Penny's Med Thread

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Mon May 31, 2021 9:22 pm


The board software sizes the photos so you can see them fine.

Are they tender? Is there any crustiness? You might want to read over:
http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html

Unless you see any other signs of illness, I would tend to just be observant for now.

Annapox

Post   » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:18 am


No crustiness or tenderness. But upon reading the article on ovarian cysts I realized Penny has had some weight redistribution; I don't know why it didn't occur to me that that might be a symptom of something. Her butt has gotten bony, and her belly is more round, but her weight is stable.

Annapox

Post   » Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:08 pm


My mom took Penny to the vet today (I am working on a take-home exam, so I phoned in to the appointment so that I could work while we waited for the vet to come in). Penny's belly "has a distended feel to it," according to the vet, but other than that and the enlarged nipples, he couldn't find anything wrong with her. The ultrasound showed nothing. The vet says this is most likely either a fluke or the very beginning of something like ovarian cysts, so I am to bring Penny back to the vet in a month and keep a close eye on her in the meantime.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:16 am


Sounds like a plan. I hope nothing serious develops.

Annapox

Post   » Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:39 am


Penny's vet follow-up was today. Her belly is still very round and still feels distended, and her nipples are still big but not nearly as big as in the photo. (They'd already decreased in size somewhat by the time her first vet appointment came around.) The vet said that since there are no additional or worsening symptoms and Penny isn't showing signs of distress, this is probably just her new normal. She said that the distended feeling of her belly might just be from a layer of fat and that Penny might need to lose a little bit of weight, but when I told her how much of everything I give Penny and asked where I should cut back, she said that all sounded fine and that some pigs are just chunky.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:26 pm


I trust this is not extra gas/bloat? I just posted this link on another topic. You might want to look it over if you have not.
http://www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html#bloat

Annapox

Post   » Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:13 am


Well, the vet (whom I trust) felt her belly and said she couldn't feel any problems, and I don't hear a hollow sound when I tap her belly like it says in the link you posted. She's showing no signs of pain or stress. Her weight is stable, and she's still eating, drinking, and pooping normally. A digestive issue would result in a change in appetite or something, wouldn't it? I also get the impression that bloat comes on suddenly and is an urgent issue, but Penny's belly got rounder very gradually and has been round for over a month at this point. (This is not me trying to argue; I just want to make sure I understand, and I have a very direct way of communicating because I'm autistic.)

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:15 am


Your explanation is very good. Agree it does not seem like bloat (we can't see the guinea pig, only you can!).

Annapox

Post   » Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:00 am


The pigs went in for their annual well visits yesterday, and Penny now has an ovarian cyst. She does appear to be experiencing some discomfort: I thought she might have been making slightly constipated sounds (even though she still eats and poops normally), but the vet said the sounds might be because of discomfort with the cyst. No other symptoms, though; her weight is stable, and overall she seems happy.

Also, when I said I thought Penny's weight had redistributed because I could feel her hip bone, I was wrong: She has a cyst on her hip as well. I feel terrible for not noticing it, but at least it doesn't seem to be sensitive to touch or anything.

I also learned that, at some point, Penny had a broken leg. It showed up on the X-ray when the vet was looking to see whether Penny had a cyst or a bladder stone or a tumor. I forgot to ask which leg because I was preoccupied by stress about the cyst, but it's healed beautifully, and the vet says it probably happened before I adopted Penny because I would have noticed if she'd broken it while I had her.

Anyway, Penny has to be spayed, so I'll have to call and schedule that appointment on Tuesday. The vet said that during the spay procedure, she would poke the cyst on Penny's hip to see what was going on there. Regarding the spay procedure, I have some options to consider: I can have the procedure done with a scalpel or with a laser; the vet tech gave me a non-answer when I asked whether one was significantly safer than the other, but she did say that the laser method results in less bleeding because it cauterizes the wound as it cuts. There is also an optional post-op laser to stimulate the skin cells so that the wound heals faster. Is anyone familiar with these methods? When I had Rosie, one of my previous pigs, spayed, it was at a different vet (my regular vet had no openings soon enough), and they didn't say anything about lasers.

I also have the option of getting Penny tattooed so that if she has to be re-homed for any reason, future vets will know that she's spayed. I'm inclined to skip that since Penny will be 5 on September 8, my parents have said there's really no situation in which they can't help me take care of Penny (they're supporting me financially right now because I currently have no income), and I wonder if a tattoo doesn't carry a risk of complications (I know human tattoos can get infected, for example). Does anyone have any guidance on whether or not to do the tattoo?

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:31 pm


I'm not familiar with laser surgery being used for a spay but it sounds interesting. What does she mean about poking the cyst on her hip to see what is going on? Does she plan to do a wedge biopsy or something to get a real idea what is going on?

