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Ovarian Cysts Apparently Resolved, But Behaviour Continues + Other Physical Symptoms

Danielle Smith

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#1
My girl Tablet started showing signs of ovarian cysts a few months ago after her babies were weaned; complete change of behaviour (previously very quiet, not the rumbling humping terror she is now), fat redistribution, crusty nipples. No noticeable hair loss, but she is a sheltie. I took her to the vet who did a scan and we found a very small cyst. After being treated once with a hormone injection, the symptoms resolved and we couldn't see the cyst on a scan.

However, all of the symptoms have now come back. She's worse than ever, and she's also not taking care of herself as previously (manifesting as a very wet matted bum; no squeaky wees or blood in urine though).

She's lost 50g in weight this month (putting her down to 900g, she feels very skinny), and has lost 100g in the past 3 months since symptoms started in earnest. She's eating absolutely fine, and pooping up a storm. I'm offering extra food in the form of CC and oats, which she'll have a nibble at but isn't too keen on. To be honest, I think the weight loss may be from her constantly chasing the other pigs, but I can't separate her even with a grid wall as she'll climb it to get to the other pigs.

I went to the vets a couple weeks ago thinking we needed another injection but the vet wouldn't do it as no cysts showed up on her very thorough scanning.

I want to take her again as there's obviously something going on, but the vet's done pretty much all the investigation she can at this point. I'm thinking of just going for a spay but I'd be very worried because of how thin and delicate she is at the moment.

I'd travel with her if necessary to seek treatment, but she's terrified of travelling and doesn't cope well at all, so I'd rather minimise that unless it needs to be done.

I just want your opinions before I call my vet again!
 

piggieminder

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#2
Sending Tablet healing vibes and very best wishes to you, it's so hard when you don't know what's wrong.
Sorry I can't offer an opinion but didn't want to read and run!
 

Wiebke

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#4
I am sorry for your problems. It can sometimes take two rounds of hormone treatment to settle them - or it can be a new cyst forming.

Some cysts are not hormonal in nature, but these are generally the large 'silent' ones that do not cause all the behavioural and visible symptoms.

This area is generally not yet all that well researched (but so much about guinea pigs isn't). It is great that we have at least an alternative to a full spaying op these days, but that may be the next step if hormone treatment doesn't work.
 

lauralucy

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#5
Hello,

I currently have a piggy Maria who had ovarian cysts, these were removed August last year.

This year around June time she started humping all the girls in the cage (doesnt hump the boy though)

It can't be hormonal. so vet said could be dominance or boredom.

We are now in November and she still humps the girls and has lost weight (she also weighs about 920g), she is fine in herself and eats, drinks etc.

I would be interested to know what vet says if it is not hormonal.

Maria is 4.
 

Wiebke

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#7
Thanks for your replies!

I've booked her in for a pre-spay checkup this Wednesday, I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet!

@lauralucy, I'll let you know what the vet thinks!
Here are our post-op tips. So far, two of my sows have required a spay; one for two very large non-hormonal cysts (one of which had got attached to the gut) and once for a womb that had gone wrong, but the vet told me post-op that Cariad also had a some rather nasty looking cysts coming out.
Tips For Post-operative Care
 

Wiebke

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#9
Thanks @Wiebke. I've had 4 boars go through neutering with varying speeds of getting back up to normal, but a spay is quite a lot more invasive so will certainly be perusing the thread again.
I have both times kept my sows with their companion; but both have made a good and full recovery.

Iola did have some water build-up on the belly, but that went away by itself as it was too close to a muscle to be drained. She's back to her old splendid figure now...
Just don't be shocked - spayed sows will still dominance rumblestrut and mount!
 

Danielle Smith

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#10
Certainly I'll make sure she stays with at least one friend. Only problem is she's in a herd with 2 other sows and a boar; can I keep them all together as long as she's not being bullied (everyone is actually very loving to her when she's not mounting and rumbling).
 

Wiebke

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#11
Certainly I'll make sure she stays with at least one friend. Only problem is she's in a herd with 2 other sows and a boar; can I keep them all together as long as she's not being bullied (everyone is actually very loving to her when she's not mounting and rumbling).
What I did with Cariad (Iola was in a pair with already spayed Hafren) is that I had her with husboar Bryn during the op trip and for the first day post-op until I was sure that Cariad was back to eating fully by herself; considering that she was just 700g, she had a flawless recovery. Iola took a little longer due to her gut adhesion, but she was never in danger and she was in her normal pen with Hafren all the time.

Just choose the mate your girl is best friends with until she is stable again. The company will help to de-stress her and hopefully aid her recovery. If necessary rub all piggies with the same soft rag ti intermingle scents and stage a short re-intro on neutral ground before you merge them all again.
 

Swissgreys

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#12
Nothing medical to add, but I wanted to wish you and your girl luck. :hug:
Hopefully she will be a happier piggy after the spay (not immediately after obviously, but you know what I mean).
 

VickiA

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#15
Hope all goes well. All 3of my current sows are spayed, and 2former piggies were spayed, too, all recovered well and have lived healthy lives. Good luck.
 

Danielle Smith

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#16
Tablet is (finally) going in for her pre-op check up tomorrow. She seemed to stabilise for a while, but now her weight is 800g even -- she's lost over a quarter of her bodyweight since her heaviest post-baby weight :( Last time we checked (April this year), there were no signs of cysts on scan or palpation but she's got all the symptoms, now including -- upsettingly -- hair loss.

Took some photos of her today :wub: She had better pull through.
IMG_20180724_222315.jpg
IMG_20180724_222216.jpg
 

Wiebke

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#17
Tablet is (finally) going in for her pre-op check up tomorrow. She seemed to stabilise for a while, but now her weight is 800g even -- she's lost over a quarter of her bodyweight since her heaviest post-baby weight :( Last time we checked (April this year), there were no signs of cysts on scan or palpation but she's got all the symptoms, now including -- upsettingly -- hair loss.

Took some photos of her today :wub: She had better pull through.
View attachment 91555
View attachment 91554
All the best! The hormonally very active cysts are usually small ones that do not necessarily show up.
Tips For Post-operative Care

If it is any consolation for you, my 4 year old Cariad came through her emergency spay at just 700g of weight and only 6 months after a major bladder stone operation. Her womb had gone wrong, but the vet also found some nasty looking cysts.
 

Danielle Smith

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#19
Thanks everyone for the vibes and reassurance. I'll hear back this afternoon.

The vet found something tangible this time: swelling and tenderness in her right-hand side. Even if it's not a cyst, there's still something going on
 
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