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Thread: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

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    Cavy Slave
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    Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Hello everyone! I have 2 female guinea pigs, 2½ & 2 years old. Since recovering from medical problems they have brought me as well as my older sons & husband a great deal of companionship and love. I liked the C&C cages but as a woodworker I wanted a slightly different look so I built them a cage similar to a C&C 2x6. They are centrally located in our home and often have their door open as they have love to explore the living room. I can post pics... I think I saw a thread (?). Now... I dearly love these little ones, we snuggle & yes, even occasionally nap together, however I noticed a ‘bump’ which later became 3 bumps after an hour drive to an animal hospital that specializes in small animal surgery which then turned into a $1400 surgery to remove 3 encapsulated lumps & a hysterectomy. Coming up with $ will be a struggle as we are in the process of moving however I am determined to ‘figure it out’.
    —Let me stop by saying... if someone knows where I should ask this question could you please direct me?? It turns into a moral/ethical dilemma especially as many years ago I was a vet tech and assisted with surgeries.

    ANYHOW... I would love to post pics, my little ones are Petey (Petra) & Juno and they are very loved and cared for! They even run around to extremely calm dogs. I love this community and am eager to be a part of it!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosepunk View Post
    It turns into a moral/ethical dilemma especially as many years ago I was a vet tech and assisted with surgeries.
    Welcome to the Forum! You will find the answers to almost any question about cavies.......the archives of posts go back about 13 years.

    It sounds as though you love your girls very much and have already gone to great lengths to keep them healthy. The surgery sounds like an unexpected and unfortunate occurrence, but it just goes with the idea that "it isn't a matter of IF your cavies will need medical care, but WHEN". I certainly understand as on one occasion I spent $750 in one day, only to have my beloved Chester die as soon as I walked in the door at home. Many of us here can empathize with you.

    I don't understand your moral/ethical dilemma as you have already had the surgery performed and she recovered quite well? Care to elaborate?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Welcome to the Forum! You will find the answers to almost any question about cavies.......the archives of posts go back about 13 years.

    It sounds as though you love your girls very much and have already gone to great lengths to keep them healthy. The surgery sounds like an unexpected and unfortunate occurrence, but it just goes with the idea that "it isn't a matter of IF your cavies will need medical care, but WHEN". I certainly understand as on one occasion I spent $750 in one day, only to have my beloved Chester die as soon as I walked in the door at home. Many of us here can empathize with you.

    I don't understand your moral/ethical dilemma as you have already had the surgery performed and she recovered quite well? Care to elaborate?

    ——-
    Sorry, wasn’t sure if I hit the right reply button!

    I didn’t mean to complain about the money. I definitely agree with your quote and once had to help others understand what it means to take a pet into your family & the commitments that go along with it. I have been just been as of late blessed with bad luck and countless ‘emergency’ expenditures. I am just mind-boggled, however my kids & then my pets come first.

    She has not had the surgery, it’s scheduled for June 5th.

    I am deeply emotionally attached to her.. I realize that most people are the same, I just am feeling horrible guilty suddenly. At the vet all the techs remarked how calm & well-rounded she was & how sweet that she just wanted to be in my arms. I can’t sleep just thinking about the trauma that this day will cause. It’s strange that I used to do this for a living but years later & after cancer I am so much more emotional.

    I have a family member accusing me of doing this unnecessarily thus leaving me to question whether I’m doing the right thing. Deep down I know I am... maybe I just need support from you guys and the right rebuttal. The lumps are above the shoulder, in the armpit & behind a nipple. They are fully subcutaneous & pliable, about the size of a pea. One may be slightly misshapen & not smooth. Also I never thought to get them spayed, after all the years of working with larger animals I can’t think of why on earth I never thought of it.

    I apologize for the jumpy thoughts... my son is graduating, we are about to move (after selling house we made a mistake of living with my mother causing emotional distress i.e. all this), I myself
    have another biopsy & this sweet girl soon to undergo surgery.

    I think what I’m looking for is:
    •other’s experiences with guinea pigs recovering from surgery... especially emotional/physical trauma
    •similar experience with like-lumps... cancer %-age, etc.
    •arguments that this is serious so other people can shut their mouths & no I won’t starve and mind their own business
    •anyone else in Massachusetts have experience with Littleton Animal Hospital
    •and just support... I literally can’t sleep... sorry for the rambling

    Thank you for listening.
    (Where can I post pics?)

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    She has not had the surgery, it’s scheduled for June 5th.

    Ah....that puts things in a different light. People on the forum (especially the veterans) are incredibly helpful and quick to reply. Yes, I'm quite experienced, but there is such a wealth of others' experience to draw on as well.

    I can’t sleep just thinking about the trauma that this day will cause.

