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Mites Or Ovarian Cysts?

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Florrieberry

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Our little 11 month old piggy, Florrie, went to vets few weeks back with weight loss, no other health signs so decided it was due to recent increase in herd from 3 to 6 (and cage increase) as she is a bit timid. So that settled and she put back about 25g so far. Last week noticed a small bald patch on back with dark patch below (which could be her skin colour) so back today, checked her out with purple lamp, ruffled coat to get any bits out and checked with magnifying glass, then gave Ivermectin injection (due to repeat 2 weeks) in case of mites. So get her home and notice dry extended nipples, and having read about cysts went straight back. Having assured him they werent normally like that he is going to do ultrasound scan Tuesday.
If it is cysts, what would you generally expect for treatment? He said that it was often the op, when I questioned hormone treatment he said it depended on type of cyst and that it was only a temp fix. Have added a pic of her dry nips, any advice please as I would like to be prepared. Thank you
 

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helen105281

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Glad the vet is doing a scan, at least you should know one way or the other. I would suggest hormone injections and/or draining of the cyst first of all. A spay should be a last resort really though she is young enough to cope with it. I would find out how often your vet has done the op though if you did decide to go down that route.
 

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Hi there,
I have an elderly sow Ellie, she had awful problems with reoccurring urinary tract infections &bleeding badly when she pooped.
No classic signs of hair loss, crusty nips, hormonal behavior, etc associated with ovarian cysts.

She had a conscious ultrasound that showed a walnut sized lump that turned out to be an ovarian cyst.
The vet said my only option was a spay&at 5yrs old she wouldn't operate because it was too risky.

I suggested the hormone injections, the vet did a bit of research &agreed to the injections.
She had 2 jabs 7-10days apart.
This was march 2014.
She only had 1bleed afterwards
The lump shrunk &Ellie improved considerably :)
Then march 2015 she was all puffy &not her usual self. With a big lump protruding from her side. The vet gave her a second round of hcg hormone injections &the lump has decreased.

She now has other health issues but heyho!

I think the main consideration should be- how experienced is your vet at gpig spays?

If it turns out to be cysts at 11months she has youth on her side to stand a better chance of recovery &a permanent fix.

But the vet must be competent &experienced with guinea pig operations. Also recovery depends a lot on her aftercare- from the vets &yourself. Have a look at the threads regarding this. (sorry my mobile isn't letting me post a link.)
Wound care, pain relief, probiotics, recovery food, syringe feeding etc are all covered here.

Discuss with your vet & if your not entirely sure it is cysts. Then maybe go with the injections first as a lower risk starting point &if it only is effective for 12months then she's still not too old to be operated on in the future.

Keep us updated &hopefully its only mites.

Healing vibes. Xx
 

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I would also recommend trying draining or hormone injections before looking at spaying. It is a big op and you need a very experienced vet.
 

Florrieberry

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Thanks all, he seemed to discard the idea of draining by the comment 'some people actually stick a needle through the tummy to drain them with the piggy still conscious' (and this piggy is def a squirmer) is this always done consciously?
When I mentioned I had heard of hormones be replied 'well you need to know exactly what kind of cyst it is for that to work and it can gone on forever rather than be a permanent fix'.
So that's why I wanted to gather as much info as possible beforehand so I can discuss it rather than leave it to him.
He wasn't too worried initially about the nips with her being young, said she may just have bigger nips than average and have some dry skin but I said they are def larger than they used to be, and better to be sure than leave something (£56 for a scan and of course the insurance claim had to be over £60! That of course is discounting if she needs further.)
Anybody know anything about the hormones? I think he said you have to use the same as for cats and dogs? Thank you @Elwickcavies @helen105281 @GPTV
 

Elwickcavies

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The hormone that is used is Chorulon, which is used for horses and cattle. Usually the dose is 0.2 ml for a Guinea pig by subcutaneous injection at the shoulder and if the cysts respond, often two injections 4 weeks apart are enough.

Draining does require the sow to sit still, and for the cyst to be pushed towards the surface, but I gather GA is not necessary.

I would consider getting a second opinion from a more cavy savvy vet before you decide anything. It sounds like your vet isn't really open to anything other than a big op.
 

