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View Full Version : Ovarian Cysts My piggie has ovarian cysts!



SandyPig
11-11-14, 07:35 pm
Our lovely 3.5 year old piggie was diagnosed with ovarian cysts today. She looks pretty ill, hasn't been eating much recently and looks uncomfortable. It was very obvious on x-ray, huge cyst on one side and several smaller cysts on the other. He recommended spaying her. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for next week. He encouraged force feeding/drinking til then. I asked about hormone treatments and he said that her cyst was too big to respond to that. Anyone have specific info on the hormone treatments? I'm still wondering if that is an option. Any advice is very appreciated. Poor little piggie looks miserable.

EllaBellaMuffin
11-11-14, 07:52 pm
My guinea pig just had an ovarian cyst removed, I definitely recommend surgery as this will save you all the trouble in the future. But be ready for some hard core after care. Start feeding critical care right away and liquids like unflavored pedyalite every few hours.

bpatters
11-11-14, 07:53 pm
Hormone treatments may work, or they may not. There are two main medications used for the hormone injections, and the responses are roughly the same. Some pigs get a very good response -- their tumors shrink, and may not grow again, or may not grow again for many months, maybe years. Some pigs will get some tumor shrinkage, but it doesn't as long, while others get little or no response.

The absolute cure for ovarian cysts is a spay. But a spay is a very invasive surgery in a guinea pig, and it can be a rough recovery. It's a hard decision to make. You might ask your vet if you could try the hormone injections, and if there's not a good response, then spay her. But if she's got a very large cyst, there's a possibility of rupture, and that's a medical emergency. He'd have to be the one to give you the pros and cons of doing that.

There's some information here: http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html. Follow the post-operative link.

ClemmyOddieIndy
11-11-14, 08:04 pm
I've dealt with 3 ovarian cysts, twice in the same pig. She had the first cystic ovary removed along with her uterus, but we left the "healthy" ovary. The "healthy" ovary developed a cyst a few months later and we used HCG. It worked to stop the growth of the cyst, and she passed away from another cause a year later. My most recent pig had a cyst and we treated it with Lupron. She was never symptomatic, and she did not show symptoms. She passed away a few months later from another cause.

SandyPig
11-11-14, 08:45 pm
be ready for some hard core after care. Start feeding critical care right away and liquids like unflavored pedyalite every few hours.

I have to go to work the next day, will she be OK alone for the length of a work day?

bpatters
11-11-14, 08:51 pm
You really should plan to be with her for at least 24 hours after surgery. She may not want to eat, but it's crucial that she do so. And you'll need to monitor her for pain medication.

SandyPig
11-11-14, 09:02 pm
I guess I will take her to work! Hopefully she'll be OK in a small box for the day, right?

EllaBellaMuffin
11-11-14, 09:25 pm
I have to go to work the next day, will she be OK alone for the length of a work day?

I would probably try to take her with you, or stay with her if that is not practicable. Good care makes all the difference. She will be in pain and will not move much anyways, so it probably will not be difficult to keep her in a small bed with some covers over her. Also, when she is home, she should be kept from the herd in her own area, possibly a 1x2c&c, for the first few days. In any event, you will probably only have to give medicine 2x per day, but it is likely that for the first day or two after the surgery that she will not be eating or drinking, and it would be for the best to try to give her some fluids and nutrients every 2 or so hours. This kind of attention is what makes the most difference in getting a good result, so I would suggest taking her with you or taking off from work if you cannot. I would suggest about 5 ml/cc's of critical care and the same amount of unflavored pedialyte every 2 hours. Unflavored pedialyte is better than water. You can reduce this as the pig's appetite returns, but it will be slow going at first. Most post surgical rock-bottoms are reached about 48-60 hours after the surgery.

EllaBellaMuffin
11-11-14, 09:37 pm
Our vet told us to start feeding her critical care and fluids right away and not wait. I would say it will take her about 4-6 days to get better but day 10 she should be fine. I would still keep eye on her even after she fully recovers. As her internal system can still have some slight issues.

SandyPig
11-11-14, 10:10 pm
How long will she need to stay separate from her cagemate? Our other pig is dominant and a pest. (A loveable pest, but a pest nonetheless).

bpatters
11-11-14, 10:15 pm
Just be aware that pigs can seem to be fine when they first come home, then start feeling really lousy about the time the pain medicine they were given in surgery wears off. The second day can be the worst, but by the end of the third day, things should start to improve.

Get them to give you a little of some strong pain medicine (buprenorphine) to ease her over that first period, if necessary. They'll probably give you another pain med that can be given for a longer time, as well.

Hand feed her as much as she'll eat, even if it's just hay. You can flavor the critical care with plain pumpkin, or even ground up cilantro or some other herb she likes. You can worry about calcium content later -- just getting the food in her is the most important thing.

It's probably a good idea to start getting her used to the critical care now, before she has the surgery. You don't want to have to restrain her to force feed her after surgery if you can keep from it. So fix up some of her favorite foods and syringe them to her. Make a thin pellet slurry and add some yummy stuff to it. The more familiar she is with this routine when she comes home from surgery, the more likely she is to cooperate with it.

EllaBellaMuffin
11-11-14, 10:17 pm
5-6 days depends how well she is doing. My pig had a surgery on Thursday and by Wednesday she was with others.