    Trauma for you or for her? Try to take a pragmatic approach to it.......either she won't survive the surgery or she will and hopefully live a long and happy life with you and the family. Cavies live in the moment as do most animals. I doubt that she will be traumatized as much as you are!

    I have a family member accusing me of doing this unnecessarily thus leaving me to question whether I’m doing the right thing.

    This is always difficult to handle. Does this individual have a beloved pet? Does s/he have children? What would she do if a member of her family needed surgery.......just say that this person isn't worth it and let them suffer? Bottom line is that you need to do what feels right to you and make no apology for it.

    It sounds as though the cysts are quite possibly benign and can easily be excised. Is it possible to have the misshapen one biopsied prior to the surgery? If it is cancerous, what are the odds that it is still encapsulated (in situ) vs. having metastasized? That might help you with your decision. If that cyst is malignant, then you have a much more difficult choice to make.

    The lumps are above the shoulder, in the armpit & behind a nipple. They are fully subcutaneous & pliable, about the size of a pea. One may be slightly misshapen & not smooth. Also I never thought to get them spayed, after all the years of working with larger animals I can’t think of why on earth I never thought of it.

    I have no experience in this arena, but would a spay help these types of cysts? I would more expect cysts stimulated by hormones to be in the abdominal/uterine area.

    I myself have another biopsy & this sweet girl soon to undergo surgery.

    You are understandably personalizing this........try to step back and look at it objectively without making it about you rather than your guinea pig.

    I think what I’m looking for is:

    •other’s experiences with guinea pigs recovering from surgery... especially emotional/physical trauma

    •similar experience with like-lumps... cancer %-age, etc.

    •arguments that this is serious so other people can shut their mouths & no I won’t starve and mind their own business

    •anyone else in Massachusetts have experience with Littleton Animal Hospital

    •and just support... I literally can’t sleep... sorry for the rambling

    Where in MA is Littleton Hospital? There are tons of cavy lovers in that state. I live in neighboring CT and interact with many of them at cavy shows.

    Keep in mind that this is a holiday weekend and the "board" may not move as fast as it usually does.

    Please understand that I in no way mean to sound uncaring. I am a healthcare professional who is accustomed to dealing with health crises and tend to react in a calm and measured manner when it is necessary to make a calculated decision.

    You obviously are on overload and don't need/want anything else to add to the stress. Just put one foot in front of the other and take it one task as a time. Make yourself a list and systematically take care of what you need to. Maybe easier said than done, but I sometimes just force myself to do that when on overload.

    You are among friends here and will undoubted receive all sorts of feedback from cavy lovers all over the world. Wishing both you and your girl all the best!

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Welcome to the forum. There are a lot of knowledgeable piggy parents out here to answer questions and provide support.

    I empathize with you that you have to make these medical decisions while regaining your own health, and while dealing with moving. You have a full plate!

    Is the spay surgery related to the 3 lumps that are being removed or was it recommended as a preventive to hormonal issues? You probably didn’t think of spaying guinea pigs because it is not a routine procedure like it is with dogs and cats. It is recommended when there are hormone-related health concerns, but I think most of us have unspayed females.

    As for the guilt and sleepless nights worrying about the trauma, you are the only one experiencing that. I once was in a similar situation with an older dog who had bladder cancer and kidney disease. We couldn’t treat the cancer because his kidneys wouldn’t tolerate the medication. I was just devastated thinking of my poor dog and the vet said, “We just won’t tell him he has cancer.” That made me realize that my dog wasn’t worried. He lives in the now and has good days and bad days but he doesn’t worry about them. It was just me stressing out.

    The family member giving you advice really seems out of touch. Why would a loving pet owner schedule an expensive and serious surgery unnecessarily? And what responsible vet would perform that surgery unnecessarily? It makes no sense, but it’s always so easy to solve everyone else’s problems.

    Your pets are obviously important to you and you are doing the right thing by working with a reliable vet clinic to address medical issues.

    I wish you and your little ones all the best, and please keep us posted.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    As for the guilt and sleepless nights worrying about the trauma, you are the only one experiencing that. I once was in a similar situation with an older dog who had bladder cancer and kidney disease. We couldn’t treat the cancer because his kidneys wouldn’t tolerate the medication. I was just devastated thinking of my poor dog and the vet said, “We just won’t tell him he has cancer.” That made me realize that my dog wasn’t worried. He lives in the now and has good days and bad days but he doesn’t worry about them.
    Thanks for sharing that. It is a great example of animals living in the here and now and I think all of us would benefit if we could follow their example. I know that is a lesson that my cavies repeatedly teach me, none more so than my recently-departed Chip. If you read my eulogy to him, you will see what I mean.

