what's the latest about hormone injectons?

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Tracy

Post   » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:53 pm


Hello. It's been a while since I've been active here, and I did browse posts a bit before starting this new thread.

I have a 4.5-yr-old female with ovarian cysts. Zuki has had crusty nipples for a month or two, which I clean periodically in case they're uncomfortable/painful for her. As of last week, she now has hair loss also -- first one side and now spreading underneath (not really on second side of her flank yet). A vet confirmed with ultrasound that both ovaries have cysts. He recommended an implant that's mostly used in ferrets, inserted like a microchip, slow release that suppresses/adjusts hormones for 6-12 months. He also said they could remove just her ovaries with side incisions rather than a full spay (including uterus) from underneath.

After researching the implants, I read they're not effective in piggies (though article was from 2011). And though the partial spay sounds appealing in terms of better recovery, I know females also get uterine problems (and am not convinced he checked her uterus much during ultrasound). Basically I wasn't impressed with the guy despite his 30 years experience with exotics, supposedly. And finding pig-savvy vets in Philly area has been challenging (I've posted elsewhere about that).

I'm leaning toward maybe Lupron or Cystorelin injections, if I can find a vet on board with that. But wondering if there's some even newer treatment since articles I've read seem to go back 5-9 years.

I would opt for surgery if I found someone experienced around here; it's a difficult surgery in piggies, I know. But having "an interest in exotics" and calling a spay "a procedure" ("all our docs can do procedures on guinea pigs") doesn't instill confidence. So far I've visited 3 clinics here and just have not been impressed (or even convinced they're competent). It's too bad the exotics dept at Univ of Penn closed because overall the animal hospital there seems very advanced for other species (plus a top vet school). And I was very lucky to have access to good exotics docs in the Boston area, before moving.

Thanks for any updates about alternatives to spaying. Zukina thanks you, too!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:08 pm


For what it's worth, I am not excited about a partial spay. A full spay would have more benefits and would prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus).

If she was otherwise healthy and you had a skilled vet, I would go with a spay. The injection method should buy you some time. Looks like you have done a lot of research and checking of vets in the area.

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Tracy

Post   » Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:28 pm


Yes, I realize a complete spay is best option. I just don't know someone around here who has done those in piggies... still asking around (and increasing my geographic diameter). I'm sad because now Zuki is sometimes facing a cage corner, which (in other piggies I've had) is not a great sign of well-being.

Thanks if anyone else knows good vets/surgeons around Philly or if there are new non-spay treatments. I'm also pursuing hormone injections (only Lupron or Cystorelin) in case I can find someone willing to do that for Zuki.

skuchi

Post   » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:22 am


We've been through this the past year with one of ours, she's 7 years old though so surgery is out of the question. Our vet gave her Lupron to start with, it worked for the hair loss but took a few shots to show improvement and she was still grumpy. And we had to go in every month for shots to keep up with it, they stung pretty bad (she cried, poor baby). We switched to HCG and she's doing much better. It requires a series of two shots 1 week apart every 3 months for us. Cleared up the grumpiness and hair loss too. Our vet also suggested the implant, but she primarily works with ferrets and said she hasn't done it with many guinea pigs. Also, considering her age it's likely more cost effective to stick with the shots. From what I've read, every pig is a little different. Our vet said there are many types of cysts, some trigger hormonal problems, others don't. There's a little trial and error in figuring out what helps your individual piggy.

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Graid

Post   » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:10 pm


My pig Grenwen was given I think 2 injections of HCG about twice a year, which helped her regrow her fur and her normal guinea pig shape and reduced the symptoms of her ovarian cysts. She still had some discharge at time and her cysts remained large, but ultimately she managed to continue on with them. I definitely would recommend it if you're not going to go for a spay, it really turned Grenwen from a sad half bald animal back to being fully furred and happy.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:11 am


Our Jessie had cyst in her ovaries and was given hormone injections. The medicine was for cattle, not sure of it's name. But it worked a treat. We felt tooth removal surgery was enough for her to cope with.


