05.20.09

Goodbye Freddie

Posted in Memorials at 2:48 am by ACR&S

Freddie

Aragorn, Gonzo, and Freddie

On May 15 we lost Freddie, a lovely older man who came to us from the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue. WIGPR rescued Freddie in January 2008. He was being advertised for free on Craigslist, and his former owner reported that she got him on Freecycle from another lady who also got him on Freecycle. He was living alone in a 50 gallon aquarium. They guessed he was an older pig – at least 5, possibly older – so he was sent to ACR&S to retire. We successfully bonded him with two of our other Sanctuary residents, Aragorn and Gonzo, and he lived happily with them, and then just with Aragorn after Gonzo died in September 2008.

Freddie has been slowly losing weight over the last 9 months, down to around 650 grams from around 950 last summer. We assumed he was just getting older, because his appetite and attitude were still marvelous, and none of his vet visits have shown any abnormalities.

On May 7 Freddie developed a crusty, squinty eye. ANY head problems in guinea pigs can potentially result from dentail problems, but his teeth looked good on a normal oral exam, so the vet diagnosed it as a simple eye infection. A week later, his eye was still not better and I noticed he was turning his head to the left when he chewed anything. I took him back in on May 14, and  x-rays revealed that he had two hidden problems: a fairly advanced inner ear infection on the left, and deeply elongated molar roots on both sides. The vet planed the teeth down to help reduce the root elongation, and we put him on TMZ for the inner ear infection, but the vet said the infection may be a sign that the roots are impinging on the inner ear or the even the socket of the eye itself.

Freddie never really recovered from the procedure. He just continued to get weaker and weaker throughout the day Friday, taking less and less critical care, and finally at 10pm he laid down and never got up. The vet was incredibly apologetic, because I insisted that we shouldn’t put him through this if he was too weak to survive it, yet the bloodwork revealed no contraindications for surgery and the vet felt it was more than safe to go ahead. Fortunately he was on strong pain control so I know he went painlessly and peacefully, and his buddy Aragorn was with him.

We’re very grateful to WIGPR for giving us the opportunity to care for Freddie this last year – he was really one of the friendliest pigs we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Bye little man.

5 Comments

  1. Celia said,

    May 20, 2009 at 9:48 am

    This is a sad day for Freddie, his caregivers,and companions but it is wonderful to know that he had loving attention in his final days at the ‘Rescue and Retirement Ranch’-branch of ACR&S. We all know that many little guys are far less fortunate.

    My sympathy to those who will miss Freddie; my appreciation because they do.

  2. Sam said,

    June 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I feel soo sad. He never had a real owner

  3. Kelly said,

    June 5, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    No he did not, but at least he spent his last days being well cared for and had friends. He learned what is was like to be a spoiled pig.He knew he was loved. My sympathies to those who knew and loved Freddie

  4. SAGP said,

    June 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    How is Aragorn doing?

  5. ACR&S said,

    June 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

    He’s actually been bonded with his neighbor Timothy, who lost his partner Chubby about a year ago. We had been working on making Aragorn, Freddie, and Timothy into a triple, but the two intact boars were too forcefully possessive of poor neutered Aragorn. Timothy is delighted to have a friend all to himself, and to be honest I’m not sure Aragorn can tell the difference!