Infected Neuter Site


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:44 pm

I adopted a 1 yr old male piggy 2 weeks ago. He had a bald spot and I wanted to neuter him, so took him to vet a week ago. Bald spot tested to be mites and is under treatment. Then the fun started.

She neutered him on Monday. For a couple of days it seemed OK, then by Thursday his scrotum was beginning to swell on right side and he seemed uncomfortable, so took him to vet. She had originally given me pre-loaded 1ml syringes to give him 0.2ml doses of an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory every 12 hours. Sorry, I don't know which drug. He wasn't crazy about them, but submitted to each dose without too much fuss. Once, he gently nipped my finger, but mostly just tried to get away.

This time she also gave me a bottle of TMPS Suspension and instructed me to give him 0.8ml every 12 hours as well, also via 1ml syringe. This didn't go over so well. I gave him the doses slowly, about 0.2ml at a time so's not to choke him, but he fought the syringe.

Friday I dithered. He was taking some treats but seemed somewhat depressed. OK, I would've been, too, but I held off on a vet visit. Saturday he went downhill and stopped accepting treats altogether. He was still eating pellets and hay and taking some water but fecal pellet production was down by about 50%.

Sunday his scrotum swelled more on right side and he was definitely uncomfortable. He fought strongly against the TMPS doses and still wouldn't accept treats - not even cucumber. When giving him the evening dose I noticed a very strong odor of feces, to the point where I had to change my shirt when done.

Monday morning his stitches had separated on right side, (not sure if he'd torn them out) there was about a 3/8" opening to the side of the anus and it was packed with feces. I took him to vet, there was pus behind the feces and she had to anesthetize him, open it up and clean it out. After re-stitching, she left a 1/8" gap at the rear of the incision and showed me how to flush the cavity with a saline solution.

That evening I used piggy-safe shampoo to clean him up - fecal odor was still quite strong - and settled in for the dosing. Absolute disaster. I'm very gentle with him and don't squeeze him. I have large hands and it's easy to restrain him in the crease between my thighs....on a towel, of course.

1st, I tried to flush the - now badly swollen again - scrotum. The incision had sealed shut and it took a bit of very careful probing with syringe to open it. That gained me a spurt of clear fluid with a reddish tint. No more would come out with careful probing with syringe. Injecting less than 0.1ml of saline caused a loud shriek from him, so I immediately stopped.

When I started on the antibiotic, he'd had enuf. I did manage to get both doses into him but he was struggling hard the whole time. Then he ducked his head, twisted around and bit the web of my thumb hard and tore out a flap of skin. Shrieking and whistling the whole time. I thoroughly cleaned and bandaged the wound.

This morning (Tuesday) there was no possibility of working on scrotum. The slightest touch to the again-sealed incision caused a violent struggle. I got the meds into him but he tried repeatedly to bite me and chewed up the syringes. Not just struggling to escape now, he was on the offensive.

I'm retired on very limited income and can't keep going to vet, tho' she's very receptive, concerned and willing to help. She's also very expensive. The piggy hasn't bonded to me yet and after all this I doubt he ever will. Actually, I have 10 more days of medication to give him. At this point, I can't see how that will be possible. I'm in a quandary.

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Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:06 pm

She should be seeing this pig without any charge whatsoever. This is follow-up care for the surgery, and should have been covered by the bill. I'd call and insist on his being seen at no charge.


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:03 pm

She's out of office and won't return till tomorrow afternoon. Can anyone here tell me if I can give him the entire 0.8ml dose of medication in one squirt without choking him ?? This would make it a lot simpler and easier to get thru it - I've been giving him 0.2ml at a time, a few seconds apart and he starts fighting much harder at the 2nd one and on. He's at the point now where he starts shrieking and grunting as soon as I pick him up, let alone start anything. Rock and a hard place.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:50 pm

You could do it in half doses -- .4 ml at a time. I'd be afraid the .8 ml with either leak out or choke him.


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:19 pm

Since I posted that, I watched a YouTube where a piggy was force fed 1ml of pellet mash at a time with an open ended 1ml syringe. Didn't appear to have any problem at all, tho' that's not to say it was real willing.

I picked him up to check his scrotum a few minutes ago and see a bead of white pus at the opening the vet left for a syringe. I imagine that's a pretty tender area at this point, but before trying the syringe again, I think I'll try to very gently express some of that out of there. If I can gain a bit of room in there, might try flushing with saline again. Never dreamed I'd suddenly become a piggy doctor.

