Crusty nipples -- whitish deposit

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jan 02, 2002 10:21 pm


I noticed Snowflake (my mounting, aggressive pms pig) had strange looking nipples. Near the base of each nipple there was some whitish caked stuff (and partly up the side of the nipple). I can´t tell if it is an exhudate or a yeast or fungus of some kind. Has anyone run across this?

I cleaned them with some Nizoral shampoo in case it was fungal and the Ketoconazole (active ingredient) does any good. They are not swollen or sore looking, but looked more like there was a deposit of some sort. They seemed dry.

I´m adding a couple pics I took today (one here and one on another post):

Image
Last edited by Lynx on Fri Nov 29, 2002 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
lisam

Post   » Thu Jan 03, 2002 1:36 am


My sister had a pig for awhile that became sick and died (the last vet she saw thought it was bloat, but that it was taken care of and she would recover, but she didn´t)--anyway, this poor girl had that same type of stuff on her nipples. All the vets she saw seemed to think it was unrelated to her problem, and no one offered an explanation.

She was a very small pig even as an adult, and seemed to be sterile--she had been with boars but never conceived.

(Is there a spell check somewhere that I am missing?)
Last edited by lisam on Thu Jan 03, 2002 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jan 03, 2002 8:00 am


No, I don´t have a spell check. At least not right now.

That doesn´t sound very encouraging. I´ll keep my eye on them and see if I can get it cleared up. In the last month or so she has become much more dominant and been mounting her two mates where she had never done so before.

Second pic -- it could possibly be dry skin, not sure yet. I´ll try oiling it again:

Image
Last edited by Lynx on Fri Nov 29, 2002 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

pinta

Post   » Thu Jan 03, 2002 10:55 pm


Nipples can get very dry skin. What you´re seeing could just be skin cells. We´ve had similar sounding stuff on some of our sows´ nipples and been told by the vet it´s just dry skin.

If any fluid was coming out of a non nursing sows´ teat - I´d worry. Also if the teats seem unusually large. They don´t have to appear swollen, infected, or hot, just large. Abnormally large teats can be a sign of pyometra, infection of the lining of the uterus. The hormones get out of whack resulting in larger than normal teats. Checking for size abnormalities in teats is part of our weekly health check.

Perhaps some mineral oil will moisturize them enough for you to discern if there is something to worry about.

Pyometra can be "diagnosed" by ultrasound or palpating the tummy. An infected uterus is much larger than normal and should be easily felt. The only cure I know of for pyometra is spaying. Antibiotics do not travel well to the uterus lining(the gist of what my vet told me).

If she does have pyometra and it isn´t treated it will prove fatal in time.

A vet visit might be a good idea.

Samantha´s teats were twice of the other sows. She was diagnosed with pyometra via ultrasound. Sam had no whitish deposits on her teats.

-----------

Your pig´s unusual sexual activity could also be a sign of hormones out of whack. Yup, seems a vet visit might be a good idea.
Last edited by pinta on Thu Jan 03, 2002 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Fri Jan 04, 2002 11:31 pm


Some of my sows, especially the older ones, seem to routinely get a build-up of dead skin around their nipples. This easily washes off. I wonder if it has anything to do with their ability to groom as they age. Perhaps it is just age itself. They have not ever had discharge or such skin at the tips of the teats, only the sides.


Hmmm. Pinta may be on to something. She just reminded me of more awful options if there´s
discharge from the teats. Cancers cause hormonal changes and unusual/atypical signs of reproduction (in addition to the valid pyometra suggestion). I don´t want to cause more worry, but I would definitely suggest a vet visit. If anything, it would only prove hypochondria (which I definitely have) or perhaps be an early diagnosis of a more serious problem.

Did the discharge/whitish substance return after the bath? Just curious.

User avatar
Teresa

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:10 am


I´ve never seen anyone post about this, but it was very weird.

