I'm very scared about the whole thing, I couldn't bear to lose my little girl.
Talishan - we talked through hormone therapy but given she is only a year old and the stress the behaviour is putting on her heart already we opted for the spay. If she was older I would probably go that route with her being a heart pig but at her age a spay is the better option. I don't want her to have to deal with this forever, not on top of her heart.
I just hope this is the right thing to do... she seems so unhappy right now, I'm just sick with worry.
- You can quote me
For some reason I thought she was older than a year.
To be as comfortable as you can be, run it past the vet again. If you come to the same conclusion you have already reached, then you have done the best you can, and made the best decisions you could.
Our heart pig goes into pulmonary edema if sedated, caused by what our vet calls 'decompensation' (if I'm remembering right). That is, when the pig is normally active, the heart and lungs clear fluid properly. When sedated, the heart and lungs slow and 'decompensate' -- they're not working to clear fluid as well as a normal cardiopulmonary system does under sedation.
Your vet, if good, likely already knows this. Our vet will not sedate our heart pig without Lasix right at hand, as well as pre-sedation administration. "Other" than that (!), she has handled sedation just fine.
- I GAVE, dammit!
I've been lucky, but my vets have also been good.
Surgery is really the best way to handle cysts in a young pig. If your vet is good, I'd trust him on this.
All anesthesia entails a risk - for both animals and humans. But the cysts also represent a risk.
Rosie's spay has been cancelled in favour of hormone treatment. Our new, more experienced vet felt that Rosie was not strong enough to go through a spay. He said that there was probably a greater chance of her not making it than her recovering and so it would be madness not to try the hormone treatment first. Completely the opposite of what our old vets said! But I trust this vet 100% and if he says Rosie isn't strong enough then she won't be getting spayed.
He kept Rosie for a few hours to do a proper examination of her and found no evidence to suggest that hormone treatment was not the way to go. He also found no visible cysts through ultrasound or palpation though he did say her left ovary was slightly enlarged. He is going to instruct our local vets on the hormone treatment.
We'll monitor her and hope that she responds to the treatment but if not then we have no plans to spay her unless scans or behaviour show a deterioration in her health. Even if she has to live by herself, I feel this is better than putting her through a spay she may not survive - especially when she is such a happy piggie when we lift her out and cuddle her.
I'm really relieved to have a vet I trust check her over and tell us what he would advise as the best course of action. I had a really bad feeling about getting her spayed and while that may have been nerves I feel a lot better having brought her home with me today.
- "Live Long and Prosper"
It sounds like you made the right decision for Rosie. I have two (well 3 counting Sundae) pigs who live alone. They seem much happier without another pig bulling them and eating their food. Frosting is older and has teeth problems so lost a lot of weight when she was housed with a younger pig. She has put on weight and no longer hides in the pigaloo. Even though Millie is spayed she doesn’t want a cagemate, either. I have tried several pigs that she didn't like. Now she seems to like having all of the attention and food. I 'm sure Rosie will do just fine and live a long happy life!
Thanks Lynx :) We're prepared to repeat the treatment as necessary, anything to keep her from a spay unless she really really needs it.
I'll update once she's had her first injection which will hopefully be this week.
How many doses should she get? I think I remember good vet saying he recommended 3 doses, and I have it in my head they should be 10 days apart but I'm not sure where I got that information from as I can't find it searching now.
The hormone injections are not a proper fix - does this mean I should schedule regular "top ups" and if so, how often?
If this hormone doesn't work can we then try another and see if she fares better with an alternative?
If there is an expert on the boards with pigs who've had the injections I could e-mail I'd love to know :)