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Mammary Tumour On My 2-year-old Sow

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bryan888

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Hi everyone,

Hoping to get some medical advice. I've recently discovered a large tumour (2x3cm) on the left breast of my 2-year-old female guinea pig. I'm not sure how long it's been there, I don't examine her underside often because she's quite skittish to be picked up. No changes in her behaviour, she seems as healthy and active as ever. Medically, she gave birth to 4 babies (3 lethal whites) when I first rescued her. I took her to the vet last week. The vet helped outline my options. The vet could do a biopsy that costs $180 CAD to see if it's cancerous (benign and malignant) but that there would be a 50/50 chance of inconclusive results. Surgery (costing $1500 CAD), carries mortality risks with the anesthesia and would be the next step regardless if a biopsy is done or not (which makes the initial biopsy seem unnecessary). The surgery would examine a sample of the lump for biopsy purposes as well to inform future planning. The vet said that since my guinea pig is healthy, I could just monitor the lump and its changes. I asked if many guinea pig owners in my shoes would not opt for surgery and monitor instead, and she said yes. I find small pet vet bills already very expensive ($100/visit, is this a Canadian thing? I live in Toronto), and I'm just not sure what would be the best option for my guinea pig (monitor as she is healthy, surgery which is $$$/risky but is what many online forums suggest doing, get a second opinion? I've changed vets already because I found my first vet too self-interested).

Thanks in advance,
Bryan
 

JenniferG

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Hi, that is incredibly expensive. I am in the UK and my vets our more expensive that I see others mention here. Two of my sows had their mammary glands removed and the surgery was a success, the cost was around £100 - £150, which is much less than your vet is charging. We didn't have a biopsy though as the lumps needed to go either way as they can just keep growing and stop the guinea pig walking. We've only had problems with surgery when the guinea pig was already sick or not eating, all our healthy pigs have been fine with surgery. Our second sow to have the lump removed was noticeably happier after surgery and running around more.
 
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DM030819

One of my boars had surgery to have a mammary tumour removed. We also had it tested and it was benign. So, we could have left it and monitor for growth.

I opted for the surgery as his nipple was leaking fluid and a tiny bit of blood so I didn't want to risk infection.

As the surgery is very expensive would it be worth having the test done, and in the meantime try to save up in case the surgery is needed? You could ring around a few vets to get a quote on how much it would cost, and then either swap vets or ask yours to lower the cost if you can find it cheaper elsewhere?

The choice is 100% yours. I'm usually quite a drastic decision maker and so for surgery, but others aren't so full throttle.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Often these tumours grow quickly and if it is malignant it is important to take a good margin of tissue from around it, in addition to the tumour itself, to reduce the chance of it recurring. Therefore it is important to remove it before it gets too large, or it could become very difficult to close after surgery.
 
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