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After vet visit care

Haileyc143

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Last week I discovered a huge growth on my guinea pigs face that appeared overnight and I took her to the vet.

I want to give as much background as I can before I ask my questions. I have two guinea pigs. I got both of them back in November. I am a new guinea pig mom so constructive criticism on how I should be taking care of them would be helpful but please be nice, I’m doing my best.

Bella was just a baby when I got her. The veterinarian was able to confirm that she was only a couple weeks old when I got her. I got Blaire at the same time, but the vet was unable to tell me how old she was. She has not grown much since I got her- maybe just a little bit chubbier. Every day twice a day I give them fresh water, Timothy based pellets, Timothy hay, and about a cup of Romain lettuce. Once a week I clean their cage using small pet cage cleaner. I put down puppy pads and then a soft bedding. Their cage is a 40 gallon aquarium with plenty of room for them to move around. Their cage is also in the basement. I have found centipedes and spiders in their cage before. This last time I was cleaning out their cage, after I found a lump on Blaire‘s face, I was being very careful and inspecting everything. They had diarrhea in there little hiddie-hole-house and where they usually pee there was a little bit of blood. I gently squeezed the lump on the side of her face and it felt hard. She did not squirm, cry, or try to bite me which was an indicator that she was not in pain from it. She has been itching her growth periodically, though. The only changes to their diet have been that I switched over their treats from sweet potato Timothy based to apple banana Timothy based, which I only get them once a week at most. Blaire has always been missing fur on her ear, and when I felt her ear it looked red and felt hot. I’m not sure if she has a fever or not. She has always been super skittish. She cries really loudly when you pick her up, and she whines in the middle of the night as well. She hides away a lot so it’s hard to watch her normal habits.

that is when I took her to the vet. He informed me that she had an abrasion that it got infected. He drained the lump and gave me a painkiller and an antibiotic to give to her. The lump is still very present and hard. Blaire is now on day eight out of 10 of her medicine. I have timer set on my phone and she gets it exactly the same time every day and the lump is still there. She has had terrible diarrhea and gas. And she has not been eating as much as she should be. The other thing that I noticed is she seems to be agitated. Usually she is pretty calm when no one is around. But now she digs around a lot and has snapped at Bella once or twice Are these all just side effects from the medicine? And should I be nervous about the lunmp still being present?
 

Lady Kelly

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I would be concerned the lump is still present as it sounds like the abscess has refilled. It doesn't sound like side effects of medication but signs that something is not right.

She needs to see a vet again if she has not improved or has gone downhill. Is your vet particularly knowledgeable with piggies? Vets that have enough knowledge and experience to treat them can be hard to come by.

Where are you based?
 

Haileyc143

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Thank you for replying. Unfortunately none of those vets are near enough for me because of the Covid pandemic. I’m very limited on what I can do. I couldn’t even take them to the regular vet because they were too far out. But the but I did take them to was highly recommended by a friend. The lump I don’t think refill because it wasn’t fully disappeared when she came back from the vet. It has just stay consistent. I wasn’t too concerned at the beginning because I figured it was just swollen from being messed with and infected. But it has not changed in size since she came home. Neither of my piggies are eating too much. They will nibble on Hailey here in there but they aren’t touching their lettuce. I’m afraid that maybe both of them are depressed? I don’t know what to do about it.
 

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I would say it does need another vet check. Something doesn’t sound right.

If they aren’t eating enough hay, then that can be a sign of a problem. Diarrhoea and blood in pee is something that needs addressing.
Vegetables only make up 15% of their daily food intake and hay is the most important part. You need to weigh your piggies to ensure they are eating enough hay. If they aren’t eating enough and are losing weight then they need to be syringe fed.

You say they are in a 40 gallon aquarium - it’s important that they have enough single level floor space - for two sows you need an enclosure of 120cm x 60cm at a minimum. Is the aquarium that size?
 

Haileyc143

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I’m not sure how big the cage size is I’ll have to look that up. But I noticed that her lump started oozing pus and it is now decrease significantly in size presumably due to oozing. I called the vet as soon as they opened and they’re going to squeeze her in in between appointments today. Thank you all for your help!
 

Haileyc143

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Thank you everyone for the kind messages! I took Claire to the vet and he told me that her lump had gotten infected and refilled. Everything else that was going on was just symptoms of her being uncomfortable and in pain. He made a small incision and completely drained the lump. She is on antibiotics for another 10 days. Plus he gave me some nutrients powder that I mix with hot water that’ll keep her hydrated and full of vitamins. He also suggested I do a warm compress on her three times a day. And to keep both of my piggy separated until she is fully healed. Since she has come back from the vet, she’s more lively and she has been eating more already. Here is a pic of her right now- I think she’s still slightly stoned.
 

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Piggies&buns

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Thank you everyone for the kind messages! I took Claire to the vet and he told me that her lump had gotten infected and refilled. Everything else that was going on was just symptoms of her being uncomfortable and in pain. He made a small incision and completely drained the lump. She is on antibiotics for another 10 days. Plus he gave me some nutrients powder that I mix with hot water that’ll keep her hydrated and full of vitamins. He also suggested I do a warm compress on her three times a day. And to keep both of my piggy separated until she is fully healed. Since she has come back from the vet, she’s more lively and she has been eating more already. Here is a pic of her right now- I think she’s still slightly stoned.
I’m glad she is getting treatment.

We don’t recommend separating them because being with their companion is important and separation can cause stress. Vets can underestimate the importance of piggies being together when they recommend separation. If she is likely to become injured by the other piggy then that is a different. If you are going to separate then when it comes to reintroducing them you need to make sure that you do it on neutral territory and follow the correct bonding procedure. While they are separated keep their cages next to each other so they can still speak and see each other through the bars And it’ll hopefully make it a bit easier for them to accept each other back.
 

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If the lump is an abscess caused by a bite or cut that became infected, which is what this sounds like, just draining the lump is unlikely to be enough long term- it will just refill and the infection may spread... surgically removing it, or surgically draining it then keeping the wound open so you can flush it out yourself at home regularly until the infection is gone while piggy has strong antibiotics like zithromax, is a better long term solution that you should discuss with your vet. Although I appreciate that with the covid situation this may be tricky right now, without a specialist vet available. Best of luck x
 

Haileyc143

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Thank everyone for your advice. My vet gave me critical care to feed to Blaire but she is fighting me really hard. And spitting it out once I finally get some in her mouth. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos on how to do it and I know it’s supposed to be a slow and careful process. But she is extremely uninterested in any type of food. I still have them in separate cages but I’ve been keeping them together when I have them out and I can watch them to make sure that they’re not gonna fight. I’m just very worried about her not eating.
 

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Haileyc143

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After reading theses messages early this morning, I put them back together. I tried feeding her critical care but she would not take it. She was visibly getting weaker by the hour and when I was on the phone with the vet, trying to get her in, she sadly passed away. Thank you everyone for your advice, I tried everything I could. But it wasn’t enough.
 
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