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Poppy has an Abscess

Discussion in 'Health & Illness' started by cielci, Mar 4, 2009.

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  1. cielci

    cielci

    Hello everyone,
    I'm new to this forum and joined because poppy has an abscess and I'm looking for some advice.

    I noticed the abscess on her rump about 2 weeks ago. Took her to the vets, who said they rarely see g'pigs with abscesses, which did worry me a bit as would be nice if they were more experienced. Maybe I'm just a more thorough pet owner perhaps, not sure.

    Anyway, she numbed the area and inserted a needle, she wasn't sure at this point whether it was definitely an abscess or maybe a tumour. She decided it must be an abscess so made an incision - this was incredibly tough! The skin was so so tough, and poppy barely seemed to notice anything. Once the incision was made, she drained lots of really thick pus, and flushed it with hibbi.

    Since, I have been cleaning it daily with hibbi and giving her anti-biotics. I'm a bit worried as reading about other peoples experiences, my vet hasn't told me to remove any scabs, and hasn't given me anything to flush it with, just adviced me to clean it with hibbi and cotton wool.

    Poppy went back for a check up and the vet said the wound is healing from the outside 1st (which obviously it would be as she's not told me to remove the wound) which is not what she wants. She's suggested now that we operate, so she's booked in for 2 days time.

    I don't really know what to do - not sure if I should listen to the vet, or try to find a better one, but all the vets in this area are linked, and the only alternative would be a specialist vet which as a student I can't afford. I'm worried about my pet being operated on as you hear that so many die in surgery or after. Don't know if i should apply warm compresses and try to remove the scab either. Part of me hopes that surgery doesn't have to be an option but the only alternative would be to continue with the hibbi scrub but without keeping the wound open I'm not sure how effective this will be.

    Any advice would be very very welcome!
    #1
  2. Laura-CCC4

    Laura-CCC4 Senior Guinea Pig

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    Welcome to the forum cielci.

    Abscesses can be tricky things to cure first time. Unless the necrotic tissue is removed, or the wound is kept enitrely open and flushed daily for a while before letting it close from the inside out, the chances of it recurring are pretty high. The hibiscrub is good (chlorhexidine gluconate), though ideally the cavity would be flushed with this with a syringe, rather than just being used to cleanse the surface. Your vet should have told you to flush the wound and keep it open, especially since she obviously knows that this condition has to heal inside first.

    Is it not possible for the vet to just incise the wound once more, and you attempt to keep the wound open by flushing 3-4 times daily with a syringe? Abscesses can be safely removed surgically, but it must be removed as a whole capsule (not opened up) otherwise it's still likely to recur. Abscesses can sometimes be in numerous little pockets inside the capsule, so it's important that the vet is able to remove everything without spreading any of the contents of the abscess.

    Surgery isn't as big a risk as some people think - though it is still a risk, as with any animal or human put under anesthetic. The correct surgical technique and the right anesthetic (Isoflurane or Servoflurane) will make a huge difference to the pigs condition during, and recovery from, surgery.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
    #2
  3. alcesterpigs

    alcesterpigs New Member

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    Is it an abscess or a sebaceous cyst?
    Abscess treatment
    1. REMOVE THE CAUSE
    2. Establish drainage
    3. IF NECESSARY give an antibiotic

    In many cases the cause cannot be found eg a bite so drainage must be established and maintained, this will involve removing the scab at frequent intervals or even a new incision.
    An abscess will have a recognisable smell and the contents are usually a creamy yellow. More often than not they are self contained ie are not in a discrete pocket(s)

