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Lump Abu's Abscess

AbuBalooandMe

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Hi everyone!

My 3 year old male guinea pig has what the vet is pretty sure is an abscess on his bottom. It looks like a golf ball sized lump with a scab about a bit bigger than a quarter on it.

We've been to the vet twice, the first as a diagnosis and the second as a check-up. The first was on May 11th and the vet prescribed Baytril and Metacam I believe. It didn't really appear to be helping, but it didn't look to be getting any worse, so we continued with the medication and took him back to the vet on the 17th. At that appointment, the vet said that we should do surgery to remove it ASAP, so Abu is having the surgery tomorrow. He has been on the same meds since, but it has appeared to get a little bigger and a bit worse, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him much.

Has anyone had any experience with a similar issue? If they completely removed the abscess, is it likely to come back? I have read about them coming back frequently if it was just drained, but I can't find much on the total removal of them.

I was also wondering about having the testing done to ensure that it wasn't caused by anything more than an infection. Is this really necessary? The surgery is pretty expensive anyways.

Thank you for your input!
 

Soecara

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Total removal of the abscess is call encapsulated removal. This is because they take not just the pus but the thickened walls of the abscess, usually they do this without opening the abscess. I had a boar have an encapsulated removal of an abscess on his shoulder, and the risks of it coming back is no higher than the risks of an abscess forming on any surgical sight. My boy did not have any reoccurrence and the after care was much simpler than if it had just been lanced open, but the costs were higher.

here is a link to the thread I made back when my boy had his done *warning it does include surgery photos* https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...es-of-encapsulated-abscess-removal?highlight=
 

bpatters

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The sac has to be removed entirely to prevent the abscess from forming again. If any part of it is left, it will almost always recur. The only sure way to prevent that is to remove the sac.
 

AbuBalooandMe

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Sorry this update is a little bit late but Abu is doing well after his surgery last Monday. He did get internal dissolvable stitches like yours did @Soecara, but I don't think they put glue on the outside to prevent him from chewing it. I think that this may have caused it to open some and bleed a little bit. I'm hoping that he was just dragging it on the floor of his cage. I hate to think that he was in any pain, but he was on Metacam and didn't show any signs of pain.

We called the vet and they said to clean it with water and mild soap and put a very little bit of Neosporin on it as long as he couldn't reach it. We did, but it didn't seem to help much. He already had his appointment for this last Tuesday as a check-up, so we decided that he would be fine until then and just waited. It got a little worse, but not significantly.

At the vet on Tuesday, the vet said that it was doing pretty well and she prescribed silver sulfadiazine cream to help with healing. That stuff has worked wonders. I'm really shocked how much it has improved since Tuesday and fingers crossed it continues to improve.

I do have a question though. The vet told us to keep the piggies separated so Baloo didn't try to "help" Abu and actually make it worse. When do you think would be an appropriate time to put them back together? Should I wait until it completely heals? They seem to be sad without the company of another guinea pig. :(
 

CavySpirit

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I think that's pretty good advice. When Abu seems quite perky and normal (sounds like that's the case or almost) and also the wound isn't in danger of being reopened with more activity, then they should be good to put together again. I've found the bigger challenge is if you have a fairly immobile pig who isn't well and you put that one in for company, I've seen strange 'over-grooming' behavior where the healthy pigs will try to gnaw at the paws of the infirm one. I THINK it's because they are wanting the sick pig to be healthy and move around -- or go away.

So, two things you want to avoid -- having the other pigs trying to affect some change if they perceive one isn't well or normal, and just overly strenuous activity of the recovering guinea pig so that wounds don't pop open. You don't need to wait for absolute completely perfect healing, because it is important for them to be together, but you have to use your best judgment on the right time. When you do, just keep an eye on the level of activity and adjust as necessary.
 

AbuBalooandMe

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I think that's pretty good advice. When Abu seems quite perky and normal (sounds like that's the case or almost) and also the wound isn't in danger of being reopened with more activity, then they should be good to put together again. I've found the bigger challenge is if you have a fairly immobile pig who isn't well and you put that one in for company, I've seen strange 'over-grooming' behavior where the healthy pigs will try to gnaw at the paws of the infirm one. I THINK it's because they are wanting the sick pig to be healthy and move around -- or go away.

So, two things you want to avoid -- having the other pigs trying to affect some change if they perceive one isn't well or normal, and just overly strenuous activity of the recovering guinea pig so that wounds don't pop open. You don't need to wait for absolute completely perfect healing, because it is important for them to be together, but you have to use your best judgment on the right time. When you do, just keep an eye on the level of activity and adjust as necessary.
Thank you so much! This helps a lot.

He does seem to be back to normal as far as behavior, but that has almost always been the case except for the first few days after surgery. I don't think that Baloo would perceive him as being sick or unwell at all, but he might be curious as to why Abu has a wound. To me, it doesn't look like it is going to open again, but the help of another pig might make it worse so I think I'll give it a few more days to heal and then put them together. I'm planning to start doing a cage remodel so maybe when I'm done with that and sewing the new fleece for the cage they can go back together :)

These are my first piggies, so I might be a little over-cautious, but I think it's better to be safe than sorry. Again, thank you so much for the help!
 

bpatters

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Do be aware that you may have to do full reintroductions when you put them together. Even a separation of only a day or two can turn two formerly friendly pigs into very suspicious enemies.

Here's a very good article on introductions: https://guinealynx.info/introductions.html
 

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