in need of a diagnosis

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Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 5:35 pm

Meeko (3 yr old female) has a lump on her belly. We found it after we picked her up from being "piggy-sat" at my father´s during the holidays. The lump is almost the size of a golf ball but more flat. It is on her underbelly by her right hind leg. The hair is now sparse on the lump (probably from being rubbed away by the chips. It doesn´t appear to hurt her if we touch it. We took her to the Vet (one who has a special interest in piggies) and she was X-rayed. The vet ruled out hernia and then inserted a needle in an attempt to drain it if it were filled with infection. Nothing drained. The vet said that it was unlikely that a tumor could have developed so quickly. We play with our piggies everyday and this emerged in less than 2 weeks because we were only away a week during the holidays. The vet put her on Baytril in the event that it could be an infection. It has been 6 days and the lump still isn´t gone. It looks slightly flatter and perhaps slightly smaller in diameter. Meeko hasn´t exhibited any other signs of illness. She runs and plays, eats, naps and has been her usual congenial self. I asked if it could be an ovarian cyst but the vet said that it wasn´t in the correct spot. I wanted to get some feedback from some of you before taking Meeko to the vet again. Quite honestly, I don´t know what to do at this point. I´m hoping someone has seen this problem before and can shed some light on the situation. Thanks!

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Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 5:51 pm

It wasn´t an abscess? Developing that fast, I would have guessed an abscess that would need a small incision, draining and flushing to keep open and clean a couple times a day until healed.


Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 6:05 pm

Guinea pig pus is very thick. I´ve heard it compared to cream cheese. So maybe that´s why nothing came out of the needle.

My guess would be an abcess, too. I really don´t see what else it could be if it formed that fast. I would ask the vet to investigate further. You don´t want it to spread.


Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 6:14 pm

In cases like these, our vet "punches" a bit out for a biopsy to rule out a tumour. Could be the act of collecting a sample for the biopsy will be diagnostic if pus is discovered.

Some tumours are fast growing and sebaceous cysts can turn up quickly too.


Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 6:18 pm

Thank you for your replies! The vet suggested that it might be an abcess. It is a darker reddish pink color than Meeko´s skin and it feels warm to the touch. If it is an abcess, will the Baytril help? If not, I´m assuming that she should go back to the vet and it should be opened? I suppose it´s possible that the lump could have been there longer than a couple of weeks, it´s just that we keep a very close eye on the piggies. We don´t have children, so they are the kids around our house. Any information you could offer about how an abcess should be treated is very welcome. Wouldn´t she be in pain if it were an abcess? Thanks again for your rapid replies.


Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 6:27 pm

There are a lot of threads on abscesses at Cavies Galore. Use the search engine and search in the emergency and medical links forums.

Essentially it must be lanced and drained and flushed several times a day until healed. In some cases a shunt must be used. Encapsulated abscesses can be removed surgically which guarantees they won´t refill.

Antibiotics are advised during this process.


Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 6:30 pm

The usual procedure is to lance the abcess and drain it carefully. Often, a shunt is put in. The wound needs to be flushed several times a day until there is no wound to be flushed anymore. It needs to heal from the inside, so the wound needs to be kept open. Of course, there is also a full course of antibiotics with that.

I know some people who have had success with treating smaller abcesses with just Baytril, but there is always the risk infection will spread. That is very bad news.

Pinta and Imenut4u, among others, have had to deal with many abcesses, so I´m sure they can add something to this.


Post   » Tue Jan 08, 2002 6:31 pm

Sorry, we posted at the same time.

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