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I'm glad to say my vets are very reasonable /cheap compared to a lot, however they are not exotics vets or particularly cavy savvy-most of the girls treatments have been at my request/persuasion, luckily they are open to suggestions. Also they are a large rural practice about 10+ vets so only a couple of small animal vets generally that I deal with.
But the (hcg) chorulon injections are actually cattle hormones.

oh sorry i thought this & the rest had posted yesterday dinnertime-my mobile obviously decided not to have enough signal to post or the rest of my draft to save grrrr :(
as Elwickcavies suggests i would definitely get a second opinion from a cavy savvy vet (are there any local to you on the vet locator?)

the rest of my post was along the lines of...
Ellie was booked in for an appointment at the end of a surgery session & i held her for a quick tummy shave & then the ultrasound scan, she was conscious throughout. it was also fascinating to watch all the bit n pieces inside & movement etc.
the scan was included in my consultation fee.
the 2 vials of (cattle sized dose) hormones were ordered & each had to be reduced down to a guinea sized dose & the rest was discarded from each vial. a single vial was approx £20 i think. although i have read that others on here have paid £50-£60 per injection/vial on here.
Ellie had her injections approx 7-10 days apart, she squealed like a diva (apparently very painful) but was quickly consoled with some yummy nom noms ;)
other than that no other side effects.

they may have no effect, as i know when i was trying to decide whether to try them or not, some people said they made no difference.
Ellie has had them twice now (2x lots of 2 injections) a year apart & seem to have worked well both times, however she is nearly 8 yrs old now & a spay was definitely not an option.

could your vet round up the charge for the scan to get the insurance to pay, or class it all as one treatment & lump it all together, or is it strictly per itemized treatment/visit?

@biscandmatt has also had dealings with the injections, she may have advice for you to?

quite a few of my girls have had quite long/ big nipples, are you sure she isn't just well endowed?
please ensure that the original thought of mites/lice has been ruled out before any surgical or hormone treatment is started.

hope this has been of some use?

good luck & healing vibes :)

luv the girls & I. xx
 
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biscandmatt

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your vet is right in that all ovarian cysts are not the same, and not all cause problems. the nipple issue is not necessarily cyst related and infact when i mentioned it to my exotics vet he said he would not associate it with problem ovarian cysts and it is not a problem he commonly see's in relation to ovarian cyst issues. however weight loss is, but without any other symptoms aswell, weight loss could be for so many other reasons aswell.

a vet should also beable to feel ovarian cysts quite easily if they know what they are feeling for, even when the cysts are very small. an ultrasound can confirm for sure, but is not always necessary because it won't tell you much more than you already know... that there is a cyst.

if she doesn't have any other issues health wise that point to cysts then i would be wary of treating for them at this stage. i would at the very least get more information from an exotics/cavvy savvy vet first.

the reason maisie had treatment was because she had recurrent chronic cystitis that was not clearing very easily. after weighing up her symptoms and her age (over six), the vet decided that hcg injections would be the best course of action for her. she had two injections 7-10days apart and this made a real difference to her and her chronic cystitis finally shifted after a long process. she stayed stable for a while before becoming ill again. after more tests, unfortunately her cysts had become a real issue for her and were causing her alot of pain. so much that she was on metacam and tramadol aswell. it was recommended that the way the cysts were then, a spay was her best option, however they had to say that i needed to seriously consider whether that was in her best interests being over six years old. sadly in her case, we didn't get the chance to decide as she passed away peacefully not long after i spoke with the vet.

as you probably know, most sows over a certain age will have cysts but not all will cause problems.

i agree that you should speak with a more specialist vet before deciding where to go with this. and i also agree that with her age, you have the option of trying the hcg injections if the type of cyst allows this, before possibly having to go for draining or a spay in the future. obviously a spay will solve the issue straight away but it is a big op and alot for them to go through. i'd be confident in a specialist vet performing the procedure but like someone else said, the aftercare is just, if not more, important.
 

