View Full Version : Cyst Wound believed to be ruptured cyst draining profusely after expression

11-28-15, 04:50 pm
Hello! My two year old guinea pig, Sweet Pea, has an open wound on her lower left backside. A lump 2-3cm in diameter with a scabbish plug appeared earlier this year (March?), but it never grew and didn't seem to faze her. She still ate, drank, voided and played as she always had. Having previously lost another pig to cancer, I kept a close eye on it. Then, two days ago, while I was bathing both my pigs I noticed red on the towel. A quick inspection revealed that the lump had opened and was oozing a waxy material along with a bit of dark red blood. I donned some gloves and attempted to express the material within, but Sweet Pea was not having it. I washed the area with Johnson's baby shampoo and warm water and made an appt with the Vet for the day after next. I monitored her habits and mood over the next 24 hours, no change.

Today we saw the vet. She weighed Sweet Pea, performed a physical exam (I'm thrilled to say I have an otherwise healthy pig!) and presented her diagnosis: Ruptured Cyst. The vet took Sweet Pea in the back to express the rest of the lump's contents. When she returned my girl to the exam room the mild looking lump had become an erupting volcano! It was angry looking and bleeding freely. Her beautiful snowy fur had a distinct cherry tinge in the area. The vet shared that they had to open the wound up a little more. I was alarmed and asked if it was okay to leave the thing open to the air and if it needed flushing or cleansing, but the vet told me it wasn't necessary to wash it and to just leave it as is. Okay...

She prescribed 2 medications and 1 probiotic: Metacam for pain, Baytril for infection prevention and Bene-Bac for happy intestinal flora.

That was at 10:45am. It is now 5:30pm and the site is still moist, red and draining. There appears to be a dark red, almost black 1.5cm clot in the center of the "volcano." Sweet Pea is still in with her cagemate, Domino, since the vet said it was be okay for them to stay roomies as long as Domino doesn't try to groom around the wound. Sweet Pea received her first dose of all 3 meds at 11:15am. She has taken up residence in a corner of the cage away from Domino, but has ventured out for water and timothy hay. So questions I have...

1. Is it really okay to just leave the wound alone and not cleanse/flush/cover it..?
2. Can a vet tell just by looking and feeling that this is indeed a commonplace cyst?
3. Should I separate my pigs? Domino has not shown the slightest bit of interest and neither one is a groomer.
4. Should I restrict Sweet Pea's movement until the thing has healed a bit?

Thank you for taking the time to read my novel- er, post! Please let me know if you need any additional background information/pictures. Sweet Pea & I appreciate any advice you can give!!

11-28-15, 05:11 pm
It may be a cyst, it may be an abscess. But yes, a vet should be able to determine that it's not a tumor.

The usual procedure for ruptured cysts/abscesses is to flush at least twice a day with sterile saline or VERY dilute chlorhexidine to flush the pus out and keep it from scabbing over. If it scabs over, it'll just keep recurring until you get all the infection out.

If it were me and Domino isn't showing any interest, I wouldn't separate them. It may be infectious, but he's already been thoroughly exposed, and isolating her may stress her out. I also wouldn't restrict her movements, either, unless she's unusually active. If you do have to do that, isolate her in one end of the cage so you'll have fewer problems when you put them back together.

I'd be happier if the vet had removed the cyst altogether. Healing would be cleaner, and there would be less chance of recurrence. Was this an exotic vet? Because dog and cat vets are totally unqualified to treat guinea pigs unless they've done extra study on exotics, and using one is usually a waste of time and money as well as being possibly dangerous to your pig.

Watch her carefully to make sure she continues to eat. She MUST do that. Guinea pigs are wired to need food constantly passing through their digestive tract, and can die quickly if that doesn't happen. Weigh her a couple of times day (preferably before breakfast and before supper) and keep track of her weights to make sure she's not losing. If she does stop eating (Baytril can cause them to lose their appetites), then you'll have to hand feed her. Give the Bene-Bac an hour or so after every dose of antibiotics.

Keep us posted on how she's doing. Good luck!

11-28-15, 05:35 pm
bpatters Thank you for the detailed response! Yes, the clinic we visited treats exotics too. In fact, I relied on them to get me through Domino's bladder stones two years ago (although I met with a different veterinarian at the time). I was surprised there was no mention of removal either, but the vet seemed confident that expression of the contents would suffice. I just felt odd leaving the clinic with this...hole in my piggy's backside =(

I will run out and get some sterile saline. When I flush the thing, should I remove the clot or would that be counter-productive? And is it normal for the site to still be bleeding hours after expression?

Happily, Sweet Pea is digging into her pellets as I type this =) I will keep a close watch on her intake and output as things progress.

Thank you again!

11-28-15, 06:40 pm
I wouldn't remove the clot, I don't think. That'll just start it bleeding again. But do flush it. And if you can get a syringe with a curved nose, that works better to get down in the wound and aim the saline in different directions.