I think you can likely do without a tattoo.

p.s. you may want to reread this page:
http://www.guinealynx.info/postop.html

Annapox

Post   » Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:53 pm


I don't remember whether she told me in scientific terms what she was going to do, but she talked about finding out what was inside the lump, so I think she must have been talking about a biopsy or something similar.

Thank you for confirming that it's probably okay to skip the tattoo and for sharing the very helpful link!

Annapox

Post   » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:02 pm


Penny's surgery is scheduled for September 22; that was the earliest opening the vet had.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:50 pm


I hope all goes well.

Annapox

Post   » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:21 pm


Thank you!

I've been reading about laser surgery on various vets' websites (including my vet's), and they all say that laser surgery has less bleeding, less inflammation, and less post-op pain than scalpel surgery. I wish I could find an academic article or something, since the vets are all obviously trying to convince people to pay the extra money for laser surgery. But I doubt *all* the pages I've looked at are lying, so I'm leaning toward laser surgery.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:44 pm


I started this site over 20 years ago - no doubt there are new techniques being used!

A short search I did includes a description of the benefits you describe. I didn't find any research papers either.
https://smallanimal.vethospital.ufl.edu/clinical-services/dermatology/laser-surgery/

Annapox

Post   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:00 am


Penny's surgery was yesterday, and the vet said Penny did fantastic. The incision is on her side instead of her belly because it's less likely to get infected that way. The vet forgot to tell me what the deal with the lump on Penny's butt was, and I forgot to ask until after the vet had left for the day, but it looks like it was removed completely, and the vet is going to call me today to tell me about it.

I dropped Penny off at the vet at 7:30 am and didn't get her back until 6:00 pm, but I'm told Penny did a very good job of eating post-op: She ate lots of hay, all the veggies I packed for her (her usual daily serving), and a few pellets. The vet gave her one syringe feeding but didn't give her any additional feedings because she was eating well. Penny was very excited about the lettuce I gave her on the way home to keep her hydrated, and she ate it all. When I put her back in the cage, I divided the cage (which I always do for pellet and veggie time so that Penny doesn't take more than her share) and picked up all the poop on both sides so I could tell whose poop was whose. So I know that Penny pooped plenty during the night. After I divided the cage, I gave Penny her afternoon vitamin C biscuit (she gets two a day) and her day's serving of pellets. She ate the biscuit right away and started on the pellets later in the evening. The pellets were gone when I checked on her this morning, and there's evidence that she's also been eating hay.

Penny is to receive Meloxicam once a day for five days, starting today. The vet gave her a Meloxicam injection while she was there, which is why my instructions were not to start the oral doses of Meloxicam until this morning. She's supposed to take it with food, so I waited until she'd had her biscuit and started on her pellets.

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Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:01 am


Sounds like she did great and the surgery was a success! I like the idea of doing the incision on the side to lessen the chance of infection and am glad the lump was removed.

I imagine you read the postop page link I put up. The idea with pain killers is to give enough at the right times that pain does not break through. It is harder to relieve the pain once it has started than it is to prevent it.

I recall some people advising that once a day meloxicam may not last long enough and by the time the next dose would be needed, she may be experiencing pain. Some people break up the dose into two daily doses so there is more continual pain relief.

I hope her recovery progresses well!

p.s. Regarding the spay, were only the ovaries removed and not the uterus?

Annapox

Post   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:58 am


Yes, this was a spay, and I was told it was an ovariohysterectomy, which would mean her uterus and ovaries were removed.

Yes, I did read the post-op page link you put up, and I found it very informative. Since I gave Penny the full dose of meloxicam this morning, I can't give her more until tomorrow morning. I was told that the post-op injection she got should last 24 hours, so there should be some overlap between that and the dose I gave her today at 9:00. If it seems like she's not feeling well tomorrow when it's time for her next dose, I could start splitting it up into a morning and evening dose.

Right now I'm keeping the cage divided for now so that I can tell how much Penny is pooping, but I obviously can't keep the cage divided forever. If Penny doesn't stop eating or pooping, how long should I monitor her this closely before I can safely say she's out of the woods? If it's a long time, I should probably set up a whole separate cage for her, but either it would have to be a little pet store cage or the pigs would have to be in different rooms.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:10 pm


My vet always told me that if one dose of meloxicam didn't work, to split it in two and add 10% to each dose.

User avatar
Lynx
Celebrate!!!

Post   » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:21 pm


Part of the purpose of separating them and generally having the recovering guinea pig in a smaller area is to let the incision heal without forming adhesions (tearing and scarring of the healing tissue). Because this was laser surgery (and I think you said a much smaller incision area), it may heal much more quickly. If it is unlikely she will do a lot of running around and if an examination of the incision area shows it is healing well, I am guessing you can err on the side of sooner vs. later.

I would still separate them for a few days.

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