piggy tumor

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:00 am

I just found this forum. One of our guinea pigs just died tonight, so it's a little late for advice. But I'm sad that we didn't notice anything sooner. I know they don't show illness until they're very sick.

She was a female, about 3 1/2 years old. Acted fine up until we found her lethargic and cold tonight. She was fine yesterday, only not as interested in carrots as usual for last few weeks. Otherwise her appetite was normal and activity normal right up through yesterday.

Only the emergencey vet was open since it was 9:30 pm and they don't have an exotic specialist. But she looked like she wouldn't last the night so it was the best we could do. She died while we were there.

The vet said she had a golfball sized tumor in her upper abdomen nearer the front of her body. They were going to give her supportive care until morning when we could take her to a specialist. But the vet seemed to think there was a good chance it was cancer and not good prognosis.

We've had 4 other pigs over the years and another still with us. Two of these pigs lived over 6 years. Has anyone else had experience with this type of symptom?

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:01 am

I'm very sorry that your sweet girl is gone.

Many here have sadly lost guinea pigs to sudden death, and then the necropsy uncovers a tumor. As you mentioned, guinea pigs do hide their symptoms very well.

I've included a few threads that may be helpful, and others will share their stories too.

Peanut is sick
Peanut has surgery for a mammary tumor.

Baby Nellie
Baby Nellie had an inoperable tumor in her lungs.

Meimei's sudden illness was the result of a tumor attached to her spleen.

Ginger - Ovarian Cysts and Mass on Spleen
Interesting discussion about spleen tumors.

My best to you and your family, and your other girl.

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Supporter 2004-2018

Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:10 am

I'm sorry. You did all anyone could for her.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:22 am

Thank you for responding so quickly. I'd gone to bed and just checked this today. Also thanks for finding the appropriate threads - there are so many, it was a bit daunting last night to find something related to what happened to Matilda.

My husband just told me (we're getting ready to bury the little sweetie in my garden with our 4 previous pigs) that the tumor was pecan sized and connected to her lower ribs.

Once again, thanks for the response - it's greatly appreciated.

Obey My Authority

Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:45 am

I am very sorry for you loss, I too lost a precious piggy to tumor, a spleen tumor that was the size of her kidney. She showed no sign, and we assumed the tumor grew at a alarming rate since the ultra sound at her previous wellness check showed no signs of mass or growth.

We didn't find out about tumor until we had a necropsy done on her the next day, the finding took us by surprise.

I am very sorry about Matilda, you did all you could have done for your little girl.
Take care.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:24 pm

Thank you all. Your reassurance and sympathy has helped a lot and I referred this site to my daughter who was sobbing in the exam room right after Matilda died. I think it helps to know others have gone through all this and share your grief. And it helps to hear about other's experiences.

Tildy was a lively pig - a great explorer. The last time we had the girls upstairs for a romp (last week) Tildy was determined to get past my husband who was serving as a blockade to off-limits areas. She just kept trying and sometimes succeded. She had a straw ball with a bell in it and enjoyed pushing it around. Just last week she gave it a shove and popcorned. She was sweet, soft and special.

And now from my kids: She and our other piggy, Celia, were good friends, and they snuggled every night. Matilda's ears stuck out a little more than usual, and they were very flappy! She was just the softest little thing. She liked to run around in circles around her little house, and acted very young up to the end, playing and popcorning and 'sploring. She was dainty little thing, and groomed very daintily with her teeny paws. She was our little princess.


Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:39 pm

Ah, I am so sorry. She sounds very special, and like she had a great life right up to the end.

It's so hard on us when they go suddenly, but, I believe, it is easier for them.

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Post   » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:24 pm

I'm so sorry you lost her.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:40 pm

Any suggestions on how our Celia, who'd been with Tildy for 3 1/2 years, is going to deal with this? Do they notice the loss? And how do they do with with a new cage mate?

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:46 pm

How is Celia doing? Is she eating?

Some guinea pigs do grieve. A grieving pig might benefit from having a new cage mate. Others may enjoy more companionship from their owners.


User avatar

Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:47 pm

Have you read http://www.guinealynx.info/alone.html ?

A rescue would likely help you match up a new buddy for her.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:57 pm

Thanks. We just read the "alone" section. My daughter says she is eating, but she seems more subdued than usual. She doesn't come out to see us as much and she doesn't do her head thing (where she cheerfully tosses her head kind of like a horse). We're thinking about getting her another friend from the rescue we got her from, but it seems they've only got bonded pairs right now. The humane society also has some to offer and we're going to look into it. We are giving her more attention.

Celia is about three and half years old. How old a pig should we get if we get her a new friend? And should we get one sooner rather than later or what?

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Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:24 pm

You have to weigh her daily right now. It is the ONLY way to know for sure she is eating enough. A new pig would be great though. You can go with a young pig of the same sex or an older pig. Just adopt.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:32 pm

We got a new female today, 2 yrs. old. We let them be adjacent for a while without entering each other's space (in a neutral area). Both seemed excited. When we pulled up the partition, the new pig was asserting herself and our pig was trying, but she's just somewhat timid by nature. This went on for a bit, then we put the divider down again. Later we got them out on the floor (a part our original pig hadn't ever spent much time on). They mostly kept their distance with our old pig sort of cowering and chattering, while the other was enthusiastically exploring.
We do have a seperate cage for the new pig for as long as we need it. Just don't know if they'll be able to work it out, or if they do, if our original pig will be happy with such an assertive roommate.

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Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:34 pm

Have you read http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm#Introductions ?

Dividers and separating them frequently often does more harm than good. They usually have to work it out and interfering just means they have to do the dominance dance all over again.

Make sure the cage is big enough and there's at least 2-3 of everything.


Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:18 pm

You might want to try a "buddy bath" to help them bond a little bit. We have three girls together, and while there was a fair amount of chattering, mounting, and noses in the air at first, they get along fine now.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:32 pm

Did you quarantine the new one? Where did you get her?

You should take her for a well-pig visit.

Floor time (neutral territory) is a good place to introduce them. When you put them in one pen, clean thoroughly first so it doesn't smell like one pig or the other.

I'm sorry for your loss. When Max developed a tumor, I was told that with pigs it's 50/50 that it's malignant. Max was on the wrong side of that scale, but Gopher later had a tumor on his back that was benign. Luck of the draw sometimes.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:57 pm

Thanks for all the input. We got from her from the Humane Society and their vet checked her out when they got her. She's been isolated since then. My husband jusst suggested we take her in for a vet visit anyway.

That's interesting about Max's tumor. The vet who saw Tildy (not a guinea pig vet) seemed to think there was a good chance her tumor was malignant.

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Post   » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:51 am

i feel so bad for you

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:28 pm

Update on the new pig, Elle. We gave them a buddy bath and had them out on the floor on towels for quite a while. Our original pig, Celia, ignored Elle and seemed a little tense, but they avoided each other. Tonight we put them both in the well-cleaned coroplast cage. It's big and has two houses, two food bowls and a covered area. I wouldn't say they're friends, and they had a few minor encounters, but mostly they're just staying away from each other and going about their business. Elle seems very excited about her new digs - probably didn't have such a large space before. If there are no major conflicts before my daughter (nightowl) goes to bed, we'll leave them together tonight.

Celia seems more lively than she has been for days. It's certainly distracting her from her loss.

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