Any vet techs out there?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by lenarenee, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Dec 27, 2017 #1

    lenarenee

    lenarenee

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    Our sweet little guinea pig died in surgery to remove a tumor. Actually - she went through the anesthesia swimmingly - the vet said she needed very little. Her heart stopped as he was suturing her up. Said she might have gotten too cold.

    The tumor was larger than he expected and said that without surgery she might have lived another week or two (painfully). So at the time I told myself she was probably weakened by it, although she didn't show any symptoms until that week. Her activity was normal, eating, behavior. Then she started sitting in the corner of the cage and we took her in that week. (and keep in mind we pay attention to our pets - they're in a part of the house where people walk by many times a day, they are interacted with and exercised every day.)

    But it's that comment he made - about getting too cold that bothers me. Is that a sign of negligence on their part?

    This clinic and vet come highly recommended, and he is an exotics vet - not a small animal vet.
     
  2. Dec 28, 2017 #2

    KattChaos

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    I'm not a vet tech... But I feel like if there was a chance of her don't from being to cold they could of easily done something to prevent it.
     
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  3. Dec 28, 2017 #3

    Relle

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    So sorry to hear of your guinea pig :(. We've had GP's get through an op and then die.
     
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  4. Dec 28, 2017 #4

    Rusti

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    Former vet tech here. I don't know that much about exotics, but any anesthesia whatsoever always carries a certain amount of risk. The larger and healthier the critter (except for horses, who are simply made of delicate spun glass) the better they tend to take it. Tiny kittens, puppies, ratties, guinea pigs all have a slightly higher risk of complications than, say, that 50 pound 2 year old labrador.

    There are things they can do to keep body temp up, like warm water mats (heating pads are a giant no because they can cause burns), but even those things can be hit or miss keeping the body temp regulated in such a small creature.

    It doesn't really sound like negligence to me, unfortunately. I think folks should be aware of the risks of anesthesia, but if the vet or their techs stopped to explain it every single time life would get very difficult over a not insignificant but still tiny risk.

    How old was your pig and how big a tumor are we talking?
     
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  5. Dec 28, 2017 #5

    lenarenee

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    She was about 3 years. I don't know how big the tumor was, but it had started to ...necrotize? I'm not sure of the word...I wasn't listening that well any more.

    I knew there was more risk from the anesthesia, knew that warm water mat were used to warm guinea pigs, and that surviving the surgery was only the first hurdle - cause then there's infection, plus with a tumor the likelihood of it being cancerous.

    I'm not outright trying to blame them. I just thought it odd that since keeping anything warm during surgery is important - why didn't they know she was getting too cold? Is "too cold" subjective - perhaps a little different from one guinea pig to another?

    It's just so hard to think that we were sooo close to success, and then lose her for something that might have been preventable. Although...I guess I can't really say that. Infection for pigs is common, and then....the whole tumor thing.

    I also didn't realize just how much I loved that little girl.
     
  6. Dec 28, 2017 #6

    lenarenee

    lenarenee

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    Relle, what do I do with the remaining pig? He's such a dominant guy he isn't matchable with another male - even a young male. The head of the rescue suspects he was taken very young to the pet store - and lived as an only pig.
    He was then returned about a year later. He's very people friendly and confident. In fact - he's better suited to survive the loss of a friend than our girl was, I think.

    But he loved his girl - I swear he used to make goo-goo eyes at her. (yes, she was spade. The irony - she was spade to prevent tumors).

    The rescue has no spade females at this time - and they are rare. And let me tell you - I'm in no hurry to put a female through that surgery and hope she survives!
     
  7. Dec 28, 2017 #7

    Rusti

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    I'm not surprised that you are looking for something, anything to blame (even if it's just subconscious). You just lost your furbaby and you weren't entirely expecting it, even if it was haunting the back of your mind. I was not there, so I can't give you any kind of educated guess as to what actually happened. It's possible that the vet too was grasping at straws and wasn't sure himself.

    If the tumor was necrotic (rotting) that's just another complication. Could've been hypothermia (they do have probes that monitor body temp, but I've only used them on cats and dogs), could've been a stray blood clot, could've been something the tumor itself released when it was removed, could've been could've been...

    Even doing a full necropsy might not have turned anything up as to cause of death.

    I'm sorry about your little one, regardless of the cause though. Taking in a pet you knew was sick but perhaps not yet terminal and receiving that kind of news can be devastating.
     
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  8. Dec 28, 2017 #8

    shunt2011

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    I’m so very sorry on the loss of your little fur baby.
     
