These are the pics I took:
I think it had been smooth on top and the wrinkled skin(?) on top was new.
Yesterday day I looked at it and found it had changed radically -- it appeared a white, sebaceous material [correction: probably keratin, not sebum] was inside an enlarged pore -- I scraped some off with my fingernail to get a better look (maybe Josephine or Mel can tell me if I have to clean it out well or what).
Here's what it looks like now (pics taken this morning):
And here's a pic taken 12/10/05 showing what it looks like after my carefully picking out the most visible part of the [probable] keratin. I used a dull slightly curved tip dental tool with no squeezing to remove the easiest part:
Snowflake has had a skin tag behind her ear (now gone, I think) and the probable trichofolliculoma that was removed surgically during the summer. Other possible causes of lumps are fatty lipomas and abscesses. This lump was not warm to the touch and did not appear at all to be an infection. I didn't want to break the skin to see what was inside since if it had been a trichofolliculoma, it would have merely been fibrous tissue (I didn't want to introduce a route of infection). Looking at the top pic, one can now see the thinning of the skin over the sebaceous material [correction: probably keratin, not sebum].
I hope these pics help somebody.
Generally, we recommend checking out all lumps. Don't make the mistake I made of assuming new lumps are the same as old lumps.
The material is pretty stiff and I would have to squeeze too hard (in my opinion) to get it out. It's kind of waxy. I scraped some out but don't know the best way to clean it. Maybe soaking in warm water would help? Would one use a loop of some sort to scrape it out? I don't think it would flush out.
Note: in dark skinned guinea pigs the sebaceous material would likely be varying shades of gray. It's white in Snowflake only because she has light colored skin.
If anyone else can describe this type of cyst on their guinea pig (location, size, color, how you treated it), please do.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Also, he didn't need to lance it - and I forget why. He did something that had the same effect, and then he was able to squeeze it (pretty hard, I might add). Otherwise he would have lanced it. She squealed when he was squeezing it, of course.
I only do this because the vet recommended it after I took her in the first time I discovered it. The sebaceous material in Beru's is a greyish color, since she is a tortoise shell and has black skin. Beru's is in a better place to have it removed, but she's an older pig as well.
I would not recommend that anyone try squeezing one on their own without first seeing a vet.
The vet said that there isn't much that can be done; she could have surgery, but it's unnecessary unless it starts to bother her or if it gets really big.
The vet told me to squeeze it every couple of weeks and to make sure I kept it clean so that no infection developed.
I have noticed that it has gotten bigger since I first spotted it.
Merck says not to squeeze it:
General advice on Keratinized Cutaneous Cysts:
"Vigorous squeezing of these lesions is contraindicated because it often incites a severe foreign body inflammatory response.
"Infundibular follicular cysts (epidermoid cysts, epidermal inclusion cysts, often erroneously called sebaceous cysts) are the most common ... they are filled with a gray, brown, or yellowish, granular, “cheesy” material that is lumenal keratin"
[EDIT: the links below are dead because accuvet is no more -- Lynx]
From general area showing lots more laser treatment techniques:
"Infundibular follicular cysts (epidermoid cysts, epidermal inclusion cysts, often erroneously called sebaceous cysts) are the most common ... they are filled with a gray, brown, or yellowish, granular, “cheesy” material that is lumenal keratin."
So, not sebaceous cyst but a follicular cyst filled with keratin then.
How would you have removed the keratin?
- Little Jo Wheek
Remove them surgically. Sometimes vets will drain with a needle or they will rupture, reform, and cycle through a rupture/reform cycle.
It's so thick that I don't think draining would do any good.