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Thread: my female guinea pig has suspected ovarian cysts

  1. #1
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    Unhappy my female guinea pig has suspected ovarian cysts

    I noticed this week that my female lucy has been in heat for 4 days, i heard the maximum was 2 days? Well thats when i started to become concerned about her. I was going to get her booked in for a check up appointment at the vets for friday. Yesterday she was very active and her happy normal self, then today i became rather worried when i let her out for floor time and she was hobbling along the floor and i observed a bulge near her abdomen area.

    This brought me close to tears! By this time the veterinary surgery was closed so i got in touch with the out of hours emergency vets. She said all i could do was ring the surgery in the morning and get her booked straight in as the symptoms where classic for ovarian cysts. She won't allow anyone to touch her on both sides of her abdomen. How can this bulge appear in 24hrs? Anyway as soon as the vets opens i will be straight on the phone to book her in.

    Oh yeah she has also being rather lethargic today but doesn't seem to be off her vegetables (peppers and a bit of cucumber today) She has had none of the warning signs of ovarian cysts such as thinning hair, bald patches, weight loss, appetite loss just this week when i noticed her being in heat longer than usual that is all thats been out the ordinary.

    Anyway i was told by the out of hour vet they would examine her and do a sonography and then if she is diagnosed with ovarian cysts she will need to be spayed. I am rather nervous about this as guinea pigs don't cope well with anaestetic and the thought of it just scares me. I have heard that some guinea pigs have hormonal treatments that can be very successful in shrinking them and also resolving the problem. So i'm stuck on the best treatment option for her i want the best outcome possible because the thought of losing her is unbearable! does anyone know if hormonal treatments would be successful when her symptoms have come on all of a sudden.

    She is normally a happy and funny little character standing up against my leg when she knows her fresh vegetables are coming as though to say "please feed me mummy" Obviously if she's diagnosed i will have to talk through the options with the vet but i just want some knowledge really on the hormonal treatments. I don't know her medical background or her age as i adopted her and i barely got any information about her what so ever. Any advice would be greatly accepted thanks.
    Last edited by foggycreekcavy; 05-16-13 at 08:11 am. Reason: added breaks

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: my female guinea pig has suspected ovarian cysts

    I wouldn't treat her with surgery or hormones until they do an ultrasound to confirm the cysts.

    Cysts can grow in size very quickly. They can also rupture, which is why it's important to treat them.

    Spaying completely cures the problem, but as you pointed out, it's an invasive, complicated procedure which should only be done by an exotic vet experienced in working on rodents, preferably guinea pigs. The problem isn't the anesthesia so much as the manipulation of the internal organs to get the uterus out -- it's buried under other organs and isn't easy to get to. Don't have it done by an emergency vet or a dog-and-cat vet who doesn't have extensive rodent experience.

    Some pigs get a good response to hormone injections, others not so much. They're commonly used for elderly pigs or those with other medical conditions that make surgery inadvisable. But if they do diagnose the cysts, you could possibly try one injection and see if it works. If it does, you've bought some time to consider whether you want to go ahead with the spay or not. If not, you can go ahead with the spay.

  3. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: my female guinea pig has suspected ovarian cysts

    A slightly extended estrus might be normal for her. Sometimes pigs appear to have a bulge when in some positions. I wouldn't get too stressed until you know for sure if she has cysts.

    I haven't noticed pigs with ovarian cysts being lethargic--perhaps there's something else going on.

    Hormone treatments work fine for shrinking the cysts to make surgery easier, or they work short-term for pigs that aren't good surgical candidates (age, health, etc). They aren't a permanent solution, however. A spay is definitely the best way to go for a healthy pig.

    Bpatters posted while I was typing! I need to speed up!

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    Re: my female guinea pig has suspected ovarian cysts

    i had lucy checked over at the vets the other day. The vet gave her a shot of anti inflammotary's and just advised me to bring her back if she was in heat longer than current. She is currently in heat for 4-5 days. I thought two days was max. Isn't this a sign that somethings not quite right? Forgot to mention she has being drinking a lot of water and i had her checked for this a couple of months ago but the vet was unwilling to do blood test as lucy was happy. anyway now i'm wondering if lucy is lethargic due to possible diabetes. But that doesn't really explain why she's in heat for so long. I don't know whats going on. Going to get her checked over by a more experienced vet. Maybe i'm just worrying to much.

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