Luxi's medical thread

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:50 pm

As of now Luxi is about two years old, female Abyssinian. Adopted from Foggy Creek Cavy rescue as an adolescent (I have no real history on her since she was taken in to the rescue by someone who found her abandoned in the woods). She is housed with her lady friend Luna in a two by five grid cage. She eats unlimited timothy hay, 1/8th cup a day of KM's Hayloft timothy pellets, and about a cup and a half a day of fresh organic greens (green leaf, red leaf, escarole, curly endive, butter head lettuce, and sometimes wheat grass in smaller amounts, when it is available).

I was horrified today when I was petting Luxi and felt a hard lump, around her hindquarters. She is acting mostly normal (eating and drinking fine, enjoying being out of the cage); but she can be sensitive right around that area and did not like me messing with it (though she didn't bite too hard or squeal or anything, she did protest by moving around a lot for a few seconds). She hasn't been losing or gaining weight.

Can abscesses ever just be lanced or can a local be used? I really do not like having them put under (I have had to before for other surgeries and even the cavy who turned out to be a heart pig did just fine so I trust my veterinarian, but I just do not like doing it because of the risk).

There are only two local exotics specializing veterianrians within an hour of here (there were three, but one is allergic to guinea pigs or maybe the hay dust, and one moved out of the local area), and the soonest she can be seen is monday and that is by her regular exotics veterinarian.

I am so stressed out right now though, very emotional about this. Luxi is one of my favorite animals that I have; she is just so sweet, affectionate (towards people and her cagemate), outgoing, and energetic.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:22 pm

How do you know it's an abscess? It could be a cyst or a tumor.

As far as I know, encapsulated cysts have to be completely removed or they can regrow. Abscesses can sometimes be lanced, but I think that's more likely when the abscess if small and very localized -- delaying just means it's likely to be larger and deeper. A tumor would have to be removed if malignant or impinging on some area that made it painful or difficult/impossible to move.

I'd ask the vet how best to diagnose it. Maybe he could do a fine needle aspiration, which may tell you exactly what it is, or not. But if it's an abscess, that should be obvious with an FNA.

My $.02, only. Maybe Talishan or STF will see this and weigh in.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:25 pm

It looks and feels the description of an abcess. I just felt it today (it is not terribly large and is easy to miss) and scheduled an appointment for as soon as possible to have it looked at. Unfortunately both veterinarians that see cavies are not available until Monday or Tuesday, so I went with her regular veterinarian who is available on this Monday.

I just meant if it was an abscess could it be lanced.

She is still so young so this is really upsetting and surprising to find.

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Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:48 pm


Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:38 pm

Thank you, Lynx, I just looked over the lumps page.

I suppose I just have to wait and see what the veterinarian says. I am sincerely hoping it is like what Luna had, since she did not need to be put all the way under for that. Either way, Luxi absolutely abhors going to the veterinarian (poor girl wants to hide a good portion of that day once we get home even though they are gentle with her), so this is not going to be fun for either of us.

In the mean time I am just a mess worrying about what it is and what the course of action will be. If it is going to be another estimated five hundred to a thousand dollars I will have to start calling around bigger cities and seeing if they charge less, although last time no one was willing to give me any kind of an estimate even though I am way out of town from them. So that is extremely distressing as well.

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Post   » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:11 am

Abscesses can be lanced and flushed. From what you describe, though, if that's what it is the abscess wall will remain and it will reform.

For what it's worth, again, from what you describe this would be minimally invasive surgery -- that is, the mass (whatever it is, once determined) is fairly superficial. She should not be under long, if you do decide to have it removed, and if it is not yet too large, closure and recovery should be pretty straightforward. About how big is the lump?

$500 (or a little less), yes, including inhalant anaesthesia and postop meds. $1000+ for this type of surgery? Shouldn't be that high.

Let us know what the regular vet says. IMO that's the best vet to be looking at her anyway outside of an emergency.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:49 pm

Thank you for inquiring Talishan. I just hate seeing them go under, because there is always that fear. Even though she is otherwise healthy and I strongly doubt a heart pig (she is my most active and has no signs of heart problems, her heart always sounds good at the veterinary office) I still worry a whole lot.

It is not terribly large, though it is part way under the skin too. I would say not quite as small as a dime but not as large as a quarter either. It is noticeable sized though, if it was really tiny I would not have felt it.

I just pray it is benign. I do not know what I would do if it was not. She is only two years old.

I was not sure, I got quoted a thousand locally for bladder stone removal on very fragile and elderly cavy with bad kidneys.

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Post   » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Shouldn't be anywhere near $1000. See what the vet says. Breathe calmly in the meantime. ;-)

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:07 pm

Thank you Talishan. If it needs antibiotics (infection), should I go for bactrim or baytril? I hate that baytril is hard on the stomach but I know it can be better for certain things.