Florrieberry

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I'm glad to say my vets are very reasonable /cheap compared to a lot, however they are not exotics vets or particularly cavy savvy-most of the girls treatments have been at my request/persuasion, luckily they are open to suggestions. Also they are a large rural practice about 10+ vets so only a couple of small animal vets generally that I deal with.
But the (hcg) chorulon injections are actually cattle hormones.

oh sorry i thought this & the rest had posted yesterday dinnertime-my mobile obviously decided not to have enough signal to post or the rest of my draft to save grrrr :(
as Elwickcavies suggests i would definitely get a second opinion from a cavy savvy vet (are there any local to you on the vet locator?)

the rest of my post was along the lines of...
Ellie was booked in for an appointment at the end of a surgery session & i held her for a quick tummy shave & then the ultrasound scan, she was conscious throughout. it was also fascinating to watch all the bit n pieces inside & movement etc.
the scan was included in my consultation fee.
the 2 vials of (cattle sized dose) hormones were ordered & each had to be reduced down to a guinea sized dose & the rest was discarded from each vial. a single vial was approx £20 i think. although i have read that others on here have paid £50-£60 per injection/vial on here.
Ellie had her injections approx 7-10 days apart, she squealed like a diva (apparently very painful) but was quickly consoled with some yummy nom noms ;)
other than that no other side effects.

they may have no effect, as i know when i was trying to decide whether to try them or not, some people said they made no difference.
Ellie has had them twice now (2x lots of 2 injections) a year apart & seem to have worked well both times, however she is nearly 8 yrs old now & a spay was definitely not an option.

could your vet round up the charge for the scan to get the insurance to pay, or class it all as one treatment & lump it all together, or is it strictly per itemized treatment/visit?

@biscandmatt has also had dealings with the injections, she may have advice for you to?

quite a few of my girls have had quite long/ big nipples, are you sure she isn't just well endowed?
please ensure that the original thought of mites/lice has been ruled out before any surgical or hormone treatment is started.

hope this has been of some use?

good luck & healing vibes :)

luv the girls & I. xx
Thank you, very helpful. There's always hope the scan will be negative, fingers crossed.
 

Florrieberry

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Thank you
your vet is right in that all ovarian cysts are not the same, and not all cause problems. the nipple issue is not necessarily cyst related and infact when i mentioned it to my exotics vet he said he would not associate it with problem ovarian cysts and it is not a problem he commonly see's in relation to ovarian cyst issues. however weight loss is, but without any other symptoms aswell, weight loss could be for so many other reasons aswell.

a vet should also beable to feel ovarian cysts quite easily if they know what they are feeling for, even when the cysts are very small. an ultrasound can confirm for sure, but is not always necessary because it won't tell you much more than you already know... that there is a cyst.

if she doesn't have any other issues health wise that point to cysts then i would be wary of treating for them at this stage. i would at the very least get more information from an exotics/cavvy savvy vet first.

the reason maisie had treatment was because she had recurrent chronic cystitis that was not clearing very easily. after weighing up her symptoms and her age (over six), the vet decided that hcg injections would be the best course of action for her. she had two injections 7-10days apart and this made a real difference to her and her chronic cystitis finally shifted after a long process. she stayed stable for a while before becoming ill again. after more tests, unfortunately her cysts had become a real issue for her and were causing her alot of pain. so much that she was on metacam and tramadol aswell. it was recommended that the way the cysts were then, a spay was her best option, however they had to say that i needed to seriously consider whether that was in her best interests being over six years old. sadly in her case, we didn't get the chance to decide as she passed away peacefully not long after i spoke with the vet.

as you probably know, most sows over a certain age will have cysts but not all will cause problems.

i agree that you should speak with a more specialist vet before deciding where to go with this. and i also agree that with her age, you have the option of trying the hcg injections if the type of cyst allows this, before possibly having to go for draining or a spay in the future. obviously a spay will solve the issue straight away but it is a big op and alot for them to go through. i'd be confident in a specialist vet performing the procedure but like someone else said, the aftercare is just, if not more, important.
Thank you, I will take all this advice with me. Fingers crossed.
 

Florrieberry

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Sadly scan showed a mass on right ovary, partly cystic partly unconfirmed. The vets are going to do some research, discuss and see what they think is the best option to try hormones or operate. Little Florrie is only 11 months old, which is on her favour I guess but my daughter was very upset and tearful (I bought her piggy for an early Xmas present last October). I'm trying to resist and gathering info about vets reputation. So far so good., but a step I didn't think I would have to take with a young one.
 

