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Mass by jaw..

Gail Lambert

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Hi my guinea who is 4.5 and stopped eating and the vet said has a mass by jaw. He is not eating much..The vet said they'd need to aneasthise ( sorry no idea about spelling ). He seemed to suggest that he might be able to move it though it would costhundreds and they may.not be able to.move it and the prognosis maybe poor..He might die under anesdthetic. He has lost alot of weight.
I'm so upset. He may only be a guinea but I love him. His brother died of bloat. His cage/hutch pal has also been to vet.
I just feel bad because he has been one of two pigs and lost his brother and not been part of a pig community or had the experience with a lady pig.
That must seem silly but I'm sensitive and have had lots of human losses and animals, several untimely.
Please advise what action i should take, urgently.
Gail
Many thanks indeed.
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m sorry to hear he isn’t well.
Do they know what the mass is yet?
Is your vet experienced with guinea pigs?
What medications is he being given?
Is he being syringe fed?
 

Gail Lambert

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Well i would say No to all other questions I'm.about to get syringe feeding going.
 

Siikibam

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Start weighing him daily at the same time so you can adjust syringe feeding so as to help him maintain his weight.
 

Piggies&buns

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If you aren’t sure about this vet, then you have the right to get another opinion. It’s important your vet has knowledge and you trust their opinion and experience.

How much weight has he lost?

As siikibam has said, switch from weekly weighing to daily weighing to ensure you are getting enough syringe feeds into him to stop the weight loss.

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Weight - Monitoring and Management
 

Swissgreys

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Lumps in the jaw region can be caused by many conditions, not all of which require surgery and hundreds of pounds worth of treatment.

I am currently in week 3 of treating Harry for a jaw lump (which turned out to be an abscess) and touch wood it's going well, and has cost me just under 100 pounds so far.
Given that your vet has offered no practical advice, pain killers or other meds after your first visit, I would seriously be looking elsewhere for a second opinion.
 

Gail Lambert

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If you aren’t sure about this vet, then you have the right to get another opinion. It’s important your vet has knowledge and you trust their opinion and experience.

How much weight has he lost?

As siikibam has said, switch from weekly weighing to daily weighing to ensure you are getting enough syringe feeds into him to stop the weight loss.

Not Eating, Weight Loss And The Importance Of Syringe Feeding Fibre
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Weight - Monitoring and Management
He has lost overall snout 3/ 10.of a kilo.
 

Siikibam

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:agr: That is a large amount of weight lost. Over what time frame has he dropped it?
 

Gail Lambert

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I'm not too sure. He was in his hutch and.i brought him in weighed him. I thought at first that the other one was getting to the food more which has happened before. So as i said i separated them and then we.noticed things were not getting better. Ive been hand feeding a bit. Did not know about syringe feeding till.
 

Siikibam

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When did you last weigh him, and what did he weigh then? Weekly weighing should be done as part of their lifelong health check. It's a good indicator of whether they're eating enough hay or not. If there was no issue with their relationship then they should have been okay staying together. Separating can cause stress for them sometimes.

You need to get your boy to the vet (another if necessary) to have a once over. Have a look at the vet locator and see which one is near you. Give them a call and see what they say.
Vet Locator
 

Piggies&buns

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I'm not too sure. He was in his hutch and.i brought him in weighed him. I thought at first that the other one was getting to the food more which has happened before. So as i said i separated them and then we.noticed things were not getting better. Ive been hand feeding a bit. Did not know about syringe feeding till.
Ok that’s fine.
Syringing a piggy who isn’t eating is important as it reduces the weight loss but also prevents them from going into stasis - it literally keeps them alive during a crisis.
Guinea pigs need to be weighed weekly throughout their entire lives. It’s the only way to know they are getting enough hay, as hay is their main source of food. Normally you see weight gains or maintaining each week. However, If weight loss gets to 50g of loss then you go onto alert and start weighing daily and step in with support feeding. Once 100g weight loss occurs, then that is of concern and then vet treatment is needed, more syringe feeding more often (every couple of hours) to stop the weight loss as well as other treatment and checks to find out what is going wrong.
Separating him from his friend, if their relationship was perfectly functioning, isn’t necessary. They should always have hay available in multiple places around the hutch so they always have access to plenty of it at all times.

Now your piggy has lost so much, he needs to be syringe fed regularly to prevent further weight loss. You will need to weigh him at the same time every day as if is the only way to know you are syringing him enough.

How much does he weigh now?

When is the vet going to find out what the lump is and treat it?
 
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Freela

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Not eating/weight loss and a jaw mass could be a lot of things... I would query an abscess because I've had two pigs with similar symptoms. Has the vet done anything to figure out what the lump is? A needle biopsy (literally just poking it with a needle to see if it's a solid mass or a fluid-filled collection) is a really basic, in-office test that can be done at the initial assessment. I'm wondering if your vet has much experience with guinea pigs... it may be worth a second opinion with a vet with better knowledge of guinea pig dentistry, it can make a HUGE difference in prognosis!

