Coughing. Pneumonia. X-rays and increased lung sounds. Are these notes on a human’s medical chart?
Oh, wait—“Ate all lettuce overnight, nibbled on carrot, some hay, did not eat kale.”
They’re notes about Enzo, a tiny Guinea pig who was just 6 months old. That’s right, piggies can get pneumonia, and luckily, Connecticut Humane Society veterinarians knew just how to nurse Enzo back to health when he arrived in need of a new home.
The team started with subcutaneous fluids and medication, as well as special food that needed to be syringe-fed (Enzo said “no thanks” to eating on his own, but was good for his assisted feedings). It was an encouraging sign when he scurried away as someone tried to pick him up for an exam. And there was celebrating anytime he ate any greens on his own, even one piece of lettuce.
Over a week later, the calico-colored critter perked up and was running around his enclosure. He still loved being hand-fed by his new human friends. He began spending his days on their desks, starring in Zoom meetings and cuddling in a small fleece tunnel.
Enzo’s pneumonia was resolving, but his, uh, bathroom results had never been ideal, and now they seemed worse. Could it be stress? Or an extreme lack of vitamin C? (It’s a health problem often found in piggies.)
Off to foster care he went, in hopes of a quiet, calm home giving him comfort, and a foster experienced in small animals monitoring his appetite and bathroom habits. When that still didn’t fix his upset stomach, the veterinary team tried a new medicinal approach. Success! Another thing that made him happy—being near other Guinea pigs!
Enzo ended up getting a friend of his very own when a family adopted him as a companion for their current Guinea pig. Hopefully there’s room for one more in his favorite tunnel!