biscandmatt

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Sadly scan showed a mass on right ovary, partly cystic partly unconfirmed. The vets are going to do some research, discuss and see what they think is the best option to try hormones or operate. Little Florrie is only 11 months old, which is on her favour I guess but my daughter was very upset and tearful (I bought her piggy for an early Xmas present last October). I'm trying to resist and gathering info about vets reputation. So far so good., but a step I didn't think I would have to take with a young one.
there is a vet locator at the top of the page if that would help. an exotics/cavvy savvy vet is recommended for any issue, but this sounds more complex with the unconfirmed issue aswell so i would be looking to have specialist vet treat her. they see these things day in day out.

age is definitely on her side which always helps and it sounds like you have caught this early so fingers crossed the vet can provide a treatment plan to either solve her issues or keep them under control and keep her stable.

i know what you mean about not expecting it with a younger pet. when eddie was poorly the end of last year i was really shocked because i just didn't expect it at all.

hopefully though with treatment and your care, you can find out what is going on for sure and get her stable and well again. x
 

Florrieberry

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there is a vet locator at the top of the page if that would help. an exotics/cavvy savvy vet is recommended for any issue, but this sounds more complex with the unconfirmed issue aswell so i would be looking to have specialist vet treat her. they see these things day in day out.

age is definitely on her side which always helps and it sounds like you have caught this early so fingers crossed the vet can provide a treatment plan to either solve her issues or keep them under control and keep her stable.

i know what you mean about not expecting it with a younger pet. when eddie was poorly the end of last year i was really shocked because i just didn't expect it at all.

hopefully though with treatment and your care, you can find out what is going on for sure and get her stable and well again. x
Thank you. I did check the last of vets a while back but non near enough to be driving a party survey piggy home from. However I have heard some good things about McNulty's, the vets we have used. Investigation continues while we await their recommendations.
 

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Thank you. I did check the last of vets a while back but non near enough to be driving a party survey piggy home from. However I have heard some good things about McNulty's, the vets we have used. Investigation continues while we await their recommendations.
i was going to suggest using the rcvs find a vet site but it appears to have gone weird! think they're updating it or something. anyway, at least you have heard good things about yours, and they can always consult with another exotics vet if needed. good luck :)
 

Florrieberry

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i was going to suggest using the rcvs find a vet site but it appears to have gone weird! think they're updating it or something. anyway, at least you have heard good things about yours, and they can always consult with another exotics vet if needed. good luck :)
Thank you
 

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To cut a long story short, we swapped vets to Rose Cottage in Runcorn, who have been brilliant (so far we have seen Ken Robinson and Jen Quayle) we tried a course of Chorulon which seemed to work for a short time. (Weight went up & humping behaviour stopped) After 2.5 months Florrie got bilateral hair loss and her weight went up more than its ever been, (you can see why in the pic ) so yesterday she was spayed and she is back home today, she has been eating, drinking, bowl and bladder working. They let her take a cage mate with her to keep her company as well, to avoid the stress of loneliness. She can't go back into their usual cage yet photo.JPG photo.JPG 20151004_125410.jpg as she likes to hurtle up & down the ramps, but she can come out to play with the gang at playtime, so long as we don't put out any of the things she usually jumps on top of! So here she is in her first 'baby cage' , and (not for the squemish) the giant cystic ovary just removed!
 

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Thank you.. Its been very nerve wracking!
Even tho the vet is delighted with how quickly she woke and started eating, every time she rests I have to remind myself that all the other piggies are dozing in both cages ! We lost a piggy in August quite suddenly so it's been hard going, however I would recommend Rose Cottage 100%, they care for the animals like they were their own, all the staff are kind and friendly, 24-hour access, no question is a question too many, well worth travelling 27 miles to! (moved here when Florrie was misdiagnosed, only when I pushed for scan where my suspicions confirmed at the old vets , yet the minute Ken from Rose Cottage picked her up be could feel the enlarged right ovary as well as a small cyst on the left which hasn't been picked up)
 

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I had 4 spayed sows (now sadly 3 after losing Noodles in August - not spay related) its amazing how quickly they bounce back - Noodles came round from her spay and was eating within 10 mins (but she always was the greediest of all my piggies ).
 

Florrieberry

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I had 4 spayed sows (now sadly 3 after losing Noodles in August - not spay related) its amazing how quickly they bounce back - Noodles came round from her spay and was eating within 10 mins (but she always was the greediest of all my piggies ).
That's comforting to know, in case it happens to any others. All I had heard was how easily they can be lost with the anaesthetic or gut stasis.
 
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