Crusty nipples -- whitish deposit

my2piggies

Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 2:35 pm


Sonia, It sounds like you are having exactly the same dilemma as I am. Marcy seems to be perfectly healthy in every other way although the hair loss is getting abit worrying now. She was back at the vets today for her last ivo shot and while she was there she wriggled a bit and another big clump came out. He had another really good feel around today (she was not impressed) and said her ovaries are larger than they should be, but not very large (certainly not as large as lynxs picture).
I want to do the best thing for her but I am also worried about making a seriously wrong decision.
Although it would be wonderful if it calmed her down so we could put her back with her ex-cagemate.
The dilemmas of being a piggie slave

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 3:42 pm


I do think a pig will come through best when they are healthy. You also must have a really good vet who uses good, sterile surgical procedure, is experienced, knows how to use anesthetics properly etc. etc.

I think it is important to look for any other signs there might be something wrong and to get properly diagnosed. Keep in mind that neither the vet nor I felt these cysts. They were not hard. He just figured something was wrong (same as I did with her behavior and all the other little signs) but did not know for sure. How the nipples looked was not brought up. Just the constant behavior -- also, slight weight loss (not much), somewhat pickier eating, and finally bilateral hairloss which only showed up in the last few weeks.

A definitive diagnosis would be helped by an ultrasound. Given the cost and likelihood it was reproductive, the vet decided to just do a spay. I must say, I was a basket case worrying about her -- watching to make sure she was eating okay and not in pain. I do think she is recovering okay though.

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:05 pm


Speaking of misdiagnosis, someone on CM said their vet cited an 85% occurance of cysts in sows and to have her spayed as a preventative. Seemed awfully high to me, but what do you all think?

Evangeline

Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 7:23 pm


Hillyer and Quesenberry suggest it is as high as 76% of the sows who develop ovarian cysts or other reproductive problems. There seem to be other lower numbers from different authors. Pinta and Vicki have had many, many sows over the year and it seems to be quite frequent, but not as much as 76%. They probably could comment.

Today, I lost my sow to surgery complications. The vet went in looking for ovarian cysts, but it turned out to be what looks like a massive tumor in the uterus. I could kick myself for not noticing sooner there was something wrong. Maybe she would have had a chance.

If you ask me, surgery is too risky to use it as a prevention. If it´s not broken, don´t try to fix it. But if you do suspect ovarian cysts, by all means, don´t wait to consult an experience vet. This could make the difference between life and death.

Time and time again, I´ve heard sow owners say how grateful they are for not having to deal with boar "perfume" and impaction. I guess these people have never had to deal with ovarian cysts before.
Last edited by Evangeline on Fri Feb 08, 2002 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 8:48 pm


I am so sorry you lost your sow. I don´t think we are ever ready to have things like this happen. Some things you really don´t know are so serious -- no other symptoms for you --

I think people who have had alot of pigs claim that ovarian cysts are not anywhere near as common as cited. I think Josephine also has commented that a spay as a preventative is still taking a big risk.

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Jill

Post   » Fri Feb 08, 2002 9:07 pm


So sorry to hear about your sow, Evangeline. At least you have the comfort of knowing you had a competent vet, and your girl was lucky to have you for a slave.

pinta

Post   » Sat Feb 09, 2002 4:53 am


Historically, we´ve had 25% - 30 % of t our sows with cysts.

Suspected cysts have not materialized in ultrasounds. One sow with all the signs of cysts was ultrasounded and nothing showed up except for a slight abnormality with the uterus. She goes back for a follow-up ultrasound 2 months after the first one. Another one with all the signs of cysts turned out to have enlarged adrenals - Cushings disease. Comparison pigs have not had cysts show up in ultrasounds

Currently, out of 18 sows, I have 3 with cysts, and one that was spayed because of pyometra.

Historically I have had 5 sows spayed and lost 2. One to adhesions and one on the table during surgery. My vet doesn´t feel benefits to routine spaying outweigh the risks.

Hillyer and Quesenberry suggest it is as high as 76% of the sows who develop ovarian cysts or
other reproductive problems.


Where was the sampling taken from? From lab animals? If so, were they from the same genetic pool? Or are these stats taken from a clientele list of patients who required veterinary care? I would be very interested to know whether or not our herd and other herds with low/moderate rates of cyst occurence are anomalies.

my2piggies

Post   » Sat Feb 09, 2002 5:28 am


I´m so sorry to hear about your sow Evangeline.


Time and time again, I´ve heard sow owners say how grateful they are for not having to deal with boar "perfume" and impaction. I guess these people have never had to deal with ovarian cysts before.


Right now I would happily clean out several boars bottoms in exchange for my sow having no problems.
Last edited by my2piggies on Sat Feb 09, 2002 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Evangeline

Post   » Sat Feb 09, 2002 3:20 pm


Pinta-
Exactly my point. 76% sounds unrealistic and I´d love to hear the conditions in which those numbers were established. I´d go for a much more conservative percentage. I trust your experience more than experiments done on lab cavies.

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Sonia

Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 8:52 am


It is such a dilemma. I, obviously, don´t want to spay unecessarily(sp?) and ´ if ´ anything did happen whilst she was on the table, then I´d be forever saying " What if I´d left her, she could have had another year of happy Romaine filled living ". On the other side, there is the " What if she has cysts and is showing the signs through hr obscure behaviour. She has checked out fine, health wise, but you have said that the cysts were not felt, and you are far more experienced than I am. Her behaviour is strange, and she mounts the others, not to mention fights with them, and she does lose and put on weight more easily than the others.

