Mocha is an 8 year female Golden Agouti. Spayed on Dec. 2011 for ovarian cysts and hyperplasia (I think).
She was treated for two UTIs earlier this year (in January and February) and passed what looked like a 2mm stone during the
I found this on the outside of her ear late last night.
(from a different angle--the wet areas are just water to hold her hair back)
It looks like a wound of some kind I guess? The piece of skin sticking up looked like a growth to me, until I noticed the red areas, which looked like exposed flesh.
There doesn't seem to be any blood spots in the cage. She is eating and drinking normally. She lives by herself unfortunately (no money for a second guinea pig at the moment), so it couldn't have been from a fight or anything like that.
Is it warm to the touch? Oozing anything?
Does it smell bad?
Does it bother her if you touch it -- that is, evidence of pain, not just the normal "don't touch my ears"?
Is it scabby or warty? When you say on the outside of her ear, do you mean on the inside of the ear flap?
I can add your very good photos permanently to this thread if you wish.
@Talishan: It's not unusually warm (same temperature as her other ear), oozy or smelly. She doesn't seem to be bothered by me touching her ears or anything.
@Lynx: It feels a bit scabby (kind of rough...I actually thought it was a layer of dried skin, kind of like their feet spurs). It's actually on the outside of the ear flap, like on the top, underneath the tufts of fur.
Also go ahead and add any photo you like!
I added your photos (thanks).
Perhaps skin tags?
If nothing about the ear changes and they do not seem infected or painful, perhaps you could just point them out to the vet the next time your guinea pig is seen.
I looked up some threads on skin tags on GL, but couldn't find any actual definition of them.
In any case, I'll keep an eye on it, thanks!
If you try google, you'll likely find some human skin tags. One of my guinea pigs had a small one on her head.
Oh, are they kind of like these things?
(Sorry, I thought they were cavy-specific!)
Edit: Looks we replied at the same time. Thanks Lynx!
Skin sometimes does do weird things! Hopefully your pig is not irritating it (making it bleed).
I was thinking if maybe she scratched the ear and it got hurt, as happened with Scruffles once. It looks different, I know, but just a thought.
She is seems to be pretty good about not irritating it luckily. :D
@Regiane: Aww, poor Scruffles! Although, it does seem possible. Her back toenails sometimes look a little pointy before I cut them. Guess I'll have to cut off the points as well. Thanks!
Just a small update: The skin tag/ear scar thing seems to have fallen off on its own and there is a pale brownish spot in its place.
After reading the posts about Miss Scruffles, I gave Mocha a little spa treatment (trimmed and filed her nails--filed her back nails at least, she wouldn't let me file the front ones).
Glad to see it has resolved on its own. Oh, and you take the best pictures (I added this one too)!
Mocha and I were at the vet around 2pm today when I noticed she was bunny hopping with her back legs a couple times. The vet found that she has spondylosis in the tail end of her spine, and decided to start on a two week trial of Metacam (0.2mls once a day). I'm to call back after the two weeks with a progress report on her.
I gave her the first dose around 10pm. Are there any side effects I should be looking for? (So far, I saw her bunny hop once about half an hour after the dose, but other than that, she hasn't been acting any different. Not sure when the drug would take effect.)
In the meantime, the vet suggested that I make sure she doesn't do any strenuous activity, like climb ramps or stairs. Mocha lives in a one level cage (2x5 C&C), but right now I have a little 1-2 inch divider in between the dining area and living area of the cage.
Would this be too much work for her to get across? I guess it's kind of like climbing a couple of steps, but I wanted to make sure first that it would be actually be a problem, before joining the two bases together (the entire coroplast base is actually a 2x4 and a 1x2 joined together with binder clips) or making a new one. :O
I didn't know what spondylosis was. Found this (more definitions on that page):
ankylosis of a vertebral joint; also, a general term for degenerative changes in the spine. Commonly seen in dogs. In aged bulls spondylosis can cause pain in the back. There is difficulty rising, weakness, unsteadiness, knuckling and toe-dragging with the hind hooves.
a chronic disease of the vertebrae, especially in the lumbar area, in old bulls, especially those in artificial insemination centers, and old dogs. There is degenerative arthropathy at the articular processes and osteophyte development along the ventral edge of the vertebrae. The lesions are visible radiographically but there may be no clinical signs unless the new bone is injured. When this happens the affected animals are reluctant to rise or move their backs because of the pain that movement causes.
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 3 ed. © 2007 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved
1. Ankylosis of the vertebral bones.
2. A degenerative disease of the spinal column, especially one leading to fusion and immobilization of the vertebral bones.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
I don't know if this will cause her problems. Can you set up a small area to test? I would also think fleece might be easier than loose bedding.
If she has spondylosis and is 8 years old, I would get rid of any barriers. YES, I think the inch or two of movement for her spine will be painful.
I have a feeling that lip is to keep the shavings in? Maybe if you do a little more fleece at that area, the shavings will stick to it? Shavings and fleece are messy in general.
Maybe switching to all fleece would be better for her. I know I layer towels and then fleece so that my girls have cushioned support. I don't have any experience with spondylosis but anything that have to do with bones I would think would be painful, and given the age of your piggie I would imagine having soft bedding like fleece would aid in her comfort. In fact I think most vets will use this type of bedding or they use Vetbed as it is great for those animals that are old, frail, and recovering from illness or surgery.
I actually tried an all fleece cage before, but I wound up having to wash the 1x2 fleece pads used in the dining area about every day, which the parents didn't like (more using the washing machine).
I guess I could try something different like ordering more fleece pads? Or maybe using some kind of flat disposable bedding like puppy pads. I'll look around the forum and Guinea Pig Cages for ideas. For now, I've moved her hay and pellet in the fleeced area of the cage.
Either way, gives me an excuse to redo the cage. MWAHAHAHA!!
Forgot to add: I was looking up spondylosis on the forums, and I think Salana's Jackie was diagnosed with it (or some version of it).