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Thread: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

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    Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    I have a 5 year old female that I need a little advice for.

    Around the start of October she lost weight dramatically, she went from her regular weight of roughly 1.400 kg down to 1.100kg in a few days. We rushed her to the vet and after being poked all over, the vet declared she was not eating due to a lump around her mouth and we were given some antibiotics and told to go back in 10 days. Well, those 10 days were horrible as Tess, the pig, nearly stopped eating entirely and had to be syringe fed to keep up her weight, which dropped down to 950g at it's most dramatic. The vet decided that she should have an xray of her mouth to check teeth and her mouth was declared fine. We assumed the antibiotics treated whatever infection was bothering her.

    Well, she started losing fur which I attributed to the change in bedding and maybe stress as I had quarantined her, but after going back to her normal bedding and her cagemate, another female, she started to get worse. I thought maybe mites as she has been treated for mites twice in her life, but the vet we took her back to today did a skin test and it came back negative. I tentatively weighed the idea of ovarian cysts and so the vet then poked and prodded her, sending my poor girl hiding in my armpits. The vet I saw admitted she didn't treat guinea pigs very often, but we are going back on Wednesday to see a doctor from the UK for an ultrasound.My poor girl also seems to have something wrong with her back right foot, an infection perhaps. But the vet was hesitant about antibiotics since the last lot we gave her, she stopped eating.

    But looking up everything, it all starts to make sense, the hair loss, loss of appetite etc. if it is ovarian cysts. And if she is given an ultrasound and found that she does indeed have cysts, does that mean spaying? No other way around it? I guess my big question is, due to her age, just how risky do you think spaying her would be? Any advice from people who have had this?

    I guess I need a little advice on this, this is my first case of cysts. Tessie came to me at approx. 1.5 years with a surprise pregnancy from someone who couldn't take care of her anymore. She has been a wonderful girl, very sweet, always coming up to the bars for treats and cuddles, and having her ill is really nothing other than devastating. I've been weighing her multiple times daily and she has stable for the last few weeks around 1.040kg, but at least she is eating on her own and once again has interest in food. I'm trying to do the best I can, I want to do right by her.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    The only sure cure for ovarian cysts is surgery, but as with all surgeries, it carries risks.

    A couple of different hormone treatments are available. With either, some pigs will respond very well and have no more problems for a year or more, if ever. Some will get a partial response, and some, none at all.

    What I would NOT do is allow a vet who's not experienced in surgery on guinea pigs to operate on my pig. You need a good exotic vet who does a lot of guinea pig spays to do this operation if you decide to go in that direction.

    If she's in otherwise good health, her age is no reason not to spay her. I probably wouldn't spay a seven-year-old, but a five-year-old could have a lot of time left.

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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    The only thing that has me worried is that she still isn't as heavy as I'd like her to be. I weighed her this morning and she was 1.22kg, and then this evening she came in at 1.18kg. I am probably going to have to syringe feed her again, she really can't afford to get too light if surgery is coming up. As you say, at five she could still have years in her. Her teeth are fine and other functions are fine, still eating and pooing, but just not enough. Poo is a little squishy, but not too bad considering. There is another thing though, I think she is getting cataracts in her left eye. I guess I'll see tomorrow. Thanks.

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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    Some people do the hormone therapy while waiting for the pig to gain some weight for surgery.

    I'm concerned about the foot problem. If it is indeed an infection, she'll need antibiotics. Perhaps a different one, given in conjunction with probiotics, wouldn't effect her eating.

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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    Sorry I have followed up, crazy couple of weeks. The ultrasound was not conclusive. It took me a couple of weeks but I got her into an specialist guinea pig/rabbit vet. They found she did indeed have mites, a cyst, arthritis, pododermatitis and another skin problem. We have her on an antibiotic called Chloramphenicol and she is actually gaining weight. The vet wants to see if we can get rid of the mites and if the antibiotics help with the foot infection and other things before we tackle the cyst. The vet was very competent and explained things clearly, but I also get a feeling Tessie might be living a rougher life here forward.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    What's the other skin problem? Yeast? Fungus? How are you treating for the mites?

    So it's an ovarian cyst?

    Sorry, so many questions!

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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    I can't at this moment think what the other skin condition was, but it has the symptoms of giving her kind of thin skin, I think the vet said. She is on injections of ivermectin too. She hasn't had another ultrasound or xray yet, but the vet thought she could feel a cyst, I was taking her back this Saturday for a closer look. Oh I know, my head is starting to spin with it. This was why I could never be a vet....She seems quite bright and happy though, I think getting rid of the mites have perked her up. Her and Pen are eating their feelings in front of me haha.

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    Re: Pig with possible ovarian cysts, spaying?

    Uhh. I am a bit terrible at posting on forums. Okay, an update.

    So my vet visit went well with Tess. The vet was actually quite happy with how she is going. Her skin is clearing up and her fur is growing back, so maybe not another skin problem and this still unconfirmed cyst is not causing hair loss. Her foot infection is actually much better, as well as the callus she had on her front foot. There was indeed a lump under the chin and the problem incisor is gone. Her weight has risen very healthily, she is more than 100 grams heavier than she was last visit. On top of that she is brighter, more mobile and much more vocal than first visit. All in all, she seems to be improving between the ivermectin and chloramphenicol. We have decided to give it another two weeks to let the antibiotics do their thing. My mum and I have decided we don't want surgery to take place until they are absolutely sure there is indeed a cyst there. We have also been told they can do the hormone injections, something I think we would want to try first before surgery. In the mean time, getting my local vet to send the previous xray and ultrasound has been a little slow, unusual for them.

    To quote my vet, "Tess is a lady of many problems", but we're going through it. From the sounds of munching I hear, Tess still wants to keep going.

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