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Poor piggy lost her friend last week, has mites and now needs surgery

(38 Posts)
MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 15:06:42

If she hasn't been spayed the vet feels she has cysts on her ovaries. If she has been spayed then it is a mass of another kind. I have checked her paper work from the RSPCA and they have it as unknown when next to if spayed or not. Her boyfriend was spayed so they could live together.

We are looking at an x-ray first if we want confirmation or we can skip that and go straight to surgery.

If it is something worse is there treatment she can have?

I looked on gorgeousguineapigs and they say this -

ovariancystsHormone injections are often very effective where guineas have Ovarian Cysts. A few of my own sows have had this treatment and it has been very effective with no side-effects. Two injections of Chorulon given 10-14 days apart is the usual course of treatment. In my experience if there has been hair loss, new hair usually starts growing back after 7-10 days.

My vet did not say anything about an injection and to me that would be a much better option to surgery.

Any advice please?

Taking her back in 2 weeks.

Sawdust Mon 16-Sep-13 17:28:18

Oh no! I can't give any advice, I'm afraid but just wanted to give some sympathy. I hope you find a good solution for her.

fortifiedwithtea Mon 16-Sep-13 18:23:18

Oh dear sad I have to say after my experience with Fatimus who was a young sow don't go for surgery. Its a massive incision, think furry pencil case, that's what piggy will look like after surgery. The only clue we had anything was wrong with Fatimus was she was very aggressive in season and in the week before I took her to the vet she was leaking wee.

Its been heartbreaking. Last week she was running around happy. I sent her for surgery and she spent her last days in pain. I feel so guilty, I done that to her.

I read the gorgeous guinea website too after losing Fatimus because I think Naughty Girl could do with a bath. I felt gutted when I read about the hormone injections.

Other than the vet telling you from examination that your girl has cysts are there any signs that you have noticed? I would treat her skin condition as she is sore obviously but decline surgery due to her age. Six is very good for a piggy. Let her live out her days in peace.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 16-Sep-13 19:17:54

ooh very sad
i was going to say , in light of fatimus's story i#d be very hesitant about sending a small animal for invasive surgery.
you've lots to consider -

the discomfort she's in now . can it be controlled
the surgery- weigh up the risks. the aneasthetic and the recovery. the risk of infection.
your guinea-pigs age and her state of mind aren't in her favour either.

do you have 100 percent faith in your vet
what will an x-ray show. they're mainly for bone but i suppose a mass would show up as a darker area. but it wouldn't neccessarily show you what it is.
would she need to be sedated for an x-ray . then results, then surgery. more sedation/anaesthesia

if she was my piggie, given her age and the fact she's lost her cagemate. i'd ask for mite treatment, or buy mite treatment online. and painkillers if she needs them.

then you can monitor her day-to-day.

it could be that the hairloss is due to hormones. but it only came up in the last couple of days, so likely to be stress related too.

i haven't read about the injections , i'll have a read up.
your vet might not see that many guinea-pigs, they are quite specialised creatures.

bless girl-pig

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 19:21:36

If I had been able to buy stuff at the shop I would never have taken her to the vet so we would never have known there was anything wrong internally. No change in her behaviour and nothing physical other than she has mites.

When my cat was diagnosed with cancer we went for no treatment as she was nearly 18 and the risk of a GA was too much as she had kidney disease too. She lived a further ten months.

Vet said she has to go back in 2 weeks as we have to do something. I asked if wasn't a GA a bit risky at her age (she is 5 to 5 1/2, not 6) but she said no if she is healthy in herself.

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 19:24:19

Never met vet before, had to go to a different clinic (same practice) as timings didn't work at usual place and didn't want to see a certain vet who wrote off my cat 9 months before she died.

She has put some treatment on her today and I put a second dose on in two weeks.

guineapiglet Mon 16-Sep-13 19:25:00

Hi there all. Tough decisions to be made i know how hard it is. Two of my beloved girls died from ovarian cysts sad but fortified says, i am not sure i would have put them through surgery as they were both elderly... It is v stressful for them and you.

fortified i know you are heart broken but dont blame yourself... We rely on professional vets to give us the best advice and youdid just what they recommended its what we would all have done as we want the best for our loved pets.thanks

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 16-Sep-13 19:29:25

has the vet given you any mite treatment
some vets will look at a scraping under a microscope - but pigs don't like the 'scrape' bit. some don't.

you've got 2 weeks to research. go onto the guinea-pig forum and post to see if anyone has had similar.

rodents with attitude

guinea lynx

what signs does she have of the cysts and do they trouble her.

would a scan show more than an x-ray

or a blood test to show raised hormone levels

i'd be going down all the avenues before i let one of my guineas go through surgery.
they might say 'no it's not risky' but there's no guarentee and you'll be asked to sign as much in your consent form.

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:11

She has had stuff put on her for the mites and I put more on in two weeks. No signs at all anything wrong internally and the vet only knew from giving her a squeeze or 10. She bit the vet once and tried another time! She seems no different to how she was years ago to us.

