Just fantastic, these little guys don't give me a moment's rest. I woke today to find a giant lump on Jay's cheek!
It's not hot (yet) but a little warm, I've seen one just like it on a horse before - at this point I'm assuming abscess. There's a little scab right next to the swelling that makes me even more sure it's an abscess.
I'm used to being able to treat this automatically with horses with the antibiotics already on hand, but of course we're out. So I've had to make an appointment with the vet practice my mom uses for her dogs...their experience with guinea pigs is next to none so i'm bringing that list of deadly antibiotics. *sigh* if I didn't need a vet to prescribe the antibiotics I could just lance and treat the darn thing myself!
I'd get a photo but my camera cord is missing. Not much to see anyways, his hair is so long, just a bit ol' lump on his face. I'm hoping it doesn't rupture before saturday...that's the soonest i could get him into the vets
Best of Luck. I posted a similar circumstance a few days before you, and my vet experience was 200$ and now the abcess is back anyway. I hope things work out better for your little guy! I can't afford another 200$ visit so I'm ordering liqued baytril online, and draining myself. Hoping for the best....
Can you try and remove the scab then the abscess might burst?
My thoughts exactly, I picked and picked and trimmed the hair around the area and pick some more, but the thing isn't moving - it's almost completely healed up. Thankfully it hasn't grown at all and looks the same this morning. He's still as active as ever, so that's a good sign.
*sigh* well I'm officially in the 'expensive chronic abscess' club. $200.15 later I have a petri dish sitting at the vet's, and a partially shaved guinea pig at home.
Thank god the vet (the practice is where my mom takes her dogs, and that is their specialty) had some experience with guinea pigs and enjoyed working with them. I liked her, to the point where I'd consider taking one of my pigs in to her for minor things.
So the good news is that other than the abscess, Jay is in perfect health. The more significant news is that this abscess is now the thing I hate most in the world. It's IN a lymph node, so can't just be lanced and drained apparently. She said we could try a course of antibiotics though they didn't tend to be very effective alone. Surgery to remove the abscess would likely be required- she'd send me to an exotics specialist for that (would've gone to him in the first place but it would have meant a LONG traumatic bus ride for Jay for what I thought would be a simple procedure). Then the icing on the cake; it could STILL come back!
So here I wait 3-4 days to find out what kind of bacteria is terrorizing my pig, and then lord knows what will attack my bank account next. I'm trying to take this with a grain of salt for now, if antibiotics don't treat it then we'll see what the specialist says, he could very well diagnose something different (and hopefully easier to deal with!).
I'm willing to go as far as surgery after exhausting all other options, but if it comes back after that, I can't keep putting him into surgery...it's not fair to him and as a college student, there's only so much I can afford.
I still feel awful..I've only had this guy a little over a month but I'm so attached. Hopefully the antibiotics take care of it and Jay can go back to his normal piggy life. I've already seen from this board that many of you have been through the same thing...any advice?
i havent had a piggy with abcessess, but i have had one myself, in my armpit. i had to have surgery to have it removed, it was the most painful experience of my life,and one i would not wish to repeat, i was ill for a few weeks afterwards,and very sore. the scar tissue means i am still sore if i use certain underarm deodarants. so i cant imagine how painful it would be for a piggy, but i will say mine hasnt come back (yet) and its been 4 years, i think if the vets get all the pus out,and leave the wound open so it can drain,then it will heal 'clean' and the chance of it recurring are less, depending on what caused it in the first place of course. xx
When Xander has his abscess (and it was HUGE, the size of a big conker and really hot to touch), our vet cut an x-shaped incision in it and squeezed out as much pus as he could - there was so much that lancing it would have taken too long. Then he washed it out a few times with some antiseptic stuff and then he stuck a syringe (without a needle on it) right into the incision and flushed the wound out with baytril.
We took Xander home then and gave him daily antibiotics and had to massage the area to stop the wound from closing and to encourage any more pus to flow out. On the second or third day of doing that, loads of really gross white fibrous stuff came out and the wound wouldn't stay open any more. So we rang the vet and he said it was the membrane that had surrounded the abscess coming out and there should be no more problems. And there haven't been! That's about four or five months ago and since then there have been no problems, and I honestly think it's because we got everything out before allowing the incision to heal up. So I think that if you do go the surgery route, the key is to make sure nothing is left behind because even a small amount will probably lead to the abcess recurring.
I had a similar situation with my own little boy, Dr Mambo. It took a while (and some hefty vets fees) but he is now doing really well. The only reminder of what we've ALL been through with him is a bald patch on his rump which should grow over soon. We did what Orlaith did - the whole 'keeping it open' thing. It was hard work but worth it!
So the vet called yesterday evening to give me the results of the culture - lots of nasty infection and inflammation, no lymph cells which suggested it wasn't in a lymph node (PHEW). This was out of her field of expertise so she gave me a few names to try to get him into surgery.
This morning I called the closest name she gave me, which is an hour's bus ride away from here. Made an appointment for an hour later and off we went. I may make this my regular vet, he was awesome. Came, in, heard the story thus far, weighed him, put a stethoscope on him, poked at the abscess a bit and then got right down to the point. It needed to be lanced and drained, by this point it was big and nasty, and he needed to be put under due to its location and the fact that he's a neurotic little guinea pig. He took him in the back and sent me on my way to get his medical records faxed over.