So, I guess the only thing I can do is ring the Cambridge Cavy Trust, tomorrow morning, and find out how many spays they do, and have done, on guinea pigs and what the survival rate is. Gosh, that will be awful to ask. It makes me shudder. But how do I know, just how many spayed piggies is experience ? Silly I know, but I am so very worried, and whatever decision I make, if the results are negative, I´m going to have to live with, for the rest of my life.

What other questions should I ask, that will allow me to make an informed decision?
Any little bit of information will be helpful. I have so little trust for vets, even the Cambridge Cavy Trust, though I´ve never had bad experiences with them. In the Uk, it seems like very few people are knowledgeable on Cavies, and that it is hard to know what to do for the best. I tried to call Peter Gurney, as he is close friends with Vedra who runs the Trust, but he is terribly ill, and I´ve not heard from him for months and months on end now, and he never returns any calls or replies to letters.

Like My2Piggies said " Oh, the dilemmas of being a piggie Slave !!!

Peace, Love, and Happiness, Always
Sonia

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lisam

Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 9:44 am


With my Amidala, there were obvious signs that something was not right. The enlarged nipples, the behavior, the gradual weight loss. The vet said that it definitely was something hormonal, and even though he warned me of the dangers of a spay (which I already knew), he felt that she had pyometra, which is not curable except by spaying.

So I figured that her life was not wonderful, with the constant hormone surges and weight loss, and that soon she would not be in any condition to undergo surgery. And by paplating, the vet did think something felt not quite right.

I turns out her uterus showed the beginning signs of pyometra and both of her ovaries had huge cysts (although not as big as Lynx´s sow´s).

I think that all the options must be weighed carefully. What is her quality of life? What will it be if what she has goes untreated? Are there other treatments available, or is spaying the only one? I knew that Amidala would die if she didn´t get the surgery.

Perhaps our other Brit friends know of a vet who has done successful spays?

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 10:52 am


Yes, it is a risky surgery. I think any surgery is. I still don´t know if Snowflake is completely out of the woods yet. Not only do they have to make it out of surgery, they have to heal. I think this is all tough for them. Many of the same concerns you have I had too, Sonia. And even if you find an experienced vet, things can go wrong.

pinta

Post   » Sun Feb 10, 2002 7:44 pm


Evangeline, I don´t know that my numbers can be trusted either. Statistically my experiences are a very small blip. I do know I´ve had several older sows ultrasounded and there´s been no sign of cysts. If the 76% number applied I should have seen cysts in 3 out of 4 pigs.

Hillyer and Quesenberry suggest it is as high as 76% of the sows who develop ovarian cysts or other
reproductive problems.


It sounds like there is data somewhere and this is just a general summary. It would be interesting to know all the details and how the figures were arrived at. Could be cysts are at 30% and reproductive problems include pregnancy complications as well as cancers and infections are at 46%. Urinary tract infections might even be thrown into the mix.

And keep in mind some sows can live with cysts just fine and in the end die from something completely unrelated.

One of our sows with cysts has a bad heart(is on daily Lasix and fortekor) and is hyperthyroid too. Not a good surgical candidate. HCG injections have worked very well to reduce the size of her cysts. We would only risk surgery if she had a life threatening condition like pyometra or a tumour.

Another sow with cysts responded well to a second round of HCG. Her sister had pyometra(no cysts seen in ultrasound) and died on the table. The vet is very leery of doing any surgery on Abigail in case there is there is an underlying genetic problem. There were no signs that Samantha was not a good surgical candidate but she went into cardiac arrest within 10 seconds of the start of surgery.

Peony is the third sow with cysts. She is also our lumpy pig. She is covered with benign lumps(sebaceous cysts). The vet feels she is not a good surgical candidate either. She responded well to the HCG.

my2piggies

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:16 pm


If the HCG reduces the size of the cysts, I would be interested to know if it reduces the PMSy behaviour

pinta

Post   » Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:59 pm


Can´t say I´ve noticed. But with a lot of pigs there is more freedom as to who to bug so nothing really stands out like it would with just 2 or 3 pigs.

my2piggies

Post   » Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:50 am


Sonia, did you ring the CCT, how did you get on

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:59 am


By the way. The pmsy behavior is not entirely gone in Snowflake. She has not become a kinder, gentler creature -- but still rumbles and stalks around the other two. I thought she had quit spreading her bits but she did again. The other two pigs don´t seem to be whimpering quite as much and I think it is somewhat toned down, but the behavior still seems to be there.

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lisam

Post   » Sun Feb 17, 2002 12:16 pm


Perhaps it is one of those things where the hormones are still in her body? Like when I have a colt gelded (castrated) he still acts studdish for awhile afterwards. I think maybe some of it is learned behavior, too.

Amidala is still the dominant pig, but she no longer mounts everyone.

She also had quite a bit of hair loss following the surgery (she had none before). I just assumed she had a case of mites that suddenly flared because of the stress of the surgery, but I wonder if it could have been hormone related.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Feb 17, 2002 12:31 pm


I haven´t noticed any marked hairloss in Snowflake. I´ll be interested in what she is like in a couple of months.

By the way, did your vet feel surgery was the most appropriate thing to do for Amidala? I have since heard people say that ovarian cysts are not really life threatening, even if they burst. They can press on other organs if they get very large and that drug therapy can help in most cases (sometimes just a couple treatments). I guess it seemed like the thing to do for Snowflake and I´m glad she is fine but it was harrowing.

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lisam

Post   » Mon Feb 18, 2002 3:58 pm


My vet originally did not suspect a problem with ovaries, he thought she had pyometra which is not curable except by spaying. It was a surprise to him to find the huge ovaries. She did also have pyometra.
Last edited by lisam on Mon Feb 18, 2002 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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