• Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

Abdominal Mass

Popcorn bby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
247
Reaction score
87
Points
275
Hello. This is extremely hard to write, but my little baby Pumpkin went in for a vet recheck today (she was not eating due to having a bad reaction to Baytril, but she's eating now) and the vet felt a mass on her abdomen. We aren't exactly sure of the location, but the assistant told us it was nearby her hip I believe (we tried to check when we got home but couldn't find it and just stopped cause she already was at the vet for hours). She told us it could be a cyst, but also told us that a possibility is lymphoma. It is apparent that if it is to be lymphoma, it would be fatal quickly. She told us that they could only find out with ultra sound, and there earliest appointment is on the 17th, so we scheduled it. The fear is absolutely indescribable. If anyone could please offer insight/information about possible causes (lymphoma, cysts, fatty lump-which she didn't mention btw etc.), or just offer some inspiration it would be greatly appreciated. She is my small baby and my heart is already breaking at the thought of having to lose her. This hurts more than anything we have ever faced. Thank you.
 

Siikibam

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
15,752
Reaction score
19,180
Points
2,125
Location
Kent
I’m sorry you were given bad news. Fingers and paws crossed for you all. I’ll tag @Wiebke @VickiA who can hopefully help answer tour questions.
 

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
8,208
Reaction score
18,525
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
I am sorry to hear you had such worrying news about Pumpkin.
But please try not to panic yet.

Guinea pigs often get lumps for lots of different reasons, and many of them are perfectly harmless and easily treated.
Whilst it could be lymphoma, that is usually accompanied by other symptoms like sudden loss of weight. Plus there is generally a lump on more than 1 lymph node and the location is quite specific. If the vet feels they need to ultrasound to diagnose the problem then either they are inexperienced with cavies, or they don't think it is lymphoma.
Lymphoma would usually be confirmed via a needle biopsy.

So it sounds more likley to be something that can be treated.
 

Popcorn bby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
247
Reaction score
87
Points
275
I am sorry to hear you had such worrying news about Pumpkin.
But please try not to panic yet.

Guinea pigs often get lumps for lots of different reasons, and many of them are perfectly harmless and easily treated.
Whilst it could be lymphoma, that is usually accompanied by other symptoms like sudden loss of weight. Plus there is generally a lump on more than 1 lymph node and the location is quite specific. If the vet feels they need to ultrasound to diagnose the problem then either they are inexperienced with cavies, or they don't think it is lymphoma.
Lymphoma would usually be confirmed via a needle biopsy.

So it sounds more likley to be something that can be treated.
Thank you for the reassurance, it genuinely helps a lot. She has been losing weight, but she has had a history of losing weight for as long as I can remember (although she has lost quite a bit for only 8 days, I do not remember exactly how much she lost but she's 808 grams now and was at least 10 grams more last week). I was also surprised at how much they repeated that they NEEDED to do an ultrasound to diagnose it, they made it seem like it was the only way they could know. They are known as some of the best specialists for guinea pigs and other exotics, but I agree that it seems a little off on their part. Are there any other signs that could be more specific towards lymphoma?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,117
Reaction score
52,637
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hello. This is extremely hard to write, but my little baby Pumpkin went in for a vet recheck today (she was not eating due to having a bad reaction to Baytril, but she's eating now) and the vet felt a mass on her abdomen. We aren't exactly sure of the location, but the assistant told us it was nearby her hip I believe (we tried to check when we got home but couldn't find it and just stopped cause she already was at the vet for hours). She told us it could be a cyst, but also told us that a possibility is lymphoma. It is apparent that if it is to be lymphoma, it would be fatal quickly. She told us that they could only find out with ultra sound, and there earliest appointment is on the 17th, so we scheduled it. The fear is absolutely indescribable. If anyone could please offer insight/information about possible causes (lymphoma, cysts, fatty lump-which she didn't mention btw etc.), or just offer some inspiration it would be greatly appreciated. She is my small baby and my heart is already breaking at the thought of having to lose her. This hurts more than anything we have ever faced. Thank you.
Hi!

I am very sorry; we all hate diagnoses like that.

Please be aware that what you experience is the shock and the onset of the grieving process, which stars the moment we realise that we may be on borrowed time. Unfortunately nobody can soften that blow and tell you that everything will be OK; an abdominal mass can be lots of different things, some operable, some not. It also depends on whether the mass is still encapsulated or has spread etc. These are all questions that only a more thorough examination can

However, where you have control about is how you spend the time while you wait with your piggy. You can throw it away sitting there like a rabbit caught in the headlights or you can set out to make the utmost of this time, so you know that whatever happens you have had this special time with your girl that cannot be taken away from you. Spending this time consciously and making the most out of it is the single most precious gift we can give and receive.

