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Tumor My guinea pig has ovarian cancer

writingirl15

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Hi,

My name is Megan and I have a 5 year old girl guinea pig named Ellie. About a week ago I took her to the vet because she's gotten very thin and bony. I've known for a while now that she has had ovarian cysts, so I thought this might be why. The vet felt her stomach and said she felt a mass, different than a cyst, on her ovary. She said it's most likely cancer because of the weight she has lost. She said cancer in guinea pigs takes the nutrients in food from the pig. I am completely devastated. I asked how much time I have left with her and she said a few weeks, to a month.

The vet explained that if she was in pain I should probably put her down :( Ellie has been exhibiting signs of pain: sitting in a corner and not moving, grinding her teeth, sometimes not like being touched. Although she still eats and drinks like a horse. I've also noticed that her poop is pretty runny. Despite all this, she seems happy though.

I guess what I want to know from anybody is if they have had a similar situation, maybe they could help advise me on what to do? I really don't want to put her down, but I don't want her living in pain either. Also, should I wait until she stops eating to put her down or before? I'm pretty confused and sad.

Thanks guys,

Megan
 

MLT2007

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First of all, I send my condolences for what you and Ellie are going through. Personally, I'd rather any of my animals have a peaceful, pain free passing than wasting away and in pain. I would put her down, but that is just me. Only you can say what is best for you and Ellie. I wish you the best. Hugs from me, Kiwi, and Penelope
 

Varcoda

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i'm not sure how pain killers for piggies are administered, but if there were easy pain killers she can take till she stops eating alot, maybe its nicer to let her live a little while more. if she's really in pain though, i think i would highly consider putting her out of the pain... hurtful to you as it might be.

i'm so sorry to hear your piggy is going through this, spend more time with her and shower her with love till you can come to a decision.
 

bpatters

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I'm very sorry about your pig. It's a difficult decision to make, but I know what I'd do -- if she's in pain and it's not going to get better, I'd have her put to sleep. Recovering from the pain of something like a broken leg is one thing, having pain from something that is killing you is another thing altogether. I can't stand to see them suffer, so having them around for a few more days with them suffering from the physical pain and me from the emotional pain isn't an attractive option.
 

MuggleMaggie

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I am so sorry. My dog had cancer, and I put him down. It was just too much pain for him, and I couldn't let him go through that. I don't know what to say, just offer that bit of experience. Ultimately it's your choice. My thoughts are with you.
 

couchon

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First of all, I am really sorry for what you are going through.

Is surgery an option at all to remove the tumor/cancer? Even if the risks are high in her condition, it may be worth a shot. What about chemotherapy?

I know this is a very personal decision, and I have the unpopular view on this, but I personally don't believe in euthanasia. If it got really bad, and I really felt that one of my animals did not want to fight, I would stop any invasive/uncomfortable treatment and just provide lots of supportive care and pain meds. That's just my view, and I feel strongly about it, but ultimately, it has to be the decision YOU believe in and can live with.

Also, as I found out, some pigs are natural fighters. One of my piggies has some pretty serious digestive issues, but she eats and drinks even on days when she is bloated and grinding her teeth. I know very well she wants to live, and I will do everything in my power to support it. If your girl seems happy and tries to eat and drink through it all, I would support her and fight with her and for her. I would also see if you can get a second opinion and see if any surgical or medical options might get rid of the tumor.
 

ClemmyOddieIndy

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Hi,

My name is Megan and I have a 5 year old girl guinea pig named Ellie. About a week ago I took her to the vet because she's gotten very thin and bony. I've known for a while now that she has had ovarian cysts, so I thought this might be why. The vet felt her stomach and said she felt a mass, different than a cyst, on her ovary. She said it's most likely cancer because of the weight she has lost. She said cancer in guinea pigs takes the nutrients in food from the pig. I am completely devastated. I asked how much time I have left with her and she said a few weeks, to a month.

The vet explained that if she was in pain I should probably put her down :( Ellie has been exhibiting signs of pain: sitting in a corner and not moving, grinding her teeth, sometimes not like being touched. Although she still eats and drinks like a horse. I've also noticed that her poop is pretty runny. Despite all this, she seems happy though.

I guess what I want to know from anybody is if they have had a similar situation, maybe they could help advise me on what to do? I really don't want to put her down, but I don't want her living in pain either. Also, should I wait until she stops eating to put her down or before? I'm pretty confused and sad.

Thanks guys,

Megan

In March I took my guinea pig Odette to the vet because she was experiencing the same symptoms (loss of weight, loss of hair). The vet felt her stomach and said she felt an ovarian cyst. She said we could remove it, but she wasn't sure what it looked like without an xray. We did an xray and she said she was mistaken, it was located in the uterus. She said she could remove it, but didn't know if Odette would survive the surgery. I took Odette to a specialist Iowa State University who did an CT Scan of her body and determined that the tumor was located in the uterus and appeared to not be attached to anything. She said my options were do nothing and let her eventually die from the tumor, or do surgery and risk losing her on the table. I decided to do surgery. Odette's tumor was 1/3 of her blood supply and 1/2 of her body weight. And, she survived. She has a scar that runs from her chest to her pelvis, and she had two weeks of recovery time. But, she is alive, healthy and back to her old self. Her weight came back on nicely (she's fat and happy again) and her hair is starting to grow back. If I hadn't tried because I was afraid of losing her, I would've eventually lost her anyway. I am so happy i did the surgery. The key is finding a great vet who is confident. If you're willing to drive to ISU, (there were people from all over the midwest when I was in the waiting room, and I see you are in Wisconsin) I can recommend spectacular one. Good luck with your girl.
 

writingirl15

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First of all, I send my condolences for what you and Ellie are going through. Personally, I'd rather any of my animals have a peaceful, pain free passing than wasting away and in pain. I would put her down, but that is just me. Only you can say what is best for you and Ellie. I wish you the best. Hugs from me, Kiwi, and Penelope

Thank you :)
 

foggycreekcavy

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Were the ovarian cysts being treated? How long has she had the cysts? Ovarian cysts are treatable--either a spay if the pig is in good health and a good surgical candidate, or by using hormone injections. The injections often shrink the cysts noticeably right away, although sometimes many injections are needed. A pig with untreated ovarian cysts will eventually begin to lose weight and become bony.

It sounds like this may be what happened. A spay done while she was relatively healthy would have removed the cysts, ovaries, and uterus and she wouldn't be so sick now. Perhaps the vet would try the hormone shots? I would ask your vet, and also ask for something for her pain.
 
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