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Lumpy pig

(10 Posts)
KinkyDorito Thu 31-Mar-16 20:41:37

Just looking for advice and experiences really.

We have had our adopted pig for 3 years. Under vet's advice, he is a lone piggy as he has a temper and she suspected he was already a good age when we got him (we were told 8 weeks old at the time - all lies from a well-known retailer of pets with their adoption tanks of doom) so suggested trying to partner him up might end very badly.

He's a happy enough pig. He plays, drinks and eats loads. He is quite a robust pig.

Anyway, we noticed two lumps on his side around Christmas. I was very reluctant to take him to the vet as I figured they would suggest surgery. This worries me a lot as I've had bad experiences in the past with pigs and, given he was his cheery, pesky normal self, didn't want to have to put him through it.

Unfortunately, one of the lumps has grown substantially and rapidly in the last couple of weeks. It is very large. Currently, he can still move and it doesn't seem to be bothering him although if it continues to grow at current rates, it soon will. Now, his behaviour is normal. I did take him to the vets and I need to go again to see the guinea pig specialist who will talk me through surgery and the risks associated with it, and whether it is worth it given his age.

I don't know what I'm asking really.

If he has surgery, what are people's experiences of that with older pigs?

He might have a large wound too, let alone pain.

I feel awful at the thought of leaving him and it getting even bigger. I feel awful and worried about him having surgery. It seems like a lose lose either way sad.

He is currently eating a carrot house next to me, quite happily, oblivious to the choices I am facing. sad sad

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 31-Mar-16 22:08:31

Poor boy sad

I've had lumpy pigs but they have been smooth,fatty,fairly mobile under their skin lumps that appeared and didn't grow,
My present piggie (Himalayan ex breeder) has a lump behind her front leg that we keep prodding at.

But as it's getting bigger, he should really have it checked. It might be an abscess rather than anything malignant. It might be a fatty lipd lump. Or a cyst.
If it gets too big that it impairs his day-to-day life then he's going to suffer from it .

Talk to your vet. They might do a needle aspiration to see what's in there . Then go through your piggies options.

Wound wise, it will be kept as small as possible and he'll have painkillers.

It's worse for you making the choice, your piggie is probably just considering where the next bit of carrot is.

<<Paw Holding>>

KinkyDorito Fri 01-Apr-16 20:08:08


Vet today said watch him, wait and see. She has a lot of pigs herself, so I trust her advice. She said she can operate when he needs it, if we want her to, but he's an old pig and it's in a risky place, so better to let him be for now.

I'm happy with that. When it gets bad, we'll make a choice then. TBH, I will probably pts rather than put him through surgery and have him die from that. He has a second lump too and it is a tumour, so chance are whatever is causing it will carry on regardless anyway.

He's had a good, and greedy, life. We will continue to shower him with parsley and buy him a new carrot house to eat for now. smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 01-Apr-16 20:15:23

More questions than answers sometimes with piggies.

I think the quality of life is what you need to give him. You'll know when he's had enough.Then when he wants to set off to The Bridge, you help him on his way.

shamrock <<clover

KinkyDorito Fri 01-Apr-16 20:18:26

Thanks smile smile.

dietcokeandwine Fri 01-Apr-16 22:27:58

Similar scenario here op with one of our girl pigs. Approximately 3yo sow (a rescue so we don't know exactly how old) and she has a growing lump under one of her teats. Like your boy she appears totally unbothered by it, bounds about, eats and drinks as normal, happy with her neutered boar partner, very contented. I can gently palpate the lump without causing her any pain. But it's getting bigger. I have similar agonies about feeling guilty for either leaving her or putting her through surgery.... I don't know what the answer is. She just seems so happy as she is and her quality of life is peachy at the moment. Sigh. Wish I had a crystal ball!

flowers for you and parsley for your pig.

KinkyDorito Sat 02-Apr-16 08:44:14

dietcoke the vet I saw yesterday keeps 100s of pigs, she is their resident expert. She said, given he was an older pig - we are exactly the same as you, had him 3 years, no idea how old he is - that it was better to let him be and only consider surgery or pts when it starts to distress him. Given he is his normal, feisty self, just leave him to get on with it for now.

Since your pig is fine and happy too, I'd let her be. You could go to the vet and make sure it isn't just a cyst, just on the off-chance. You don't have to pick surgery now. At the end of the day, I think it's all about quality of life - if their life is good, then will surgery help or hinder that? There's a chance it will hinder or end life. When the lump gets to the point that it bothers them, then it's a more valid option. That's what I've come away thinking.

I was also advised to keep him as dry as possible. Tbh, he doesn't really get wet, but that was what she said.

thanks thanks to you and your pig too.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 02-Apr-16 09:15:36

Kinky I'd guess the 'keep him as dry as possible' is the bedding. Depends on how much he pees but they don't seem to mind sleeping where they pee/pooh [vom].

My three are bladders on legs, I change their bedding daily and the newspaper does get soaked.

If he's a pee-er, maybe try fleece on something absorbant (I used rodent safe wooden cat litter/newspaper/fleece in their winter sleep cage) . The 'rougher' ones from Primark were good but the softer fleeces didn't wick .

Poor little lumpy rodents sad I think it's a 'thing' with rodenty types.

KinkyDorito Sat 02-Apr-16 09:35:04


It's really common after they turn 3, from what I've read.

I think we're going to look at soft shavings and changing frequently. Fleece would be the best, but a certain greedy little pig likes eating it, which I'm not sure is very good for him grin.

dietcokeandwine Sun 03-Apr-16 14:11:53

Thanks kinky that's reassuring to hear the comments from your vet.

I did take our girl to our vet when I first discovered the lump and he seemed to be of a similar opinion too. It would be a difficult op because of where it is anyway. Would love it to be a cyst but vet's feeling was that it was probably cancerous. I worry about her lump impeding her mobility if I leave it as it's obviously right under her little belly - but she just seems to pootle about quite happily (and moves like grease lightning to the bars when there's romaine lettuce in the offing grin)

Re the bedding, she's a champion drinker and wee-er too. I use finacard bedding which is shredded cardboard which is quite good, plus plenty of hay. Might be worth a try for your pig?

flowers to all our lovely lumpy pigs.

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