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Guinea Pig Dying Process | 10 Sad Stages To The Next Life

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: November 7, 2021

Like all living beings, guinea pigs also face their end and it is helpful for the pet parents to be aware of the guinea pig dying process.

This will make their transition to the afterlife smoother and the pet parents can also brace themselves for the forthcoming pain.

Guinea pigs are animals that were bred by the Inca tribes living in South America in the territory of modern Peru and Bolivia, where they still exist in the wild.

Breeding work has made it possible to obtain many decorative breeds of guinea pigs that live together with people and require care and attention.

If the guinea pig is ill, the veterinarian will help you understand the cause of the disease and treat it.

Signs of a Dying Guinea Pig

A caring owner who devotes considerable time to a pet can always identify signs of impending death by noting a change in habitual behavior.

A healthy pig will never give up treats or new foods in the diet, but towards the end, they may show a lack of appetite.

The amount of activity by the pig decreases towards the end.

A healthy pet is always curious and interested in exploring.

In a young pig, fast fatigue and slow movement mean gaining excess weight and possible obesity, as well as natural laziness.

Labored breathing is another symptom.

Besides that, uncontrolled emission of feces, slow reflex movements and lack of response to stimuli are also signs of impending death.

Nothing can be done about the fact that the animal dies of old age, but guinea pigs do not always live to old age.

In case your mumps is not many years old, you need to see your veterinarian.

This can be a serious medical condition.

How to Help a Dying Guinea Pig

Unfortunately, it is impossible to cure an elderly pet of old age; in the last days of a beloved friend’s life, it is recommended to create decent conditions for the animal:

  • Feed an elderly animal with soft cereals, juicy fruits, cereals, puree food;
  • Make sure that the weak animal can independently get to the drinker and feeder, you can feed and water the guinea pig with the help of a syringe without a needle;
  • It is recommended to remove floors, stairs, houses from the cage, hang a soft hammock as low as possible and plant an elderly animal in it;
  • After eating and twice a day, it is necessary to wash the face and genitals of a fluffy pet with a damp swab dipped in warm boiled water;
  • Place your favorite soft toy in the cage;
  • Try to often pick up a beloved rodent, speak affectionate words and stroke the animal, the old guinea pig needs human love and care more than ever

If a young guinea pig dies, an urgent need to call a veterinarian at home.

Providing first aid before the arrival of a specialist can save the life of a pet.

Leave Guinea Pig Alone or in a Group?

For most pigs, it is more relaxed to be able to die in familiar surroundings and between pals.

The group and familiar smells provide security and convey a feeling of security.

This is important when an animal dies, as in the time before they die they gradually lose their bodily functions, and become defenseless and vulnerable.

Guinea pigs are escape animals and that tendency lasts until the end.

It is therefore particularly important to offer them a protected space to die.

If an animal dies in its group, it often becomes a little quieter and calmer around the dying animal.

It is accompanied by one or more partner pigs, which lie down near it or possibly cuddle up close.

They calm the dying animal or just keep company.

Dying animals should be kept warm, protected, and standstill.

This makes it easier for the animal to die in peace.

Shortly before the animal dies, the others may withdraw a little.

The dying animals should be placed individually, only in an emergency, e.g., if they are bitten by others or similarly harassed.

Do Guinea Pigs Mourn Their Partner?

That is hard to say.

What is certain is that they register it and their behavior is more or less influenced.

They can sometimes show problems with feeding, appear disturbed, be more anxious, move less, etc.

The larger the group, the less noticeable a change in behavior.

In extreme cases, if the only partner dies away, serious problems can arise.

Usually, this can be fixed by a new buddy.

Most guinea pigs do not notice grief as strongly as one might initially think.

They become calmer, move less, eat more or less than before and are no longer as interested in their surroundings.

Others show hardly any changes in behavior or the owner does not notice any difference from before.

But these animals also mourn internally.

Many older guinea pigs even die of grief or get sick.

Most of the time, there is nothing to notice from the outside of the animals, but inside they suffer so that in the worst case scenario, the internal stress can trigger an illness.

No guinea pig should grow old alone, there is always a solution to keep the animals in a species-appropriate manner, even if you want to stop keeping them.

Can You Leave the Partner Guinea Pig Alone?

I often hear that keeping after the remaining guinea pigs should be stopped.

The last guinea pig should therefore remain alone until it dies.

These animals are often old, but some are still “in their prime” and are kept alone to wait for their death.

For a social animal, such an attitude on the part of the keeper means a few horrific last months or years.

