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A Poorly Piggy

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Junior Guinea Pig
Jan 27, 2015
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Sutton Coldfield
My guinea pig pablo is only around 8 months old. In November, 2 weeks after we first had adopted him, his brother died suddenly. Pablo was checked over and deemed to be in good shape - we booked him in to get neutured to ensure for the rest of his life he could have a friend!

3 weeks ago, he went in for his op and was fine - he was eating normally afterwards and seemed okay. However, a few days later he developed a URI and very nearly died :-(. He recovered well, but last week I noticed he'd started to develop lumps where his wound would have been. Back to the vet again who said the wound had healed well, but there may be swelling due to the internal stitches. Pablo was put on metacam 0.3ml a day and Baytril 0.15ml twice a day for a week, and we were told to come back if swelling did not go away.

On Saturday, Pablo's lump was huge - it was unlike any lump I could find pictures of on the internet and was getting worse at an alarming rate. We went back to the vet who decided the only option would be to operate under GA, discover the problem and progress in such relevant way.

His operation earlier this morning found that he did infact have two very large absesses near to both wounds. They were drained, cleaned and staped together because of his previous reaction to the stitches used. I was also told the use of the staples will be beneficial to allow any excess discharge to drain.

He has started to eat little bits, but I am increasingly becoming worried about his weight. Before his op he was around 780g, still a very small GP although with a healthy apetitite! The vets have consistantly monitored his weight, as have I and it is now around the 760 mark. I am syringe feeding him critical care every hour or two, and feeding him fresh hay and veggies in small amounts as he is reluctant to eat. Is there anything I could do in addition to help him put on weight? I fear without enough weight his recovery time may increase.

Also, when he pees and sometimes poos, he squeals very loudly. It is almost like a shriek that they do when in pain, but this is much deeper. Is this normal? His incision is much bigger than anticipated because of the size of the absesses!

Any help or ideas for a poorly Pablo?
Oh dear, I am sorry that this has turned into such a nightmare for you. Unfortunately abscesses are a relatively common complication of neutering. I am quite surprized that the vet has closed the wound, as it probably requires daily flushing to really get rid of the pus. Zithromax is a really good antibiotic for abscesses and would be my first choice over Baytril. Is your vet very cavy-savvy? It may be worth looking for another vet with experience with piggies. Have a look at our list in recommended vets for someone local to you.

Regarding his weight, he has only lost 20g, which could be the difference between an full bladder and an empty one, but you are doing all the right things, syringe feeding him regularly. I would recommend giving him a probiotic (biolapis you can get from your vet, or Pro-C is available in Pets @ Home) about 1-2 hours after the antibiotic to help his gut cope - this is a particular problem with Baytril.

Pain when pooing and weeing is a worry. It may be that as the wounds are around that area, it is causing him problems, or there may be another issue (a UTI possibly) in addition to the abscesses. Either way I would take him to a vet to review his pain meds and investigate further.

I hope this helps. Please let us know how he gets on.
Hi! I am ever so sorry that Pablo's operation has gone pear-shaped and that he has developed bad abscesses.

Please keep the abscesses open as much as possible, even if you have to peel off the scabs once or twice daily and flush it. An abscess needs to heal from the inside out. If any bit of infection is left, it is going to blow up again.
What antibiotic is he on? He will need a very strong one, preferably zithromax. Has he got metacam to take care of his pain?

Right now, you are looking at getting him through the crisis, first and foremost; Pablo will only be able to put on weight once he is well in himself again and that may take a little while. He is young enough to catch up anyway. Your care can make the difference, so please don't be disheartened and continue with the hand feeding. Anything you get in is going to help getting him through this and helping him to have a happy ever after!
I would also recommend to give a pinch of a probiotic about 1-2 hours after the antibiotic.
Here are our hand feeding tips: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/complete-hand-feeding-guide.115359/

We have got a piggy savvy vet locator on the top bar; you may want to see a specialist: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-vet-locator/
So sorry for Pablo:( HE sounds like he still has the infection, that is why he is squealing when going to the toilet:( Really hope he pulls through, hugs to you and Pabloxx
Thanks for your replies.

Pablo has definitely picked up slightly since last night, he is still reluctant to eat on his own but he isn't in as much pain anymore. I think because of how large the cut had to be to remove the absess when he wees it potentially hurts the wound.

He's on Bayril 0.15ml twice daily and Metacam 0.3ml one a day. We have an appointment with the vet tomorrow to make sure his wound is healing and possibly get the staples taken out if all is well.

If something still isn't right afterwards, I would consider changing vets to a recommended one although my past experience of my vets with previous piggies has only been good!

He certainly knows what he wants though as I have been bitten on multiple ocassions today! He is also becoming very moody when I try to syringe feed and really pushes me away!

Thanks for all the advice X
Fingers very firmly crossed for Pablo! Glad that he is picking up. Keep on weighing him daily and see a vet asap anytime if Pablo is suddenly losing his appetite or looking off.
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