I've been concerned about the possibility of having to force feed him, since he's on antibiotics, but put some fresh hay right at entrances to his hide and he Is eating at least a bit of it. Not eating his treats, tho'. (cucumber, parsley, apple, bell pepper) Thanks for the reply.

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Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:02 pm

I also feel the vet should be covering this. If the surgery was done properly, this would not have happened. I think she bears some responsibility for the swelling, feces,infection, etc. This should not have happened.

Meanwhile read over and

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Catie Cavy
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Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:48 pm

Just wanted to add that your piggy may still bond with you once the worst is behind you. The guinea pigs I’ve had to nurse back to health always seemed most comfortable around me. Perhaps from all the handling. Good luck.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:53 pm

Keep flushing that wound. Guinea pig pus is extremely thick and cheesy, and it will require some force to get it out. Also don't let the wound close up. If a scab forms, keep a damp compress on it until it softens enough to pick it off. If it doesn't heal from the inside out, the abscess will remain.


Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:25 pm

Thanks, I've tried but going to hafta take him back to vet tomorrow. The pus is gone and the incision is tightly sealed again. Scrotum is badly swollen and solid to the touch. Gentle pressing yielded no pus and he started struggling very hard. He still seems to be eating some hay - tho' he's still refusing treats - and there are a few fecal pellets in a freshly cleaned cage. Keep 'em crossed.


Post   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:29 pm

What a day. This morning I noticed that there were very few fecal pellets and realized he'd stopped eating. I gave him his meds - under great protest - then watched more YouTubes.

(I did notice that the swelling of his scrotum seems to be down quite a bit)

Young English girl showed how easy it is. Soften/melt the pellets in water, spoon the mash into a medium sized syringe and use that to fill the open ended (with open end cut off) 1ml syringes. Hah. What my medium syringe did was squeeze the water out of the mix and compress the pellet mash into a hard plug that wouldn't move. Tried 2 different types of syringes.

After much fussing and a lot of patience, I managed to fill several open ended 1ml syringes by using my fingertip to pick up a bit and force it into syringe. When I started feeding it to piggy, he fought like crazy and spit the 1st bit out. Haha.....then he got a taste and realized what it was and came after it for more.

Long story short-er, he took it eagerly after that and I got ~3ml into him, then put him back for a rest - for both of us. Now.....cross fingers....he seems to be eating hay on his own. Is this usual ?? Will the taste of the pellets in force feeding stimulate him to eat on his own again, consistently ?? How much does he need to get to function properly ??

Failing that, is there a practical way to fill those 1ml syringes with mash ?? The fingertip method works but is very slow, tedious and messy. Thankfully, it cleans up easily. Thanks all, I've appreciated the responses so far.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:56 pm

Yes. Make the slurry looser. Put the water in, stir well, let it sit for several minutes, add more water. Do this until you've got a pretty loose slurry. Use a large syringe with a big opening to pour the slurry into, then use it to fill the smaller syringes.

I find it much easier to use a 20 cc syringe to feed with, or a pet feeding syringe. Same instructions about the loose slurry apply.

If he's eating nothing else, he needs 100+ cc. of slurry for every kilogram he weighs, divided into 6-8 feedings around the clock. Adjust up or down according to his weight, adjust down if he's eating some on his own.


Post   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:51 pm

Quick observation that I haven't seen mentioned in my browsing: He takes the food from the syringe without much protest at 1st, then starts bucking after ½ - 1 ml. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but my slurry is coming out pretty dry, even when I load the syringe very wet. Looked at him chewing away at it and some dribbling out of his mouth like bread crumbs and thought, "I bet that's pretty dry swallowing."

I put him back in cage and got a couple of syringes of plain water. Gave him ½ml of water and it was like he was revitalized....really slurped it down. At the end of the session I gave him a bit more water and he reached up with his front paws to grip it and clamped down with his teeth. Message was very clear - more, more, so I gave him more and you could literally see the relief. Altogether he took more water than food....eagerly. Good to know.

Just gave him his evening meds and he was outraged. Expected another shot of that good food and got squirted with that awful medication. :-) I'm not real sure he needs more force feeding. He's running around his cage like normal and has been hitting the water tube pretty hard and eating quite a bit of hay. I'll do a pellet count later.

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Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:15 am

You need to be weighing once or twice a day while he is ill. Weighing is a great way to tell if he is getting enough food.

