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Ovarian Cysts - Draining Procedure In Older Guineas

sazmatazz

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Hi everyone. I've been meaning to post about Mabel's cyst situation for a while in the hope that it might be helpful to others.

We've now had Mabel for 4.5 years, when we got her from a rescue we were told she was 3-4 yrs, so she's around 7-8 years old. Our old lady piggy <3

In the last couple of years she has developed ovarian cysts but after previously losing younger piggies following surgery for spaying we were reluctant to put Mabel through that.

Around 6-9 months ago we became concerned that the cysts may be getting bigger meaning there was less room for everything else in there, possibly leading to Mabel being gassy and in pain, so moving around less.

We discussed possible options with our exotics vet (Sarah Brown at Holly House in Leeds) who has previously used hormonal treatments but has found that although the cysts initially shrink, it can actually then accelerate growth after an initial dip.
We therefore opted for the cysts to be drained - basically in the hope that if they come back, it would happen more slowly.

Mabel had the procedure on 27th September as an outpatient. Sedation wasn't needed and Mabel's hair didn't have to be shaved because she has some old lady hormonal bald spots! It went smoothly. The vet used ultrasound to locate the cysts and drained them using a very fine needle. There was no visible wound afterwards.
Mabel had some metacam after the procedure to make sure she wasn't experiencing pain.

Back at home she snuggled up for a few hours on a heat mat but was soon back to her usual happy self. 12ml of fluid was drained from one of the cysts, basically the size of a large strawberry! Mabel completely changed shape!

I'm pleased to say that the cysts have shown no sign of returning a few months later. We are hopeful it will stay that way throughout her twilight years.
(I can't remember the exact cost but we think it was around £50-60 so it is potentially something that could be done again - mind you we would pay any costs needed if there was going to be a benefit to Mabel!)

I thought Mabel's story might be helpful for others who have old age piggies if they can't have risky surgery on ovarian cysts.

I have attached a photo of Mabel enjoying a short playtime on the grass several hours after her procedure :)

Screenshot_20171231-173507.png
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone. I've been meaning to post about Mabel's cyst situation for a while in the hope that it might be helpful to others.

We've now had Mabel for 4.5 years, when we got her from a rescue we were told she was 3-4 yrs, so she's around 7-8 years old. Our old lady piggy <3

In the last couple of years she has developed ovarian cysts but after previously losing younger piggies following surgery for spaying we were reluctant to put Mabel through that.

Around 6-9 months ago we became concerned that the cysts may be getting bigger meaning there was less room for everything else in there, possibly leading to Mabel being gassy and in pain, so moving around less.

We discussed possible options with our exotics vet (Sarah Brown at Holly House in Leeds) who has previously used hormonal treatments but has found that although the cysts initially shrink, it can actually then accelerate growth after an initial dip.
We therefore opted for the cysts to be drained - basically in the hope that if they come back, it would happen more slowly.

Mabel had the procedure on 27th September as an outpatient. Sedation wasn't needed and Mabel's hair didn't have to be shaved because she has some old lady hormonal bald spots! It went smoothly. The vet used ultrasound to locate the cysts and drained them using a very fine needle. There was no visible wound afterwards.
Mabel had some metacam after the procedure to make sure she wasn't experiencing pain.

Back at home she snuggled up for a few hours on a heat mat but was soon back to her usual happy self. 12ml of fluid was drained from one of the cysts, basically the size of a large strawberry! Mabel completely changed shape!

I'm pleased to say that the cysts have shown no sign of returning a few months later. We are hopeful it will stay that way throughout her twilight years.
(I can't remember the exact cost but we think it was around £50-60 so it is potentially something that could be done again - mind you we would pay any costs needed if there was going to be a benefit to Mabel!)

I thought Mabel's story might be helpful for others who have old age piggies if they can't have risky surgery on ovarian cysts.

I have attached a photo of Mabel enjoying a short playtime on the grass several hours after her procedure :)

View attachment 77698
Draining is a valid alternative to a spaying operation where age and frailty are a major factor and where the cysts in question are very likely not caused by hormones; this is more common in older sows with large cysts that do not cause any of the usual symptoms than in younger sows with hormonally active cysts. It is just usually not a permanent treatment, which is why it is so often overlooked as an option.

Glad that all has gone well for Mabel!
 

sazmatazz

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@Wiebke we felt that it was definitely worth a try for her and thankfully it went smoothly.
Our vet said that she's had some cases of cysts returning very slowly, some within a month or two but these weren't usually as big as the original cyst and some where they haven't returned at all within the lifespan of the piggy.
When I was looking for information on whether to consider the procedure specifically for older piggies I couldn't find much online, so thought it might be useful to share the above.
 

Janey

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Thanks for your post, it's very interesting and good to know. I have a piggy with ovarian cysts who is also a rescue. Not sure of her exact age but I think she's about 4 years old. We are currently monitoring the size of her cysts and have discussed the option of draining them as well. It's reassuring to know that someone else has gone through this successfully.
 
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