If you are not comfortable with your vet doing surgery, our Zoe was passing blood, ultrasound showed she had tumours. So I went onto guinea pig forums. One lady recommended her vet in the UK a Dr Anne Taylor. So I spoke to our vet who had never done anything on a guinea pig. So our vet and Dr Taylor discussed ideas, notes, test results were emailed to the UK vet. A plan of action was formed and Zoe had her girlie parts removed and lived for another 2 years.

Hoping you find a way to help Zuki. Maybe someone on here can suggest a good vet and your vet can talk with them. There is also a website just for vets called VIN. Maybe your vet could post on there? Good luck to you both. Keep us posted!

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Tracy

Post   » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:13 pm


Thanks for responses. I don't have a vet here yet. Tried three so far; not comfortable with any of them for surgery, so checking around about hormone injections. We have appt with someone new next week (20 yrs with exotics, I was told), if they will still do non-emergency appointments during COVID. Zuki is about 4.5, so might consider spay if I can find someone knowledgeable and experienced with piggies. Otherwise, only willing to experiment a bit with injections.

JJGiebz
Make Good Choices

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:16 pm


I second the VIN suggestion. My vet in Charlotte used it to consult with others on my pig’s weird issues.

If you do find a vet willing to consult with others I would definitely recommend that vet in Charlotte - Dr. Lauren Powers. She spayed my Peppa via flank incision. It went very well.

Depending on how wide you expand your search, there are a few good vets in Northern Virginia. I know 2.5 hours is a long way, but just wanted to put it out there. Good luck!!

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Tracy

Post   » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:23 pm


JJGiebz, was that a complete spay with flank incisions, or just ovaries?

JJGiebz
Make Good Choices

Post   » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:47 pm


It was a complete spay, and they actually only made an incision on one side.

In Feb 2019 Oxbow and my vet in Charlotte, NC (Dr. Powers) hosted a conference, and a veterinarian from Indiana (Dr. Lennox) who is an expert on the flank spay attended. She offered to walk Dr. Powers through it while she was in town, so my Peppa and another lucky gal named Pepper got a free, less invasive spay. On Pepper they were able to easily get both ovaries and the uterus out via one incision on only one side. On Peppa, they had trouble locating her other ovary. Having already poked around they didn’t want to open the other side and not be able to find it, so they left it.

So technically, she’s 66% spayed :) Though if the ovary had had a cyst, it would have been easy to find. Dr. Powers assured me that if Peppa ever does have an issue with the rogue ovary, she will take care of it. I don’t live down there anymore - but depending on the circumstances I would take Peppa back there if she needed it.

Peppa recovered well - we did the supplemental hand feeding thing for a few days because she’s not overly interested in food even when she feels well - but other than that no issues.

Brist1cm

Post   » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:17 pm


How effective has lupron been? I tried doing research but a lot of articles were out of date.

One of my girls who is 3 had fertagyl injection in November and after 5 months her symptoms are back. So now that I'm in a new state (graduate student... with campus closed I went home) I had to find a new vet and they only had lupron which was like $210(usd) (which was like almost triple the cost of the fertagyl!!!). Since they are only doing curbside appointments due to covid I couldn't talk to him to the extent I would have liked. He suggested that it would only last 1-6 months. But I read there needs to be multiple injections within a few weeks. He never mentioned this....

He was really pushing for surgery, but with her other health issues, age, and my upcoming travel in the next 2 weeks I said no for now. Honestly, I am reluctant for her to ever go under. Plus I wouldn't want him to operate this soon as I don't know him or his office enough to trust my girl to go under.

So since I opted for lupron for now, I would like to know if it seems to be effective? AND should I consider surgery if symptoms return?

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:19 am


I do not know the name Jessie was on. It was a hormone for cattle. She got an injection and another 2 weeks later then again if needed every 6 months from there. You need to find someone you have faith in and can discuss at length. Good luck.

