Buster's Thread (need opinions)

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Post   » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:51 pm

Hey everyone! I am going to do my best to keep this as short as possible while including everything that I think may be medically important (if that is possible!) I would love to hear any opinions/feedback/thoughts you may have! Thank you!

I have 2 boars, Buster and Poppins, who are bonded but don't live together. They live in separate cages that are pushed together so they can see, talk, and lay next to each other. Buster is 3 y/o, almost 4, and Poppins is 1 y/o. I have not had Buster his whole life, I adopted him from a shelter over a year ago. Most of this is about Buster but I felt it was important to mention I have another guinea pig in the house.

Buster has had 2 major problems lately: impaction and a lump on his throat.

I took extensive notes that the vet didn't even want to look at. This made me feel like she didn't care or think I had any useful information for her. Here is Buster's history in the past month.

-Jan 4: stopped eating everything except veggies; not acting like himself
-Jan 5: stopped eating and drinking altogether; not pooping
-Jan 6: wouldn't come out of house, couldn't move at all; I noticed he was very impacted and immediately followed the procedures to "clean him out", i.e. flushed with warm water to loosen poop and used q-tips with mineral oil as lube to clean out anal sac. I noticed his cheek was swollen and thought maybe he chipped a tooth and that could have led to him not eating and becoming impacted. He eventually ate a small piece of green pepper and started accepting water when I brought him the bottle. He spent most of the day on my lap without moving.
-Jan 6-8: hand-fed veggies and water; he ate a little bit of hay when offered. I massaged his belly after every meal and he started pooping tiny poops. He stayed in my lap most of those days and still wouldn't move much. (he loved laying on the hot-water bottle)
-Jan 9: started moving around, eating hay and drinking on his own, would only eat 1/4 of pellets offered, poop still small and not enough
-Jan 10: back to normal self; moving around, eating pellets, normal poop in normal amounts
-Jan 15: noticed firm lump on neck

-took Buster to the vet to get the lump biopsied

Now I am waiting for the results, which I should get Monday. My worry is that the lump could be CL. I tried to tell the vet my worry about cervical lymphadenitis was because I had noticed his cheek was swollen a few weeks earlier and that may have been the injury that caused the CL (if that's what it is). She thinks it is probably a tumor but of course I wanted to send off the sample because it could be an encapsulated cyst. She said we could just try antibiotics if I wanted but I didn't want to put him through anything else since he has been through alot lately.

*She is NOT my usual vet. Even though she works with exotics she admitted that she hasn't since many guinea pigs. Maybe 2 a year.

Does anyone else feel that the vet doesn't listen? They didn't want to know the medical history that we are literally taught to ask the client for. I'm very worried. What will I do if it comes back as cancerous? If it's benign I will leave it, since it doesn't seem to bother him or get in his way. I don't feel like a veterinary student right now, just a regular mom freaking out!

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Post   » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:58 pm

You sound like you know what you are doing. I hope it isn't cervical lymphadenitis but that does sound the most likely. An infection could make him feel poorly.

I do not recall boar owners whose pigs have impaction going off their food, etc.
Was the lump tender? Was there any redness or indication for you that it was an infection?

Hopefully some members who have had impacted boars can add their experiences.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:26 pm

I also doubt that impaction could make him go off his food, but like Lynx, I haven't had boars.

I'd find a vet that sees a lot of guinea pigs, if possible.


Post   » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:02 pm

Thank you both! This really does make me feel better about getting the needle aspiration done. You can't be too careful with infections like CL (if that's what it is). My family doesn't understand but I think I did the right thing.

The lump isn't tender or red or anything. it doesn't seem to bother him very much. And the impaction thing, I didn't think it would cause him to stop eating either, which is why I'm afraid it was an infection that was hurting him and maybe now has walled itself off so he feels better. I don't know. He still doesn't want to run during floor time. It's not like he ever really loves running (he's pretty lazy) but I can usually coax him into doing a few laps around the "obstacle course."

Usually I see the same vet that I've gone to for 15 years. He has 30 years of experience with exotics and performed surgeries and treatments on many of my rodents over the years. Unfortunately, he was out with the flu so we had to see another vet at the office who was supposed to specialize in exotics. I knew it wasn't good when she couldn't use the speculum to look at his back teeth. It was upside down!

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Post   » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:38 pm

We had an elderly boar who would lose his appetite and slow down when he became impacted--especially when things were really backed-up. It's possible that your guy has a combination of things affecting his appetite, including the impaction. Did this vet rule out dental issues? You said she wasn't sure how to use a speculum. Are you noticing any odor in his mouth? Any drooling?

Either way, I certainly agree that the lump should be evaluated.


Post   » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:35 pm

Thank you all!

I did get the results back today and he definitely has cancer. At least he is acting normal and doesn't seem to be in any pain.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:28 pm

I'm so sorry.

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Post   » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:14 pm

I am sorry to hear this news.

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