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Thread: Mammary Tumor Advice

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave xXMaggieXx's Avatar
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    Mammary Tumor Advice

    Good evening,

    My lone guinea pig, Ally just turned 7 on St. Patty's day, she is the last one of our previous herd of 4 who is still with us. She has a benign mammary tumor that the vet diagnosed as benign about 2 months ago. We have been using metacam daily to help maintain comfort. Her tumor is getting bigger and she is starting be more lethargic, and I have noticed slight weight loss. We are trying to make the difficult decision about when euthanasia might be necessary. When in her cage she just sleeps in her igloo and seems to breathe hard (we had her checked for a respiratory infection and it was treated and cured). She still begs for food and eats her veggies and hay like a champ, but that seems to be the only time she is excited besides cuddles. She used to be much more mobile in the cage.

    Could the heavy breathing and her being less active be signs of pain? I also occasionally hear her let out a squeak that sounds painful every once in awhile. She is on 0.4 mg Metacam once daily and she hates it. Giving her the meds everyday is a brutal experience with her fighting and trying to get away from the syringe, I feel like it almost makes her scared of me.

    It is the hardest decision we have to make, our other pigs we knew when it was time because the change happened suddenly and nothing could be done. Surgery is not an option due to her age and blood work. I am reaching out for advice and or guidance from others who may have had to make this difficult decision.

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    Last edited by xXMaggieXx; 03-25-19 at 06:52 pm.

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave xXMaggieXx's Avatar
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    Re: Mammary Tumor Advice

    Edit to Add: I am afraid of putting her down too soon, and that I could have more time with her, but I also don't want to keep her alive and her be in pain. I feel selfish if I decide to put her down but also selfish if I keep her alive and I don't know what to do because she does still eat and beg for treats

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Mammary Tumor Advice

    What I'd do is ask if you can get metacam in another preparation. Every pig I've ever had has LOVED metacam, and I'd usually have to take the patient out of the cage to administer it because all of them were nosing at the syringe. I don't know how metacam generally comes, or if my vet has it compounded a certain way. But my vet did use a compound of Baytril that all my pigs would happily take, and that's really unusual. Anyway, my point is that she might be kept comfortable for a longer period of time if you could find a pain med that she didn't fight.

    The breathing and the lack of activity may just be because her body is slowing down. Animals in pain are generally restless, not lethargic, although that's not true all the time. But igloos aren't great hideys for a pig that may have respiratory problems. I'd cut a bunch more holes in it for better air circulation, and see if that helps any at all with the breathing problem.

    I'm sorry you're faced with this -- it's never an easy decision to make. I tend to lean toward euthanasia sooner rather than later, because I can't stand to see animals suffer, and because they have no concept of time or of death. Once I think they're pretty definitely in pain that can't be adequately treated, I'm ready to let them go.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave xXMaggieXx's Avatar
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    Re: Mammary Tumor Advice

    Thank you, she hates everything in syringe form, we tried unflavored, banana, and now she is on one that smells like marshmallow. She loves oxbow critical care but if its in a syringe she runs. Her igloo is one of those 2 way tunnels from living world since her bum was getting a bit too big for the normal igloos. It's hard right now, because theres times I look at her and her face and her eyes look like she's in pain and are sunken in, but then theres times where she looks 100% normal and is climbing the cage bars for food.

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Mammary Tumor Advice

    Iím so sorry your baby is sick. Iíve had some luck with wiping a piece of fruit (cut up strawberry or blueberry) all over the tip and outside of the syringe (after drawing up the medication). It seems to help mask the smell of what they are getting. Then I feed a ďtreatĒ right after, cilantro is a favorite to get rid of any aftertaste.

    Professional Arts Pharmacy in Baltimore does an amazing job with compounding meds for guinea pigs, especially with the flavors. I tried a drop of Pennyís metacam/meloxicam, it tastes like real bananas. They ship meds overnight or priority in the US.

  6. #6
    Cavy Slave xXMaggieXx's Avatar
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    Re: Mammary Tumor Advice

    @Rywen I rubbed the syringe all over a tomato tonight and she willingly took the meds! However she seems to be in a bad mood all the time now, lots of chattering, unhappy squeaks. She only wants to be pet if she is getting food now, and shes constantly just ripping hay out of the hay rack and refusing to eat her pellets

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