You may find this guide here helpful. It is not an easy subject; but if you face it openly, you can gain a lot. It will also help you in the case you have to make very difficult decisions so you can make them with a clearer mind and heart if they have to be made. That will make the grieving process easier on you in some respects.
A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs

Could you please clarify the weight loss? 800g is the weight of a small adult; losing that amount of weight in a large piggy would mean that they are very, very close to their dying weight. I assume that the weight loss is around 80g and that is a gradual ongoing slow weight loss?
Please switch to weighing daily at the same time but read out weight guide so you can cope better with the greater swings of ca. 30-40g that happen normally during a 24 hour period and that are the reason why we only speak of weight loss over 50g. Reading the guide will hopefully prevent any unnecessary worries. ;)
Weight - Monitoring and Management
 

Popcorn bby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
247
Reaction score
87
Points
275
Hi!

I am very sorry; we all hate diagnoses like that.

Please be aware that what you experience is the shock and the onset of the grieving process, which stars the moment we realise that we may be on borrowed time. Unfortunately nobody can soften that blow and tell you that everything will be OK; an abdominal mass can be lots of different things, some operable, some not. It also depends on whether the mass is still encapsulated or has spread etc. These are all questions that only a more thorough examination can

However, where you have control about is how you spend the time while you wait with your piggy. You can throw it away sitting there like a rabbit caught in the headlights or you can set out to make the utmost of this time, so you know that whatever happens you have had this special time with your girl that cannot be taken away from you. Spending this time consciously and making the most out of it is the single most precious gift we can give and receive.

You may find this guide here helpful. It is not an easy subject; but if you face it openly, you can gain a lot. It will also help you in the case you have to make very difficult decisions so you can make them with a clearer mind and heart if they have to be made. That will make the grieving process easier on you in some respects.
A Practical and Sensitive Guide to Dying, Terminal Illness and Euthanasia in Guinea Pigs

Could you please clarify the weight loss? 800g is the weight of a small adult; losing that amount of weight in a large piggy would mean that they are very, very close to their dying weight. I assume that the weight loss is around 80g and that is a gradual ongoing slow weight loss?
Please switch to weighing daily at the same time but read out weight guide so you can cope better with the greater swings of ca. 30-40g that happen normally during a 24 hour period and that are the reason why we only speak of weight loss over 50g. Reading the guide will hopefully prevent any unnecessary worries. ;)
Weight - Monitoring and Management
Not going to lie, reading that I broke down. However, I understand that if this ends up being lymphoma that I need to prepare. She has always been around the 800 mark actually, so hopefully that makes it a bit better. Also no, if I remember correctly it seems that the weight loss within these eight days has been about a total of 20-30 grams.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,117
Reaction score
52,637
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Not going to lie, reading that I broke down. However, I understand that if this ends up being lymphoma that I need to prepare. She has always been around the 800 mark actually, so hopefully that makes it a bit better. Also no, if I remember correctly it seems that the weight loss within these eight days has been about a total of 20-30 grams.
Hi!

Thank you for clarifying the weight.

Please take heart - just the difference between a full and an empty bladder is 10g, so we are not exactly into real weight loss territory yet. In my experience, large piggies (especially those with overweight) tend to lose a lot more weight more quickly that small piggies that don't have as much excess weight to lose so yours can dip quite a lot below 700g before things get really critical.

You need that cry and get it out of the way so you can start coping once the shock factor and emotional turmoil settles down a bit more; give yourself that time. Once you have stared into the abyss, then nothing that happens in the coming days and weeks can be any worse than what you have already faced. This realisation will hopefully give you some ground under your feet on which you can stand emotionally and which you can built a solid base on that helps ground you through a difficult time.

Concentrate on using the waiting time in a constructive way so you can only win - if the problem is curable, you have not wasted time on just moping around and working yourself up into a state; and if it really comes to the worst (which is by no means a given), you have created some precious memories and made the best of the time you have left with her so you can at least escape the usual guilt trip that is characteristic for the grieving process. There is still a lot of joy and fun to the be had - go and have it!
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

The ultimate decision is out of your hands anyway; all you can do is hang on in there and do the best you can while you have to wait another week for a diagnosis and any appropiate action.

If the weight loss is ongoing, then consider topping her up as much as she wants (the tips are in the weight guide).
 

Popcorn bby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
247
Reaction score
87
Points
275
Hi!

Thank you for clarifying the weight.

