Last night the kids had the guinea pigs out and playing together in the basement.
All of a sudden, they came running upstairs yelling "TIMBER BIT NOLAN".
They showed me the spot where Nolan was bit and I about spazed.
There was a white chunk of something that appeared slightly wet and possibly foamy.
Not up to date on my guinea pig anatomy and physiology, I wasn't 100% sure what it could be.
I was just absolutely certain that it shouldn't be like that.
I asked the kids if Nolan yelped or cried or anything. They said he hadn't.
My mind raced forward and I knew immediately that he was dying.
And of course it slipped out of my mouth, with no restraint, making the kids cry.
How else could a guinea pig get bit so hard that his bowels were perforating through the skin and he not cry? Of course he was so weakened from the injury that he was dying.
I told them to put him in his cage and let him die in his house.
K. I realize how absolutely cruel this sounds. But I didn't know what to do.
It was about midnight at this point, a windchill of a bazillion below, and I'm broke.
A trip to the vet emergency room (does that exist?) didn't sound like a reasonable possibility at the moment.
Reagan ran to the couch, curled in the corner, and cried.
I felt like the worst mom ever.
I was stewing around, thinking of Google-ing Animal Emergency Rooms.
I kept checking on Nolan.
He seemed fine. Running around his cage, playing like normal.
I inwardly groaned.
This was not going to be a quick death.
Another thought crossed my mind. What was I going to do with the other guinea pig? How could we continue to look at him, spoil him, and cuddle him after he attacked another guinea pig with such brutality that he ripped his bowels out of him?
I decided I could at least try to do something for him. To see if it was something that I could fix.
Don't laugh at me... :-)
I grabbed one of his toy sticks he chews on and poked his side.
Seems like a legit treatment plan, right?
Maybe I could poke everything back in to place?
It was hard. Not at all squishy like intestines would be.
So it wasn't his bowels poking through his stomach.
Not to mention Nolan didn't flinch, squeak, or anything.
Either this piggie was seriously knocking at death's door or he was tough as nails.
Because if the thing I poked was hard then it had to be a bone, right?
Which could only mean Timber bit Nolan so hard his hip because dislocated and was poking through his fur.
This had to be his greater trochanter popping though the skin.
While I'm not up to date on my guinea pig anatomy, I still remember my human anatomy from college.
And that was definitely his hip joint poking through the fur.
No, I don't ever think the worst.
(For my co-workers: It was at this point the thought of 'consult Dr. Mayors for possible protruding intestines and consult Dr. Kase for hip dislocation and destruction' crossed my mind. Hahaha)
I was still amazed that Nolan could run around like he was while his hip was poking through.
I wanted to see this phenomenon up closely.
I had one of the kids hold Nolan so I could keep poking and see what bone this was exactly.
As I examined the 'bone' closer, I realized (to my delight) that it was a mint that one of the kids had been eating and must have spit out.
Of course, they all denied eating a mint and then spitting it out because they knew I would get mad that they spit a candy on the floor. I tried convincing them that this was the ONE AND ONLY time that I hoped that they did spit the said candy on the floor, but no one believed me. (Which means they hear me when I flip out about stuff on the floor they just have yet to follow through with it...)
A mint on the fur meant Timber didn't bite Nolan, he was trying to eat the candy. Because Timber is a PIG and eats non-stop.
Timber is just an over eater...not a barbaric cannibal.
By morning the mint/bone/protruding bowels was gone and Nolan has continued to run around and act normal.
I can only imagine loading up my kids and rushing my guinea pig to the nearest Animal Hospital in the middle of the night during the coldest Arctic freeze of the century only to find out it was a mint stuck to his fur.
All I could do was shake my head and think "Only me" and be thankful that I my imagination never gets the best of me.
*Disclaimer: To all my animal lover friends: This all happened within minutes. If when I poked the white thing and realized it seriously was something serious, I would've contacted a vet. I'm not so cruel to let an animal slowly die. I just wasn't overly excited to pay a vet emergency bill on a guinea pig :-)