Part 1: Cervical Lymphadenitis
I am not a doctor; only a devoted slave to my pets. This is a report of my memories of Zoe and Iris’ struggles with Cervical Lymphadenitis. This has not been approved for publishing by any of the vets mentioned.
Zoe is a Satin-American tortoiseshell mutt I found at a pet store. She was very small and covered with lice.
At about the age of 1, I began to find blood with her urine. A local vet, under the direction of my present vet, ran her through numerous tests including urinalysis, ultrasound and x-rays. After several tries with antibiotics and no evidence of stones, it was decided that the blood was probably coming from the reproductive tract. The vet, still new to guinea pigs but familiar with rabbits, spayed Zoe for a reduced fee. Zoe has never had any troubles since with blood in the urine.
At about the age of 6, Zoe caught Cervical Lymphadenitis (Strep infection in the lymph glands along the neck. It is also known as “Lumps.” It is very contagious.). Zoe caught it from a rescue pig who I thought I had in strict quarantine. At the end of this rescue pig Iris’ 3 weeks quarantine, I noticed a tiny barbell shaped lump directly under her chin. The local vet took a sample of the goo inside the lump. It was Cervical Lymphadenitis. Because it was cheaper and because I always wanted to meet Dr. Murray, I took her to Monterey for surgery to remove the lumps. Surgery went fine, but as the vet warned me, she isn’t going to want to eat. I syringe fed her for at least a couple of weeks with pellet and water slush with a 35 cc syringe. She would not eat at all on her own. My aim was to get about 1/2 a cup into her a day, though I don’t think I got that much in. She eventually began to eat on her own. She was also on Baytril for a time. When she showed no signs of the disease anymore, we kept her in strict quarantine for another month. She has been healthy since.
I am not sure at what point Zoe could have caught the Cervical Lymphadenitis. For a couple of nights during floor time, I noticed that Zoe was slowing down. Instead of exploring, she was going into a corner and sleeping. My first thought was, “Well, I guess it’s just old age.” I then noticed that during a little chin scratching, she had the same perfectly centered lump that Iris had.
The local vet took a sample of the goo and diagnosed it. This was the same vet who had spayed her, but now, 5 years later, she was much more I experienced. I took Zoe to Dr. Murray though because he was still the expert in these matters. It was decided that at Zoe’s age, she probably wouldn’t survive the kind of surgery that young Iris had. There was some hope that a laser machine that was coming may make surgery less brutal for her, but the laser machine fell through.
Zoe was in quarantine in the bedroom. She lost interest in eating and drinking. I began syringe feeding her just like I had Iris, getting very excited when her poops looked normal instead of tiny and dehydrated. For maybe 3 weeks, she would not eat.
She had also developed 2 abscesses on her jaw. When these were completely flushed 2x a day for couple of weeks, they eventually healed well. One was huge. It exploded all over me one Sunday night when I was up with a terrible cold. A local emergency vet, after some very sincere expressions of amazement for her beauty and age, helped me with the first cleaning out of the gapping hole.
She was put on Baytril; the maximum dosage for 2 pound guinea pig. For several weeks, I gave her injections twice a day. Later we switched to oral Baytril. It was suggested that I look into Cephelexin. My vet said that his experience of that drug with guinea pigs is that mostly it can sometimes cause some pretty nasty stomach pains and death. He wanted to keep her on the Baytril.
It is about 1 1/2 later as of this writing. She had been on Baytril for life, but no one expected her to live to 7 years/ 8 months. Now with her present issues, we are taking her off the Baytril. She shows absolutely no signs of the Cervical Lymphadenitis.