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Just Told My 2 Y.o. Has Tumor, Needs Put Down

belfastyank

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I have 2 boars who we adopted a little over a year ago and are now 2 years old. I noticed Munchkin, the more dominant boar, had slightly gungy eyes so for a week I was wiping them with cooled boiled water. They didn't seem infected but didn't improve and he didn't seem quite himself so I brought him to the vet Friday.

The vet noticed he seemed skinny. I hadn't noticed until that point that he had lost a bit of weight. I separated the piggies a few times over the weekend so I could monitor what was going into and what was coming out of Munchkin. He's eating and drinking less than normal and the few poops he did were small and dry. I was worried about GI stasis and also worried about an incident a few weeks back when one of the piggies really chewed up a plastic bowl I'd tried out. The vet felt his tummy and walked out of the room to get a second vet to feel his tummy. She said there's a tumor (and when I asked if it could be a blockage, she said it's not) and he'll need to be put down ASAP.

Sorry for the long post, it's just seems so sudden that I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. I am assuming since 2 different vets felt his tummy, they must be pretty confident that it is a tumor. She recommended bringing him back tomorrow to be put down but I'm wondering would it be bad of me to wait a couple days to have more time with him?

My last question is this- I don't want to just run out and get another piggy, but will my other piggy be very lonely?
 

AimeeOx

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Are your vet and their colleague cavvy savvy?

I've not experienced anything like this, but I would have thought they'd at least have gone for an x-ray? I'm sure other members with more experience will be along to help.

Is the little boy still with you?

Sending hugs x
 

eileen

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How cavvy savvy are your vets?if these are general vets and usually treat cats and dogs they may not have had a lot of experience with guinea pigs.i would possibly ask for xrays and ultrasound to confirm there diagnosis.it maybe that your vet is correct but i would want a positive confirmation before PTS.What a dilemma this puts you in.you could also ask for a 2nd opinion.i do hope you can get a firm informed decision.:hug:
 
D

DM030819

I fostered a pig that had a tumour. I didn't even notice it, the vet did when he went for a routine wellness check.

The vet scanned him to see what the tumour was and where it was situated. Unfortunately it was a difficult tumour, but we opted for surgery anyway. He had to be PTS during the surgery.

Not a great story unfortunately but there are options to try first. A scan or xray.

I've had other pigs with lumps and bumps who have had an xray and then the lump successfully removed.
 

anyar.dris

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It may be helpful to get a second opinion. You can search from the vet locator in the forum.

My Bunny had an operation a few weeks ago. The vet noticed that there was a big lump in her stomach and they thought it was an enlarged ovaries. They did xray but they can't see any since she had gas (hence we took her to the vets) after a week of medication and she hasn't improved, we opted for an operation. It turned out that it's not actually enlarged ovaries but an enlarged lymph node because she has stomach ulcers. They found it just because she went for an operation.

It's best getting a second opinion and not just put him to sleep right away. Also, start syringe feeding him if he is not eating properly.
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome

I feel for you - that is the kind of news you never want to hear!

However, as your vets are not offering an operation, I would go for a second opinion and a scan if that is possible. It may still come back with the same advice, but you know at least where you stand then. It very much depends on where the tumour is located, how large it is and whether it is already affecting other organs - and of course how experienced your vet is!

I have made the decision twice to not operate in older piggies but to let them live out their lives as much as possible without any undue suffering (on painkillers of course!)
In the first case, an abdominal tumour had already spread into the guts and Llewelyn died soon after. In the second case, what I took for an ovarian cyst that was to be drained turned out to be a tumour. The very experienced vet recommended not to operate because Tanni had an irregular heartbeat which would have put her at a much higher risk in any operation (hence why we had opted for draining in the first place). Tanni lived another 15 months until 6 1/2 years of age. In her case, her tumour wasn't affecting her at the time of the diagnosis.

Please keep your boy topped up with syringe feed (mushed pellets will do in an emergency) and switch from the regular weekly weigh-in to a daily one at the same time. The poo output reflects what has gone in 1-2 days before. Please be aware that hay makes around 80% if the daily food intake, which you cannot control otherwise.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide

Here are our tips for what you can do for a bereaved guinea pig: Looking After A Bereaved Guinea Pig
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RingoandOlly

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Good luck! I hope it doesn't turn out to be a tumour; my friend had a vet tell her to get her piggle put down but she was skeptical so she got a cavy savvy vet's opinion and it turned out to be some overgrown teeth that this other vet easily filed down. What a waste of life that would've been! That piggy is still alive and happy now. All the best for your little boy. xxxxx
 

GPTV

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i definitely wouldn't have him PTS tomorrow -or before i'd explored any other avenues if i were you.

