How to euthanize a guinea pig at home? As a pet owner, you want to help your guinea ease the pain, and you have been searching online because you can’t afford to have it to the vet.
If your guinea pig is terminally ill or old enough that they could not even handle the time of them being sick.
As a guinea pig parent, having your lovely pet put in a good sleep unconsciously is the most painful thing to experience at some stage of your life, knowing that it will never wake up again. (please read here When do Guinea pig sleep)
What Is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia, or “good death,” also called mercy killing, is the act of putting an animal asleep for good without even experiencing extreme pain in the body.
Euthanasia is usually performed if there is no possible way your cavy may survive.
This process helps them to get rid of pain, thereby reducing their suffering!
Here are some reasons why they suffer from pain: diseases at their old age, untreatable illness, some of the treatment might not be working, to the point that recovery is impossible. and other severe sicknesses of a guinea pig.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) For Euthanasia
The use of carbon dioxide to euthanize small pets like guinea pigs have been approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Carbon dioxide is odorless and is indeed heavier than air. In some other medical purposes, a 7.5% concentration of CO2 is an analgesic or pain reliever.
On the other hand, 30% to 40% is a medium concentration that can be used as an anesthetic; and it causes rapid loss of consciousness without feeling pain and distress or struggling.
How To Produce Carbon Dioxide?
The first thing that you need to do is prepare the things you need for the procedure, including the following:
- one big box of baking soda
- a gallon of vinegar or 5% acetic acid
- measuring cup and spoon
- container jar enough to fit your pet
- vinyl hose for about 3-ft in size with an inside diameter of ½ inch
- plastic bag
- a cable tie or rubber band
Mixing baking soda (NaHCO3) and vinegar or 5% acetic acid will produce bubbles, and those bubbles are the carbon dioxide gas.
One gram of baking soda mixed with 15ml vinegar or 5% acetic acid will make 291 ccs of carbon dioxide.
Further explanation, 1.2 tablespoons or about 3.7 teaspoon of baking soda reacts with 1 cup of vinegar will produce 1.2 gallons of carbon dioxide. 1.22 cups of baking soda reacts with one gallon of vinegar will make 20 gallons of CO2.
You can buy vinegar and carbon dioxide anywhere, and both are pretty expensive, so it does not harm if you use more of the baking soda.
Steps On How To Make A Carbon Dioxide Chamber
In these steps, you will need two separate containers, a vinyl hose, and a plastic bag of about 1 gallon in size. This is how to euthanize a guinea pig at home:
Step #1. Mixing the solution
Use a separate container for mixing baking soda and vinegar or 5% acetic acid.
Slide a hose to the container directly to the chamber; this method is to separate the carbon dioxide gas to the mix into the euthanasia chamber.
Step #2. Putting the baking soda
Into the bottom of the plastic bag, put three tablespoons of baking soda.
Use a measuring cup and place the 3-ft piece of ½ inch vinyl hose (you can buy it online or in any hardware stores and can be sold per foot) outside.
After which, secure it at the top of the cup with a rubber band or tape.
Step #3. Fill the bag with vinegar
Using the cup, fill it up with 2 cups of vinegar and set it all in with the baking soda in the bag.
Wrap the plastic tightly around the vinyl hose and secure it with a cable tie, so it doesn’t spill any of the gas mixes.
Euthanasia Chamber For The Guinea Pig
If your guinea pig is small and inactive, you could use a gallon jar or a water pitcher. You could also use a box or any possible thing that could be a chamber.
It is better to add some familiar things inside the chamber like toys, timothy hays, or some small part of their beddings, and this can help your cavy calm down and feel comfortable. (please read here how make Guinea pig happy)
Also, keeping some familiar litter inside the chamber won’t make them wander the last minute of their life until they lose all of their consciousness.
My lovely cavy Ginger euthanized one year ago, and this process was just really sad because she didn’t even know that she was sleeping for good.
I remember how she cuddled with me. I am grateful to experience having a guinea pig. I felt both sad and relieved because she now rests without feeling hurt and distress.
Euthanizing The Guinea Pig
When all of the things you need are ready, put the cup through the plastic bag, then gradually pour half amount of the vinegar, slowly for about a minute.
The gas will finally begin to fill in the bag, and the gas flows into the tube directly to the jar where your lovely cavy takes place.
Make sure the vinyl hose won’t fall into the baking soda and vinegar mix. In 1-2 minutes, the guinea pig should be in a deep sleep of anaesthesia while it is breathing deeply.
Touching your cavy should produce no response or try to shake the container if there is no movement meaning the carbon dioxide worked well.
Just a reminder:
Do not open the jar because if some oxygen is mixed with the solution, your lovely pet might reawaken.
Finally, pour the remaining vinegar into the bag; this final flow of gas would fill the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the chamber.
This concentration can stop the respiration of your pet for about a minute or even in seconds.
Cover the chamber and wait 20-30 minutes before checking it.
As an owner, it is hard for you to see your lovely cavy putting into sleep for good. It is sad, yes, indeed, but you will feel relief that your adorable guinea pig rests calmly to peace. (please read here why do Guinea pig cry)
The home euthanizing process is just a choice for you if you don’t have enough to access your vet immediately or simply don’t afford to go to the vet.
But all in all, consultation with the veterinarian is the best in any aspect.
Also, being a guinea pig parent do a lot of responsibilities.
Having a guinea pig requires a ton of attention, so you should take care of them properly, love them as much as they give to you.
I hope that this article helps you answer your question on how to euthanize a guinea pig at home.
Thank you for reading!