Abscess

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:39 pm


I am being initiated into the world of guinea pigs and vet visits.
Unfortunately, due to pneumonia, we had to have our Zelda put down in August. Admittedly, I was not very knowledgeable about illnesses and found this board after she was gone. Poor little girl was too sick to help.

3 1/2 year old sow, Piggie, has been acting "off" lately. Mostly lethargic, but her little squeak sounded somewhat distressed as well. I thought some of the lethargy might be due to an introduction that hasn´t been going too well. Took her to the vet, who found a lump on her neck and one on the side of her jaw. Hadn´t heard her make those noises before!

He put her under today to take a sample of the abscesses, we should have results in a day or two. In the meantime, she is on Baytril .3cc two times/day. I´ll be giving her yogurt as well, and keeping a close eye on her to monitor eating and look our for diahrrea. She has been separated from the other two girls in case it is something contagious.

The vet is hoping the Baytril will take care of the abscesses, but has cautioned that surgery may be necessary. I have seen some posts about removing the encapsulated abscess as opposed to draining and cleaning with a shunt.
I hope everything goes well for her.

-----
edit: she is on Bactrim (tmp-smz), not Baytril
Last edited by Jill on Wed Feb 13, 2002 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:50 pm


Good luck. I know, it is hard when you have an ill pig. I think sharing experiences makes people realize that many things are treatable -- and encourages owners to keep track of their pets and realize when they need help.

From what little I know, it seems unlikely the baytril will clear it up. If it gets too large or bursts (depending on what the infection is), it can be dangerous. I´m really glad you noticed. I think it´s important to try to handle pigs on a daily basis and observe them to see if something is off.


User avatar
Jill

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2002 7:18 am


Lynx, I posted incorrectly and have made a note on the original. She is on Bactrim, not Baytril.

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2002 10:28 am


double post
Last edited by kleenmama on Wed Feb 13, 2002 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2002 10:28 am


I hope the bactrim works for you. We have dealt with three abscesses. One was surgically cleaned out and 2 others were cured with baytril. But I think we just got very lucky.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Wed Feb 13, 2002 9:50 pm


Maybe it´s my imagination, but the abscess seems to be getting smaller with the Bactrim. I´m keeping my fingers crossed.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:34 pm


Oy vey.

The abscess on her neck (under the chin) is smaller, the one on the side of her jaw (toward the front) is larger, and there is yet another abscess on the opposite jaw.
She perked right up after starting the Bactrim and seems to be her old self again.

The vet has changed her medication to .5cc baytril for 5 days, and is recommending surgery after the 5 days. Removing three abscesses seems like it would be really rough on the poor little girl. She is 3 1/2 years old.

The culture of the aspirate didn´t indicate anything. The vet said there is the possibility of it being a fungus, or that the bacteria was concentrated around the "sac" of the abscess and as such wasn´t in the sample taken. I did see Pinta´s post about Lennard and his fungal infection.

A second (and less desirable, in his opinion) option he mentioned was to keep her on a long term antibiotics, but that most likely the bacteria would eventually spread to her kidneys and other organs. He has had some success (two years) with rabbits using this method.

Does anyone have experience with removal of multiple abscesses during one surgery? The post-operative pain (?) medication to be used is butophinol.

Thanks.
Jill

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:59 pm


You might also ask him if you can get some rimidyl to use at home. I think it is 1mg/kg and what you can do is chop a 25mg pill in half, crush the half and mix with 6cc water. 0.5 cc of this mix gives you about 1mg rimidyl. I would just use it if there are signs of pain.

Sorry I have no other advice for you. Did your vet say anything about it being cervical lymphadenitis? Supposedly streptobacillus moniliformis is responsible for it. Transmission through cuts, breathing in the organism or through the genitalia. Most frequently it enters the animal through "small abrasions in the oral cavity" (Harkness and Wagner). The agent ends up in the lymphatics and in the cervical lymph nodes where it spreads and you can end up with abscesses. Do any of your other pigs have lumps? It is pretty contageous.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:06 pm


Thanks Lynx, I´ll look into that. I´ve checked the other pigs (as well as I´m able) and don´t find any lumps. Piggie has been in a separate cage for over a week, but they are in the same room. I´m not enjoying this, and I´m quite certain the husband will be less than thrilled at the prospect of up to $200 for surgery.

pinta

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:35 pm


Rather than removal of the abscess on the jaw, has the vet considered opening them and cleaning them out? It sounds suspiciously like the first abcsess has burst and expanded to the other side of the jaw(the infection has travelled). If this is the case, it´s no longer encapsulated. Not sure how close the abscesses are but the vet would know if this was possible.