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ip!?highlight=

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Thank you so much spy9doc & Itsazoo! Your support is beyond appreciated as well as necessary especially as I am temporarily living with my mother since selling our house & renovating our new one. She just told me she doesn’t understand me... maybe I’m reliving childhood trauma I didn’t realize existed. I am different than my family & believe in humility so I walk away from any dispute. I am comfortable with my decisions, just sad my family can’t see through the surface & understand we only have 1 life & cherishing what’s most important to you is what it’s all about.

    I deeply love my guinea pigs+dogs & will and have done anything for them. I’m also caring for my sweet 14 year old lab.

    The only strain is monetary but my son’s wonderful girlfriend is selling some of my woodworking projects for me & we are chugging along.



    —I apologize... I’m not sure how to quote sections so here’s some answers to the above posts:

    Yes... my trauma. I know... I’m probably making it worse for myself by worrying, it’s tough as I’m a little depressed+have hormonal dysfunction so I am not my usual self which, I swear, is more pragmatic! It’s been years since I was a vet tech but the memories of losing small animals because of their delicacy & anesthesia struggles is definitely haunting me.

    My mother who is the current antagonist does have a dog and seems to love animals... I just don’t understand her ‘angle’. She sees the stress, the moving, how much money I’ve had to spend to lately & thinks it’s not fair I put Petey through this and just uses this as her reasoning. I just don’t understand.

    The spay was suggested by the vet & will be done. She mentioned the growth underneath the nipple & said it could be mammary... which I get, location-wise. She is hoping the other cysts are sebaceous or infections from hay pokes or they could be malignant... I’m eager fpr this to be over & see hystology.

    Oops, I think it’s in Littleton?? I’ll look. It’s just northeast of Worcester. Cavy shows... I would live to go to one one day, where can I find more info?

    Thank you so much for saying I’m among friends!

    So my other 2year old female... should I get her spayed as well?

    I love what your vet said about cancer Itsazoo!!! That’s perfect for parents! I completely understand how hard it is... we had a lab who made it to 13 several years ago, the last year was similar to yours and now her little sister is 14. She’s doing okay but the ‘ol legs can’t handle much, some days can be very teary.

    I agree about responsibilities & necessities amongst vets and pet owners. I just can not comprehend what is going on in her head. I have a few very judgemental people in my family so it’s not uncommon and yet, I’ve never said a word to anyone. (Holidays are lovely, always infused by comments from vegans & paleos)

    Again... thank you so very much spy9doc & Itsazoo!!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosepunk View Post
    So my other 2year old female... should I get her spayed as well? Cavy shows... I would live to go to one one day, where can I find more info?
    Can't help you with the spay question as I have always had boars with one exception.

    Insofar as cavy shows go, we just don't talk about them openly here on the Forum. This "board" is decidedly anti-breeding, and since cavy shows are frequented by breeders, we simply don't discuss the subject matter. I am unapologetic about my enthusiasm for shows because I just love seeing all the beautiful animals and have learned SO much from the top breeders who show there. If you want to know more about shows in the Northeast, then PM me and we can carry on a private conversation and not violate the rules nor offend anyone here.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    I have a few very judgemental people in my family so it’s not uncommon and yet, I’ve never said a word to anyone. (Holidays are lovely ...)
    I understand completely since my in-laws are the same way. Very judgemental and critical of everyone including their own families. I dread holidays and avoid being with them whenever possible. No company is better than bad company.

    As far as the surgery and anesthetic, there is always a risk but there have also been great improvements in anesthesia. I’m hoping everything goes well for you and your little one and you can move into your own place soon.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Can't help you with the spay question as I have always had boars with one exception.

    Insofar as cavy shows go, we just don't talk about them openly here on the Forum. This "board" is decidedly anti-breeding, and since cavy shows are frequented by breeders, we simply don't discuss the subject matter. I am unapologetic about my enthusiasm for shows because I just love seeing all the beautiful animals and have learned SO much from the top breeders who show there. If you want to know more about shows in the Northeast, then PM me and we can carry on a private conversation and not violate the rules nor offend anyone here.

    Will do & thank you! It might be a little bit until contact you as life is speeding along quite fast. I agree with you. I’ve been in some disputes as I was an adoption counselor & later became an animal control officer however I also understand the world of knowledgeable & responsible breeders.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi! Experienced owner but new here & have a question, need direction

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    I understand completely since my in-laws are the same way. Very judgemental and critical of everyone including their own families. I dread holidays and avoid being with them whenever possible. No company is better than bad company.

    As far as the surgery and anesthetic, there is always a risk but there have also been great improvements in anesthesia. I’m hoping everything goes well for you and your little one and you can move into your own place soon.
    Heh heh... yes, I completely agree about family!
    I am all set financially now... so after I get through a high school graduation & party I’ll be focusing on some zen! I’m trying hard not to worry myself sick! I drop her off at 8am June 5th.....

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