At first not much looked wrong:
After just parting the fur:
A couple different angles of the hole, the last one is with flash on.
- And got the T-shirt
Abscesses usually occur when a wound heals over too soon, and if an abscess is lanced, it has to be kept open and flushed to keep it from recurring. In this case, there's no infection in the area, so I wouldn't flush it. But I would keep it open, even if you have to soak any scab that's on it and pick it off. Keep using the antibiotic cream -- tiny amount, applied with a q-tip, twice a day.
But I would see if I couldn't get the vet to see her sooner. If any infection develops, she'll need oral antibiotics, and the longer you have to wait to start on them, the longer it will take to clear it up.
Thank the Lordy. I have seen some nasty abscesses on dogs and cattle form rather quickly from seemingly small wounds, and I was mostly worried about her getting one. I'm glad it's fairly preventable for Maggie.
As for the vet, they're supposed to call if they get any cancellations. The surrounding emergency vets (within a 90 mile radius) are all dog and cat only. When Sofia got so sick, I called every vet in the surrounding area (again, in about 90 mile radius) that I could find online and then even moved on to the phone book in case there was an old-school cavy savy vet who didn't use the internet or something. Only three saw 'exotic animals'. I called those three again today, and one is still on maternity leave, one is on vacation, and the other is the one who can get me in next week...and he's the same one who has seen my other guinea pigs for check-ups and various things. So here's hoping someone decides they don't really want to neuter their guinea pig and his schedule clears up. I do know their really busy right now since I'm pretty sure he's one of the only people in this half of the state actually at work at the moment. He had me email him pics to see what was going on, and he apparently didn't seem to think it was emergent enough to work me in or have me come in right after normal hours like he did with Sofia. Hopefully, if it does start looking worse in the next couple days, he will work me in as an emergency.
Update: The vet called at 7:30 this morning and told me his 8 am cancelled. It's about an hour drive there, but he waited for me. He decided that the wound was not as deep as it appeared, and he believes it will heal fairly quickly with proper treatment. He doesn't believe in prescribing antibiotics until there's a true problem. He claims that even when he sends them home and tells pet parents not to give them to their pets unless an infection starts, there's too many that end up giving antibiotics to their pet unnecessarily out of over precaution and causing undue GI upset. He did, however, clean it out really well with diluted Betadine and then put a bit of antibiotic ointment.
After that, he basically gave the same advice as bpatters...he said when the hole starts to close let it, because there's no damage tissue behind it; it's simply a tear. However, I just have to make sure the flap doesn't heal shut before the hole does or it could cause an abscess. Since the hole itself isn't that large in comparison to the flap of skin, he doesn't think that should be a problem. He said to keep doing the tiny bit of antibiotic ointment in the pocket 2-3 times daily and if it started looking like it might be getting the beginnings of an infection to flush it out well with sterile saline or diluted Betadine, and if it had a very obvious infection to call him and he'd get me set up with some antibiotics.
Trying to get a tiny drop of antibiotic in a tiny little hole on a very squirmy cavy should make for a fun couple of weeks; It breaks my heart for her because she doesn't realize I'm doing it for her own good and not trying to purposefully hurt her.
Y'all...I've taken two veterinary compounding pharmacy courses at school and we do cover guinea pigs, but not nearly enough to handle anything like this. It's no wonder there aren't enough exotic pet vets and exotic pet compounding pharmacies around when they don't even really cover in classes what meds they can and shouldn't receive (besides obvious ones like penicillins and most topical ointments). I've learned more from a few months with these babies of mine than I learned in a year of classes.
Mags was having issues with her wound, and scratching it considerably. I know healing wounds itch, bu she was doing more damage to it than what was already there! I called the vet and he said to bring her back in to check and make sure it wasn't getting an infection or anything like that. The hole is already starting to look better, which is a good sign. The flap it's connected to is not.
The vet decided that it was time to shave that part of her face so we could keep a better eye on it. The sound didn't bother her, but when they touched her she freaked out. The vet decided we needed to put her under, and she'd have to stay overnight. That seemed extreme to me, and I finally convinced him to let me hold her while he tried shaving her again. He was reluctant for fear she would bite me, but I let him know I'd rather take a bite than have her deal with the anesthesia. Luckily, she was calm so long as she was held, and she let him shave that side of her face.
He decided to put in a stitch to keep her from scratching the flap open wider, and was going to do it with no anesthetic so she would only have to get stuck with one needle. She let him know that was not happening. Soooo...she got a lidocaine shot, and she was NOT happy. She got one tiny stitch, and he left the side open a little so it can drain in case it does get infected. He decided against antibiotics since there's no sign of infection and it's healing well, but wants to do a daily diluted betadine soak.
Poor baby looks like a goofball, but she definitely seems in less pain and has completely stopped scratching. I'm not sure when the lidocaine will wear off, but here's hoping she stays that way once it does.
GrannyJu, I've been looking at their shampoos and conditioners, as someone else recommended those as well! Would bathing her in it be alright since it is a conditioning product? In other words, do you think the conditioning effects of the products would outweigh the drying-out effects of another bath? I've never used any GG products, so any advice is appreciated!
I also looked at an aloe vera melt that they have that is marketed for dry skin, has anyone tried that or have any opinions on it?
On another note, last night I was holding her, and she started passing gas. We are talking LOUD, seemingly uncomfortable, extremely smelly gas. I felt her belly, and while it wasn't overly tight, it did feel more tight than usual. She had just finished eating, so that could have been part of the slight rigidity. It still seemed off to me, so I spent a while gently massaging her tummy. Since she never likes her belly touched, it was difficult to tell if it hurt or she was simply aggravated. She finally passed some poo, and by some, I mean a lot. They seemed normal in shape/size/consistency. Does anyone know if gassiness like this is normal in guinea pigs, or could it have been the beginning stages of bloat and needs an extra eye on kept on it/preemptive trip to the vet? I've heard of them passing silent but deadly gas, but not the high-pitched whine that accompanied hers last night.