Violet's medical thread

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:30 pm


So I tried to introduce a new baby pig to my current pair and it freaked one of them out, and she attacked the other one (not the baby) fairly ferociously, like something out of the Lion King. My poor darling Violet now has a possibly nasty bite wound on her face.

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How the wound looked after a little cleanup

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This is where the cuts are

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Bottom view of the bottom cut (top one is obscured by whiskers)

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This is the blood she left on husband's hand when she licked him as he held her, to hopefully give an idea of how much the wound was bleeding.

A couple hours later the bleeding seems to have stopped for the most part. Not entirely sure as she's wiping her face still, but I think it's not bleeding that much more if at all. I took some q-tips and wet them down with water to clean the wound. I'd say I cleaned off two soaked single swabs' worth of blood. After the wound was mostly clean (the squirming), I took another cotton swab and put a very small dollop of neosporin on it. I swabbed the top cut with this, making sure to wipe off the excess with the other end. I did not apply any to the bottom cut given how close it is to her mouth, I figured she'd just end up eating it with her food.

So far she appears to eat and run around normally. The baby has been removed from the cage and is in a side cage by herself for now, I figured I'd maybe wait till Violet heals to try introducing her again. Violet and Adelaide are now behaving normally with each other. Violet doesn't fuss any more than she usually does when I hold her, except that she usually licks and nibbles my hands when I've got her. Now she's only licking, which I'm guessing is her not wanting to open her mouth too wide because of pain?

Anyway, did I do okay? This shouldn't require a vet to look at it unless it gets infected, right? Is there anything more I can/should do to prevent infection, or in general?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:33 pm


I'd watch it very carefully. If you see any signs of infection (redness, swelling, heat, odor, pus, etc), then get to a vet.

How did you go about the introductions? It sounds like you may have just put the baby in the cage, which would be a precipitating factor for the attack. Read http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html before you try it again.

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:52 pm


So I built them a new cage today actually, since they had long outgrown their old one. It is a 2x5 C&C. Before I put them in the new cage I took some of the grids as a wall and put all three pigs on a couch in my house they've never been on (or maybe been on once or twice many months ago), the baby on one side, the big pigs on the other. I let them sniff each other through the bars, which looked okay. Theeeeen the baby slipped right through the grid and ran over to their side of the couch, but that also seemed to go okay.

After I finished building the cage, the baby sitting still in a box off to the side and the two in their old cage, I took a couple of grids as a divider and walled off a 1x2 section on the end of the new cage, wherein I placed the baby. Then I put the two bigger pigs in the big section of the cage. I let them sniff it out, and it seemed all right, so after a while (about an hour?) I removed the divider to see what they would do. Seemed okay, but I had to go to work and didn't trust it so I removed the baby after about half an hour of observing them and put her in the old cage for the time being.

After work (~3 hours, short shift) I came back and did the same thing, divider then no divider (though a bit faster this time). Violet immediately began following the baby around as she had been before, sniffing at her rear etc and that's when Adelaide reeeaaaallly freaked out. She stayed on the opposite side of the cage, and had begun to poof up a bit. Violet and the baby wandered onto Adelaide's side of the cage, and that's when the confrontation between Violet and Adelaide started. They were just head-raising, though they were poofed up so I thought maybe it was just a 'figuring out the new pecking order' thing, and I should let it play out. Then Adelaide pounced on Violet like a cat, and they violently struggled for a few seconds, and Violet ran away and cried in her hidey for a few moments before quieting down and just sitting there. Adelaide got some of her fur out. That's when I removed the baby, and as soon as I did they both calmed down. And so far I haven't tried to reintroduce baby, in (hopefully) a few days when the wound is mostly healed I was thinking I'd do the thorough cage cleaning thing and try again, though probably with more caution this time <.<

A friend visited and she mentioned Adelaide may have been on edge because she's currently in heat (which she is). Could that have something to do with it? She's normally such a chill pig.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:00 am


It might or might not have. But putting a new pig in a place where other pigs have already established themselves is a recipe for disaster.

You should introduce them in a neutral place that no pig has been before. Or if they have, everything should be thoroughly cleaned. Plan to do this when you've got several hours to spend. Put piles of food around the neutral area, but no hiding places.

If they get along ok in the neutral area, then put them in a thoroughly cleaned cage that has nothing in it that smells like any pig. Have multiple hay piles, pellet dishes, water bottles, and food dishes. Don't put in any hideys that have only one door -- you can use upside down shoe boxes that have holes cut in the ends.

