Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:36 pm

Good, because this IS an emergency surgery. Good luck.

I´m not totally convinced you´d still have to wait if you had a cat or a dog. I´m under the impression they are considering pigs second-class pets...
Last edited by Evangeline on Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:12 pm

The first vet she saw used to raise guinea pigs, and he seemed to be attentive. The second one spent all kinds of time with me, so I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt. I guess I´ll find out tomorrow....


Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:21 pm

You still need to make it clear the way they treat this is not acceptable per cavy standards. They need to correct the situation or be prepared to lose you as a client.


Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:15 pm

Our vets will fit us in immediately. I can tell if the problem can wait but they know I know our pigs well enough that when I say I need to get them in right away they fit them in. I have even had a vet arrange to meet me on Xmas day to check a bad eye that was at risk of rupture(he was in the clinic anyway checking a cancer cat).

Anyway, the point is that our vets know delays in treatment are too costly for guinea pigs. Once they cross a certain line, it´s damned hard to bring them back.

We do spend a lot of time waiting for appointments even when we phone first to check for backlogs. But since we know we´ve done our share of "bumping" we accept the waits.....and always make sure we have reading material.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Feb 27, 2002 11:44 am

Some good news. I took her in this morning. The scab was a result of the abscess bursting -not that that is good. The vet cleaned the area and the scab came off allowing the abscess to be cleaned out. Pig has a major hole in the side of her jaw that I need to flush twice daily with Nolvasan.

The other two abscesses, particularly the one under the neck, seem to be somewhat smaller. I´m keeping the appointment for Tuesday when they will lance those two. Now that the large one on the jaw is taken care of, I´m comfortable waiting for the other two since they aren´t getting larger. She will remain on Baytril in the meantime.

I´ll keep a close eye on her in case anything changes.

Thanks everyone!
did the first "flushing" tonight. She didn´t like it too much, but it´s done!
Last edited by Jill on Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:28 pm

Good news ... I think ...

Just make sure it doesn´t scab over completely. The wound needs to stay open to allow it to heal from the inside. If it closes, applying a warm cloth will help you open it up.

User avatar

Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2002 8:35 am

Gee, THAT was fun.

The wound had scabbed over. Soaking finally took it off. Piggie was quite the little trooper. She didn´t like it one bit and fussed and whined and squirmed, but never got mad.

I was instruced to flush twice daily with 6cc of fluid. Do you think if I do three times a day using 40cc that will help keep the wound open any better?


Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2002 8:41 am

I´ve never had to deal with abcesses myself (furiously knocking on wood!), so others can probably give you more accurate advice, but I´d think that yes, the more often you flush, the easier it will be to keep open.

Basically, you need to flush the wound until there is no wound to flush anymore.


Post   » Thu Feb 28, 2002 10:51 pm

Hate to be gross, but sometimes it is easier to try to loosen the scab w/o soaking it. Often they will flake right off vs becoming a goopy mess. If you can get an edge started before soaking it makes it easier to open back up.

Flushing more frequently will help keep the scab from getting so difficult to remove. Did he give you plenty of Nolvasan? If you have enough I´d still flush with the 6cc´s just more frequently.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Mar 06, 2002 12:08 pm

I feel like an idiot.

I just picked Piggie up from the vet. He surgically cleaned out two of the three abscesses. One on the jaw was too small to do anything with. While she was under he more thoroughly cleaned out the large one that had burst. The one under the neck was cleaned out too.

The reason I feel like such an idiot is because I didn´t pin him down on EXACTLY what he would be doing. They were not removed in encapsulated form, nor was a shunt inserted. The incisions are to be warm compressed to open, and I am to flush twice daily (more by my choosing) by inserting the syringe as well as I can.

In addition the vet said Piggie aspirated. I brought this up in another thread - Dobby´s posing re: Hairballs that lent itself the the vomiting issue. From there I mentioned that the vet instructed me not to feed Piggie after 8:00 p.m. and no water after midnight.

Pinta in turn posted that fasting pigs before surgery can be harmful to them because they are herbivores and their systems are intended to continually function. I didn´t even think to question the vet about that.

In the meantime she continues on baytril and has a follow up visit a week from Friday. She did seem kind of glad to see me at the vet´s office - not that I could really tell. Maybe it was more me than her.

You can be sure I´ll post follow-ups if there are any problems.
Last edited by Jill on Wed Mar 06, 2002 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Wed Mar 06, 2002 3:06 pm

The shunt keeps the wound open so it is easier to flush. Sometimes the shunt goes in one side of the abscess location and out the other side. If the wound heals before the infection inside is gone, the abscess will reform.

Did he culture the contents of the abscess? Since there are so many on this one pig I would really recommend it. It´s the only way to guarantee you are using the right med.