    A sebaceous cyst usually is, though not always, in a lobulated form ie similar to bubble wrap. The contents are usually white or grey, if the pig is dark skinned, and have a thick consistency. Unless it has become infected, cyst contents do not have a foul smell. It is not always possible to completely remove the cyst lining and the cyst can return.
    Do not be alarmed by the word tumour, it only means a lump.
    Whether the lump is a cyst or an abscess it does NOT need a general anaesthetic to be drained or removed.
    Many pigs have sebaceous cysts which are "treated" by the owner simply squeezing out the contents on a regular basis.
    Hibiscrub is quite "potent", far better to irrigate an cavity with sterile saline solution of the sort used for rinsing contact lenses.
    #3
  4. cielci

    cielci

    I'm pretty sure its an abscess, the pus that came out was really thick but was a creamy yellow colour. The vet was surprised at how tough it was to cut into, and the pus was the thickest she said she'd ever seen. The problem is that within 2 days of the vet re-opening the abscess it is healing. But she hasn't told me to remove the scab or syringe it so obviously this is going to happen. Its less than half the size it was now. I've phoned the vets and hopefully they'll be calling me back soon. I asked if I should be removing the scab and syringing it. Surely eventually if it isn't surgically removed it'll heal? it can't stay open forever, so was just wondering how you judge when to leave it heal?

    I'll let you know what the vet says.
    #4
  5. alcesterpigs

    alcesterpigs New Member

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    Usually body abscesses heal completely ie not just the drainage hole. Abscesses on the head are difficult to cure, they often become chronic and are "managed" rather than treated or cured.. in these cases the abscess remains open and continues to drain. Upto a [*]year [/*]is not uncommon. Gp skin is very tough. A healing abscess will gradually get smaller each day until nothing remains, it would appear that this is happening to your pig, keep removing the scab and irrigating the cavity. It seem as though your vet has little experience of dealing with pigs with infections. Don't be persuaded into "exotic" treatment. Keep it simple. The body can often take care of itself without outside help or interference. How else would wild gps manage?
    #5
  6. heath_jd

    heath_jd

    My guinea pig had abscess on back last week - what i did.

    Hi There,

    My guinea pig had an abscess on his back.
    He got into a fight with a male guinea pig and that is how he got the abscess (from a bite)

    I took him to my vet and they lanced it. He was put on a 2 week course of antibiotics & I kept the wound clean but didn't keep it open or anything.

    It has nicely heeled up now with a scab on top.
    If the abscess returns, I will take him to the vet for lancing again.

    I would never have him operated on - it is way too dangerous. I would rather have his abscess lanced until it is safely gone.

    It is a big risk operating on a pig as they are such small delicate animals. If my piggy died on the operating table, I'd never forgive myself.

    Just wanted to let you know.
    Heather
    #6
  7. pricey

    pricey

    help on abscess

    my guinea pig has a large lump on his rump which he has had for a couple of months- i have been to a vet who treated him with injections of antiobiotics whihch my pig did not like- so for a week i gave him oral treatment from the vet.

    this had no affect to the size although since then the hair seemed to grow back. he does not seem affacted you could prod the lump and touch it and he did not show signs of discomfort. he is still eating and drinking.

    however on wed night we noticed there was a piece of hay stuck into the lump, when i removed it the lump was opened up and this almight smell came from it- its so bad i actually felt like i was going to be sick and i can still smell it now. the lump also gave out alot of a clay llike substance. my dad came to the house and helped me drain it. the following day it seems to hav filled again. i have kept the opening fresh and there is more stuff coming out -

    i wash the area with salt water everyday and have replaced the hay with soft bedding in a cat litter tray so it easy to keep clean and fresh.

    i have taken the pig to the vet and he has injected more antiobiotics and suggest we cut the lump out which means the pig needs to go under. it also means it is a very expensive op.

    the vet did not give me any information on alternatives or effectiveness. i need to know will this cure the problem, is this the best option and will it re-occur.

    any help would be grateful from people who have had ops on the pig or others who have had successful other treatments.
    #7
  8. TotallyFanatic

    TotallyFanatic New Member

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    Abscess on my guinea pig's rump

    about 3 weeks ago, i felt a lump a size of a pecan on my guinea pig's rump.. took her to two different vets, but they have never seen it before. i thought it might be an abcess but when the vets with a syringe pulled out some of the content it was bloody. the lump feels like it is growing and at a fast rate. from everything i have read, it sounds a abcess has thick yellow discharge. need help on my next step.
    #8
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