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Follicular Cyst (often erroneously called Sebaceous Cyst)
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12/7/2005, 9:48 am
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




I noticed a small lump developing near Snowflake's genitals that gradually got larger over a few weeks until it was about 3/8" across. I assumed it was a trichofolliculoma as she'd had a probable trichofolliculoma removed six months earlier. That one had seemed flatter and I think she was biting at it (a scab that didn't heal). Due to the troublesome location of the new lump and fact that it was not scabby, I figured I'd wait some. Four days ago, I decided to take some pics with the intention of showing them to my vet -- to find out what he advised due to Snowflake's age and the awkward location (how easy would it be to remove).

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.


Edited by Lynx on 12/10/2005, 3:49 pm
12/7/2005, 9:57 am
Brandilynn   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Brandilynn
Spankin's, anyone?


Who's your Branni?

Thanks for those good pictures Lynxie. Poor Snowflake and her lumps!
12/7/2005, 10:04 am
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




I feel I am very fortunate to have gotten the pics before the skin cap dried up and came off. In the third pic, it looks like it is starting to separate.
12/7/2005, 10:17 am
lisam   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
lisam
plain old me




I can't wait to hear Josephine's recommendation. Are you still going to show your vet? My Beru has one of those on back, but she's a texel and her long hair keeps it well covered. Periodically it opens up and I gently squeeze the material out (twice a year or so). I'm wondering if Josephine will recommend having Snowflake's removed, because of the position (perhaps more chance for bacteria). Remind me of how old she is?
12/7/2005, 11:17 am
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




She's 6 and a half. I'm not likely to have it removed (cost and age) unless it ends up being a problem. From what I understand, they can be removed in their entirety and that's the only way to prevent them from recurring.

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.
12/7/2005, 11:35 am
whittibo   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
whittibo
Eeny Meany Whiney Bo




WOW, those are awesome pictures Lynx!

Of course I have no clue what it is, I wonder if piggies get "acne" or closed pores?? (my first thought was it looked like a big pimple?!)

Does it bother her for you to touch it?? It certainly doesn't look infected at all.
12/7/2005, 11:35 am
Mum   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Mum
Queen of Hearts


I GAVE, dammit!

This is similar to what Goldie had on her side a month ago, but as she's dark skinned it appeared as a small lump on her side. The vet said it was a gland that was filling up. When I took her to the vet, he squeezed it and dark skin-like material oozed out - it was very thick. When totally emptied it left a hole into which I squeezed Otomax to keep it from getting infected. It's now healed up. The vet said it will keep coming back and removal would be the only prevention - but there was no need to do this. It never bothered her (except when squeezed).

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.
12/7/2005, 11:38 am
whittibo   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
whittibo
Eeny Meany Whiney Bo




Gosh mum, that sounds like a pimple/zit doesn't it?? Very odd. Maybe even an ingrown hair?? The poor thing, I can't imagine squeezing it out, it's huge! :s
12/7/2005, 11:49 am
lisam   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
lisam
plain old me




Beru does not like me to touch hers at all, it probably does hurt a bit when I squeeze, which is why I'm gentle and I do it rarely. I only do it when it pops open itself. It leaves an open area, like a pit. Just before it opens up it's about 1cm diameter. The material is thicker than pus, and creates a hard "crust" on the top.

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.
12/7/2005, 12:12 pm
CavyAnnex   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
CavyAnnex
Lady Lettuce




Ally has something similar but in a different location (on her back).

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.
12/7/2005, 12:14 pm
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




I think the second set of pics illustrates the "pit" like look you likely are describing (right?).

Merck says not to squeeze it:

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/72206.htm
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]
Laser treatments:
http://www.accuvet.com/pdf/sebaceous_cyst_technique.pdf

From general area showing lots more laser treatment techniques:
http://www.accuvet.com/content/small_avian_exotic_cs


Edited by Lynx on 4/9/2011, 3:09 pm
12/7/2005, 12:15 pm
Josephine   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Josephine
Beauty and a Brain


Little Jo Wheek

I would at least have it checked out. Infection is probably the most significant complication to something like this that appears otherwise benign. It doesn't look like an abscess, for sure.

Oh, and it DOESN'T look like a sebaceous cyst.
12/7/2005, 12:18 pm
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




You don't think so? What would the waxy material inside be?
12/7/2005, 12:20 pm
Mum   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Mum
Queen of Hearts


I GAVE, dammit!

I was told the waxy stuff was glandular material.
12/7/2005, 12:27 pm
Josephine   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Josephine
Beauty and a Brain


Little Jo Wheek

Yeah, keratin.

There are many types of cysts. Sebaceous cysts are only one type. Many are benign, but they can get secondary infections.
12/7/2005, 12:31 pm
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




Then I'm still on the right track, no? I quoted this from Merck:

"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?
12/7/2005, 12:35 pm
Josephine   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Josephine
Beauty and a Brain


Little Jo Wheek

Yes, on the right track. It's just not "sebaceous," although that term can be a blanket term for anything having to do with the skin. Sebaceous cysts are generally much larger. And grosser! (Like my command of the English language?)

Remove them surgically. Sometimes vets will drain with a needle or they will rupture, reform, and cycle through a rupture/reform cycle.
12/7/2005, 12:36 pm
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




I found a cool pdf with a laser technique for removing them -- they pull out the "wall".

http://www.accuvet.com/pdf/sebaceous_cyst_technique.pdf

It's so thick that I don't think draining would do any good.
12/7/2005, 1:13 pm
lisam   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
lisam
plain old me




Oh, thanks for the information, Lynx. I'm sure Beru will be very happy to know I won't be squeezing it anymore.

What kind of animal is that they are using that laser procedure on?
12/7/2005, 1:50 pm
Lynx   Link to Post Go to the top of this page  
Lynx
Heartless Dictator




I don't know. Neat pics though, no? It looks like they grab the material with a forceps and pull it out. I wonder if we could do that? Perhaps a very narrow tweezers?
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-22F = -30C
-4F = -20C
14F = -10C

32F = 0C
41F = 5C
50F = 10C
59F = 15C
68F = 20C
77F = 25C
86F = 30C
95F = 35C

98.6F = 37C
100.4F = 38C
102.2F = 39C
104.0F = 40C
105.8F = 41C
107.6F = 42C
109.4F = 43C
111.2F = 44C
113.0F = 45C
114.8F = 46C
116.6F = 47C
118.4F = 48C
120.2F = 49C
122.0F = 50C
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