- Supporter in '14
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.
- You can quote me
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.
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?
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?
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=;;;;;
- And got the T-shirt
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.
(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)
- And got the T-shirt
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.
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...
Interesting link, Zaphy! I am posting a short part here:
Laboratory Animal Anaesthesia by Paul Flecknell
"...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...."
- You can quote me
Good luck and please keep us posted.
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.
Also, thank you so much for the postop links! They are very very helpful!