It invisibly suffers from the decision of the owner.

There is always a solution to keep social animals in and give them a dignified life to death.

You can find out how to do this below.

No guinea pig should be left alone just because keeping them should be stopped in the long term.

Ideally, a new guinea pig should be added immediately, but if one cannot be found that quickly, a partner should move in at least in the first two weeks after death.

Long waits are difficult for some animals to cope with, especially if they go beyond a month.

Make sure that the guinea pig eats well and remains active during the waiting phase.

Tips for Euthanasia at the Vet

Take something familiar, preferably soft, and absorbent with you.

It is nicer for the animals not to be put to sleep on the smooth, cold examination table, but on their cuddly towel or something similar.

If you have the strength to be there during this last step, you can hold and calm the animal while administering the anesthetic injection.

Shortly afterward, the animals become limp and relax so much that they may empty their bladders.

Therefore, a towel under the animal is well suited, then you do not need to put the dying animal away in alarm.

It is beneficial if you can sit down with the animal in your lap, it is nicer for the animal than having it on the examination table and if your knees go weak, you are already sitting.

How to Put to Sleep at Home?

If there is confirmation that the disease is dangerous to human life, then you need to immediately euthanize the rodent.

With the help of this procedure, you will not only protect yourself but also allow your pet to avoid dying.

It is quite difficult to euthanize an animal at home.

Therefore, it is better to seek help from a veterinarian.

After the procedure, an autopsy will be performed, thanks to which the causes of death will be examined in more detail.

What to do if a Guinea Pig Dies?

If the guinea pig lies on its back or on its side with open eyes, does not respond to the owner and external stimuli, then the beloved pet has died.

A dead guinea pig is a very difficult and sad sight for all family members.

Especially for young children, who need to explain in advance why their pets die, and try to keep in the memory of the household bright memories of a furry friend?

If other animals or guinea pigs were kept in the apartment, it is necessary to let them sniff the body of the deceased animal.

Pets will accept the death of a friend and will not yearn for him.

How to Bury a Guinea Pig?

Burial of bodies of domestic animals within settlements, on the territory of parks and squares, is strictly prohibited in order to avoid contamination of the soil and groundwater.

The owner of a deceased guinea pig can independently carry out the procedure for burying the body of a fluffy rodent outside the city with family members by placing the corpse in an improvised coffin.

Veterinary clinics are engaged in the cremation of the bodies of pets, the fact of the procedure is confirmed by a disc with a video recording of the service provided.

This option is considered safe and can be carried out at any time of the year, in contrast to burial in the ground.

Coping With the Loss of a Guinea Pig

During its short life, an affectionate pet becomes a beloved friend of the whole family or a real outlet for a lonely person, therefore, surviving the death of a guinea pig is quite difficult not only for children but also for adults.

After the death of a funny animal, you should not reproach yourself and the doctors, look for the causes of death, this animal cannot be returned.

Children must be assured that their little friend has lived a decent and happy life.

The whole family can:

  • Make a photo album with moments from the life of an affectionate pet;
  • Hang a photograph of an animal on the wall;
  • Plant a tree or perennial flowers in memory of the guinea pig

It is advisable to often recall with a kind word the funny tricks of the family pet, tell friends about the stories from the life of the baby.

Until the pain of loss subsides, the tears dry at the memory of a small animal, you should not start a new animal.

It is very important to love and pamper the benevolent guinea pigs, try to often stroke the wonderful babies on the forehead and behind the ears, treat them with delicacies and speak sweet words.

Funny rodents selflessly love their owners all their lives and forever remain a bright spot in human memory.

Reasons of Guinea Pig Death

Improper Care

If the cage is located in a draft, then sooner or later this will negatively affect the health and well-being of the pet.

An animal can easily catch a cold, and treating a pet is not as easy as it might seem at first glance.

You need to have additional knowledge, or at least be able to immediately contact a good specialist.

Improper care is fraught with consequences for any animal.

Guinea pigs are quite gentle and vulnerable creatures.

If you do not follow them in time, they will leave you much earlier than you expect.

For example, few people know that this species of rodents must be kept in necessarily same-sex couples.

One by one, they become bored and dreary.

And breeding pigs is a rather difficult and problematic task.

Without special knowledge, you do not need to take on this.

If your guinea pig dies unexpectedly, you need to carefully analyze the situation.

Perhaps you did something wrong, we’re not attentive to the changes taking place.

Just try to take into account the mistakes made and not repeat them in the future.

Various Infections

Contrary to popular belief, these animals often get sick.