I'd wait until the wound has healed before I tried again.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:02 am


Oh! Also follow-up question: tomorrow my normal vet is closed. There is another vet in the area who will treat cavies, but she has pretty low reviews, apparently she and her techs tend to be pretty rough with the animals and there are some reports of them flippantly dismissing some cases which then turned out to be pretty serious. Should she start showing signs of infection tomorrow, would it be more advisable to take her to a vet who is potentially worse, but available, or to wait a day and take her to a more highly-esteemed vet? The other option would be to drive her a couple hours to the emergency animal clinic for about five times the cost, which I'm admittedly not crazy about but if it were necessary, yeah I'd totally do it.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:05 am


Oh, that is what I had intended with the couch they'd never been on, I figured it would be unfamiliar enough to them. Or does it not work since it's still the same house as they've been living in? What do people normally do for a neutral ground?

Also the cage was very clean, since it was freshly built and all of the materials (lining, coroplast, grids) were new. Nothing but the pigs had any pig scent on them.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:05 am


I'd try hard to avoid the vet with low reviews. Cross your fingers that there's no infection.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:13 am


Okay. Thank you for the help!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:31 am


Be very very careful about the neosporin. It is extremely important it does not get ingested because those antibiotics can mess with the gut flora.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:21 am


All right. Hopefully it'll have been okay, she seems all right this morning, normal poops, normal behavior. I'll keep watch. I don't know if it's just my imagination or not but there does seem to be a little bit of swelling on the lower bite mark (her fur is still pretty ruffled around the area and she's got some dried blood in there she hasn't been able to clean off, which is why it's kinda hard to tell). No discernable odor, looks like there's a decent scab on it, I don't see any pus leaking though it does look like there's a couple little hay particles stuck in the scab. The upper wound looks pretty darn clean.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:04 am


Please don't use grids a baby can slip through without babyproofing:

https://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/g532-baby-proofing.html

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:00 pm


Yes, once it happened the first time I made sure to do that! She is now in my pigs' old cage which has solid walls while Violet recovers, so no worries there! Thank you for the advice though, I appreciate it!

(She's got a lot of floof so I'm afraid I completely misjudged her size at first, boy I wasn't expecting her to just slip right through like she did!)

Violet's cut looks about the same today as it did yesterday. Possibly swollen a little bit, but if so not much- I'm guessing that kind of swelling is more likely the result of a bruise at this point, not an infection, correct? Regardless I will continue to keep a close eye on it- I was just wondering if it's not unheard of for infections to set in after a scab has formed?

edit: also the fur is still ruffled, and there's still bits of dried blood in and around her whiskers that I can see when I shine a flashlight on it- is that normal?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:04 pm


Yes, infections can be present even under a scab. Keep a close eye on it, and if it doesn't seem to be going down, or is getting worse, then see your regular vet.

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:19 pm


Okay. How long is too long without going down?

GrannyJu1
Armcavy

Post   » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:34 pm


When I introduced a new pig to my established couple, I built a 2x5 grid cage in my bathroom, lined it with clean fleece over felt, put 3 huge piles of hay down the center and scattered a LOT of leaf lettuce pieces up & down & all around the cage, THEN turned them loose. There was a lot of rear-sniffing between Peek & VeBee. When VeBee (new) got any where near Fuzz (old), Fuzz shrieked & tried to bury herself under hay, or head first in a corner. I sat and watched them for a couple of hours (almost falling out of the chair when dozing off), then moved them into the cleaned permanent cage. I tried to watch (or at least listen closely) for most of the night. All was well, but it took Fuzz days to stop screaming when VeBee got within 10 inches of her. That first night, they may have been too stuffed to really fight. Haha!

This was my 2nd introduction; the first was not good. I re-learned to read and RE-read hints, tips & suggestions on GL and associated links. :o}

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:41 pm


Ditto.

Actually, it's extremely common for an infection to form under a scab. Guinea pigs in the wild are prey animals. Their skin scabs over very, very quickly -- more so than predators' skin -- to enable them to get away from a close encounter with a predator and not bleed very much.

If I were you I'd take her to your regular vet and have her looked over, just from an abundance of caution. Doing that and having her be fine is vastly easier (and cheaper) than having to deal with an abscess once formed.

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Zaphy

Post   » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:22 pm


Here's the site of the wound this morning, so just about a week old. Apologies for the blurry photos... pigs are squirmy. You can kinda see where the fur is still ruffled around the top cut, but it has been getting less ruffled bit by bit. She is still eating and drinking fine, poops are normal, and her weight's remained pretty steady around 830g.

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No odor, no (visible) discharge thus far. I may still take her to the vet just to be sure though, I just looked up photos of abscesses. They scare me.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:49 pm


Hopefully it will heal just fine.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:57 pm


She's a beautiful pig.

A vet visit just to be on the safe side might not be a bad idea. Either way, please keep an eye on it and keep us posted.

Best to her and to you.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:08 pm


Update: I did not end up taking her to the vet, I decided to wait and see if it got any worse, and it's looking pretty darn good so far still! No swelling, the fur's no longer ruffled, she's just got a little scar on the bottom portion. I am still checking it every day and will continue to do so for a while just in case anything's festering and just taking its time, but she's doing very well!

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