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Mammary Tumor

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Mongetron

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Hello,

I took my 6 year old guinea pig to the vet and was told he has a tumor. They didn't say what kind, if it is cancerous, or what to expect. They just said he is old, which was very depressing (being that we know that). We are thinking its a mammary tumor since his nipple is the area enlarged. However, he is not showing signs of slowing down. Still eating, sleeping, running around as normal. We were given an antibiotic of Enrofloxacin to give him once per day.

I am looking for any thoughts, suggestions or opinions on what to do or expect. Thank you in advance.
 

Lady Kelly

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear your piggy really isn't well, how cavy savvy is your vet? Did they say they expected an infection as well? (I can't think why they would give an antibiotic for the tumor). If you could let us know where in the world you are based (we have members across the globe) we can tailor information more easily.

Biopsies on lumps can be done but in my one experience kept coming back inconclusive. There are a number of different types of lumps that guinea pigs can suffer with and not all are sinister. I went with an option of a nearly 6 year old boar who had fatty lumps and a cyst to just let him carry on until he couldn't anymore and he lived til 7 years old but I couldn't have operated on him as I don't think he would have survived the anaesthetic. A really good cavy savvy vet would be able to rule out what they could and talk you through the other options so that you are able to make an informed choice on how to treat your pet
 

Wiebke

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Hello,

I took my 6 year old guinea pig to the vet and was told he has a tumor. They didn't say what kind, if it is cancerous, or what to expect. They just said he is old, which was very depressing (being that we know that). We are thinking its a mammary tumor since his nipple is the area enlarged. However, he is not showing signs of slowing down. Still eating, sleeping, running around as normal. We were given an antibiotic of Enrofloxacin to give him once per day.

I am looking for any thoughts, suggestions or opinions on what to do or expect. Thank you in advance.
Mammary tumours can happen in boars as well as sows. They can be both benign or malign; only a lab test can bring clarity on that issue.
It also depends on the nature of the tumour and how quickly it is coming up as well as the age of a piggy for a vet to decide what is the best course.

Could you please add your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can adjust any advice to what is relevant and available where you are. We have members and equiries from all over the world. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. This makes it appear below your username in every post you make. Thank you!
Enroflaxin is generally better known under the brand baytril.

@helen105281 @Elwickcavies @Jaycey
 
D

DM030819

@Mongetron I had a boar that had a few various lumps over his years and one was a mammary lump. It seemed to come up overnight and it never seemed to bother him.

He went to the vet and they took a needle of fluid from it and sent it off to be tested. It came back negative.

However, we decided to have it removed:
a) as he was in really good health and so a good candidate for surgery
b) his nipple leaked fluid and a tiny amount of blood if pressed so we really didn't want to leave it open to infection.

The surgery went really well, and he came round quickly. We had a bit of a hiccup when he removed his stitches and had to be rushed back to be done again. But I honestly think I was partly to blame for that as I didn't limit his movement enough and the stitches may have split.

The lump was sent away for testing and it came back benign.


I would recommend a biopsy or at least a scan to be done to try to see what it is.

Like Kelly mentioned some pigs can live for a long and happy time with a lump but I always try to work out what it is before deciding the next move.
 

Mongetron

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Thank you to everyone who responded! First, I updated my profile (I live in Tampa Florida, USA). I moved here a few years ago and found this vet who seemed to be knowledgeable about guinea pigs. However, each year my pig, Tippy Toe, had a Birthday, we would take him for a "physical" and he checked out ok. But like clockwork for the past 3 years, we keep hearing he is old. So now I am questioning how competent this vet is. After the exam last week, Tippy Toe, was very agitated and my guess is that it was from the squeezing of the tumor (yes it bleeds slightly) and from his nail trim. When we asked for our options, she mentioned surgery but said due to his age she would'nt suggest it. Ugh. As a result, I came home and found this forum. If there is a vet that you can recommend locally, I'm willing to go there for a 2nd opinion. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE!
 

Lady Kelly

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I found this vets on the guinealynx website however the two vets mentioned aren't listed as staff on the website so don't know if they still work there or have an exotics specialist there.
  • BluePearl - Tampa
    http://Bluepearlvet.com
    Tampa page
    Open 24/7 For Pet Emergencies
    3000 Busch Lake Blvd
    Tampa FL 33614

    Phone: (813) 933-8944

    Drs Shakeeri (probably spelling that wrong) and Lightfoot are the exotic vets there, and both have been taking care of Sue.
    Contributed by: Cramer - 1/23/2013, 7:56 pm
    Website verified: March 5, 2016; however, neither Dr. Shakeeri or Dr. Lightfoot are listed as Staff on the website.

How old is your piggy? I think there is an element of trying to manage expectations when it comes to vets and general anaesthetics in a small, young, healthy animal are risky let alone the risk for those older and unstable ones in poorer health. However, I would always expect my vet to provide the pro's and cons of all options (in this case surgery to remove and leaving him alone with the tumor) so that I could decide what is best. At the end of the day, as is the case for all of us, it's a no win situation. If you have the surgery and something happens you'll blame yourself. If you leave it alone you will always wonder if you should have operated. You could even end up going through surgery to find that, if it is malignant, it has spread. There are many possible outcomes of each decision and this is why being given the information from a vet is important.
 

Mongetron

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Thanks Lady Kelly! Tippy Toe is 6 +. As of last Sunday we had him 6 years. We got him as a baby but pretty sure he was at least 6 weeks already. I researched the vet you suggested and found a location closer. The website says if it is not an emergency then I need a referral from my vet. If it is an emergency they can take me at any time. I might call my original vet back and ask more questions. I also Googled exotic Vets and found a couple, so maybe a 2nd opinion. You are so right that it is a no win situation-based on which route we choose. Stressful! Thank you and have a great Easter, where ever in the world you are! :)
 
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