Meg is getting spayed

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Post   » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:21 pm

My female pig Lil Ly Baby Elly MEGABEAST (Meg for short) is going to be getting spayed Tuesday because of ovarian cysts. We decided not to use the Lupron hormone injections on her and to do a spay instead since she is a great candidate for an uneventful spay not to mention the early onset of ovarian cysts makes me think that the cysts will keep reoccurring and she will need periodic injections for the rest of her life.

Meg was born on 5/14/05 (1year 10 months). Other then her cysts she is healthy and active and weights 1lb15oz. She is a black and white sheltie.

I am being allowed to attend the surgery and hope to get some good pictures and even video of the spay. Lynx if you are wanting any pics or vid of anything in particular let me know and I'll try to get it.

What I need is after care advice like
-housed alone or back into community cage after surgery
-if separate, how long
-what bedding material (light colored towels?)
-what in particular do I watch out for
-should she be on pain meds after surgery? If so what, what dose and for how long

Any other info and helpful tips you can give me would be most appreciated. I want to be ready for anything and everything.

One other thing I was curious about is whether anyone else has had cysts show up in a pig this young. It seems early for her to be getting cysts. I am worried about poor genetics in her. He brother from the same litter died suddenly on 8/1/06 of unknown reasons. I do not know if her only other sibling (a female) is still alive or not. Her half brothers (same father different mother) are both dead as well. One was stillborn and the other died 8 days later after the mother rejected him, he was adopted by Megs mother and hand supplemented since he failed to thrive but despite all efforts he died. Meg does not have a very good family history so I'm curious if members here thing she could starting to show signs of genetic defects.

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Post   » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:38 pm

In my experience, with surgeries less invasive than this:

1. Housed alone, in a small (petstore) cage to limit movement. What we did with Spikey's bladder sludge surgery is put the little cage into her big cage, so that she could see, hear and smell her normal neighbors.

2. How long depends on how well she recovers and how well her incision heals. I would say 7-10 days minimum but others with actual spay surgery experience may tell you otherwise. Go with them.

3. White or light towels, changed 2x minimum daily at the beginning, at least the top one, if you can manage it.

4. Any swelling, odor, redness, warmth, green or yellow discharge (pus) from the incision site. The incision coming open, or her chewing it. Severe pain, lethargy, no interest in food or drink. The site will swell a little and be a little red. You will get a little blood and/or clear fluid at the beginning. Anything further than that is likely cause for alarm. I trust your med instincts -- you will know if something's wrong at the incision site.

5. YES YES YES, LOTS. For surgery like this I'd insist on Torb to go home, along with Metacam for later. You can use them together, with care, if needed and indicated.

Dosage(s) I am not sure of, but in our experience they feel worst about 24-36, maybe 48, hours into recovery. She may come out of surgery feeling and looking just great. The next afternoon she may feel so lousy as to scare you half to death. Then she'll start to feel better. I've given Metacam post-surgically to reduce inflammation, then Torb for actual pain relief/sedation/leave-the-incision-alone. I've successfully used a small amount of Metacam and a larger dose of Torb for the first 30-36 hours, then started tapering off the Torb and upping the Metacam, then tapering the Metacam as needed as they recover.

Can you do subcue at home, and/or do you have a good ER vet close to you that could do it if needed? Spikey just refused to drink about 36 hours postop, and a subcue just turned her around. She felt much better and her recovery accelerated afterward.

Good luck to her and to you. Please let us know how she's doing.

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Post   » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:51 pm

Often they have really good light when they do the surgery so the pics are pretty crisp and easy to take. Whatever you wish to take is fine. I took some of Snowflake's spay but found it difficult to have it "tell a story" (didn't know what I was looking for). I would take whatever pics you can and see if something looks particularly descriptive or valuable later. I can only host short movies -- hopefully you can crop if necessary.

I wish you both lots of luck. Even when things go well, the surgery and recovery are nerve wracking.

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:12 am

Suzi had cysts at 8 months. Then her ovaries fell apart and pieces remained, growing up into more cysts.

Definitely restrict her movement. I wouldn't even give her a hidey she can climb on, instead use a paper bag or a towel tent. Or else you can use a pet carrier like I did for Cuddles:


I liked this carrier because I could easily take the top off for towel changes and not have to wrestle her out.

I bedded her on white towels, changed twice a day.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:46 am

I just wanted to wish you and Meg luck. I hope it goes well.

