Old Man Mo's Medical Thread

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:28 pm


This is the first time I've had to make a thread for Mo, the oldest of our five, and the pig we've had the longest! Wow. Anywho...here's what's going on.

Mo is approx 5-6 yrs old, we've had him for 4 years. Had a few minor incidents over the years, but nothing too major. Mo lost his cagemate, Bear, this past April from bladder stones, so we attempted pairing him w/ Mortar. That lasted about 2 months when we had to separate them after a scuffle that drew some blood and involved a bit of a tumble. I took Mo to the vet the next day after noticing his left nipple seeming kind of engorged and oozing fluid. Vet palpated it and the swelling went down significantly. Gave us Baytril and directions to palpate daily. Fast forward to now, three months later, and I'm attempting to trim Mo's nails. He's wriggling non-stop and I let him go when I notice a little bit of blood on my thumb. I figure I cut a nail too short, but when I look closer it's not coming from any nails but instead his nipple. I palpated it a bit and was able to release a good bit of blood and fluid. I feel like a total idiot. How I've missed this is beyond me, but it seems obvious to me now that this isn't just "soft tissue trauma," as initially thought. Of course now my first thought is a mammary tumor. It doesn't look like an obvious lump to me, but there is definitely a sort of very small mass that moves when you probe around w/ your fingers. I had thought this was just swelling, or maybe even an organ or ligament before. As far as his general health goes, you'd never know anything was up with him. He still runs his Nascar zoomies around the cage, eats like a champ, and loves to get his brothers wound up by poking his head and butt through the shared cage walls. So now I'm stuck wondering what I should do. He's approaching his elder years and he seems very content. Bear had struggled post-surgery and ended up not making it, so I'm hesitant to even contemplate surgery. I need some opinions from the GL's peeps. I'll feel better if I go the vet prepared, but I don't want to rush into it just yet.

Here are some pics I attempted to get. Mo really didn't appreciate having his manly-bits being photographed, but I promised him I'd crop them out so you guys would only see his tummy. :) In the pictures it's the nipple on our right (Mo's left, he's laying on his back).

Image
Not the greatest picture, but trying to give you an idea of what his nipple looks like at first glance.

Close up of nipple
Image

This one is blurry, but you can kind of see what I mean by a "small mass" when I use my fingers to palpate a bit.
Image

Any thoughts? Thanks guys!

And for good measure, here's a more flattering picture of Mo, decked out for the holidays nonetheless.
Image

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:32 pm


Mo is a cutie! I think your guess of a mammary tumor is right on. http://www.guinealynx.info/tumor_mammary.html I also think this is a much less invasive surgery than you think it is and he would likely recover quickly and do fine. I remember when Snowflake had her trichofolliculoma removed. Post surgery, she acted like nothing had happened. http://www.guinealynx.info/trichofolliculoma.html

Your pics are very good. Let me know if I can add them to this thread.

See what your vet says. It sounds like he has a lot of life left in him!

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:23 pm


That looks (and describes) almost exactly like Sirius'. Even the vet thought at first it was just excess fluid gathered from one of his previous surgeries. I thought it was a swollen or enlarged blood vessel.

She did a fine needle aspirate and there were "questionable" cells there. She removed it cleanly, sent it out for histo and it came back malignant.

I don't blame you one bit for being extremely cautious about any surgery. This one, however, is one of the easier ones, IME, to recover from. They don't have to go very far in to get it.

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:00 am


Thanks guys. I'll make an appointment. Lynx, by all means please feel free to use the pics.

User avatar
TexCavy

Post   » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:32 am


Sidney had that and had to have it removed. He did well with it. He was intact at the time and it was recommended he be nuetered to prevent further problems. The good side of that was he got to live with a few different women after that. Anyway. I hope everything goes well if Mo has to have surgery. Good luck.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:07 am


Thanks, Acanoffleas. I went ahead and added them.

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:08 pm


Mo went in for his surgery this morning. I got a call around 11:30 that the operation was a success and Mo was starting to wake up. I felt much better about the whole thing once I heard he wasn't having any problems waking up. Here's hoping to a smooth recovery! I'm going to be picking him up at 5:30.

User avatar
Bytxlaura
Remembering Nemo

Post   » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:13 pm


Fingers crossed!

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:15 pm


I am thrilled and relieved to report that Mo is home, happy, and doing extremely well! So far so good!

User avatar
Bytxlaura
Remembering Nemo

Post   » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:25 pm


Yey! :) Keep up the good work, Mo :)

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:41 am


Here I am again, almost two month's later. :) Mo's surgery went well and he recovered very quickly, save for one lingering issue. He had been kind of dragging his rear left foot. We chalked it up to the general area being sore and figured it would take some time for him to bounce back. I had seen the doc a few times since then (with another pig...oye) and mentioned that, even after Mo getting his stitches out he was still having problems with his foot. We had been working with him, jokingly giving him "physical therapy sessions" every night before bed, and it seemed to have helped. He was able to lift his foot enough so his toes weren't dragging, but he still didn't have full use. Doc said to keep working w/ him and if it got worse that we should bring him back in.