The fact is that a person cannot always competently comply with all conditions of detention.

For example, if a dog is also kept in the apartment, then sometimes it may even happen that it brings some kind of infection home on its paws.

As a result, the rodent becomes infected, and the dog remains healthy.

It is almost impossible to prevent such cases.

If this happens, it is recommended that you immediately take your pet to a veterinary clinic.

Treatment will be expensive, but the pet can be saved.

Infections are also dangerous because the course of the disease can be completely asymptomatic for some time.

Trauma and Old Age

As a result of improper care, it can happen that the pig will slip off some surface and break its paw.

Any damage is dangerous for the animal in that they are not always visible visually.

The owner may not even know that the animal is suffering from severe pain.

And then it remains only to wonder why a guinea pig and a rabbit, for example, died?

Remember that even when animals are fed the right food, there are other risks that are difficult to know about in advance.

If there are fights with relatives, then health problems can also arise.

Injury is a pretty big reason to think about your pet’s well-being.

In most cases, guinea pigs live for about seven to eight years.

This is the average number of years that future owners tend to look at when making a purchase decision.

After all, no one wants to say goodbye to their beloved animal too quickly.

The common problems and fatal diseases of guinea pigs often lead to the fact that animals live even less: only five to six years.

This is also a normal indicator.

It’s always hard and sad to lose a furry friend, which is understandable.

Old age cannot be canceled or prevented.

Changes in Behavior and Hair Loss

A sick animal always tries to hide somewhere from prying eyes.

So it is in nature: the weak give way to the strong, leave their relatives.

If your pig suddenly stops responding to your voice, it is likely that something is wrong with it.

When an animal is constantly sleeping or lying in one place, it is quite possible that it is disturbed by severe pains, which it cannot tell about.

An attentive owner should always look closely and listen to the behavior of his pet.

There is nothing sadder than coming home after work and finding that the guinea pig has died.

Then it becomes insanely sorry for both the pet you have lived with for several years and yourself.

Sometimes people become so attached to their furry friends that they experience their loss as a loved one leaving.

A symptom that you also need to pay attention to, and not try to pretend that what is happening is absolutely unimportant.

Hair loss is always a sign of trouble.

Of course, when faced with such manifestations, it is not at all necessary to immediately begin to feverishly prepare for the death of a pet.

It is necessary to analyze the situation in order to understand how you can help the animal.

It is possible that he simply lacks vitamins.

However, one cannot be dismissed if more serious symptoms follow and require an immediate response.

If your guinea pig died suddenly, chances are there is nothing you could do to help her.

Fatal Diseases of Guinea Pigs

Despite the strong immunity, the pet can get sick.

The reason is lack of care, lack of vitamins, or a sudden change in diet.

The most dangerous diseases that lead a pet to death are viral infections.


Lack of vital nutrients (hay, grass) causes an infectious disease caused by E.coli.

The bacillus develops rapidly in the intestines of the animal and the digestive organs.

The first symptoms include bloating, refusal to eat and drink, elevated temperature and diarrhea with blood clots.

Without prompt veterinary intervention, the animal dies from loss of fluid in the body.


An extremely dangerous disease transmitted through contaminated food or drink.

Disease caused by bacteria is fleeting and can affect all inhabitants of the cell.

It manifests itself in symptoms like loss of appetite, lethargy, increased body temperature, severe diarrhea and convulsions leading to paralysis of the legs.

Pseudotuberculosis cannot be cured.

The animal dies from a lack of fluid in the body and paralysis.


Pets with a weakened immune system and vitamin deficiency are prone to illness.

The causative agents are the disgusting content of the rodent and poor-quality food, as well as infection from the sick owner.

The pig may not eat at all or eat but little by little.

The first signs of respiratory disease are, refusal to feed, weakness and indifference, drinking frequently.

Discharge of pus happens through the nasal sinuses, which the animal tries to get rid of on its own by wiping the nose on the mat, or tries to clear the nose with a paw.

Shallow, rapid breathing is also one of the symptoms.

When characteristic symptoms appear, the rodent must be isolated from people and animals.

A timely visit to the veterinarian and prompt medical assistance can save your pet.

Final Thoughts

It is difficult for each owner to experience the death of a pet and accept this event.

Unfortunately, guinea pigs, like other rodents, cannot be called centenarians.

On average, their life expectancy is 5-8 years, but sometimes they suffer diseases and do not live up to their due date.

If you decide to have a guinea pig, try to learn the rules for keeping it.

This will keep the animal alive for as long as possible.


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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