I like this man. Quick and to the point got a call from him this evening after Jay's surgery was done, apparently he's alright and all cleaned out, he'll be starting on Baytril tonight and another antibiotic as well tomorrow morning, since due to his odd bacterial culture they need to treat both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Going to start him on probiotics (dissolved Seth poop, mmm!!) as soon as I get him home, poor little guy.
The best part? The rest of this endeavor will cost me less than the first vet visit. Learn from my mistake, just go to the exotics vet first!!
well, Jay's staying at the vet's another night I anticipated him not wanting to eat after surgery as he is just so easily stressed, so they're hand feeding him and keeping an eye on him.
I'm a bit torn on this, I like that he's AT the vet's, if he takes a turn for the worse he's there, it would take an hour to get him out there otherwise. However if the only problem is hand feeding...I can do that here, with his own food and within view of his piggy buddies, in his own house with his own people....just seems to me that would help him settle down enough to eat in the first place... I'm also concerned about him getting probiotics there (especially since he's on two different antibiotics). I'm sure they have acidophilus tablets of some sort available, and will make sure he's getting them when I call tomorrow. Even then, I don't want to have to pay for that when I have a plethora of healthy guinea pig poop here at home.
Pros and cons to both scenarios I guess...hopefully Jay just pulls through...
He's home! I called the office this morning prepared to fight for my piggy back, but it as all for naught, he was ready to come home! I have never missed a rodent so much
He's on Baytril and Apo Metronidazole for the next little while (2 antibiotics because of the strange cocktail of bacteria they found in there), so the poor boy is going to have to ingest some healthy piggy poop to help his tummy. I was amazed at how voraciously he ate when we brought him home, after 2 days of not wanting to eat at all. Gobbled up almost an entire leaf of lettuce.
The abscess is still a bit yucky, but it's hard as rock and there is little drainage coming out (it does seem a bit deflated, and in my experience with abscesses in various animals, most of the swelling isn't pus but inflammation). There isn't anything there to keep the incision from closing up entirely, which does bother me, but the vet of course wasn't in when I picked him up (thanksgiving sunday up here) so it will have to wait until Tuesday. I'm interested to know exactly what was done in surgery and what I should be looking for with healing and whatnot, especially since this is an abnormal case.
At this point I am just going to assume it is still swollen due to inflammation, the antibiotics should take care of the rest. Now I get to spend the next couple of days staring at this thing and wondering "is it shrinking? or does it just look smaller because they shaved off like an inch and a half of hair? did they do ANYTHING? *sigh*"
oh and the grand total for this whole ordeal, including 2 vet exams from 2 different vets, a culture&sensitivity, anesthesia and lancing, and a round of 2 different antibiotics came to about $400canadian.
It's shrinking! It's smaller every day, so the antibiotics are doing their job
Poor Jay, he gets 2 antibiotics twice daily, and given probiotics (Seth poop :P) by syringe an hour later. I talked to the vet and he clarified what you just said Orlaith, just keep it open. This thing REALLY wants to heal! Once a day I wrap him up in a towel and pick off the scabs, massage it to open it up (flesh is granulating over the wound almost too fast for me to keep up!), and for good measure, flush it out with a curved tip syringe I have from when I had my wisdom teeth out. Even then the darn thing was almost COMPLETELY healed this morning...I just flushed it out last night!!
*Sigh* it is shrinking though, and nothing is draining anyways so I'm not too worried....though sometimes I wish I had a sterile scalpel on hand. The antibiotics seem to be taking care of it, I'm going to start applying a hot compress as well to encourage whatever might be in there to drain out.
I wonder if his hair will ever even out.... I still don't even know how long his hair is going to get!
Oh, I had the same thing with my Dr M. It took sooo long to heal I thought it was never going to end! About a month ago I found that the wound had healed and there was no 'lump' any more. Now his hair has evened out and he is back to normal - it is wonderful! You'd never know he'd had a problem. Jay will get there, I'm sure. Just keep going,
Well Jay has less than 2 days of antibiotics left, what a difference! Once the abscess started to shrink it got softer and started "draining" (guinea pig pus has got to be the most foul thing I've ever experienced), flushing it out seemed to help quite a bit. I've stopped the draining as there isn't anything to drain anymore, the abscess pretty much gone except for the scab where the incision was!
He held up to the antibiotics very well, though his weight took quite a hit. Never LOST weight, but never gained any or grew at all. Since he's only about 3 months old it concerns me a bit, especially since our other pig who was much smaller than him when we got him has grown to be much larger! His spine and ribs became much more noticeable as well However once his incision was able to be left to close we tried putting him back in the big cage with the others...right away he gained about 30g in the first time since he got this abscess, I think he's less stressed being with the others and probably gaining some muscle back as well.
Here's to hoping I don't have to deal with this again!!
I'll start a post on the feeding board, but if anybody knows some ways to safely put weight back on a guinea pig I'd appreciate it!
lydia: Sorry, i'm new here.
Oct 29, 2014 2:34:25 GMT
Orlaith: Hi Lydia. You go to the part of the forum your topic is about (e.g. food or housing) and in the top right there's a button that says "new thread". You click that and the option will pop up for you.
Oct 30, 2014 9:42:28 GMT
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