• Saturday 8th August 8pm-10:30pm is the Forum Summer PRIDE virtual event! Everyone is welcome so please come along and join in the party!! More details HERE
  • 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

Specialist Abscess care

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
Hi all

Been having a bit of trouble with an abscess in my boy, Ralis.

Warning for the squeamish, this isn’t pleasant.

So a few weeks ago he developed this massive lump under his chin on the skin of his neck. It came absolutely out of nowhere and was suddenly huge. He’d even been at the vets the week previously for a check up and nothing there then. We rushed him into the vets as soon as we could and he’s had a couple of procedures since then to drain it etc. He’s had all the x-rays and checks done but the vets can’t find a definitive cause. Anyway, I’m focusing on caring for him rather than torturing myself trying to find the cause, and would really love some advice from anyone that has experience with this sort of thing.

He’s on a providone (for flushing it) and manuka honey on it twice a day, along with antibiotics and metacam. He’s doing really well and still eating and going to the toilet fine but the past day or so it seems to be filling up even more. The pus is odd too, like a sludgy wet cement mix. The vet saw it when she was showing me what to do and didn’t seem at all alarmed about it.

Is this what guinea pig pus looks like?
What should I expect of this long healing curve? Any tips?
It seems to be filling more not less, is this bad or normal?

Thanks in advance!
 

PigglePuggle

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
7,469
Reaction score
24,652
Points
1,975
Location
Liverpool
I would definitely discuss surgery with the vet to ask about removing the whole abscess, that is the ideal scenario if your vet is confident and your piggy is otherwise healthy, then the whole problem can hopefully be fixed in one procedure. Flushing and draining an abscess that keeps refilling can take a long time, several weeks or we've occasionally had posts on the forum about abscess treatment lasting months...
Possibly the size or site of the abscess might make surgery difficult, but its worth having the conversation with your vet about the risks and possibilities if flushing and applying manuka honey and giving antibiotics arent working so well. Healing wheeks for piggy, keep us posted about what the vet says x
 

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
What antibiotic is he on?

If the abscess keeps filling up, he may need surgery to remove the whole capsule.

You can’t mistake guinea pig pus. It’s a yellow cream colour and smells horrid.

Both @Betsy and @HeatherRose have experience with abscess surgery
Sorry about the wait I had to check the name! He’s on Engemycin.

That’s the thing! It doesn’t really smell that much and it definitely isn’t bright yellow. More of a pale grey. He did have a cyst some time ago and that was a very dark grey inside. I know this probably sounds dumb, but could his colouring have something to do with it? He’s completely black.
 

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
I would definitely discuss surgery with the vet to ask about removing the whole abscess, that is the ideal scenario if your vet is confident and your piggy is otherwise healthy, then the whole problem can hopefully be fixed in one procedure. Flushing and draining an abscess that keeps refilling can take a long time, several weeks or we've occasionally had posts on the forum about abscess treatment lasting months...
Possibly the size or site of the abscess might make surgery difficult, but its worth having the conversation with your vet about the risks and possibilities if flushing and applying manuka honey and giving antibiotics arent working so well. Healing wheeks for piggy, keep us posted about what the vet says x
Thank you I will discuss it when we take him back for a check up next week. I’m admittedly nervous about major surgery. He’s a rescue from a bad situation, about four years old, and has some health problems that haunt him. He struggles to put on and hold weight, with this and probably the stress of moving house in February he’s lost quite a bit of weight. He isn’t worryingly skinny, but he’s definitely skinny.

I’m going to have to decide between when does caring for the abscess become so never-ending the surgery would be better overall.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
72,993
Reaction score
46,798
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi all

Been having a bit of trouble with an abscess in my boy, Ralis.

Warning for the squeamish, this isn’t pleasant.

So a few weeks ago he developed this massive lump under his chin on the skin of his neck. It came absolutely out of nowhere and was suddenly huge. He’d even been at the vets the week previously for a check up and nothing there then. We rushed him into the vets as soon as we could and he’s had a couple of procedures since then to drain it etc. He’s had all the x-rays and checks done but the vets can’t find a definitive cause. Anyway, I’m focusing on caring for him rather than torturing myself trying to find the cause, and would really love some advice from anyone that has experience with this sort of thing.

He’s on a providone (for flushing it) and manuka honey on it twice a day, along with antibiotics and metacam. He’s doing really well and still eating and going to the toilet fine but the past day or so it seems to be filling up even more. The pus is odd too, like a sludgy wet cement mix. The vet saw it when she was showing me what to do and didn’t seem at all alarmed about it.

Is this what guinea pig pus looks like?
What should I expect of this long healing curve? Any tips?
It seems to be filling more not less, is this bad or normal?