Please take heart - just the difference between a full and an empty bladder is 10g, so we are not exactly into real weight loss territory yet. In my experience, large piggies (especially those with overweight) tend to lose a lot more weight more quickly that small piggies that don't have as much excess weight to lose so yours can dip quite a lot below 700g before things get really critical.

You need that cry and get it out of the way so you can start coping once the shock factor and emotional turmoil settles down a bit more; give yourself that time. Once you have stared into the abyss, then nothing that happens in the coming days and weeks can be any worse than what you have already faced. This realisation will hopefully give you some ground under your feet on which you can stand emotionally and which you can built a solid base on that helps ground you through a difficult time.

Concentrate on using the waiting time in a constructive way so you can only win - if the problem is curable, you have not wasted time on just moping around and working yourself up into a state; and if it really comes to the worst (which is by no means a given), you have created some precious memories and made the best of the time you have left with her so you can at least escape the usual guilt trip that is characteristic for the grieving process. There is still a lot of joy and fun to the be had - go and have it!
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

The ultimate decision is out of your hands anyway; all you can do is hang on in there and do the best you can while you have to wait another week for a diagnosis and any appropiate action.

If the weight loss is ongoing, then consider topping her up as much as she wants (the tips are in the weight guide).
That helps a bit. This is the hardest thing ever, thank you for helping. We also just got an email summary of our visit. The vet said the mass was irregular and firm, and that although they suspect ovarian cysts as well, that it would be very irregular for the mass itself to be a cyst. They had given us an antibiotic both for her URI and to help in case it is an abscess. Still no mention of possible fatty lump. I forgot to mention they also gave her an injection in case it's a cyst. I guess they are leaning pretty hard on the lymphoma idea, however. We tried feeling around her hips for a lump (where we were told it was) but couldn't find anything obvious, despite her measuring it to be about 4cm I believe.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,117
Reaction score
52,637
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
That helps a bit. This is the hardest thing ever, thank you for helping. We also just got an email summary of our visit. The vet said the mass was irregular and firm, and that although they suspect ovarian cysts as well, that it would be very irregular for the mass itself to be a cyst. They had given us an antibiotic both for her URI and to help in case it is an abscess. Still no mention of possible fatty lump. I forgot to mention they also gave her an injection in case it's a cyst. I guess they are leaning pretty hard on the lymphoma idea, however. We tried feeling around her hips for a lump (where we were told it was) but couldn't find anything obvious, despite her measuring it to be about 4cm I believe.
Right now, the jury is very much out on what it is as your vet is going only by feel; personally I have found that speculating won't help any in this kind of situation. It is what it is and you will know in time. Until then there is nothing you can do about that aspect other than fret yourself to pieces over what ifs that are not under your control. Rather concentrate on what you HAVE control over - and that is the happiness of your girl!

As the lump is still rather firm and not growing extremely quickly there is still a good chance that it could be operated out. So now that you have faced the worst case scenario, you can look at the brighter side and live in hope. ;)

It is the denial out of fear that is the most damaging attitude because then you really fall over the cliff with your emotions without any safety net. What I have put you through is there to give you that safety harness to get over the cliff without a bad landing.
 

Popcorn bby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
247
Reaction score
87
Points
275
Right now, the jury is very much out on what it is as your vet is going only by feel; personally I have found that speculating won't help any in this kind of situation. It is what it is and you will know in time. Until then there is nothing you can do about that aspect other than fret yourself to pieces over what ifs that are not under your control. Rather concentrate on what you HAVE control over - and that is the happiness of your girl!

As the lump is still rather firm and not growing extremely quickly there is still a good chance that it could be operated out. So now that you have faced the worst case scenario, you can look at the brighter side and live in hope. ;)

It is the denial out of fear that is the most damaging attitude because then you really fall over the cliff with your emotions without any safety net. What I have put you through is there to give you that safety harness to get over the cliff without a bad landing.
Thank you so much. Even before the diagnosis I am gonna make sure to spoil her every single day like no tomorrow. God I pray we receive good news next Wednesday. But no matter what we hear, I am going to prepare mentally and emotionally so she is the happiest piggie no matter what. I will be looking over the articles, please keep my baby in your hopes and/or prayers.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,117
Reaction score
52,637
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
HUGS

A wait is always a very anxious and worrying time. Just try to fill it with positive things.
Prepare for the worst and cherish anything that is better than that as special bonus! That way you can only win.
 

Popcorn bby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
247
Reaction score
87
Points
275
HUGS

A wait is always a very anxious and worrying time. Just try to fill it with positive things.
Prepare for the worst and cherish anything that is better than that as special bonus! That way you can only win.
Thank you so much, truly. I will come back with a hopefully happy update, until then please continue to keep us in your hopes/prayers!
 
Top