A rescue pig--don´t know if she was ever pregnant or not had a weird look to her nipple. I actually managed to (very carefully) squeeze out this hard black round thing that looked very like a piggie poo, but wasn´t. I think it must have been a dried coagulation of milk, so I assumed,well she must have had babies before. She was very sensitive there, didn´t particular like me getting it out, but was much relieved when I did.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:28 am


They don´t look infected, it doesn´t look like dried skin and I don´t think it´s a discharge of any kind. I´m going to try to take a pic tomorrow. I thought softening it with the mineral oil might help but whatever is there is still there.

I don´t have much confidence in the few vets who treat cavies around here so I like to get as good an idea of what might be going on before hauling her to see one. I think a couple months ago she had a urinary tract infection -- got a course of baytril and some bactrim and seemed to heal up fine. I think I wrote you about that (this is the same pig). The vet had palpated her and felt nothing. She is not overweight so things are fairly accessible. For what it´s worth, I can´t feel anything lumpy either.

I think her grease gland is working overtime these days too.

If you have any advice for exactly what the vet should be looking for, that would help. I think often they don´t look very hard for things -- perhaps because some owners want simple answers and solutions instead of doing what it takes to find out what is really wrong.
Last edited by Lynx on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:22 pm


P.S. I added a couple pics (worth a thousand words, eh?). Posting to bring this back to the top.

kleenmama
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 5:12 pm


I have never seen anything like this, or have any idea what it could be. Your pics are great though. Just here for moral support...

pinta

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 5:16 pm


Ya know - it looks like a rash to me. I have Atopic Dermatitis. My skin sometimes gets so thin on my fingers, serum oozes thru as a precurser to the skin break. It´s pale and crystally.

How long has this been going on? Any changes to her environment?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 5:46 pm


No changes to the environment I can think of. I did have a brother who as a very young child got rashes when regular clothes cleaning powdered detergent was used and my mother had to use a liquid detergent so it rinced out well (they are bedded on towels). I use hot water and it gets pretty thoroughly dissolved though.

I actually don´t know how long it´s been going on. Often you don´t notice things unless you look or they bite you in the face. She did see a vet who didn´t notice either (and it might not have been there a couple months back).

This is kind of why I would love to have a weekly check list put up in the reference forum for people who would like a few other things to watch. Maybe I´ll start a thread here and people can add things -- I can condense it and put it there later.

pinta

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 5:55 pm


When you remove it - is it red, or inflamed underneath?

And I do wonder if there could be a connection to her grease gland?

Could this be hormonal? Is her grease gland bad when her nipples are bad?

What about culturing it to find out what it is?

User avatar
lisam

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 6:15 pm


Those are the same kind of deposits that were around Bree´s nipples. I doubt it is related to her death, however. But I am wondering if there is some kind of connection to the hormonal thing, however, since Bree was always with boars, and mating did occur, but she never conceived. I wonder if it had something to do with hormones, and this could be a connection to your hormonal pig. Just thinking.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 6:18 pm


I´m just softening it at the moment. I hasn´t been removed yet. I thought it kind of washed off the first time I noticed a couple nights ago but that doesn´t seem to be the case. I think it quite possible her hormones are off but there are no estrogen pills or other regulating things for gps.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Well, good news -- the stuff came off pretty easily with softening, it doesn´t look red underneath. It had seemed fairly well attached before. I will keep an eye on the area and check it tomorrow to see if it indeed is still okay and not reddened. I think it was skin, though it was a strange place to get a build-up. Snowflake is also the only pig I have that also gets spur-like growths on her feet.
Last edited by Lynx on Sat Jan 05, 2002 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

my2piggies

Post   » Sun Jan 06, 2002 10:18 am


I am so glad to find this post. I have recently noticed something very similar on Marcys nipples, except she has dark nipples and the crustiness is also dark. We had to split her up from her cage mate a few months ago because of she was constantly harassing her. Even now she will prowl along the partition rumbling and showing her bits !!. This is an everyday thing not just every two weeks or so. I jokingly said to husband that it seemd like her hormones had gone loopy. There is no discharge or any abnormal lumps (not that I´m any kind of expert though).

