Violet's medical thread

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Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:37 pm


Excellent news. Keep checking for a while and hopefully all will be well.

Thanks for the update.

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Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:47 pm


A similar thing happened to my sow Zoe. My friend was going to look after my girls for three weeks while I was away at my daughter's wedding.

She has two sows and so do I and she was hoping they would be able to have floor time together. We tried to introduce them and my girls got so upset Abbey bit Zoe in the face. I was only 5 minutes from our vet and took her in. I didn't see our usual vet but the one I saw was not at all concerned and rinsed the wound with water. He said if it happens again to rinse it well with water and keep an eye on it. Zoe's would healed quickly with no complications. I was very surprised he didn't suggest some sort of soap or cleanser.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:56 am


Actually, about the only things you can use that are safe for guinea pigs are diluted chlorhexidine (Nolvassan or Hibiclens) and diluted Betadine (povidone iodine).

Chlorhex is very drying. The best thing to do for stuff like this, from what my vets and the pros here have told me, is to thoroughly irrigate the area with sterile saline (cheap solution for old-fashioned contact lenses is the easiest way to buy it). Sterile saline has a mild antimicrobial effect. You can also make a very dilute saline solution yourself using warm water and salt, but I've always been scared to try that.

Plain old garden-variety clean water is not a bad suggestion by any means, especially if it's on a fairly "open" area, like the nose or mouth. Irrigating the area thoroughly (use tons of water) is one of the best things you can do.

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Zaphy

Post   » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:02 pm


This morning I was cuddling with Violet and noticed a hard lump on her throat, pretty much right in the middle of it just under the chin bone. It's probably about 1cm in diameter, pretty smooth and regularly shaped. It moves if you nudge it. I don't see any scar or wound on top of the area, not that it would be easy to with all the fur and it being on the bottom side of her chin and all, so maybe it's just something I can't see. She hasn't lost any weight and has still been acting normally- eating, drinking, pooping, chasing her cagemate around, begging for treats, etc.

Anyway, I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow morning to get it checked out and I admit I'm having some anxiety about it. What might I expect the vet to do during examination? If they think it's a cyst do they lance it right there or do you usually have to make a followup appointment? Is there anything specific I should ask about? I'm guessing that the most likely thing it could be is a cyst/abscess given how round it is (I remember reading that tumors tend to be irregularly shaped), and also given that it seems pretty well detached from any tissue/bone down by the structure of the neck/throat area- it's more just kinda hanging out in her little dewlap. I am worried about it being a tumor though =n=;;

Edit: I've also been reading a lot about there being thyroid tumors in piggies. Is the pig thyroid located pretty much the same relative to the chin/pig clavicle as it is in humans, like way down closer to the chest/body than it is to the point of the chin? And those who've had pigs with thyroid tumors (I realize this is entirely anecdotal but whatever) was it down by the muscles as opposed to kind of floating on top?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:27 pm


Read gl/lumps.html and pay particular attention to cervical lymphadenitis. That's the most likely scenario.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:43 pm


Is it at all warm to the touch (might indicate an infection).

Good to hear you are seeing a vet. Let us know what he says.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:19 am


Not that I can feel compared to the rest of the area, though the throat area is all pretty warm anyway so I may misjudge.

Sounds like CL is pretty contagious and can be a long-term illness. Is there any point in separating her from the other pigs now that they've already presumably been plenty exposed? If so, is using another grid sufficient or do I need to go full-on different cage, wash hands, change clothes etc?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:53 am


If it bursts, it is more contagious. Find out what it is and do separate if it is CL.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm


Doc said it is almost certainly an abscess. He said he used to treat them by lancing and draining as he felt that total removal was excessive, until he had a case where there were some complications that the total removal would have prevented so that's what we're planning on with Violet. Her lumpectomy is scheduled for tomorrow, she's just gotten started on chloramphenicol and rimadyl today which she will be on after the surgery as well, no food after 9pm tonight, etc. He'll be using radiosurgery equipment, it's expected that we'll be able to take the sutures out after 2 weeks. He didn't mention CL by name but he said that it is contagious, so looks like I'll be separating them. Gotta separate them for recovery anyway.

This is my first time caring for a pet having surgery and I'm scared I'm gonna mess something up D:

also, holy cow this is gonna drain my vet fund, good thing I just got a job this week! Hopefully my other two pigs don't get it =n=;;;;;

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:59 pm


Ack! No food after 9 pm? What is he thinking?

The problem with eating before surgery is because if the patient vomits, the vomitus can be aspirated into the lungs with resultant pneumonia. But guinea pigs can't vomit, so there's no need to withhold food.

Is the VET the one who told you withhold food, or someone on his staff? We've had several cases where persons have been told not to feed a guinea pig because the staff was following the small animal protocol, not the herbivore protocol.

If it were me, I'd be back on the phone asking about that. I'd be willing to stop feeding a couple of hours before surgery, but no more than that.