Others have mentioned the syringe-feeding, and this is the biggest piece you can do right now... wishing you and your pig all the best!
 

Gail Lambert

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I originally posted about this last Tuesday and received good advice but things have moved on wedge.

Hi my guinea who is 4.5 and stopped eating and the vet said has a mass by jaw. He is not eating much..The vet said they'd need to aneasthise ( sorry no idea about spelling ). He seemed to suggest that he might be able to move it though it would cost hundreds and they may.not be able to.move it and the prognosis maybe poor..He might die under anesdthetic. He has lost alot of weight.
I'm so upset. He may only be a guinea but I love him. His brother died of bloat. His cage/hutch pal has also been to vet.
I just feel bad because he has been one of two pigs and lost his brother and not been part of a pig community or had the experience with a lady pig.
That must seem silly but I'm sensitive and have had lots of human losses and animals, several untimely.
Please advise what action i should take, urgently.
Gail
Many thanks indeed.


I pointed out he had been outside in his hutch with attached large run and when I brought him in both he and his cage mate had lost weight, actually. I notice a rat had got into their cage and had started eating the food so that had to be sorted. I wasn't too concerned as Robin had lost weight as well. . When I brought Nibble in again I noticed he had lost more weight and so I brought him in and fed him because I feel that Robin tends to get to the food a bit quicker. Then he still seemed to be losing weight and I took him to the vet.

Since then I have fed him as best I can on mashed nuggets which he eats off of a teaspoon. I'm desperate to build him up because at 7.74 kilo I don't think he'd survive any surgery. I couldn't get him to take a liquidised form. He had 3 heaped teaspoonfuls on Tuesday then one on Wednesday then two on Thursday and a bit on Friday.

I asked the vets if they could provide me with something to build him up and some pain relief though he did not seem to be in pain. I called them back at their request this morning and spoke to another vet who said guinea pigs tend to hide their pain anyway and I should bear that in mind, in also said that reading his colleagues notes he thought his colleague was saying that it would be perhaps kinder to put him to sleep, that I need to make a decision in the next few days and to bear in mind that they will be down to one vet at the end of the week.

I'm so conflicted and confused. If I cant get syringe feeding to work then I think he will simply starve and I cant allow that to happen so he would have to be put down then. My plan was to build him up and then take him to undergo investigations and surgery, if useful. The vet clearly did not feel the mass was an abcess but couldn't say what it was.

We have looked after him and the other piggy as well as possible and done everything that it states you should do for pigs but as you can see from my original note I dont feel it is enough and feel a bit bad to be honest. I realise he is only a guinea pig but he is my guinea and I like to be thorough. I shall be very upset when he goes whenever that is.

Last year he had an infection and I had to take him and Robin on holiday with me to Devon in order to keep delivering the meds. The vet felt he had most probably come to the end then but I turned it around.

Once again I ask for guidance as I am conflicted, confused sentimental old fool.

Thanks in advance

Best wishes
 

Wiebke

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Hi!

I have had several piggies go through a full op that were old or a lower weight. The oldest was just one month short of 7 years for removal of a large cyst (under observation) that had decided to put on a sudden growth spurt and burst during my vet's summer holiday absence. And the lowest weight one of my piggies has pulled through a make or break bladder op was 520g (on the Monday; down from 700g on the Friday).
So you have to weigh up whether you want give forfeit or risk it in a make or break operation with the chance of him making a full recovery. I fully understand how difficult that decision is to make having been there several times weighing up the pros and cons in each case individually and making any decisions with the particular piggy in mind. In the end, it always comes down to a leap of faith.

I can't comment on your vet situation having no idea which part of the UK your are in. Adding your county instead of your place is much more helpful for us and protects your privacy better. We are all doing this for free in our free time and would rather spend it on answering questions that googling maps. Thank you.
 

Gail Lambert

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Hello, I want to thank you for your reply and for the work you do with this forum. I'm very sorry for not putting the right location details on there..I wasn't fully aware of the protocol.
I'm actualy in Hampshire, half way between Portsmouth and Southampton. Thank you..
 

Wiebke

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Hello, I want to thank you for your reply and for the work you do with this forum. I'm very sorry for not putting the right location details on there..I wasn't fully aware of the protocol.
I'm actualy in Hampshire, half way between Portsmouth and Southampton. Thank you..
If you could please put 'Hampshire' as your location, then that would help us members and mods from the Midlands and Scotland. ;)
It's not an area I am personally familiar with.

The county is specific enough for us to give you any recommendation in your wider area but not so specific that you are putting yourself at risk of identity theft. We want to help but also prefer to keep you safe while on here. :tu:
 
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