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Lump Lump under my baby's throat

Amanda Rose

Cavy Slave
Sep 4, 2011
Found a lump under Bella's throat last night. there is a much smaller one next to it. Today the one lump is much bigger. Is she hiding stuff in her cheek pouches or is this a lump i need to go to the vet about. It is below her chin directly over her throat. she is eating, drinking, pooping fine. she seems fine as well. Some advice will be greatly appreciated. thanks!
She definitely needs to see a vet. It's most likely an abscess, although it could be a cyst or tumor. The vet will probably attempt to draw some tissue out with a needle to find out what it is. If it's an abscess it will need to be removed or lanced and drained, and Bella would need antibiotics.

They can grow very quickly, and if they get too large are hard to remove. So please take her in as soon as possible! Find an exotics vet in your area.
Ditto foggycreekcavy. This is nothing to fool around with. If the vet lances the lumps, be sure they give you a curved syringe to flush the cavities with, and be religious about flushing. The holes need to heal from the inside out, and will only cause more problems if they scab over before the infection is cleared up.
Well bummer news...My Bella is an abscess rittled pig. she developed another one behind her ear that the vet found that I hadn't even noticed yet. The vet cleaned out the one under her chin and I have been clearing the scab and flushing every day, and hotpacking the other abscess behind her ear until it opens up too. The vet gave me 2 antibiotics and even though they are banana flavored she is fighting me on them this time. The vet also told me that due to the fact that she is only 4 months old and is already developing so many abscesses that this could be a problem the rest of her little life. I hate that there is nothing I can do to prevent these horrible little puss pockets, all I can do is treat them when they show up. UGH! On a side note...My Alice is thriving and cuddles with bella after I give her her meds.
My pig is on antibiotics too, he also hates it. One trick I do is put a few drops on a piece of veggie and hand feed him until the syringe goes empty. Hope your pig gets well!
Did the vet culture the pus?
My guineapig chocolate, she had a lump on her belly, make sure you visit your local vet as soon as possible becuase it could be cancerous. Definatley go if you guineapigs hair starts to fall of on the lumps. hope this helped. x
That many lumps suggests lymphadenitis to me. Like foggycreekcavy, I think the pus should have been cultured to see what the organism is. When the other lumps get large enough to be lanced, if they do, insist on a culture and sensitivity test, so they can see what medications are most effective against the bacteria.
Thankyou everyone! It's nice to know I am not alone in worrying about my piggies. The vet did not culture the puss due to the fact that I couldn't afford the extra test right now. So we are blanket treating the abscesses and I am saying alot of prayers. It appears that the abscesses will be a part of her life as another one is growing even though she is on the meds. So I will have an opportunity to have them cultured. This really sucks!
Well, if you'll pay to have the culture and sensitivity test done, you may save yourself a bundle on antibiotics and aggravation in the future. If the antibiotic your vet gives isn't one that the bacteria are sensitive to, you've wasted the money and the effort and your pig is still sick. Not to mention that antibiotics can be harmful to them as well.

On the other hand, if you identify the organism and the medicines it will respond to, you can give her one that's pretty much guaranteed to clear things up, and not have to put her through repeated doses of antibiotics.
I just wanted to share our recent experience, with a HUGE lump that appeared on our darling little 6-month old female, Amber. I used to breed guinea pigs, on an amateur scale, and always had healthy guinea pigs, until this last year. One was just sick when we got him from the pet store, and over $200 of exotic pet vet fees did not save him. We got Amber, to keep our other guinea pig company. She quickly found a place in my husband's and my heart.

About a month ago, she developed a HUGE, golf-ball sized lump on the side of her throat. It came up overnight, and grew larger within days. Rather than take her to the vet, and spend lots of money on her, just to see her sicken and die like our other one did, I decided to research the situation. Basically, I am a researcher, and have been doing it for 50+ years.

Reading hundreds of posts and references online, brought me to the conclusion that she had an abscess, and further reading convinced me that we would treat her at home. I do understand that it is not the best thing for everyone to do, but we are in an area where there appears to be a dearth of fine exotic vets.

Because I have had extensive experience with treating all sorts of abscesses and injuries that my offspring had - 8 of them - I felt confident that we could take care of Amber's abscess at home. Peter Gurney's experiences encouraged me, as he treated lots of abscesses, and never had a fatality.

My husband is too "tender", when it comes to animals, so the job fell to me. The lump appeared on a Thursday. Sunday, it burst open. I knew that it had, from the horrendous rotten cheese odor emanating from her cage. I took her out, and put her in a clean cage of her own, so our other guinea pig, Charcoal, would not "pick up anything" from it.

Into the bathroom I went, and photographed the hole that the "burst abscess" had left. I have photos of it, online, but they are not for the squeamish. (See link below) She had a hole in her neck large enough to push a crayon through, and it just reeked! Poor girl.

Wrapping her up, securely, in an old T-shirt, I trimmed the hair around the abscess. I took a syringe, and flushed inside the hole with salt water, then poured hydrogen peroxide into it, via a syringe. I then sprayed it with a combination of betadine and collodial silver, both reputed to be safe for guinea pigs. I also pulled a lot of "globbed-up, thready" infection from the wound, and put a touch of collodial silver in her drinking water, and extra vitamin C.

