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Likely Ovarian Cysts, Spay Or Other Treatment?

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sarahpiggies

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Hello everyone - I'm looking for advice on whether to go for a spay operation for my piggie Twiglet. I brought her into the exotics vet at Holly House in Leeds a week and a half ago as I suspected ovarian cysts. She has lost weight (usually 1kg, now hovering around 900 - 930g and her ribcage is felt easily), has large crusty looking nipples and has hair loss (first on her sides but now I have noticed hair thinning pretty much everywhere - she also seems to nibble it away - is this normal?). She has always been a very rumbly pig but now she rumbles at pretty much everything(!) and also definitely seems more agitated and less chilled than she used to be.

She went in for an ultrasound last Wednesday, the vet said it was difficult to tell due to gas and her not keeping still but she thinks the ovaries looked cystic. With all the other symptoms we think she has small cysts inside the ovaries rather than large cysts on surrounding tissue.

The vet is looking into the price of hormone injections etc. but feels confident that a spay may be best as hormones don't work in many cases (she said 50%) and as she seems otherwise healthy and is young (she is only 18 months :(). She is eating fine but I'm worried she is continuing to gradually loose weight and seems agitated, possibly in some pain(?). This makes me lean towards surgery. The vet says the success rate is around 80% but they do a lot of emergency spays on older females who are already ill and going downhill. Then again if she seems okay (acting bright and eating normally) should I try other treatment first?

I am in turmoil and just want to do what is best for my baby, can anyone help by offering advice, letting me know what you would do or sharing your own experiences with ovarian cysts? :(:help:

I have another appointment on Saturday but I think I will ask to speak to the vet over the phone tomorrow as its a long way to travel when she doesn't really need to see Twiglet again. Are there any other questions I can ask?

Thank you!
 

VickiA

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Many members on here have had success with hormone injections. However, I had 2 of my older ladies spayed earlier this year. Both had the minimally invasive surgery - a small incision on each side to remove the ovaries- which my exotics vet specialises in. Both girls recovery remarkably well and were much happier (no more rumbling and grumbling) after the surgery. I wouldn't hesitate to have any of my girls spayed in future if they had symptoms.
 

helen105281

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My Fuzzy had microscopic cysts earlier in the year and had an emergency spay which she sailed through. It was Simon Maddock who did the spay though and he has done the op so many times. Injections were suggested but it was too far advanced with Fuzzy for them to be effective. She had the crusty nipples, hormonal behaviour and general thinning of her hair all over. I do have experience of the injections with my Terk though who had an ovarian tumour and the injections gave us a whole extra year with her.
 

TAN

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I have had 5 spayed sows ( and am probably the record holder of the highest number of spayed sows on here ) - two were spayed by Simon Maddock and 3 by my piggy specialist Rachel Mowbray - Bumbalina was only spayed a week today - she was up and eating within half an hour of the op and running around as normal the next day - she only weighs 820gs as she is just over 4 months old - your vet is right in saying that the injections only work 50 % of the time as this is what my specialist told me - while there is always a small risk with an anaesthetic my vet says that if a piggy doesn't make it through an anaesthetic it is because there is already another existing problem or an underlying health issue that the owner and vet are unaware of - she is also heavy enough to be spayed as the ideal age for spaying a female piggy is from 12 weeks upwards.
I would personally go for the spay to save any messing about and insist it is done by the vet that has the most experience spaying - my quote was for between £91 - £113 for op including gut stimulant and pain relief - but my vet charged me £81 as she has spayed so many that she can carry out the procedure very quickly and this saves money as surgical time is charged at about £6 a minute - I would suggest you get the vets to give you an estimate and if it is larger than my top end figure of £113 I would ask them why .
 

GPTV

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hi there. My Ellie had reoccurring uti's with really bad bleeding. She would clear up with antibiotics then as soon as they were finished the the uti's came back.

The vet wanted to find the cause of the problem so gave her a conscious ultrasound scan &found a walnut sized lump that she believed was an ovarian cyst. She told me because of her age (6yrs old) she wouldn't spay her due to the increased anaesthetic risks etc.
I suggested the hcg (chorulon) injections from information I had gathered from books etc, but mostly from here.

