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When piggies are becoming old, or are very poorly, knowing when your piggie has had enough can be a difficult decision to come to. This decision would be made alongside your vet, usually, there are things you can try to help them recover, such as antibiotics and painkillers, but sometimes they don’t improve with simple interventions.

We believe at the Nest, that we know when the time is right for that piggie. If they aren’t eating and have lost a lot of weight, is a big sign. Usually, they look very sad and unkempt. We find it easier to make the decision ourselves at home, a vet won’t have a problem with you starting the consultation with ‘we think the time has come for our piggie…’ they will understand immediately where you are at. That’s not to say if they have another idea of something to try, they will suggest it. But we find, once we’ve made the decision, and said our goodbyes at home, we would go ahead with euthanasia. We would rather put a piggie to sleep, a day too early, and when they are comfortable, than a day too late, and have a miserable final day.

What happens when piggies are put to sleep?

Different vets may operate differently, our vets prefer to give piggies some gas before putting them to sleep, this means piggies drift of to sleep and aren’t aware of what’s happening. The unfortunate thing for us, is we can’t be there for this. But once the injection has been given, the vet will bring the piggie through to us to hold until they have gone. Or you can choose not to do this, it is too difficult for some people, and vets are happy to be with our pets in their final moments. We know our vets will treat all our piggies as if they were their own.

What do you do with the body?

You can choose to leave your piggie at the vets and they can arrange a cremation, they will be able to give you different cost options. Or you can take your piggie home (our vets wrap them in a blanket, before putting them back in their carrier) and bury them in your garden.

Our vets also don’t expect you to pay that day, it’s an upsetting time and you may just want to get home. The bill can be paid when you feel up to it.

What about my other piggie who’s been left alone?

It’s difficult to say if piggies actually understand their friend has gone, but they will wonder why they are alone, piggies need a friend. Keep an eye on them, many piggies are fine for weeks, but some will go quiet and stop eating. If this happens we need to find a friend quickly. When you feel ready, and that will be different for each family, we can start to find your piggie a new friend.

How do I cope after?

It is a sad time, and no matter what your beliefs about death or life after death, we think the rainbow bridge poem could help. We really believe that one day we will meet all our past furry friends! There’s going to be a lot for us!! Every piggie that doesn’t make it to their forever homes, from the Nest, we consider our own. But whatever you believe, things will get better over time.