Goodbye, Amber

Posted in Memorials at 9:03 am by ACR&S

amber-stinkyWe lost Amber yesterday. Amber came to the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue in early 2008. She was incredibly skittish, to the point that her foster mom thought she might literally die of fright. She was also a satin, which is a very pretty breed that is unfortunately congenitally prone to osteodystrophy, a disease where the bones do not retain and deposit minerals correctly – some bones become thickened and some become thin and brittle. It was determined that between her behavior and potential medical problems, she would be hard to adopt, and in July 2008 she came to live with us at ACR&S as a companion to Elmer. When Elmer died a year later, Amber went to live with Shtinky, shown here. They have been together ever since.

Amber has never been a friendly pig, but with Shtinky’s calm companionship, she finally stopped assuming that we were constantly out to kill her. In the last six months or so she’s even learned that we are a good source of treats, and has started begrudgingly taking her c-tablets from our fingers!

Recently, Amber has been showing signs of ovarian cysts including enlarged and crusty mammary glands. Fortunately, a spay is usually an easy fix for this problem. She went into surgery yesterday with the wonderful Dr Gibbons at Brook Falls Veterinary Hospital. Prior to surgery, he guessed that she probably had a uterine tumor as well as the cysts. We discussed the chance that she might not make it through surgery and decided that he would evaluate as he went along; if the tumor was diffuse or involved with other organs, we would euthanise her on the table; if it could be removed easily, he would finish the surgery and we’d take our chances with recovery. During the surgery he found cysts on both ovaries, a huge uterine tumor – over 2.5″ long and nearly 5% of her body weight – and multiple adhesions between the tumor and the abdominal wall, the bladder, and the ureters. However, he was able to remove all of the tumor and adhesions without complications and we thought she’d be fine.  She woke up and was initially doing well during her post-surgical recovery period, but a few hours later she went shocky and we could tell it was time to let her go. She died peacefully without any pain.

We’re grateful to WI-GPR for giving us the chance to have this little girl in our lives. She was a wonderful and lovely little companion and we shall all miss her.

1 Comment

  1. Celia said,

    May 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Another sadness…and so soon. Of course, it is always too soon.

    Amber left earth having been loved and learning to trust…that is a wonderful thing in a life that began with so many disadvantages. It took a lot of patience and caring to get her that far. Once again, the wonderful humans of ACRS have done all that they could do to comfort a poor little being who otherwise may have never had the chance to feel loved.

    To Schtinky- you must be grieving terribly over the loss of your funny little companion but I am sure you will be comforted by the humans who share your sadness.

    Amber, pain and fear are behind you now so go look for Elmer; you will find him nibbling treats along with many other nibblers we have loved. (Including Porgie, a sweet little boy who spent his whole life afraid that a human might look at him.)