Guinea pigs that don't eat get painful, sometimes fatal stomach ulcers -- their stomachs produce acid all the time, and they have to have food moving through their guts to deal with that acid.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:05 pm


Ahhhhhhh I'm so glad you mentioned that because I had the same thought but figured I was just overthinking it. It was in a confirmation text that they sent after the appointment, I'll definitely call and ask for clarification on that because the vet didn't say anything about stopping food at the appointment. For what it's worth, the text did say water after 9pm was ok. I'll call right now though.

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:21 pm


Okay, so one of the vet techs answered and said no food or water after midnight instead of 9pm. I'm scheduled to drop her off at 8:45am tomorrow.

...thoughts?

(edit: now I'm furiously Googling it, this book here https://books.google.com/books?id=2NuoBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA47&lpg=P ... gery&f=false sounds pretty convincing to me as far as not withholding food, at least for that length of time. I'm considering going partway and just doing 3 or 4 hours before with no food or water. Would that be stupid? The reason the tech gave me is because they didn't want the animal to throw up or choke on her saliva- wouldn't there be saliva in the mouth anyway- so... I dunno how much I trust them. I'm also really wary of disregarding medical advice though. Cause I'm not a vet, and neither is the Internet. But aaahhhhhh I don't know what to do)

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:33 pm


They'll probably give something to reduce the amount of saliva.

You'll have to do what you think best, but I'd feed up until about a couple of hours before the surgery (NOT the drop-off time). I wouldn't overload the stomach with a lot of veggies, but I'd certainly give hay, and maybe a little wet lettuce for the hydration.

You might point out to the vet tech that guinea pigs can't throw up, and that they need a pre-op protocol for guinea pigs (and any other herbivores that need it) that takes that into account. I'd also tell the vet that the tech is giving out incorrect information.

GrannyJu1
Armcavy

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:43 pm


I'm with bpatters on this as well. When my girl was spayed last summer, they told me the same thing as you were told: midnight/water ok. I'd already "memorized" what's written here on surgeries, pre- as well as post-. I live at least a couple of hours away from the surgeon, so I just took food and water away when we left the house. No complications or complaints from vet.

When my boys were spayed almost 2 years ago, THAT vet said food and water were ok (we live about 45 minutes away from her), and once again no complaints or complications. Personally, I'd trust bpatters before I'd trust a vet tech, regardless. Perhaps if the vet told me face to face...

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:54 pm


gl/surgery.html
gl/postop.html

Interesting link, Zaphy! I am posting a short part here:

Laboratory Animal Anaesthesia by Paul Flecknell

Pre-Anaesthetic Fasting

"...Pre-anaesthetic fasting of rabbits and small rodents is unnecessary since vomiting during induction does not occur in these species. Problems may occasionally be seen with guinea pigs since they may retain food in their pharynx after being anaesthetized...It is also important to note that rabbits and guinea pigs are particularly susceptible to gastrointestinal disturbances following surgery. This can lead to serious consequences as it can predispose to the development of enterotoxaemia. For this reason the author almost never withholds food from these species. An exception is if gastrointestinal tract surgery is to be undertaken and a reduction in the volume of gut contents is required...."

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:16 pm


Thank you guys so much for your input! I think I'll take food/water away a couple hours before leaving for the vet's (they're close) after all. Hopefully that's enough time to clear anything that needs to be cleared but not so much that it might hurt her digestion later.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:16 am


That's what I'd do.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewforum.php?f=29&sid=9b2d636e27a6ae5dec6bff38252ad011

That's everything I know about postop care. This is not super-invasive surgery, so you won't need all of that information, but do look it over. Pain relief is vital.

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:36 pm


Vet said the surgery went well! I have her home now. She is definitely shell-shocked and stumbles drunkenly when she walks. She took a little hay and a small sliver of green bell pepper from me which I offered immediately when I got her home, albeit slowly. I also offered her about 1cc of water just to see if she'd take it and she did, so that's good I guess. Anyway, now I guess I just have to keep myself from bugging her every few minutes and just let her rest for a few hours. I've got her hiding in a soft towel in her recovery cage.

Also, thank you so much for the postop links! They are very very helpful!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:03 pm


Feed her critical care or a pellet slurry every 3-4 hours, whether she wants it or not. She's gotta have food moving through her gut, or she won't make it.

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:16 pm


I am planning on it. So far she looks pretty good, she came out of her towel hidey hole and has been munching hay since about fifteen minutes ago. I'm most concerned about her drinking water at this point, I think the water bottle might be a bit too high for her to comfortably reach with the incision on her neck cause she hasn't touched it yet. I gave her some more water by syringe when I noticed her eating hay but didn't force it, even so she's only had about 3cc since coming home, plus whatever was in the pepper sliver. So I'm figuring on waiting another hour, hour and a half, and if she still hasn't taken any water I'll be more forceful about it I think.

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