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Post   » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:12 pm

Thanks everyone. Any other advice or insights are welcome.

Talishan - I haven't done a subque in a long time but I'm sure I can do it. I'll ask the vet to send me home with a subque set-up just in case. He's very open to stuff like that so I doubt he will deny me. The same goes for the pain meds.

If I do give her sub-que what size bulge am I aiming for (how many ccs)? Would ~1/2 - 1 hazelnut size be about right?

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Post   » Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:17 am

I only know in cc's -- I think maybe between 20 and 30 cc at one time in an adult pig.

You are my sunshine

Post   » Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:56 am

Good luck with the surgery and the post op care. I'd also suggest making a small U shaped box that you can scoop her on to pick up. That way you don't have to stress her surgery area picking her up directly.

Best wishes to you.

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:53 am

Hazelnuts are very small. You could go up to a walnut.

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Post   » Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:48 pm

But I like hazelnuts better!

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Post   » Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:49 pm

More like a small pecan. (That's PEE-can to you not from the South. ;-)

Ditto Lynx; 20-30 cc's for a (roughly) 1 kilo pig. If she'll cooperate and allow you to, you want to very gently massage the bulge, around the edges of the base, about halfway through administration. That allows it to dissipate a little, reduces the amount the skin has to stretch, and allows a little more to be comfortably delivered at one time.

Pigginess' idea is a very good one. A cuddle cup, cozy or tunnel can also serve the same purpose.

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:25 pm

Meg came through her surgery fine. It was supposed to happen yesterday but we needed to reschedule for today.

I got to sit in and now have a true realization of how tricky GP spays are. Those ovaries are way up near their backs, practically under the ribs. The Dr. had a heck of a time getting the ovary with the known cyst out as it had adhered itself to the body wall. He managed to get it out after he drained it and the second ovary came out much easier. It too had a large cyst.

Meg's breathing was strong all though the operation and she woke up well. The first thing she did as she was waking was to rub her nose with her paws (to rid herself of the gas smell I guess). Withing minutes she was able to stand.

She obviously doesn't feel well right now and is still groggy but she is home with me. I will be trying to get her to eat as that is the next step. If she eats she should be fine.

I have sub cue fluids if needed and Metacam for pain. I think I will mix up her fist dose of Metacam with some Critical Care to try to kick start her appetite.

She is set up in her post op cage with nothing to climb on and only a towel hung in the corner to hide behind. It's lined with soft white towels to monitor discharge. So far there is only a bit (a few drops now and then) of blood. I will be using the snuggly or box method to move her so I don't hurt her.

So far so good. Send her some strong recovery vibes.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:34 pm

Vibes on the way. I hope she continues to recover without a hitch!

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:30 pm

Good vibes from me too!

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:09 pm

Lots of good vibes from here, too.

Her recovery cage setup sounds perfect.

My only concern is that Metacam won't be enough for her. Would they be willing to give you something stronger (Torb or buprenex) if you need it?

To me it's like a human being sent home with 800 mg Motrin -- that's fine for simple outpatient surgery, but it's not going to cut it for a full ovariohysterectomy.

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:04 pm

The vet didn't have Torb (I asked for it). I will see if he has buprenex. If in case he doesn't have that either is there anything else that would work?

Meg finally started eating a bit of hay by herself. I gave her the Metacam in some critical care earlier and will probably give her another (force) feeding since she isn't very interested in food yet.

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:30 pm

Good thoughts and vibes coming to you and Meg from upstate NY as well.

Sounds like she's going to be just fine. :)

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:56 pm

Buprenex I *believe* is the stronger of the two. See if he has buprenex; here are the dosing guidelines ...

... and follow his instructions to the letter if he gives it to you. Our "surgical" vet (the vet we prefer do our surgeries if possible) likes to use it pre-op. IIRC she said it puts them under deeper and it lasts longer, but they come up easier (? something of this nature ?).

I'm a little scared of it and have never used it at home. You may also want to email Josephine and ask her about it. If properly used I would think it'd be better than "just" an NSAID if Meg starts to really hurt and needs it. That, or see if he will call some Torbugesic in for you to a local dog-cat vet. I think it's fairly commonly used in many species.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:10 pm

Buprenex is great but it sounds like the metacam is working fine. You just want her to be able to eat. Usually with my vet a torb injection is given at the hospital and I supply metacam when it wears off. Keeping up with the torb post surgery zonks them out too much to eat.

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Post   » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:59 pm

Great news! I hope the recovery goes well!!

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