Last Updated: 2/7/11
On 10/17/00, my mother surprised me with a guinea pig that she had bought on impulse. [I would later find on 2/6/11 the receipt from the purchase. She came from Dapper Pet Den in Mt. Airy at 1:52 PM on 10/17/00.] Fritz was a teddy sow. In England, a teddy is called a rex. Her coat contained bars of white, dark brown, and tan. She was born around 9/12/00. She was a sweetie. I discovered a large abscess under her chin after a few days. When it started to bleed and ooze, she went to the vet. The vet said it was cervical lymphadenitis or an infected lymph node. She was given Bactrim Sulfatrim antibiotic. Fritz weighed only 400 grams on 10/20/00! She loved to run and chew (of course she chewed on plastic and metal too!) and eat (everything that is!) just like a healthy piggy should! The store person from whom my mother bought Fritz said she was a he. My mother and the vet did not say otherwise. After almost two weeks, it became very obvious to me that Fritz was a sow and not a boar as she came into season and her female parts became more obvious. I was beginning to think "he" was not very well endowed (in either of the male parts)! The store also said that Fritz was a "wooly" guinea pig. No one had heard of that but after viewing Fritz's photo, a breeder said she was a teddy guinea pig. Fritz weighed 1.75 pounds on 1/26/01. By 2/24/01, she was up to almost 2 pounds! By 2/20/02, Fritz weighed about 2.5 pounds.
As of 10/7/04, Fritz was doing just fine.
By 2/26/05, I found she had a small lump under her front right leg as well as a sort of abscess under her chin so she went to the vet on 3/4/05. The vet did a needle aspirate of the lumps. The one I thought was fat under her leg he said was fat. The other one had some weird cells. A urine sample showed blood in her urine. An x-ray showed no stones though. Fritz probably had a urinary tract infection as well as the chin abscess. She was put on 0.5 mL of liquid Baytril twice a day for at least two weeks. Fritz was 1035 grams.
On 4/18/05, I took Fritz back to the vet. Her tumor on her chin was still there after 6 weeks of giving her Baytril. It was removed on 4/19/05. The vet said it was a tumor and not an abscess. It kept bleeding so it really had to go. Luckily, it was a "fully encapsulated mass" as the vet said so he got it all without a problem. She had stitches that were taken out in 10 days.
On 10/11/05, I took Fritz and Kylie back to the vet (see Kylie's page for her story). Fritz had another lump which was removed on 10/13/05. The vet agreed it was suspicious. It was under her right arm pit. The wound was stapled shut (looked pretty ghastly).
Fritz had her staples removed on 10/26/05 and healed well. I started regular monthly weighings of the pigs. Fritz was 1032 g on 10/29/05.
Fritz's life became a lot more boring when Kylie died on 11/13/05.
Fritz was 1083 g on 11/29/05. I began to weigh her monthly. She gained a little bit since she did not have to compete with Kylie for food anymore. She was 1074 g on 12/23/05. She was 1109 g on 1/21/06. She was 1085 g on 2/18/06.
The morning of 3/10/06, something odd caught my eye. I picked up Fritz to get a better look. On her rump, she had a tumor that had burst through the skin and was bleeding. How in the world I did not see that coming, I do not know. The lump was almost an inch across. I try to do routine exams for lumps on her and all my animals but missed that one entirely. I called the vet and got permission to drop her off for emergency surgery. The vet removed the lump and had to remove a few outer layers of her leg muscle which would make her sore. She was put on Baytril. I hoped the tumor had not metastasized before I found it.
The next day, 3/11/06, Fritz was not herself. She never recovered that woozy feeling from the anesthesia. I gave her the Baytril. She did not want to eat or drink. She could not walk. She could not lift her head. Her breathing was labored. I called the vet who agreed that she needed pain medication (which he said the day before she probably did not need). I gave her 0.2 mL of Metacam per his directions around 11:15 am. As the day went on, she became even weaker. I tried syringe feeding her some water around 2 pm but it just drizzled back out. I kept checking her. Her heart and lungs were failing. She started hyperventilating. Around 4 pm, my frequent check revealed she was gone. We buried her next to Kylie. Her weight was 974 g so she lost 10% of her weight in the last month. I guess the anesthesia (Isofluorane, not sure?) and/or shot of pain meds (Buprenex) the vet gave her the day before was too much for her little body. Most likely, she had a weak heart like Kylie. If only I had not noticed her ghastly tumor hanging out, she would still be alive, at least until that became infected enough to kill her. My desire to help her ended her life prematurely. I will miss her squeaks for breakfast (at least something appreciated the work I did). She may be the last piggy I ever have. That night, I put my rabbit, Harry in her cage. By the next week, I was able to read through my guinea pig web pages and put all references to Fritz in the past tense. I also took the opportunity to revamp my two guinea pig pages into their own subdirectory, divide them up, and update it all. That sad moment of updating my site makes the deaths seem all too real for my animals, when they become just memories, when their web pages are closed to new information. It always seems strange when I get e-mails from people about one of my animals who are gone but the person talks about them like they are still alive because it is all new to them.
To see photos of Fritz, go to the section on photos of Fritz, Kylie, and their home.
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