Thanks in advance!
Pus can look very different from very stinky water to a rather firm texture to the classic yellow/green mucus.

Please keep the whole open for as long as possible, ideally up to 10 days to allow the abscess pouches to heal from the inside out and to drain every little spec of infection out of it to prevent a return. You may have to work off the scab that seals the opening in later stages (not a nice process) in order to drain flush the abscess with a syringe; be fairly forceful about pushing the water in, so it goes into all the pockets. Any mild disinfective will do.

I am linking in our 'Abscess Queen' @furryfriends (TEAS) who has the greatest experience in this respect.
 

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
Pus can look very different from very stinky water to a rather firm texture to the classic yellow/green mucus.

Please keep the whole open for as long as possible, ideally up to 10 days to allow the abscess pouches to heal from the inside out and to drain every little spec of infection out of it to prevent a return. You may have to work off the scab that seals the opening in later stages (not a nice process) in order to drain flush the abscess with a syringe; be fairly forceful about pushing the water in, so it goes into all the pockets. Any mild disinfective will do.

I am linking in our 'Abscess Queen' @furryfriends (TEAS) who has the greatest experience in this respect.
Thank you! It’s good to know his pus isn’t weird, I was definitely worried about the gross firm texture of it. On the bright side it doesn’t really smell like everyone warned. We’ve also been advised to use providone-soaked cotton buds to scrape the gunk out between flushing it, I’m trying to be firm but gentle and it’s a fine balance!
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
29,082
Reaction score
38,615
Points
2,425
Location
Broadstone, Dorset
Christian had a HUGE abscess last year. This is what it looked like on the outside
Christian lump from outside.jpg

This is the actual size of his abcess

Christian Abscess 1.JPGChristian Abscess 2.JPG

and this is his abscess being cut open

 

Merab's Slave

Forum Buddy
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
21,247
Reaction score
25,242
Points
2,375
Location
Wirral, UK
Jemimah had a persistent abscess which the vet and I finally decided needed surgery to be completely removed.
It would be cleaned out, flushed, heal and recur a feed later.
She ended up with a bald patch on her side.
Surgery worked wonders and we’ve had no problems since.

Hope you can get Ralis sorted out.
 

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
Jemimah had a persistent abscess which the vet and I finally decided needed surgery to be completely removed.
It would be cleaned out, flushed, heal and recur a feed later.
She ended up with a bald patch on her side.
Surgery worked wonders and we’ve had no problems since.

Hope you can get Ralis sorted out.
Thank you, I hope we can get him sorted out too. I’ve heard so many nightmare stories about abscess I’m preparing myself that he might need the surgery. I’m definitely going to discuss it with the vet when we take him for the check up next week. I’m worried the location (his neck) will make it very risky. To make it more complicated, he’s a rescue from a bad situation, about four years old, and has some health problems that haunt him. He struggles to put on and hold weight, with this and probably the stress of moving house in February he’s lost quite a bit of weight. He isn’t worryingly skinny, but he’s definitely skinner than I want him to be.

I love him dearly and he’s a complete angel, but he’s a lot of work sometimes! 😆
 

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
Christian had a HUGE abscess last year. This is what it looked like on the outside
View attachment 123640

This is the actual size of his abcess

View attachment 123641View attachment 123642

and this is his abscess being cut open

That was both gross and informative, thank you! 😄

Ralis’ was definitely around that size too. It was ridiculous and just appeared practically overnight. He genuinely looked like he had full-on mumps (I admittedly had a guilty giggle about that after I realised he wasn’t in immediate danger).
 

Auster

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
155
Location
York, UK
Sorry about the wait I had to check the name! He’s on Engemycin.

That’s the thing! It doesn’t really smell that much and it definitely isn’t bright yellow. More of a pale grey. He did have a cyst some time ago and that was a very dark grey inside. I know this probably sounds dumb, but could his colouring have something to do with it? He’s completely black.
I’ve realised that last bit might have sounded weird! I mean the colour of his skin and fur might have an impact on the colour of the gunk? His cyst definitely had some broken-down black fur in it, but I get that’s a totally different thing so I’m probably talking rubbish haha.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

Forum Founder
Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
13,430
Reaction score
12,698
Points
2,225
Location
Director at TEAS (East Hunsbury) Northampton
Often the whole abscess capsule can't be surgically removed from this area. However, the abscess will need to be marsupialised, so it is left open for flushing and a good antibiotic prescribed. We tend to use Zithromax (azithromycin) and for stubborn abscesses a combination of Zithromax and Marbocyl. Regardless of how this is dealt with, your guinea pig is going to need surgery, as if it can't be removed entirely, it will need to be surgically opened and stitched open.
 
Top