In the next 6 weeks though, her weight fluctuated up and down but she was eventually down 100 grams.
We also noticed a grape-size lump in her throat around 4/9 and so took her in for an exam on 4/14. Our vet drained the cyst and said if it returned or she lost more weight, she would need it removed.
On 4/22/09, the cyst returned so we scheduled her for surgery. It was removed on 4/30 and we just got the biopsy back today (5/5/09). It is thyroid adenoma, so it's good we had it removed. Our vet said it should take care of her hyperthryoid symptoms, such as the weight loss. We're wondering if it might make her less grumpy, too, since she wasn't getting along with other piggies.
I did a search on GL for thyroid adenoma and only found one other reference. So I thought I'd post here about our experiences in case it might help others.
We got another piggy, named Big Boy, the same day from the same shelter (not cagemates). He came to us with CL - our first case. He had several smaller bumps that were more under his chin and more raised than the thyroid tumor on Marshmallow. We treated that with antibiotics.
However, near the end of Big Boy's treatment (I'll have to look up the dates), we started noticing the lymph nodes in his inguinal region (groin) were large, as were a couple new bumps under his chin that felt different from the CL bumps. So back to the vet.
Our vet did a needle aspiration and slides and determined that Big Boy has lymphoma. The lymph nodes in his inguinal region, sub-mandibular, pre-scapular (I may have that term wrong) and one under his right arm were quite enlarged.
We've been treating Big Boy for a month now with Prednisone (.1 ml BID) and have been trying chemo with L-spargenase ( probably spelled that wrong). The lymph nodes have gone down dramatically and Big Boy is feeling much better. Our vet did caution us though that this will probably only help a few weeks or months.
I'm mentioning Big Boy's symptoms in Marshmallow's thread because I thought it might help compare bumps.
As always happens in rescue, the really crummy stuff happens to the really great guinea pigs. Big Boy is one of the funniest, sweetest pigs I've met. He goes absolutely nuts when you pet him - does all the rumblestrutting noises - epecially on the nose, throat, head and behind the jaws.
The tumor was actually involved with a major blood vessel in the neck. The vet who is probably the best surgeon in Atlanta (he now works for Zoo Atlanta) did the work and he recovered just fine.
The tumor was benign on histo. (Not sure of the -noma classification, but I was told it was benign and it did not recur.) His post-op care was successful and uneventful.
LT was 'diagnosed' by the vet doing a fine needle aspirate and getting blood. Not pus, not cells, not tissue material, not clear fluid; blood (this was growing into a blood vessel). It understandably freaked her and we just scheduled surgery for the next day without worrying about what kind of lump it was.
No thread -- this was pre-my membership on GL.
I considered surgery to remove Inca's lump, especially since we felt it getting bigger, but I didn't think Inca would survive surgery because she didn't do well with anesthesia, was very low weight and boney, and had rapid-heart episodes (tachycardia). So I let her live out the rest of her life even more spoiled than usual. Neither the lump nor Inca's frail condition seemed to bother her, but in the end we think she had a "thyroid storm" from which she couldn't recover. A post-mortem biopsy of the lump classified it as "follicular thyroid adenoma" (plus there's a 4th word I'm forgetting that means "bone-like").
Inca's thread is here: http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=40942[url][/url]
Thanks for the link and clarification.
Vet did not mention any options for care, just that breathing problems (due to growth restricting windpipe) and death usually happen within 2-3 months.
Now reading here I see there are options. Anyone give me some ballpark figures on cost of surgery and/or medication treatment?
Bear in mind that the surgeon was something of a cowboy, albeit a damned good one. He gave us a large price break just because it was a challenging surgery and he wanted to learn from it.
Having said that, you'll probably be looking at well over $168, but it shouldn't be into the thousands. If I had to guess I'd ballpark it at a reasonably challenging lump, barring complications -- say, $400-$670 or so.
Best thing to do is take your little one to a cavy-knowledgeable vet (the one you saw emphatically isn't) and see what they say.
I also noticed a grape-sized lump in his throat after vets couldnt find out why he was not able to eat solids for a good couple of long weeks?? with weight loss etc., anyway we have now had pathology done and confirmed the above (no tumour or abcess) it was aspirated for pathogy but because of its sighting and his age they have not recommended surgery. The poor chap wants to eat and we even caught him at his bowl of dry mix diet but cant take the hard food to swallow (along with his 'slurry' which I have made up of Supa Guinea with warm water (+ vit C) mixed with some Oxbow CC. Alfie eats it from the bowl so no need to syringe him which is great but his body weight is slowly climbing down from 780 to 700grms and I am desperate to find something to pack in the calories. Alfie is clearly not an 'ill' piggy but the lump is preventing him from eating normally. Any help would be welcome and I have mailed the Cambridge Cavy Trust in the hope for some advice. Thanks again. Warm wishes. Elle