I am trying my best to keep calm by keeping my mind preoccupied, reading and watching positive things, meditating. I am still a mess though, I am so worried about what this could be. I am hoping since she is so young it cannot or will not be malignant at least. I am dreading another wait as I assume they will need to take a needle aspiration of it to send for analysis.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:30 am

FNA's generally aren't too big of a deal. They use a fine needle, so even though the pig will yell at being stuck, it's not bad. Not like a subcue, or like us having blood drawn.

That's the good news. The bad news is that an FNA only gets cells, not tissue. If the FNA withdraws cheesy muck, then there you are. If the FNA withdraws only cells that really don't tell you anything, then that's not as helpful.

Our vet does a preliminary look-at in the clinic. More often than not, we don't even have to send the results of an FNA out for histo.

AB: has this pig been on ABs before? If yes, and she has had Baytril before and has tolerated it well, then Baytril. If not, then I'd ask to start with Bactrim unless the vet has a good reason not to, and to use Baytril or something else.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:42 pm

It turned out to be what her cage mate Luna has had a couple times, a hair follicle cyst with gunky buildup from the oil in the gland over producing. They will be able to remove it with a local and laser like what they did with Luna's, though this one is smaller than the one Luna had. I decided to pay to have it removed completely because if the pus was just removed it would probably come back because the folicle is still there. They are giving me a topical to keep it from getting infected just like was done with Luna's.

Poor girl has to say there for a bit to wait for surgery and they like to watch them after surgery even if it is just a local anesthetic used. I will be picking her up this afternoon.

Thank you for the antibiotic information. Luxi has never needed to be on antibiotics before.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Poor Luxi is absolutely traumatized, that is not even an exaggeration. She looks like a deer in the head lights and just wants to sit still. I had to syringe feed her critical care (she chewed on her own) because she only ate half the lettuce I left with them (and it was a smaller portion). I had to actually lift her out of the carrier into her cage because she was too scared to move.

I have only had one other guinea pig this terrified to go to the veterinarian. I thought bringing Luna with her (I did not leave Luna there because she has heart issues so I did not want to put added stress on her) to the exam in the carrier would help but it really did not. The carrier is darker inside and there is a towel and hay in there as well. I do not know what else I can do to calm her waiting for and during veterinary exams.

I always feel so horrible whenever I bring her to the vet for anything because she just gets so terrified and will spend half the day in a hide (either the fiddlesticks hide or one of the draped fleece "tunnels") after one.

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Post   » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:47 pm

Poor girl! I hope she gets over her trauma!

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:33 pm

Thank you Lynx. I had so many waterworks because I felt so bad that I opted to have it removed. Technically I could have left it as is, but I was concerned it would just get bigger and bigger or even eventually burst; and I think it was causing her some pain because she would get really upset if you pet her around the area (which was not normal for her). I just want to do what is best for them.

I have had to hand feed and syringe her water. I am also giving her metacam since she seems painful (not moving around a lot, when she stands she shifts to the one side). She is taking this much harder than Luna did. She is finally eating some hay on her own now and has been eager most times for veggies, so that is a good sign.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:00 pm

Luxi was so mad about our last attempt to hand feed her (she actually threw quite a tantrum, struggling and biting and pulling at the towel we had her on), she just went and ate a good deal of hay and had a hefty drink on her own. She has been eating and drinking since we tried to syringe feed her. I hope she continues to do this because I hate trying to force it on her. She was even difficult about her metacam, but we got it in her.

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Post   » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:38 pm

We've had a couple of pigs that the vet actually told us not to bring in unless it was an absolute necessity because it stressed them out so badly. I can relate because I despise doctors and fainted at the doc's when I was a kid (after pitching an enormous fit, clawing on walls etc. before the trip).

You did the right thing in having it removed. If you had not done so, it just would have been that many more vet trips to treat it each time it filled up.

Hopefully she'll calm down soon. Please keep us posted.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:39 pm

Thank you Talishan. I am sorry to hear you have such a phobia, that is really awful.

I really wish this area had an exotics veterinarian that did house calls for this little one. None of them like going, but some take it way worse than others. My vet has been really awesome though; one day she offered to come in on her day off to see one of my critters (long story short I ended up just needing to ask about a medication so I did not drag her in on her day off).

Luxi is feeling a bit better. The area is still tender, and I have to put a topical cream on it to help it heal quicker. She is such a wonderful kiddo; she simply squeaked gently and hid her head when I applied the topical (she clearly did not like it but didn't nip or anything). She is back to squeaking happily when being petted (of course we avoid the surgical side), and she has stood up against the bars demanding veggies a couple of times today.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Poor Luxi! I'm glad to hear that she's feeling better.

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Post   » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:38 pm

Sounds like improvement. Keep us posted.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:55 pm

Luxi has been doing much better these past few days. I have not had to hand feed her since that one day (I suppose she hated it so much she decided to just start eating normally on her own). The small hole that was in the incision site is now healed over, and the scab is smaller now.

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