Days of this, morning and night, healed our little Amber. She recovered 100%. It was a nasty "operation", but Peter Gurney's advice worked. Not recommending this for everyone, but it worked for us. WARNING: The photos are not pleasant to see, but it IS what an open abscess looks like!

The link should be active sometime today. Click on each of the 20 thumbnail photos, and they will enlarge in another window. The infection, which is "cheesy" and greyish, has a smell to it that is not for the faint-hearted. The link, is here:Guinea Pig Abscess Huge Lump Appeared Overnight

I truly hope this helps someone, with their beloved guinea pig!
I'm glad your treatment worked for Amber. But I do have a few words of caution.

One, hydrogen peroxide shouldn't be used on live tissue -- it's very drying, and isn't recommended. I know it used to be considered the thing to use, and I had plenty of it poured on me when I was a kid. But it's very out of favor now.

Second, most guinea pig abscesses are caused by streptococcus, and can cause nasty infections in humans as well. If you're going to attempt such a drastic treatment, be very careful to disinfect everything used in the process, including yourself.

Third, abscess wounds should be forced to heal from the inside out. That means flushing twice a day, preferably with a syringe with a curved tip so you can get into all the pockets. If the wound scabs over too soon, it should be reopened and the flushing process continued until the pocket is gone.
I agree with bpatters. I would never advocate treating an abscess without a vet's visit to determine the type of infection, and to get antibiotics. Guinea pigs go downhill very fast, and require expert attention.
Thanks for the reply. Still loading the last 10 photos. Oh, believe you me, I disinfected everything! I know, too, about the hydrogen peroxide, but no one in our area seemed to have the curved tip syringe, so I used a few that our local pharamacy gave us. I agressively went after that nasty infection, and while I was reluctant to use the hydrogen peroxide, Peter's experience had been positive, and, that stubborn stuff did not seem to want to come out without it. I did reopen the wound, twice, I think - I know that it would not heal properly, unless it healed from the inside.

Once I filled the syringes with that, and flooded the "wound" with it repeatedly, the infection came bubbling up and I wiped it away, and pulled it out with sterile tweezers. Well aware that it had to heal from the inside out, I was really mercilessly about getting it all.

Meanwhile, I had to do it myself, as it was hard for my husband to even be in the same house with me, while I was doing it. Amber was such a trooper, only squealed a couple of times, because she was frightened. Her wound healed quickly, but it was attended to twice a day, for several days, until I saw that it was thoroughly healed.

Again, for anyone who has access to a good exotic vet in your area, go there. Make sure they really know about guinea pigs, as they are not very tolerant of most commonly given antibiotics.

We have had over 100 guinea pigs, and this was the very first abscess. Thankfully, it was a success story. Many of us just do not have an exotic pet available to us. The one we took our other guinea pig to, who was supposed to be trained in exotic pet care, gave him an antibiotic that is toxic to guinea pigs. We did not know....
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The sad face above, is for our other guinea pig, who the vet gave the wrong antibiotic to...we live and learn....
Yes, it was a nasty abscess! The smell was awful, but I used to work for a veterinarian, and had aspirations of becoming one, so....have smelled some pretty awful things in my time.

I did not wish to shave around it, as it was so sensitive to her, so I settled for clipping the hair short. I thought that would be less traumatic for her.

No, I did not wish to bandage the wound, as I wanted it to get fresh air. She was a much happier guinea pig, once the abscess broke, and I lined her cage with fresh bath towels that we have just for the "pigs", as I did not want any of the litter to get lodged in the open wound.

Because I know that guinea pigs are extremely sensitive to different antibiotics, even antibiotic creams, I did not wish to venture forth on my own, experimenting. Peter Gurney used collodial silver, which we keep on hand, and hydrogen peroxide, and never lost a pig to an abscess, so I "followed suit".

I do not know how "empowered" I felt - I just know that my husband adores little Amber, and was absolutely heartsick when our little boy cavy died, after all of the vet visits. I did not wish to see him devastated with another guinea pig death - especially one who thinks my husband is the moon and the stars and the universe!
Then, you also know how attached a grown man can be to a cavy! I was attached to our little lost boy, too...

I have had Sovereign Silver on hand, for years. It is manufactured in Florida, where we reside. As a jeweler, by trade, we have made our own, but it is just as easy to purchase it at our local health food store.

It is vital that no one confuses silver nitrate with colloidal silver. They are NOT one and the same. Colloidal silver is safe for guinea pigs. I have a large bottle, to refill smaller ones. We have one that has a "nasal spray" top, which helped get right into the wound without touching it and contaminating the tip of it, and also a regular pump spray, which gave good coverage to the whole area.

That large lump came up so fast, it made our "heads spin". She did not appear to be in any discomfort before it broke, but she was very quiet.

I cannot accurately describe the maliferous odor that emanated from the abscess. It was worse than Limburger cheese, if anyone knows how that smells. Because a guinea pig's abscess contains thick, infected, curd-like matter, it does not drain as an abscess on a human being would. It has to be flushed out.

We knew Amber was well on her way to recovery, when the smell diminished, and she began to "chatter aimlessly" again, as is her "wont" to do.

Again, I am not recommending that anyone takes the approach that I did, with an abscessed lump on their cavy. The experience was related in the hopes that someone who has no access to exotic pet care, can save their guinea pig's life. Before any of you view the photos at the link I put in the first post I put up here, be ready to view some "rough stuff"!

Today, Amber is fully recovered, and none the "worse for wear"!
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