  9. Dec 28, 2017 #9

    dibbles

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    lenarenee, I am so sorry you lost your little girl. We lost a dog during a surgery that was not routine, but a good outcome was expected by the vet. This was also a highly specialized veterinary clinic, and x rays didn't show what they found during surgery. It's so hard to lose a pet, and unexpectedly just adds to that. *hugs*
     
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  10. Dec 28, 2017 #10

    CaraBou

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    Aww, I'm so sorry Lenarenee. What a shock to diagnose and lose her so suddenly. I've had a similar experience, not with surgery, but a very quick "turnaround time" between symptoms, diagnosis and euthanasia. All the shoulda, coulda, woulda, didthey's, that's normal and to some degree should be contemplated. But I hope you find peace soon, and figure out what's best for the boy who was left behind.
     
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  11. Dec 28, 2017 #11

    Cellador

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    I'm sorry about the loss of your pet. It is always difficult...
     
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  12. Dec 28, 2017 #12

    Relle

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    We had 2 piggy boys and one died, I bought another (boy) not straight away, about a month after, not knowing if they'd get along. It was a process of establishing who was boss and some biting and scuffling. I introduced them in a neutral area, they eventually worked it out. The original one, not the new one became the boss (he was older). There is always a pecking order. Both boys were not spayed. They got on really well together, the newer one died at about 5 yrs old in late 2014 and his friend only lasted about 1 month after that. So maybe you can try and get a boy for company for him. Try the GP sites and ask if they don't get along can the new one be returned for his own good. If they have company they do better.

    I understand you not wanting to put a GP through getting desexed. We got our newish bunny done in late Sept this year (it prevents them getting uterine cancer) and she didn't eat for 3 days which is not good for bunnies. I always worry about anaesthetics.
     
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  13. Dec 28, 2017 #13

    lenarenee

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    Rusti I am incredibly grateful for your words - you've been a tremendous help to me. Despite knowing the risks I didn't really expect her to die. I even stayed in the parking lot of the vets because I envisioned going in to see her while recovering from anesthesia. And even if monitoring body temp - she was a 740 grams guinea pig and changes happen fast. I also did not know tumors can secrete toxins, or thought about blood clots. There are so many things that can go wrong.

    Thanks again Rusti.
     
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  14. Dec 28, 2017 #14

    lenarenee

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    Thank you everyone for your condolences. I am feeling better. I have to admit when I've known someone who was grieving over the death of a bird, or other small animal I was little judgmental - like "it was only a bird, not a real pet like a dog or a cat". Now I know better. Never underestimate the value of an little creature, or the ability of a person to love.
     
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  15. Dec 28, 2017 #15

    DeeAnna

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    "...Never underestimate the value of an little creature..."

    Oh this is so true. When you've had a 3-ounce cockatiel nestle into your shoulder and nibble gently on your earlobe at the end of a bad day ... there are no words to describe what comfort that gives.
     
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  16. Jan 3, 2018 #16

    dillsandwitch

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    So sorry for you loss. Losing pets can be hard. I've said goodbye to too many in the past and it still wont stop me from getting more. I've got a fish that I have had going on 11 years now I get funny looks when I mention how much it will hurt when he eventually dies. He's not just a fish to me, he had his personality and he had happy days and grumpy days just like everyone else. I bet you little pig was the same for you. Remember the good times you had together.
     
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  17. Jan 3, 2018 #17

    lenarenee

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    We have 5 fish tanks as well! Most are betta tanks. We lost 2 of them at the same time as the guinea pig, however one of the betta was given to us free from a pet store because it was all but dead. He recovered with lots of tender loving care and lived half a year. So many pet stores keep the bettas in dirty water too long and it affects the health of the fish - they don't regain 100% vigor. I enjoy buying the ill ones and trying to nurse them back to health. This time however - I went and bought a healthy beautiful bumblebee male - because I've been caretaking animals too much lately. It's a lot of work.

    We'll certainly remember our dear little Abigail. She was so people shy and difficult to gain her confidence - she wouldn't even take food from our hands for many month. And for the last year of her life she was much more confident and curious! When we let the pigs out on the floor to run around - it was Abby who led the charge! And she was so soft! Didn't let us pet her much, but that's okay. I think she was happy.
     
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  18. Jan 3, 2018 #18

    DeeAnna

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    It's so fun to see the shy ones bloom with good care and lots of patient love. Good for you!
     
  19. Jan 4, 2018 #19

    NsMar42111

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    Awwwwww I'm sorry to hear about Abby! :( Here, have a hug! :bunny:

    Surgery is always risky in the small animals, but at least you tried something to help. It's always rough losing the big or small ones regardless, I've had hundreds of animals in my life and I still miss them-bleh!

    I might advise no necessarily get a "friend" for your boar right now. My boar was perfectly happy as an only pig because he got all my attention (in his little eyes). The females tend to get along better together than the males as far as cagemates, so I'd wait and see how he does. If he mopes for more than a week or two, then I'd consider it...unless you just want an excuse for another neeeeek neeeek noisemaker :).
     

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