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Abscess How long can a guinea pig have an abscess?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Aug 29, 2011
I’ll try to make this short. I rescued two guinea pigs about 2 weeks ago from becoming snake food. When I got them I noticed lumps on their throats. I contacted a rescue to try to help them because I could not afford to take them to the vet. One of them is sick so she has to wait to get the abscesses drained. But one of them did get them drained. The lady that took them in told me they got the “holes” from almost becoming snake food. She said that a snake tried to eat them but they were too big so they couldn’t eat them. And that’s where the abscess came from, from the snake biting them in their necks. Poor babies.

Now the question: is it possible that the abscess have been there for 6 months? I emailed the lady I got them from and asked her about it and she swears to me that it did not happen when in her care. She got them in November. She said she got them from a reptile show, so is it possible this happened in November before she got them and the guinea pigs have just had them since then?
Oh. My. God.
Yes, I think it is possible that they were bit in November, and the abscess slowly grew. I'm amazed they didn't die of fright. I'm so glad you saved them. I'm just sick now...
Yes, it's possible. Sometimes an abscess will grow quickly, particularly if it has a virulent strain of bacteria in it and it produces a lot of pus. Those may rupture and spread infection over a wide area.

In other cases, either the body walls the abscess off very quickly, or the bacteria wasn't particularly aggressive, and the abscess can sit there for months or even years.

Either way, they need to be treated, because even the very slow-growing ones can explode in size if the pig's immune system gets stressed or there's some injury to the area.
An abscess can burst so it's wise to have it treated. Some vets want to immediately perform surgery to remove the entire pocket but I've treated two abscesses by having the vet clean out the pocket, prescribe an antibiotic and clean the pocket out a couple of times a day so it heals from the inside out. The key is to keep the wound open so you can continue to clean out the pus, allowing it to heal up.
It is highly unlikely that an abscess would have been brewing for 6 months.

Sine they both have abscesses on their throats, I would be concerned about CL, which is very contagious.

Which rescue did you get them from?
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