Has the vet also ruled out any tooth problems? Like a tooth abscess?

I would be really leery of waiting 5 days especially when one abscess is larger. Perhaps the jaw can be dealt with first and the chin later, after 5 more days on Baytril.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 5:40 pm


Actually, he did say he would clean them out and put in a shunt. I was thinking cleaning and removing were pretty much one in the same.

In his opinion, the teeth looked good but that wouldn´t rule out an abscess, would it?

The lumps are on either side of the lower jaw toward the front, right about where our eye teeth are. If the first abscess burst, would it still be a "lump", or does the infection just ooze out a bit at a time? (I´m picturing it bursting like a balloon.) If it did burst it seems logical that she would be feeling punky again, and she has been acting like her usual self.

Unfortunately, she saw a different vet than the first visit. Just one more thing to ask about the next time this might happen. I have her scheduled for surgery with the original.

I´m sorry to be such a nuisance, I´m just thinking out loud to myself here too. I was hoping I would never have to learn about all this.

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

Evangeline

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 6:19 pm


Damn! He should have lanced it when he first saw it. I´m very concerned that the infection has traveled to the other side. I also agree with Pinta that waiting 5 days sounds scary. What, exactly, is he waiting for?

Best of luck and keep us posted.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 7:22 pm


I thought, depending on what bacteria it was, that bursting was very dangerous -- that the bacteria spread throughout the body. Do I have this wrong?

pinta

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 7:37 pm


I don´t think so. The infection spreads. which is why I´d be leery of waiting 5 days. The pus is cheesy so it doesn´t "burst" like a balloon but as the abscess swells, I believe the pressure will force the pus out to new areas. Many abscesses are interconnected compartments which makes it really difficult to get rid of them. Imagine a network of compartments and each one needs to be cleaned out.

Pretty sure this is how it works.

The last thing you want is for the infection to go systemic, resulting in septicemia.

He may be able to see problems with the teeth in an xray. If the root of the problem is the teeth it must be addressed.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Fri Feb 22, 2002 9:11 pm


Thanks for your help everyone. I´m going to try to schedule the surgery sooner. I think I may go with the first available vet for that.

The jaw abscesses are on the upper jaw, not the lower.

Hopefully I won´t be making any emergency postings over the weekend.
-------------
She seems to be doing fine this morning. I don´t feel any changes in the abscesses. I called to inquire about scheduling the surgery sooner, but the date I already had (March 5) is the first available opening. Da*n. I did ask to be put on a cancellation list in case something would open up that way.

In the meantime I have upped her vitamin C, giving her 1/4 of a 250mg tablet. She is also getting the usual hay, pellets, and fresh veggies. She hates the yogurt, but I can slip some inbetween the folds of her romaine. The clinic mixed the baytril with strawberry margarita mix, but no rum!

Any other suggestions (short of pulling a John Q at the vet clinic) are very welcome.
Thanks!
Last edited by Jill on Sat Feb 23, 2002 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

imanut4u

Post   » Sat Feb 23, 2002 10:59 pm


Probably tastes much better than the straight baytril I´ve dosed with before.

So head on, she looks like a chipmunk with a large adams apple?

I emailed you back, didn´t realize things were so spread out until I read this thread. I agree with getting them lanced. Shouldn´t be too bad at all. Removing would be pretty invasive, due to multiple locations. Good luck, and let me know.

---------------
"She hates the yogurt" Maybe try acidophilus powder instead? I imagine the vet will keep her on antibiotics after surgery. If you wet down romaine you can sprinkle the powder on it. No problem with powder for my pigs, but a few like yogurt too. 1/4 capsule hour or so after AB is how I use the powder.
Last edited by imanut4u on Sat Feb 23, 2002 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:45 am


The saga continues. The larger abscess on the jaw is now partially scabbed over. I´m wondering if she irritated it on some hay, or if it burst.

In the meantime she is still on Baytril. I have another vet appointment for tomorrow morning, but they still don´t have any surgical openings until one week from today.

Argh.

Evangeline

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 6:07 pm


Jill-
You know I call it like I see it. And this is how I see it. That vet is an idiot!

Any vet who knows about pigs knows you have an extremely small window of time to react when something is wrong. If they don´t understand everything about pigs is an emergency, I seriously think you need to start looking for someone else.

User avatar
Jill

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 6:15 pm


Thanks, E. I may have to go against my grain tomorrow and get pushy. They must have some time available for emergency surgeries - not everything can be scheduled.

This is the only clinic in town that treats pigs. Depending on the outcome tomorrow, I may end up looking out of town.

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