Junco is a guinea pig with Wee Companions rescue in CA. She came to the rescue as part of a group of 10 guinea pigs who were "donated" as food to a raptor rescue. Fortunately, a kind volunteer with that rescue took them to an animal shelter, where they eventually made their way to Wee Companions.
All ten guinea pigs were older, underfed, lice ridden, and had curling nails. Junco in particular was concerning. She was breathing heavily, lethargic, and painfully thin. The rescue was worried she might not survive.
The vet determined Junco had congestion, noisy breathing, crusty eyes and swollen open sores along the edges of her ears. The vet diagnosed Junco with congestive heart failure, as well as a probably bacterial URI, and so he prescribed heart medications, antibiotics, and critical care because Junco was so underweight.Poor Junco's circulation was so poor that the blood was not getting to her ears, and they were deteriorating painfully at the edges.
The medicines and critical care saved Junco's life. The first to heal were Junco's ears. Her upper respiratory symptoms took longer to show improvement, and weight gain was extremely slow, but she had a fighting spirit to live. She continued to improve over the next few months, and is now stable!
Because of her heart condition, she takes 3 different medications twice daily, and will need these the rest of her life. Junco, like most guinea pigs with heart conditions, is very susceptible to secondary infections that can easily progress to pneumonia, if untreated.
Junco is in one of Wee Companion's Sanctuary homes, where she is monitored for any changes, and sees the vet for periodic check -ups, and flare up of symptoms. She is a wonderfully sweet piggy who gets along very well with other piggies, as well as enjoys being held by her human friends.
She lives in a herd of other guinea pigs that includes a neutered male and several other females with special needs. When Junco was first introduced to this herd she was still quite thin and had parts of the day where she didn’t appear to feel very well. Her foster mom would often find her snuggled between two of her cagemates, sandwich style, for warmth and comfort. Because of the nature of caring for medically fragile guinea pig, there are piggies coming and going from this herd. Now that Junco is one of the stable ones, she is often seen snuggling next to another who isn’t doing well. We are so happy to see her living a full life, and want to be able to continue to provide that for her.