Very deep facial abscess. Need advice.

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Sunnysuni

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:51 pm


Hi everyone.

In July of this year I noticed my piggie, Fudge, was not behaving like her usual self. She was eating a lot slower (and sometimes it seemed to be too much of an effort so she would just give up), and when eating, she would sit puffed up and hunched over. I also noticed a lump on the right side of her jaw. I took her to the vet and she said Fudge has an abscess. She had surgery to open it and everything went fine. The hole was easy to clean with saline and a cotton pad as it was small.

She started to improve for a while, then started losing weight and puffing up/hunching over again 2 months after her surgery. So I decided to take her to a different vet who is more knowledgeable with guinea pigs.

The new vet I took her to did surgery and made a new incision on her cheek (to help the abscess drain better, as it was still full of pus), however, the hole is SO big/deep that I am really struggling to keep it open. I can flush it alright with syringe and saline, but trying to get a q-tip into the hole is impossible as she shakes her head and squeals. I had to take her back to the vet today so she could remove the scab, which formed only a week after the surgery... I've never heard a pig scream like that before. It broke my heart. And it breaks my heart to see her so stressed and in pain when I try to clean the wound.

Does anyone have any advice for me in regards to keeping the hole open? She is only a year and 7 months old. She is eating fine but doesn't like chewing on her right side. The abscess formed as a result of a broken tooth. She also had her molars filed back with the first surgery. She is receiving Bactrim, Meloxicam and Flagyl, as well as a probiotic.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:12 pm


You can soak the scab by putting a warm wet cloth on it, then gently picking the scab off. That's usually less traumatic for them than trying to get rid of a dry scab.

I know it's hard to hurt them when you're only trying to help them, but the only way for the abscess to really heal is by flushing the pus out a couple of times a day. I would NOT, however, try to put a q-tip in the hole. You really only need to get the tip of a syringe in there so you can flush the wound.

Sunnysuni

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:54 pm


Ok I'll definitely do that, thank you.

Oh okay, because my vet told me to use a q-tip. I'll try just the syringe then. Thanks for your help, I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunnysuni

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:00 pm


Cleaning went well this morning. What is the best way of removing a scab? Tweezers?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:36 pm


If you flush a couple times a day with a curved tip syringe using a warm sterile saline solution, that will help keep it open.

Image

Sunnysuni

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:07 am


Okay thank you. I purchased one last week. I flush morning and night, thinking of adding an extra flush around lunch time. Thank you for your help.

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GrannyJu1
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:45 am


You're doing well. Hoping it all continues to go well. Don't forget the warm washcloth when needed.

Sunnysuni

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:13 pm


Thank you! She and her sister, Rusty, are my world. I would do anything for them. I'll let you know how everything goes.

I've started warm compressing, however, I do notice either a scab forming again or residual dried honey from the vet visit on Friday. Is it possible for honey to harden?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:06 pm


Yes, honey can harden, but not really hard.

Is that what the vet is using to treat the wound?

Sunnysuni

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:27 pm


Yes. She told me to buy Manuka honey, which I did, but it seemed to get hard and blocked the hole (which made me think that is why the scab formed in the first place). And after the vet visit Friday she put more in, now there is a big brown mass which I can't seem to soften to remove.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:27 pm


If this pig has an abscess, I doubt honey is going to do anything for it. Honey does have antibiotic properties, but as far as I know, is more often used for surface wounds. A deep abscess needs a systemic antibiotic, or it won't clear. And the antibiotics in honey aren't strong enough to treat a guinea pig wound with pus in it.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:41 pm


Flushing with a curved tip syringe as I described above should still work and may dislodge the hardened honey.

Sunnysuni

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:51 pm


Oh okay, I've stopped using it. She said the abscess goes all the way into her mouth, so it is very deep. I now use a cotton pad with diluted betadine just to wipe the outside.

Could you possibly give me any advice on removing the scab? I'm using warm water to try and soften it, but it seems to be very stubborn and hard. It looks to be forming vertically on one side of the hole.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:06 pm


Do you have a curved tip syringe? Have you been flushing with warm sterile saline solution using a curved tip syringe??

If your guinea pig is cooperative and does not jerk around, perhaps a carefully used tweezers can remove small bits of it.

Sunnysuni

Post   » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:24 pm


I sure do and yes I have been. I suspect it is the honey from Friday but I could be wrong.

She shakes her head when I try to get the tweezers near it. I will just continue to warm compress and flush it and see how it goes. Thank you for your help.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:23 am


You could also try picking at it with your fingernail. Try to work the curved tip around the scab.

Clint The Cuy

Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:00 am


Is the source of the abscess gone? Is it a tooth root abscess? Or was the fractured tooth extracted? Bactrim is a pretty tame antibiotic for an extensive abscess, but worth a try for the sake of antibiotic intolerance risk.

Mānuka honey is typical for surface wounds as bpatters mentioned and it is typically medical grade from a pharmacy. A lot of the Mānuka found in stores has been tested and was fraudulent. Due to the increasing trend for medical use and lack of quality control, we don’t know what we are buying.

Sunnysuni

Post   » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:20 am


No, the vet said the source was a tooth root abscess as a result of a broken molar. Could not be removed due to the location of the tooth (she said her eye would have to be removed in order to reach back that far, and we are both extremely reluctant to do that at this stage)

Ah okay. The honey I bought was from a pharmacy but I no longer use it. The scab has come loose but is mixed in (tangled in) the sutures. However, it is not attached to the skin anymore (woot) so I will attempt to soften it enough to remove it completely.

She is doing very well and eating normally.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:04 am


Good news! I hope she continues healing.

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