea pigs are close to death, they often get very lethargic and may not have the energy to drink from their water bottle. 

If this is the case, keep them hydrated with a syringe. 

This way, you’ll be able to hold them and help them drink water without exerting much energy. 

Speak Or Sing Softly To Them

If you’ve had your guinea pig for a long time, your voice is very comforting to them. 

Speak or sing softly to them to let your guinea pig know you are there for them and will stay with them, so they are not alone. 

Give Them Lots Of Affection

Give your guinea pig lots of love and physical affection during this time. 

Gently stroke their heads or scratch their necks or whatever physical touch feels best for them. 

This is incredibly calming for guinea pigs and will help them stay relaxed and not feel so afraid.