SandyPig
11-11-14, 10:22 pm
Actually, I've been hand feeding her this afternoon and evening and she is doing well with the syringe. She seems perkier, unless I'm imagining it.

bpatters
11-11-14, 10:25 pm
My pig had to stay separated from her sister for a week after her cystotomy, which is a much less grueling surgery than a spay. She was kept penned in one end of the big cage, so they were never really separated. I thought that meant that I could just remove the grids between them and everything would be fine. Wrong! I should have done introductions again. Just be prepared for that possibility.

SandyPig
11-13-14, 11:31 am
The vet said some people choose not to have the surgery and just leave it alone. Has anyone here done that? It is expensive, and she is already 3 1/2 yrs old. It is hard to decide what to do. I asked about medications instead. He said her cyst is so big they probably won't work, and the meds are even more expensive than the surgery.

bpatters
11-13-14, 12:02 pm
The risk of leaving it alone is that the larger it gets, the more likely it is to rupture, and that's a medical emergency. She could bleed to death, in extreme pain, before you could get her somewhere that could treat her. She also could be in pain before the surgery -- having had an ovarian cyst myself, I know that for a fact.

But in all the years I've been involved with guinea pigs, I haven't heard anyone say that the hormone shots are particularly expensive. They may be, but I'd think someone would have commented on it before now. But if it were me and I didn't want to spay her, I think I'd insist on at least one round of hormones. There's no way to know that they won't work unless you try them. There are also two different medications, so one might be more likely to work than the other.

SandyPig
11-13-14, 02:02 pm
The vet was talking about Lupron. Is that the same med that other people have used? What is the other one?

bpatters
11-13-14, 02:25 pm
Lupron is the one that's most commonly used. The other is HCG, which is human chorionic gonadotropin.

You really need to ask your vet about the cost of Lupron. From some of the reading I've done, it depends a lot on how much of it your vet uses. It doesn't have a particularly long shelf life, so can't be kept forever in the vet's refrigerator. If the vet has several animals taking it (and many animals get it for various reasons), then they don't have any wastage of medicines. If your pig is the only one that's on it, and only needs an occasional shot, the vet may have to throw away an expensive bottle of medicine.

SandyPig
11-13-14, 04:18 pm
You really need to ask your vet about the cost of Lupron.

I did. He doesn't use it a lot. He said her cysts are on both sides and are large and the treatment is spaying. He also said that some people choose not to do it and just let it go... not good for the pig of course. It's a lot to put her through but it can cure her so I suppose we should do it.

foggycreekcavy
11-13-14, 07:53 pm
I don't think 3.5 years is too old for a spay. It depends, of course, on the individual pig, but if she's in good health I'd go for it.

ClemmyOddieIndy
11-13-14, 08:03 pm
The vet was talking about Lupron. Is that the same med that other people have used? What is the other one?

As I mentioned in my post I've used Lupron and HCG. Lupron was cheaper than the HCG, but I don't remember the exact price. I would have to dig through my bills to find it.

ETA: We considered both successful because symptoms stopped/never appeared.

ETAA: Neither of the cysts were very large. Can you post a picture of the cysts xray? But, my pig was 3.5 years when she went through her spay surgery and she came out of it fine. They had to remove a 1lb tumor from her uterus, and pretty much everyone thought she was going to die. She bounced back really well, and it was over a year later when her other health problems got her.

EllaBellaMuffin
11-13-14, 08:07 pm
The vet said some people choose not to have the surgery and just leave it alone. Has anyone here done that? It is expensive, and she is already 3 1/2 yrs old. It is hard to decide what to do. I asked about medications instead. He said her cyst is so big they probably won't work, and the meds are even more expensive than the surgery.

3 1/2 is not old for a pig and they still have a long life ahead. Surgery is a must because the cyst can rapture. Vet told us that most of the surgeries are successful unless there is some other health issue he was not aware of. My pig is 2 years and her surgery was success. It was pricey but she is part of our family so we did not think twice about it.

barbaramudge
11-13-14, 08:49 pm
I ask out of curiosity. How much is pricey?

EllaBellaMuffin
11-13-14, 09:00 pm
I ask out of curiosity. How much is pricey?

In New York City around 300 plus consultation x ray and ultrasound add another 150 plus 4 different types of medicine dont know the exact price but my husband said he spend close to 1000 all together.

barbaramudge
11-13-14, 09:40 pm
Thanks. I had to ask because pricey is subjective. That's around what I was thinking. :)

EllaBellaMuffin
11-13-14, 09:47 pm
Thanks. I had to ask because pricey is subjective. That's around what I was thinking. :)

Yes, pricey but don't break the bank. Plus we have a great vet and everything went well:)

SandyPig
11-14-14, 11:45 am
I think our other piggie may have ovarian cysts too. She actually has more of the typical symptoms of aggressiveness and thinning hair. I have wondered for a while whether her abdomen feels too full. Now that I know about pig #1 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=1) 's cysts, I think for sure that pig #2 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=2) has lumpiness in her abdomen. She is eating well though, unlike pig #1 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=1) , so I didn't think to do anything about it.

I made an appointment for pig #2 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=2) to have an evaluation and maybe x-ray. If BOTH pigs have ovarian cysts, then it might make more sense to buy the lupron and treat them both. Spaying both pigs would be close to $1500, I think, and seems too weird and complicated. Pig #2 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=2) is 4.5 years old.

Looba_2002
11-17-14, 06:31 am
Hi I'm Naece I am 12 and I have 1 dog lolly, 2 cats missy and fuzzy and my 2 guinea pigs Leonard and Sheldon