Look over this page too:

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Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:21 am

It sounds like he's eating the pellet slurry, but doesn't like being fed by syringe. I've had good luck with a post-op pig eating critical care/pellet slurry either off a plastic spoon, or out of their pellet dish. I've also used a clean pellet dish upside down so it's more like a raised plate. He got the recovery food he needed without the stress of a force feed.


Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:22 am

When we have to syringe feed, it makes a pretty big mess all over the piggy's mouth, so I think some residue is normal. We usually give small syringes of water every few hours when piggies are sick or have had surgery. Pain meds seem to make ours so stoned they just sort of stare into space and forget to eat or drink... or if they do, not enough. At the vet, they will often rehydrate them, but if yours isn't that bad off, you can just keep doing it yourself every few hours.

You have to be careful, because too much sugar is bad for stomachs, but if they're really fighting the syringe feeding, and they otherwise care for apples, sometimes we will mix in a TINY amount of unsweetened applesauce for taste, which makes it into less of a battle and gets more syringes into the pig before they go into wolverine mode.

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Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:03 pm

Pain meds seem to make ours so stoned they just sort of stare into space and forget to eat or drink
guinealover33, there is some excellent advice on managing pain medications post op if you are ever in that circumstance again. Check this page and also click on the links to Talishan's advice for even more info.

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Post   » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:09 pm

I've never had an issue with choking while giving a pig .8 ml all at once.

I might have missed this, but are you using crushed pellets in his slurry, or Critical Care?

I also agree that the vet should be covering all this free of charge. Post-neuter abscesses are common, and I've never had a vet charge me for follow up visits (wait, I think one did many years ago).

I'm wondering why this abscess developed so quickly. It usually takes longer for enough pus to generate that much. Because it was so large so soon, I wonder if it originally was a hematoma?


Post   » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:29 pm

When we had our male neutered, something like what you describe happened, too, though not as badly infected. Our vet had us try flushing the area for about a week, but offered to go back in to remove the hematoma/abscess that had formed in there if that didn't work. After almost a week of trying to flush, we opted to have him go back in. He did. He removed the problem, stitched Twilight back up, and he healed nicely. And our vet went back in for free.

I'd insist on the vet going back in for free. Your pig is suffering and he doesn't need to be.


Post   » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:17 am

I took him back to vet yesterday and dug my heels in a bit over the charges. She got a little defensive, but agreed to treat at no charge. I hafta be a little careful - she's been very supportive, very pleasant and very helpful, the charges (2) haven't been really excessive - and she's the only game in town. No other vets in this small, rural mountain town treat piggys and the next is in Las Cruces, 120 miles away. Don't want to antagonize her needlessly, she's been pretty pleasant to work with.

She checked him over and told me that he looked better than expected and that progress is being made. She prescribed an ointment for the incision/chew area and gave me a different spectrum antibiotic to add to the mix. Also hafta wash his little butt every day before applying the ointment. His little tail feathers have been gently scrubbed with piggy shampoo twice now - he seems to enjoy that (I know I would) - antibiotics given and ointment applied. Checking him earlier today shows that the swelling seems to have gone down some, so I have high hopes. He's also eating on his own - not as much as I'd like, but there's a fair sprinkling of smaller than usual fecal pellets on the clean fleece. He's still refusing treats, tho', including the orange gel vitamin C, which concerns me. He used to love those above all else. I do believe the pellets have Vitamin C added.

Another word on the water while force feeding. I've been playing with that quite a bit and find that if I give him a small drink to start, he goes after it avidly and accepts the 1st feeding more readily. Give 1/3 of a 1ml syringe of slurry fairly deep in side of mouth, (give him more and he spits it out) let him chew it all up, give another light drink of water, more slurry.....very little mess and he really goes after that water, even tho' he has 2 demand water bottles in his cage. During this process, he'll drink 3 tubes of water to 2 tubes of feed. Medication, I hafta be sneaky but it works. Thanks for the comments....keep 'em coming.

Is there a way to attach photos to these posts ??

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Post   » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:29 am

It can be hard to walk the line between stating your opinion and not aggravating the vet. I think of something like "I know you.....but". And "I'm sure you did not expect these complications ..but" Asking about what caused them. Ideally she would admit that some part of her procedure could have been involved. Not easy. I haven't had to deal with a vet for quite a while.

If you have clear crisp medical photos, you can email them to me.

Did you read over the postop page I posted above? It emphasizes techniques to minimize infections in neuters.

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