I'm with the others & think a scan or Xray should be tried first, it could be something such as an abscess or fatty lump... was it a big or small lump, where was it located, was it a deep internal lump or surface type of lump?
i know Ireland doesn't really have any recommended vets on here & that vets are hard to come by, but could you try another veterinary practice near you for a second opinion?

The vet you spoke to seems to have a "guineas are disposable pets" type of attitude from the lack of treatments offered, if she thinks your Guinea is in pain, then she should have prescribed him painkilling medication, what other forms of 'quality of life' issues does she think he's experiencing?

if it was my guinea i would work on the 'comfort & quality of life' aspect & when i felt he had tipped the balance to borderline or lacking then i would consider PTS.

Did she check if he was dehydrated, had enlarged organs (kidneys/heart, etc), good dental health? these can all be factors in Guineas losing weight or having dried up /small poops.

Please consider seeing another vet, as i think your current one has no interest & little knowledge in guineas, with no option for discussions on suitable exploratory treatments to suggest for you....
her "it's got a lump, must be a tumor, put it down" attitude quite frankly shocks & horrifies me, sounds like she needs a course on her bedside manner & interpersonal skills as well as a cavy care course!

Just remember your guinea doesn't sound like it knows hes ill, if he's just 'not quite himself' i would aim for giving him a chance & attempting recovery food plus giving extra water to him, to try & get some weight back on for a start, get him sorted with pain medication in case that's a factor (pain stops guineas from eating as much & lessens their appetite).
If it is a life limiting condition/tumour then at least you will have given him the chance to enjoy his last few weeks/months, you'll know what you're dealing with & can offer suitable palliative care until his time comes to cross rainbow bridge.

Healing vibes & fingers crossed for you & him,
keep us updated.

xx
 
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PollyThePiggy

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I have 2 boars who we adopted a little over a year ago and are now 2 years old. I noticed Munchkin, the more dominant boar, had slightly gungy eyes so for a week I was wiping them with cooled boiled water. They didn't seem infected but didn't improve and he didn't seem quite himself so I brought him to the vet Friday.

The vet noticed he seemed skinny. I hadn't noticed until that point that he had lost a bit of weight. I separated the piggies a few times over the weekend so I could monitor what was going into and what was coming out of Munchkin. He's eating and drinking less than normal and the few poops he did were small and dry. I was worried about GI stasis and also worried about an incident a few weeks back when one of the piggies really chewed up a plastic bowl I'd tried out. The vet felt his tummy and walked out of the room to get a second vet to feel his tummy. She said there's a tumor (and when I asked if it could be a blockage, she said it's not) and he'll need to be put down ASAP.

Sorry for the long post, it's just seems so sudden that I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. I am assuming since 2 different vets felt his tummy, they must be pretty confident that it is a tumor. She recommended bringing him back tomorrow to be put down but I'm wondering would it be bad of me to wait a couple days to have more time with him?

My last question is this- I don't want to just run out and get another piggy, but will my other piggy be very lonely?


That is so sad. ;( Our last guinea pig died suddenly and even that was terrible. (We think she chokoed on her salt lick) I would get your other piggy a friend if possible. PIgs are sotial and unless you bring them up alone they may not be happy by themselves.
 

belfastyank

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Thank you so much to everyone for your replies and support. I brought Munchkin to the vet today and I was an emotional wreck thinking they might put him down. He hasn't lost any significant weight and even though his appetite isn't what it used to be, he is still eating. He's clearly not himself and his eyes are a bit sunken but he's still standing on his hand legs whenever I walk past the cage. Today I saw a third vet and she also felt the tumor. She basically told me he's on borrowed time, but he seemed bright enough so there's no rush for him to be PTS. Still sad, of course, but it was a relief as well that we'll be able to spend a little more time with him while he's still well. The vet said he didn't appear to be in a great deal of pain.

The vet who told me about the tumor the other day is pretty cavy savvy, but GPTV ^^ was right in saying she needs a course in bedside manner! If she had just said in the first place that he'll be going downhill quickly and will need to be PTS when he seems to have a poor quality of life, it might have saved me and the kids a few tears. As for now, I'm weighing him regularly and, to keep him hydrated, giving him water and dioralyte from a syringe and feeding him veggies with a high water content, like cucumbers and tomatoes.
 

PollyThePiggy

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i wish you and your cavy the best. I really hope he is feeling good even if you time with him is too short. ;( I am super glad though that he doesn't appear to be in too much pain. wishing you the best!
 
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