If things are improving with the baytril you´re probably fine, but I have more than once had an infection cultured only to find out that the bacteria is resistant to Baytril.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Mar 06, 2002 5:09 pm

He cultured the abscess a while back and nothing showed up. Two of the abscesses diminished in size with the baytril. The other one burst.

I flushed the wound under her neck today. That was tough, even using a towel she was like a slinky. I think I´ll have to hold her and have someone else do the flushing.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Mar 11, 2002 9:27 am

The saga continues. Last night I found yet another abscess behind her left ear near the bald spot. I don´t know when this abscess appeared. She has another appointment this afternoon. Time for a different antibiotic?

I was concerned about whether I was flushing the wound properly so I took her back in Friday afternoon- her surgery was Tuesday morning. The wound is fairly well healed, he has me using hot compresses now. I soaked and opened the incision as well as I could to flush, but I never felt as if I was getting the fluid in far enough. She has scar tissue around the incision, which I can feel, and the vet said to use the hot compresses to help with that.

The abscess on her jaw that had burst is completely healed, and I´m hoping it doesn´t refill.

I feel so bad for her. She has been a sport, but she still isn´t "herself".


Post   » Mon Mar 11, 2002 3:26 pm

It might be worth doing another culture. If they are abscesses something should show up. It doesn´t make sense that there would be no sign of bacteria, unless they are cysts. A lab would also be able to ID a fungus. Our lab had no trouble IDing Lennard´s fungus.

It might be time to put a shunt in. I don´t know why that wasn´t done in the first place. It would have made it much easier to flush.

I would suspect that these abscesses are connected. Not isolated incidents. I don´t know if the bacteria from one abscess is spreading causing new abscesses. I really don´t know enough about the physiology of the head to make an informed comment. But it does seem suspicious.

I would get another culture done and ask them to look for a fungus if they can´t find bacteria. And until the results are in I would be inclined to switch antibiotics on the basis that new abscesses are forming. I would also ask about a shunt and make sure the vet TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY ckeans out the abscess. The abscess might be compartmentalized which will require going in and digging the compartments out.

Usually the only sign of an abscess that has formed behind a "healed" abscess is swelling.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Mar 11, 2002 5:38 pm

I´m afraid everyone will think I have Munchausen Syndrome with this endless saga.

The abscess on the ear had a small scab that I soaked off before we went in. The vet was able to clean out the pus and flush the abscess.

He asked me if she had been near the other pigs. My first response was "no" since I have been housing her separately since all of this started. On second thought I had put her on the floor last Friday while the "meanie" girl was out as well - thinking it would be neutral territory. It was like slow motion, but I still wasn´t quick enough to stop the fur from flying. Maybe the scab was a bite from that encounter.

She has a follow up visit schedule for next week, and she is now on benebac as well.


Post   » Tue Mar 12, 2002 5:58 pm

Hey, Munchausen! How´s Piggie?

User avatar

Post   » Tue Mar 12, 2002 6:22 pm

As Imanut4u said, rather than Munchausen by Proxy I have Munchausen By Piggie syndrome!

She´s hanging in there, but doesn´t like me fussing with the wound above her ear. I soak the wound/lump with a warm compress to remove the scab, but no pus has ever come out. Follow up visit next Monday, yada, yada,yada.

There is an end in sight - isn´t there?

User avatar

Post   » Tue Mar 12, 2002 9:19 pm

I sure hope so. You´re a dedicated slave!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 5:50 pm

My fingers are crossed so hard they are cramping.

It looks like Piggie is finally on the mend, but it hasn´t been without further incident.

Here is the update from my soap opera "Piggie Place"....

In hindsight, I think at least one of the abscesses was from a pig bite. We acquired a third pig about six weeks ago from Imanut4u. I love Simone the new pig, but she just wasn´t getting along with Piggie. Piggie has been housed separately, while Simone and Sissy co-existed in the same cage, but didn´t really get along all that great. Sadly for me, Simone is once again living with Imanut4u.

I put Piggie and Sissy on the floor for a while, then into the cage. They had been dragging their butts and chattering some, but other than that things were fine. Ye gods! Three hours later I hear a commotion and Sissy is chasing Piggie. I picked up a stressed Piggie to look her over.

As I´m scratching around her neck and jaw (something she likes) I see blood on my finger! Sissy opened up the spot on Piggie´s jaw where the big, burst abscess was. It is quite a gash but has stopped bleeding. I flushed it with the Nolvasan and put a divider in their cage.

Follow up visit to the vet today, he says she is doing great. Keep flushing the new wound, keep up with the antibiotics until all wounds are completely healed, and continue probiotic for 5 days longer than the medicine. He said she has done remarkably well considering all she has been through. What a scrappy old bat she is!


Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 6:01 pm

Ha! Thank God you have Sissy to blame, huh? That poor Piggie never seems to see the end of it. I hope everything returns to normal soon.

Post Reply
47 posts