Fast forward now to this past Sunday. We had Mo out earlier with us and he was doing fine. His gimp leg hasn't really slowed him down at all and hasn't impeded him in any way, so we had opted to just keep an eye on in. Sunday night I go up to feed the boys and I see a red raw mess on the end of Mo's foot. His rear middle toenail was completely gone. After freaking out, I went through the routine of cleaning it up and examining it. The only thing that made sense to me at the time was that it must have gotten caught on something and tore off. There was blood in his hidey house, but no where else, so that kind of threw me off. But really that was all I could think of. I started him on Baytril and a little bit of metacam, and I bandaged up the foot w/ gauze and vet wrap. Mo was not pleased. Not at all.

For the next two days I changed the dressing daily and continued w/ the meds, and the toe, though looking awfully sore, was showing signs of healing. Last night after the first foot soak I took Mo out side into the yard and we hung out for a bit - he was running around, eating grass, and enjoying freedom from the dreaded booty-bandage. Before bedtime, I re-bandaged him but he chewed it off after about 10 minutes. So I opted to try out the evening w/o it. This morning, the hubs pops his head into the bedroom while I'm half asleep and informs me that Mo is now missing another toe.

It seems that he's chewing off his toes. I'm horrified and stumped. I called the vet right away and we saw the doc this morning. The only thing we can figure is that he lost feeling in his foot and for some reason he feels it necessary to remove the toes. They're keeping Mo today to amputate back to healthy tissue, as he had chewed to expose bone.

And of course through it all, Mo is still happy go lucky and insistent on scritches and food. His weight has been steady the past three days and he's still eating and pooping normally. He's in his hidey house more than usual, but otherwise he's acting as if nothing's wrong. Momma, on the other hand, is a hot mess.

Has anybody by chance experienced anything like this before? I'm at a complete loss. It didn't seem to make sense to me that Mo would chew at his toe, which is why I assumed it was a torn nail that first time. But this morning seemed to throw that theory completely out the window. I mean...his toe was hanging by sinew. It was...graphic. Granted, though, there was very little blood. Hardly any, even. None in the cage, but a tiny bit in his hidey house (there's a fleece bad). Any ideas?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:23 am


I was going to say something about losing feeling. If it doesn't seem part of him, he can self mutilate. As far as amputation, you may need to take most of the leg off, making sure you do NOT leave any stump that is long enough that it could be walked on (because it won't heal properly). There are several three legged guinea pigs that manage fine.

So sorry for the two of you. It must seem pretty awful.

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:36 am


Thanks, Lynx! I did some more detailed searching on GL, specifically osteomyelitis, and found some info that kind of eased my mind a bit. The doc did mention Osteomyelitis this morning, but I initially dismissed it b/c the foot and toes looked completely normal & healthy. I'm kind of paranoid now they're not going to take off enough...Poor Mo. He's such a trooper.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:38 am


Call them and bring this issue up. You only want one surgery! Have them test the whole leg for feeling. Find out exactly where they plan on cutting.

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:13 pm


Just talked to the vet. He took xrays and confirmed bone infection in his foot and ankle. We're definitely going to have to amputate. I'm in the process of searching for info now on GL - in the meantime, tripod piggie owners out there...can you offer advice? Are we talking all the way up to the hip amputation? Femoral? I know we want to avoid a weigh-bearing stump, so...

My regular doc isn't in today, so the vet who is working w/ me is going to talk to the other docs today (they have a weekly staff meeting every Wed) and get their feedback (hopefully my reg. doc will be there as well). No surgery today, and not until we have a better formed plan of action. I'd prefer my reg doc do the surgery anyhow.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:20 pm


Several tripods here. Do a search. Pinta was one person who had to have the surgery redone because not enough was taken off and the stump kept getting walked on and would not heal (if I remember right). Try a search on "amputation" and see if you can find discussions. They all will say the same thing (we have been giving out this same advice for years).

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:38 pm


Mo's scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I'm a bit of a nervous wreck. Mo on the other hand is doing fine, considering. I'm having those last minute doubts where I'm wondering if we're doing the right thing. Mo is older. But he's still got so much pep left in him. Even today I had him outside w/ me in the yard & he was all over the place, divebombing into the grass. I have no doubt that, god willing he pulls thru the surgery & anasthesia he'll learn to function as a tripod. I'm just...stressed I guess. My mom thought I was nuts when I told her what we were doing, and I think that set me back a bit in the confidence in our decision. Anyhoo, your thought and prayers would be appreciated. I'm taking him in around 8 tomorrow.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:24 pm


You're experienced! I am hoping for a good outcome with many more years for you two to be together.

User avatar
Acanoffleas

Post   » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:09 pm


I am so relieved to write that Mo is back home and doing fantastically well. :) *squee!* He's eating like a maniac and went right over to chat w/ his brother through the cage bars when I put him back in his cage. I thought for sure he's go right for his house, but he had other plans. ;) Here are some post-op pics for those curious. Lynx, if you'd like to use these anywhere please feel free. The vet did a femoral amputation. If all goes as planned, staples will come out in two weeks.

Image

Closer look at the staples/incision point:
Image

And Mo chatting away w/ Jacques about his craaaaaazy day:
Image

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:21 pm


It looks very promising!! I added your pics. I hope he heals up fine and is energetic and mobile in no time!

Post Reply
31 posts