She telephoned the drug manufacturers whilst I was there &got info on dosages etc.

I had to wait a day or two for the vials to arrive, they're basically a cattle hormone. I had to sign a disclaimer but the negative side effects seem very minimal. Generally it seems they just have no effect opposed to any problems.

I can't remember exactly but I think the injections were approx £20 each &Ellie had 2 that were 7-10 days apart. Plus the cost of the consultations. (although I have read some people paying£50 for each jab).

Ellies lump decreased quickly in in size, she was far happier &her coat condition improved drastically. But the biggest difference was she had about one more bleed &never bled again afterwards.
About a year later she had another round of 2 injections as the lump returned. This worked well again &I lost her aged 8 to multiple health issues.

She never had any of the text book signs -crusty nipples, really hormonal, hair thinning, etc.
I found the jabs worked for Ellie &due to her age it was the lowest risk treatment available.

I would discuss with your vet how many times they have performed this &similar operations.
Double check its not hair thinning through mites or fungal issues.
What the success rate for their practice is with this.
If the cysts are too advanced for hormone injections then maybe a spay may be more effective, especially as she is younger &healthy generally.
This would minimise future issues with the reproductive system too.
No risk of an emergency spay or operation risks/infection when problems may be unexpected at a later date with limited time &your girls not in tip top condition generally.

I would consider how much you trust your vets ability/experience & the options available to you.

Let us know how you get on. Xx
 

3Tyger

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I would get her spayed. It must be better to remove the problem completely if you can, especially if you suspect she might be in pain already. I hope that her treatment goes well, whichever option you choose. Best of luck to you both :)
 

sarahpiggies

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Thank you so much for your replies! I just spoke to the vet again and she is recommending spay as the best option for Twiglet, she had looking into the various medical treatments including Lupronide (v.expensive and not readily available in the UK), Receptol which is GNRH at around £340 and Choluron (HGC) at £160. I told her I was thinking of going for the spay option and asked her questions - the surgery usually lasts 15 - 20 minutes, they use internal stitches and glue (?), they syringe feed afterwards to get the guts moving and will hospitalise if they are not happy with the progress, they give metacam and motility drugs afterwards and to take home (not antibiotics usually but sometimes). The healing time is approximately 5-7 days and the success rate is 75 - 80%, though again this includes operations on older less fit females - however there is always a risk, as some piggies just don't bounce back from surgery.

I have booked her in on Thursday....
 

3Tyger

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Awww... good luck Twiglet, hope the operation goes well & that she makes a full & speedy recovery. Sending a healing hug! :hug:
 

sarahpiggies

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Update - Twiglet has had the operation, uterus and ovaries with small cysts removed. The op was a bit tricky as apparently she had a very large uterus for her size - we put this down to the fact that the cysts were pumping out hormones and she was basically constantly in heat. I was so worried when they said they wanted to keep her in overnight but thankfully I was in Leeds for the day and they let me pop in and see her on my way home. They told me how they waved parsley in front of her as she was waking up from the anaesthetic and she gobbled it right away, I thought 'that's my girl!' :roll::roll: they wanted to keep her in more so because the op was done later in the day than expected. I saw her in her little kennel and was assured someone would be there all night to look after her.

Thursday night/Friday morning they called to say she was doing well and I picked her up yesterday evening. She is quiet and subdued, but eating and pooping so that's good at least! I have metacam and ranitidine to give her twice a day. If anyone has any handy tips on making them feel comfortable and keeping them interested in food please share :) She has times where she is just sat in her blanket not moving - should I just let her rest (if so how long) or encourage her to go eat hay etc.? Also how long did people wait before putting them back in with other piggies? I have put her in the main cage supervised and watched her wander about, nibble on hay and pee/poop but one of her cage mates has been a bit dominant towards her so I am worried to leave her in there in case she gets stressed (at the moment she is in a separate small pen made out of C&C grids slotted into the main cage).
 

3Tyger

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I'm so glad she had the operation and is safely back home :yahoo:
I think there is a thread in this section somewhere which has lots of advice on post-op care.
 
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