Jessie started about 9 years ago and it was $60.00AUD for the whole bottle that I paid for and $2.00AUD for a nurse to inject her when needed.

skuchi

Post   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:52 pm


Brist1cm,
Our piggie, Bella, was on Lupron for a little less than a year at $70/shot. The vet sees lots of ferrets and apparently that's a common medicine used with them, so that was what she had on hand. It worked ok for Bella. It took a couple of doses for her to get her hair back, and it only worked if we had her reinjected every 3-5 weeks. But I've also read from others on this forum that it lasted quite awhile longer for their pigs. I think, depending on the pig and type of cyst, it can range. We switched Bella about 6 months ago to HCG, the vet has been very open to my questions and suggestions. The shots are less expensive and last much longer for Bella! We do have to do 2 shots 1-2 weeks apart when she has them, but she only needs them about every 3-4 months. They not only helped her regrow her hair but also decreased her grumpiness. She was so grouchy with the Lupron, even after her hair grew back in. I know others have had different results. Maybe start with the least expensive and least intrusive one and see if that works if you decide to not go the surgery route.

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Tracy

Post   » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:39 am


Here are two links about different treatments (with a warning that they include photos some may consider graphic). Unfortunately I cannot seem to find the article I had read about desorelin implants (common for ferrets) not effective for guinea pigs; I'll keep looking.
The last vet I saw (a few weeks ago) is willing to obtain the cattle hormone (Cystorelin) for my Zuki. Since it's a smaller dose than HcG I prefer that, and though a couple of vets here are willing to do Lurpon both said it's very expensive. I'm not yet comfortable with the vets I've met here in Philly about their experience with guinea pig spays, plus the piggies I've had go through surgery had difficult recoveries. So we'll try injections first... even venturing out during COVID. I'm going to contact the vet today about purchasing Cystorelin for us and then schedule.

Thank you for sharing experiences related to non-surgical management of cystic ovaries.

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:52 am


Hoping all goes well for you and Zuki. Keep us posted! If it is the same one Jessie used there will be one dose, then another 2 weeks later. Then that's it for 6 months or more! It worked well on Jessie shrank her cysts right up!

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Tracy

Post   » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:02 am


daisymay, yes, it does sound like the same one. Injections 2 weeks apart, and I think the vet here said may work for 6-9 months, which is great since Zuki is 4.5 yrs old now. If helpful, I'd do it again later.

Here's the article I read about desorelin, the implant used in ferrets that hasn't been successful in piggies (though 2 vets here recommended the implants for Zuki if I didn't want to have her spayed). Article is from 2011, so perhaps there's been more research or usage in guinea pigs, but for now I'm holding off on this option: https://sat.gstsvs.ch/fileadmin/media/pdf/archive/2011/09/SAT153090416.pdf

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Tracy

Post   » Sat May 09, 2020 8:36 am


Small update... Zukina got her first of two Cystorelin injections earlier this week. BUT, I'm not sure it was administered properly. I had to wait outside due to COVID (not a complaint), and when the tech brought Zuki back out I asked if the shot was given in her rear leg; she said behind the shoulder blades. That sounds like a subcue location/technique, yet from what I've read this hormone is given intravenously (in cattle) or intramuscular (cattle and whatever other animals). Does anyone know if the shoulder blade area can also be for IM injections? I sent a follow-up email to the vet but haven't heard back yet. Hope I didn't spend big bucks and he did it wrong!

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daisymay
Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Sat May 09, 2020 9:01 am


Jessie would get hers near the neck on her back between the two front legs. Vet always tried to get a bit of muscle. I have never heard of it being given in hind leg, that does sound painful! Hoping the vet can ease your mind and that Zukina feels better real soon!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat May 09, 2020 1:11 pm


I'll be interested to hear what your vet says. I was only familiar with IM being administered in the thigh region, but for what it's worth I found this reference that states IM injections can also be done in the perilumbar muscles as well:
https://ouv.vt.edu/content/dam/ouv_vt_edu/sops/small-animal- ... jections.pdf

There are two instructional images from that same site that shows the two recommended IM injection areas:

Hind limb:
Image

Perilumbar (which I interpret to be the shoulder region):
Image

User avatar
Tracy

Post   » Sat May 09, 2020 6:47 pm


Sef, thanks. I feel a bit better that maybe he did IM injection (based on your post). I've only known about the thigh location. Still waiting to hear from him.

Zukina is very quiet today and has faced cage corner a couple of times. Also squeaking a bit and hunching up to poop, which is not normal for her. And recently she was picking up a piece of hay over and over... seemed like maybe stress or pain. I hope she's okay and am starting to regret that she's something of an experiment for this vet.

To those who have used the cattle injection, did your piggy act differently the first few days??

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