Well she is going to hate me now, I´m going to try and get it off. How exactly did you do it Lynx.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Jan 06, 2002 2:29 pm


Do it very gently and soften them well will mineral oil. Maybe even let it sit for a day. Reapply and see if it will come off alright. I am amazed to find another pig with the same things happening. Yes, showing her bits, rumbling and mounting frequently -- not just periodically when one would expect her to be in heat. She never used to do so.

By the way, the deposits in guinea pig ears (the epitheal cells? don´t remember for sure how to spell it) are dark in dark eared piggies and light in light eared pigs. So a dark eared pig may look like it has dirt but it is just sloughing cells (there still may be dirt and wax that should be cleaned off).

Are her nipples somewhat bigger than other female´s nipples? You might not notice anything with the grease gland if she is dark. I think Snowflakes is more active than a typical female´s grease gland.
Last edited by Lynx on Sun Jan 06, 2002 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

my2piggies

Post   » Sun Jan 06, 2002 3:57 pm


Yes her nipples are bigger than the other pig. I have to admit I´m totally ignorant about the grease gland though. Would I be right in assuming it´s located in her nether regions and that´s why she´s always wiping her bum on the floor.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Jan 06, 2002 4:08 pm


I think it´s on her tail bone. Above her bits (somewhere or another). At least that´s where things seemed dirtier and it wasn´t poop.

Maybe we need to come up with a special name for this condition. I used to call her my PMS pig -- might do, refers to hormones. We´ll have to give it a think.

pinta

Post   » Mon Jan 07, 2002 12:21 am


Actually there is a way to deal with out-of-whack hormones. Spaying. If your vet feels excessive hormone activity could lead to health problems down the road, it might be something to consider. I don´t really know if this is an issue. Josephine?

Some people advocate spaying every sow to prevent ovarian tumours and/or cysts. The surgery is invasive and a spay is riskier for pigs than cats and dogs. If your vet is experienced and you are careful with post-op care, most spays are successful.

I have lost pigs to spaying surgeries and I have had successful spays done on 5-year-old sows. Personally I haven´t experienced the huge percentage of cysts that are "supposed" to occur in sows. The rate of cystic ovaries in our herd runs at about 25%. This is about the same rate others with large herds have experienced. Some textbooks report a rate of 79%(I think) but do not make clear whether these are lab animals or companion pets. Numbers can be skewed easily. If the high rate is among companion pets taken to the vet - it´s useless sonce the stats don´t take into account all the sows who have no health problems and NEVER see a vet. If it´s among lab animals - there is a question of genetics. Are the lab animals related? If someone has stats on these "studies" I´d love to see them.

I recently asked my vet if it was worth routinely spaying all sows to avoid problems like Pyometra(sp?). She felt the surgical risks outweighed the potential health benefits and recommended against routine spaying. So we only spay when medically required.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Mon Jan 07, 2002 1:26 am


Spaying (in my opinion) should not be done routinely in cavies. I have had only a couple of sows spayed in the 3-4 year range for medical reasons. They seemed to have better health afterwards and definitely did not go through the "PMS" stuff anymore. There is a risk, of course, and it is major surgery for a spay. I have yet to lose any animal under anesthesia (thank goodness), but I am probably just lucky.

As far as I know, I have had a very low incidence of ovarian cysts (and no confirmed ovarian tumors after biopsies/post mortems). The two sows I have had with ovarian cysts have been a mother and daughter, so genetics is definitely suspect. Two sows out of probably close to 50 in the past 18 years isn´t a bad ratio at all. Never had a pyo sow. The rate of reproductive cancers and tumors in dogs and cats seem much higher than pet cavies. You can bet on intact dogs and cats to develop some sort of malignancy when not altered at an early age. I´m sure lab cavies have higher incidences of ALL disorders in general. The care is much different, exposure to pathogens and artificial environments high, and gene pools are closely related. Let´s not even get into the fact that they are routinely destroyed and necropsied as soon as their purpose has been fulfilled.

I also think that there may be piggy menopause, decreased libido, or something like that later in life. I have had several sows over the age of 5 seem to have decreased/silent or non-existent estrus cycles when they had previously been more obvious.

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