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:42

How would I know if she was in pain?

noyouhavehadawee Mon 16-Sep-13 19:38:13

I would just ask about the injections when you next go - perhaps the vet isn't totally guinea savvy - when I took lola initially because of balding it then led to her being diagnosed with having this water retention bloating leading to kidney/ heart failure - given her age our vet advised we could spend a small fortune throwing money at investigations and all it would bring would be stress for her so we made sure she was comfortable and she died when the time was right after a fairly good couple of sunny months with her hutch buddy sad, that just made me cry typing that blush. She was just over 6.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 16-Sep-13 19:38:21

How much guinea pig experience especially surgery does the vet have.

(I'd have to say if you squeezed my guinea-pigs they'd bite you too and they don't have ovaries)

Are you anywhere near the Cambridge Cavy Trust? (You'd have to join but they do guinea checks. Vedra is the guinea-guru.)

guineapiglet Mon 16-Sep-13 19:52:25

You would know if she was in real pain, she would stop eating, be lethargic and have very cloudy, drained looking eyes and be very reluctant to be picked up. If she seems ok in herself personally I wouldn't mother her too much. smile

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 19:55:38

She hasn't eaten all her tea but we can't get used to only catering for one so maybe I have given her too much. She has been hiding since tea time. We are in Kent. Her eyes are red and looked the same earlier as they always have. I suspect she is missing him more than she is letting on. I doubt I would go back to the vet we saw today tbh and would go to our usual branch.

fortifiedwithtea Mon 16-Sep-13 20:38:20

From experience I would say a pig in pain won't look at you, sits with their bum to you hunched up with fur fluffed up like a pom pom.

Yes catering for one when you are used to two is strange sad.

And I agree with you, hiding away is a sign of being a very sad piggy. Naughty Girl is spending too much time in her bedroom as well. I'm taking her out for more cuddles with veggies treats. Got stuck on the phone with my mum today for a long time and Naughty Girl rewarded me with a huge pee smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 16-Sep-13 20:47:19

When my daughter had to decide on what we did with GP1 after GP2 died she wouldn't contemplate him having surgery. I suppose she couldn't bear the thought of losing him. (He's 3 yo and neutering isn't as invasive as what your guinea would face)

I think see your usual branch vet and ask them if they can scan (I work with humans in the NHS and I know X-rays have their place but for soft tissue MRI or scans are needed.With animals it depends on what the vet has available but I'd want more detail before opening up )
Then fore warned and all that.


Oue elderly cat (she was 17 and we got her as a 2 yo) lost weight and seemed to be struggling with life. She was still eating but her long term mate (NDN elderly cat who was 21 ) had died and she was finding it difficult to defend her territory and cope wiith the hot weather.
The vet said her previous blood tests showed a high thyroid level which can lead to fits or heart attack and blindness.
It could be maintained (but not treated) by tablets.
TBH I know cats will wander off and die , so I made the decision a couple of weeks later to have her PTS.
She had a good long life. We saw her ebb away.
I thought "Who's going to benefit really if we put her on tablets"?
And the vet said "For what it's worth you are doing the right thing"

Sometimes there is too much intervention.

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 21:39:22

I agree.

My cat was put to sleep in May after living with cancer for 10 months. I still miss her such a lot and sometimes forget she has gone sad.

I am not putting her in for surgery. TBH I am not sure of the benefit of putting her through anything if we aren't going to act on the results.

I didn't like the vet.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 16-Sep-13 21:46:41

Go by your instincts.
Go for a second opinion if need be.

I really liked the vet who saw my pig (it was the day he died sadly) but he picked him up gently, examined him, listened to my DD and I when we told him everything that had happened.
Even though I knew deep down there was really nothing that would pull my GP through (you still hope don't you)

They run a guinea-pig clinic so I know they handle more small rodenty or rabbity critters than anything else.

MissStrawberry Mon 16-Sep-13 21:49:47

Would it be daft to google and see if there is a specialist GP place near enough to go too?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 16-Sep-13 22:05:42

No harm in Googling.
I got the name of the vet I go to from another MNetter on here.
It's a bit of a drive for me but I'd sooner travel to somewhere that my furbabies are treated how I want them to be.

If you go through all the vets practices they usually have profiles on the staff. You can see if any have a special interest in guineas.

I know that The Cambridge Cavy Trust have lists of vets they can recommend, but I don't know if you need to be a member to get the list.

MissStrawberry Tue 17-Sep-13 09:33:32

I just found one 15 minutes away but as there has been no activity on their forum bit since 2009 I am a bit sceptical. I am in Kent if anyone can recommend anyone.

FernieB Tue 17-Sep-13 11:37:02

You could phone and ask to talk to a vet. As 70 says if you read the vets profiles you get a feel for their interests.

MissStrawberry Tue 17-Sep-13 13:42:31

I am going towards not having surgery. It just seems too much for her. She is so cute and funny and I can't bare to put her through all that.

Sawdust Thu 19-Sep-13 21:28:22

How is she doing MissStrawberry?

MissStrawberry Fri 20-Sep-13 14:18:56

Thanks for asking. She seems the same as she always was. Have put her some sweet corn on the top level but she hasn't been up for it yet. I am certain I don't want her to have surgery but I also don't want her to suffer if I don't confused.

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