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Adult Guinea Pig
Nov 9, 2012
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Older sows can be prone to ovarian cysts & also bladder stones stuck in their urethra. Please check your girls regularly especially if they are making any unusual noises. It usually affects over 4 year olds more but isn’t unknown in 3 year olds.

For ovarian cysts there are 2 things to look for. The first is hair loss especially on their backs & sides. The other noticeable thing is crusty nipples which is a build up of keratin around their nipple. In the short term you can remove it by applying Vaseline & rechecking the next day to see if it’s soft enough to fall off. If it’s really bad you may have to do this for 2 or 3 days. If you come across the above then please make an appointment to see you vet to get her checked out. Vets can often tell there’s something wrong by just feeling around that area but often they will use ultrasound scan to see more. Sometimes this can be treated by hormone injections but more often a spay (total hysterectomy) is needed. After the op your piggy should live a normal life. If not treated early then tumours may also be present so regular monthly checks are needed.

For bladder stones sows can often pass them through their urethra but often they will get stuck just before they were due to come out. The signs are often an ‘ooh’ sound while weeing or some other sort of distress sound. Visibly check her pubic area and if a stone is present you will often see this area looking swollen & if you squeeze gently you can feel something hard under the surface. In extreme circumstances they may need an emergency op where an incision needs to be made because the stone is much too big to pass through but more often the vet can help it out with a little manipulation plus some KY jelly. Sometimes with anaesthetic sometimes without.

It’s really unnecessary for sows to die from these conditions so please check your girls regularly.

I have written this after sadly losing Roxy who was just over four. She came into the rescue 6 days ago & when I gave her a health check I first noticed her hair loss & crusty nipples. On checking again the next morning I noticed she was dribbling wee & checked her round that area & found there was definitely something inside. She went to the vets that afternoon where stone was removed & she also needed small incision & one stitch. She was given ultrasound & it was found that she had at least one ovarian cyst plus a large mass which was some sort of tumour. She went in for the operation this afternoon where it was found she had 2 large ovarian cysts plus a large tumour which was pressing on her bladder & also wrapped around her uterus. Sadly she couldn’t be saved & I agreed with our vet to have her put to sleep. I just hope that some of you will do these checks and not have to bring their loved one home to be buried like I did today.

The first stone came out of Roxy who passed away today. She needed one stitch. The second large stone came out of Anna earlier in the year. She needed 8 stitches. The smaller stone was manipulated out of Minnie with the help of some lubricant x
Roxy's stone 2018-09-12.jpg2018-06-20.jpg2018-06-20.jpgRoxy 2018-09-12.jpg


Staff member
Mar 10, 2009
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Coventry UK
I am so sorry - so sad that she hasn't found you in time. :(

Thank you for sharing your story.


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Forum Donator 2020/21
May 22, 2011
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I'm so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing this information with us. It's very useful to know.
Sleep tight Roxy x