Discharge from a Sow - Is this a mucus plug?


Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:14 pm

My sow Twinkie is 10 weeks old. She is in heat I'm pretty sure. It may be her first heat cycle but I am not certain.

Tonight when I picked her up, this really gross thing came out of her vaginal area onto my hand. It is 1 1/4 inches long and looks like a wrinkly used condom (for lack of a better way to describe it).

I took a picture. I should learn how to post pictures here on GL, but here is a link to my thread on guineapigcages with the picture:

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/about-guinea-pigs/33348- ... l#post346560

I looked around GL and found a couple people this has happened to, but couldn't find where anyone discovered for sure what it is. I was wondering if anyone knows for certain if this is a mucus plug? I'm pretty sure it is.

Twinkie is absolutely female and has never been near a male guinea pig - there is absolutely no chance she is pregnant.

There was a tiny bit of blood and there has been no more. I will keep checking her to make sure there is no more blood. She seems perfectly fine.

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Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:24 pm

I have no direct experience with mucus plugs, but I've always imagined they were not nearly that big.

In my limited experience, it looks like mucus for sure, so maybe?

Has she been crying at all when she pees or poos?


Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:36 pm

I'm pretty positive it's mucus because I touched it. But it's not gooey and doesn't fall apart.

I have not noticed any crying when she pees or poos but I will be watching her closely.

There is a little more blood now around her vaginal area. Not a lot. I know for positive that the thing in that picture came out of her vagina, not anywhere else.

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Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:14 pm

I don't know what a mucus plug looks like either. A vet could examine it with a microscope and give you more information.


Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:22 pm

Well I have saved it in a baggie just in case.

She is oozing just a tiny bit of mucusy blood. She just peed and it's normal - no squeaking while peeing - no blood in the pee.

The blood is definitely coming from her vaginal area.

She is eating ok - we just gave her a bunch of veggies.

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Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:26 pm

From what I understand, their normal cycles do not involve blood in any way. I strongly would suspect something else is going on. Any chance she was pregnant and this is somehow related to an incomplete placenta?

I saved a long string of mucus-encrusted stones from Cookie at one point. By the next morning, the mucus had disappeared. I wonder if that will happen to you, as well.


Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:32 pm

There is absolutely no way she can be pregnant. She is 10 weeks old. She was born here. She has never been with a male. We separated her brothers when they were 21 days old. No chance of a pregnancy at all.

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Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:33 pm

I suppose a pyrometria isn't totally out in left field.

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Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:57 pm

I'd get that in to a vet for analysis first thing tomorrow.

If you were a newcomer, I'd think you were pulling our legs - it looks very like a condom :-p


Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:42 pm

I swear to God that came out of my poor piggie. Actually she is a foster piggie.

If you look at pictures that whittibo took - it looks pretty much exactly like what came out of that sow.


If you think about it - what is a mucus plug but a condom? Isn't it meant to stop a male from being able to deposit sperm? The rounded part could be the part that's at the opening and the rest of it is inside the sow - and it blocks any sperm from being able to enter. If most mucus plugs from sows dissolve - how do we know exactly what they look like if they were intact? Perhaps I have an intact mucus plug here.

The part that worries me is the continuing bloody mucus coming out. It's not much - just slight spotting - but it concerns me.

She seems to have a good appetite. I am going to put her in a separate cage for a bit tonight to make sure she is pooping and drinking (I know she's peeing). I will separate her again in the morning to check on how she is doing. I don't want to stress her out too much by separating.

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Post   » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:51 pm

continuing bloody mucus coming out. It's not much - just slight spotting - but it concerns me.
This is absolutely not right - you should never see blood coming from a sow.

I'd suspect possible pyometra. You might want to get her properly checked out by a vet tomorrow. (Although I would think this would be very unusual in a 10-week old sow).

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Post   » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:33 am

Over the years on GL and previous boards, I've seen a few posts of this sort, followed by vet checkups with no problems found. (This happened to me--When our first pig was 3-4 months old, she spotted a little blood. Off to the vet's, and she was fine.) It would be interesting to try to understand this as possible little-understood information about sows' first heats.

It's still the right thing to check with a vet, of course.

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Post   » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:33 am

Interesting mmeadow - perhaps then I'm overreacting.

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Post   » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:58 pm

I've known of a couple of guinea pigs who bled small amounts around the time they were in heat. Diagnostics were done and ruled out anything else - stones, sludge, infection, cancer, etc. Basically they just bled a small amount for a day or two when they were in heat and were totally fine otherwise.

I sent this picture to our vet and she said she doesn't think it could be anything but a mucus plug, but she's never seen such a big one!

I think for now we're just going to keep an eye on her, and if anything changes she'll go in tomorrow morning.

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Post   » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:13 pm

How utterly weird. I hope it's nothing!


Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:50 pm

Update: Twinkie is doing just fine. She has not spotted any blood since yesterday early morning.

She is active, alert, running around with her cagemates, eating, pooping, and peeing just fine. I hadn't seen her drinking, so I soaked her lettuce and veggies to make sure she was getting more fluids.

She runs for the hay when I put it in the cage and seems to be perfectly fine other than that little bit of spotting.

I am keeping a close eye on her, and if anything else develops, she will go to the vet. However, at this point, she seems fine.


Post   » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:52 pm

I wanted to post an update about Twinkie. She is in heat again and is spotting blood again. It's exactly the same as last time. There isn't much blood - just slight spotting.

She seems ok otherwise.

The most interesting development is that her sister Sadie (same litter) is also in heat (all my girls go into heat within a couple days of each other) and she is also spotting blood - just like Twinkie!!

I never would have known Sadie was spotting if I hadn't picked her up and specifically checked. I am also checking the mom, Bandit, just to see if she happens to spot as well.

It sure seems that this spotting is related to the girls' heat cycles.

We will be taking both Sadie and Twinkie to see Dr Munn on Saturday. I have the "mucus plug" from Twinkie in a baggie in my fridge still, so I will bring it and let Dr Munn check it out. Hopefully we will have some more info for everyone.

I also wanted to mention that Twinkie has been rumbling non stop when I pick her up and pet her - ever since she lost that mucus plug. Before she lost that, she was only rumbling when in heat. I am a little concerned about ovarian cysts.

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Post   » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:41 pm

Ok that is a seriously strange thing to come out of a pig! I believe I found a my Margeys mucus plug after Mable (who I thought at the time was a girl) had obviously mated her. I didn't know what it was at the time but read something in one of my books about it. It was more like a small waxy lump than a huge long thing like that.

I would def seek medical advice just in case. Although unless your vet is really cavy savvy I doubt they'd have a clue either! Plus Marge did have some bloody but ONLY because Mable had mated her. After that I seperated them but to no avail, Marge was already knocked up by then!

Are you 100% sure that one of your herd is not in fact a male?


Post   » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:15 pm

I appreciate the concern outfoxed, but I am absolutely, 100% certain all the piggies in my girls' cage are females. And my males have NO access to my girls.

I hope to have some more answers after our vet visit on Saturday. Dr Munn is a very cavy savy vet with lots of experience.

This spotting appears to be linked to the girls' heat cycle. And now there are two girls from the same litter experiencing the same thing.


Post   » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:44 pm

I am not sure if I did this right or not, but hopefully these pictures will come through ok and not be too big.

Here are a couple pictures of my little sweetie, Twinkie:



And here is a picture of her sister, Sadie:


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