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.
- And got the T-shirt
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.
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?
- And got the T-shirt
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.
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.
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.
The vet told me one of her molars is completely gone. It broke off but since her last vet visit for the abscess, it has shattered. I noticed something was wrong when Fudge would eat, it was like she would gag and try to get her little front paw in her mouth to try to get the food out. So because she was not grinding the food properly, she got thrush.
I can tell she is not happy, and she wants to eat but can't.