I'm reaching out to ANYONE with experience in treating abscesses. My wife and I adopted a 2 month old guinea pig, Tarly (he was put out with the garbage by his previous owners when we found him and took him in). We already have a 5 yr old female pig, Boom Boom, so we have experience in looking after/caring for pigs. When we found Tarly, he was in good health, no issues what so ever. We've also been keeping Boom Boom and Tarly separate on the account that Boom Boom is female and Tarly is male. My wife and I went on a week long vacation, while my mother in law was caring for the pigs. We got a message from my mother in law that Tarly's left hind leg was swelling and he was favouring it, not putting any weight on when he walks. By the time we got back, Tarly's leg had swelled up considerably. It's hard to the touch and when we apply pressure, he wheeks. I have photos but I'm not sure why I can't post the photos to this thread. Anyone that can advise how I can do this, please let me know and I will post.
We immediately took him to the vet for medical attention. It's important to note that we live in Shenzhen, China. Besides dogs and cats, vets here don't have much experience treating exotic pets. We took x-rays, no broken bones causing infection as initially thought (I also have photos but not sure how to post to the thread). The vet lanced Tarly's affected outer thigh area and a sh*t load of pus oozed out. The vet continued to squeeze the pus out and flush. Since then his inner thigh is still very swollen, also hard to the touch. He used a needle to "pop" the abscess on Tarly's inner thigh, but only some blood came out (from the swelling, I do think that there's more pus that could be flushed, but that's just my guess). The vet chose not to proceed with lancing for fear of further complications. I don't see any vital organs that could be impacted (again, not a vet, just based on what I can see from the x-rays).
Tarly's been home for 2 days now, we've been flushing and draining Tarly's outer thigh. Have literally watched every abscess flushing video on YouTube and read all kinds of articles and forums on related subject matter. We've been using saline and a diluted Betadine solution to wash and disinfect. There doesn't seem to be much pus left. We also ordered Bactrim, just waiting for it to arrive so we can give to Tarly. We figured out the dosage using the calculator on this site. His appetite has been unaffected as he's been eating his food as usual. We are really desperate. I want to cure Tarly and I obviously don't have the experience to treat him myself (nor does the vet). I don't want to put him down or amputate his leg. Again, we are hard pressed in finding a qualified vet that can treat guinea pigs. We don't know what else to do so I'd appreciate ANY advice anyone can offer. Again, I have pictures I can share if requested. Thanks in advance for your help.
Is the area you are flushing, currently the only problem area? I suggest warm sterile saline instead of the diluted betadine solution. Bactrim may help but there are likely other antibiotics that would be more effective. You can send me clear crisp photos to put up. Include your board name and a link to this thread.
I imagine it is possible the infection might be spreading or that the infection on the one side is affecting more than just the localized area.I just checked Tarly again and he's now starting to favour his left front paw too :( He's not putting any weight on it. He's favouring his whole left side. Could it be that the infection is spreading through from his hind leg to his front paw?
Are these pictures after the abscess was burst and flushed?
Here are your pictures. They were large. I cropped a closeup of the swollen area on the xray.
However he is young, and that abscess looks very close to the stifle joint. Did the doctor determine if the abscess communicated with the joint or not? It is difficult to tell with the radiograph. And septic arthritis can affect multiple joints in different limbs at the same time, which might explain the additional front limb lameness. Does he have a fever? I would expect him to feel punky at this point if he had a septic joint though.
Vet wasn't able to confirm anything from the x-ray. Again, vets here have next to 0 knowledge or expertise treating guinea pigs. I didn't know septic arthritis could spread to other joints. From what I can tell, the abscess is pretty much on Tarly's upper leg (thigh) region on both outer and inner sides. I can send you the full uncropped images directly to you if that's OK. His appetite is still very good. We're still waiting for the Bactrim. Will the prescribed dosage be enough to stop the infection? Is there anything we can give him (food wise) that will help his condition? I read on other forums to wrap him in a warm towel to make him more comfortable. It's just heartbreaking to see him like this. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.
1.) A wound, such as a laceration or puncture, that communicates with a joint and introduces bacteria into the joint directly (this is typically isolated to the joint that has been affected by the wound).
Or 2.) There is already bacteria in the blood stream for some reason, and the infection takes up shop within 1 or more joints. This can be seen in young animals especially because they are growing and have a lot of vasculature in their joints/growth plates.
I have never seen this in a guinea pig, but it does happen in humans (adult and infant), dogs, foals, calves (especially if they still have an umbilical stump where the bacteria can enter) etc. So I can't imagine that it's impossible for it to occur in a guinea pig, though I know he is two months old. The fact that he is experiencing a front limb lameness now just made me think of it. Is the LF hot or swollen? A joint infection is catastrophic and requires very aggressive treatment and I would expect him to be febrile. Some guinea pigs have surprised me with how stoic they can be. Even if the vet is not experienced with guinea pigs, he/she should be able to squirt some dye into the abscess and take another radiograph to see where the abscess ends and where the joint begins. Ideally the open wound would be probed and a radiograph taken with the probe to give reference, but if they are too inexperienced to anesthetize him, that could open a whole new can of worms. It is still totally possible that the front limb is just sore as I mentioned above.
I would be weighing him daily and taking his temperature every morning and evening.