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SEBACEOUS CYST WHAT TO DO

Angela99

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Hi there

My Buttercup has a large cyst on his back. He's going to the Vet next week, but I wonder if you can help me bc I'm new at this. Is it surgically removed? I dont want him under any anesthetic. Or do they pop it? And he's awake? Also what do they charge roughly... I'm in Vancouver Canada and they wont quote me. If I leave it what will happen? I see on YouTube people pop it themselves or it ruptures but that looks like an infection will set in. I'm really worried about cost but I cant leave it.
 

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Bill & Ted

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Aw, Buttercup is gorgeous. My Ted had a cyst in his ear which started to leak of its own accord. We were due to find out the result of the biopsy the vet took the previous week. The results confirmed it was a cyst and the vet gently draIned the remainder of the fluid (like cream grease) left in with a tiny incision (2mm) It took a couple of minutes and no anaesthetic. He had a little scab for a few days and has had no further problems. It all depends on the size and location I think, some vets do like to remove the cysts, others are happy to drain them, and see if they fill back up again
 

PigglePuggle

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Hi! We would always recommend a vet check and very strongly discourage any attempt to burst a cyst at home- you are right that this would almost certainly cause an infection.
Some cysts can be left alone if they are small and not growing or bothering piggy, but if the cyst is large then getting the get to remove it is by far the best option.
Are you sure this is a cyst if you havent had a vet check yet? A vet will probably do a needle biopsy first where they just use a syringe to draw out a bit of what is inside the lump and look under the microscope to see what it is- cyst, abscess, tumour. This is usually cheap and included in your vet check charge and done on the spot, without anaesthetic, in my experience in the UK anyway.
The vet is the best place to start anyway, once they confirm the diagnosis they will be able to advise on options for leaving alone, totally removing by surgery, or draining if this is a cyst or abscess.
But you are completely correct that you cannot just leave it or home treat, well done for seeking out all the proper info and not trusting the first thing you see online!
Healing wheeks for Buttercup, he's gorgeous, glad you want to do your best to help him x
 

Freela

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What a cutie! I love pigs with red/pink eyes! One of my past pigs, Linney, had a large sebaceous cyst on her back... she had a needle biopsy and the cyst contents expressed, but following the needle biopsy, the skin over the cyst didn't heal properly, leaving an open area that was very likely to infect, so she needed to have the whole cyst surgically excised and the area stitched over. I was worried about it, especially since I had just lost a pig the month (different circumstances, though!) and didn't want anything to happen to her. But it went fine and we never had a problem with it again. Some cysts can just be left alone if they aren't bothering the pig, but that risks them rupturing on their own and needing treatment then, when the risks may have increased due to the pig's age, etc. It's definitely better to have the vet handle it than to do home care (even with the best precautions, a cyst rupture at home will not be under sterile conditions!) I know it's intimidating to be looking at surgery so I totally understand your concerns. There are some things to discuss with your vet prior to treatment- what kind of anesthesia used is one, and how often the vet performs surgeries on guinea pigs or other small animals is another. There is always a risk with any procedure, but if your vet is accustomed to doing small-animal surgery and uses an inhaled anesthesia, the risk can very much be minimized and the odds are in your favor. Good luck and hope everything works out fine!
 

Angela99

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Oh thank you! Its large on his back. It's gotten bigger. I'm just afraid of Vet suggesting the wrong approach but he is a rodent specialist. I wont attempt to do it myself but there are YouTube videos suggesting at home treatment... not safe to me! As long as he doesn't need anaesthetic and surgery, surgery. If you all say it's simple I'll stand in that when I see Vet. Love my Buttercup ❤❤
Hi! We would always recommend a vet check and very strongly discourage any attempt to burst a cyst at home- you are right that this would almost certainly cause an infection.
Some cysts can be left alone if they are small and not growing or bothering piggy, but if the cyst is large then getting the get to remove it is by far the best option.
Are you sure this is a cyst if you havent had a vet check yet? A vet will probably do a needle biopsy first where they just use a syringe to draw out a bit of what is inside the lump and look under the microscope to see what it is- cyst, abscess, tumour. This is usually cheap and included in your vet check charge and done on the spot, without anaesthetic, in my experience in the UK anyway.
The vet is the best place to start anyway, once they confirm the diagnosis they will be able to advise on options for leaving alone, totally removing by surgery, or draining if this is a cyst or abscess.
But you are completely correct that you cannot just leave it or home treat, well done for seeking out all the proper info and not trusting the first thing you see online!
Healing wheeks for Buttercup, he's gorgeous, glad you want to do your best to help him x
 

Siikibam

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Please don’t be worried if he ends up needing surgery. Lots of piggies get through it okay. And if he needs it he needs it. But fingers crossed it’s an ‘easy’ one 💕
 

Siikibam

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If it bursts I would just take him to the vet to have it sorted. When is the appointment booked for?
 

Siikibam

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I think you can flush the wound with a saline solution. It’s available at pharmacies. But if you can’t get hold of it you can make it at home.
 

VickiA

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I would see if you could get that seen sooner than Friday if you can.
We can’t tell from photos whether that is a cyst or something else. If it is fast growing, and pink in colour then it could be an abscess rather than a cyst. However since it appears to have no hair on it, it could be that your boy is nibbling at it because it is causing him pain and/or irritation. Whatever it is, the sooner a vet can see it the better. I say this because a controlled drainage or removal with a small incision is usually better than a rupture at home resulting in a larger open wound with possible infection getting in to the wound and jagged edges that can be more difficult to close (if recommended).
 

Lady Kelly

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I agree with Vicki. My late Peter had a sebaceous cyst in a similar place but it was slow growing and had hair over it. Due to his age and other health problems we left it alone. It did burst in the end but only a tiny hole and I cleared it every time it filled up. However this was only after having it diagnosed by a vet and my vet also recommending that we leave it alone
 

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I agree. Please try and see a vet before Friday. That looks pretty big to me and you ideally do not want it bursting whether it’s a cyst, abscess or something else.

My Erin once had a cyst above her leg. My vet recommended we leave it alone. It was fine for several months and then it grew. My vet managed to safely burst and drain it so no surgery was needed but she did prescribe a course of antibiotics to prevent an infection.
 

Angela99

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Thank you everyone! I appreciate your support since I know no one else with Guinea Pigs in Vancouver Canada. I saw vet today and he needs surgery... or they could drain but he said surgery is best option. It was a nerve wracking day I took both Truffle and Buttercup since they cant be separated. We all suffered anxiety today. He ll get surgery in a week or two just setting a date. Anyone have experience with post surgery in this kind of situation? I am afraid of anaesthesia but vet said it so rare that there is a problem and I'm online too much. He specializes in rodents. Thanks again
 

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Siikibam

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If they’re healthy with no underlying issues he should be fine. Even older piggies can tolerate anaesthesia.

Is the vet not able to squeeze him in the coming week? The worry is it bursting before it’s drained.
 

Angela99

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If they’re healthy with no underlying issues he should be fine. Even older piggies can tolerate anaesthesia.

Is the vet not able to squeeze him in the coming week? The worry is it bursting before it’s drained.
I booked his surgery for Thursday. So nerve wracking
 

Wiebke

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Also .. it's so big it looks like it's going to burst as I can see blood vessels skin is so stretched. If it bursts what should I do?! Please see photo
Hi!

If it bursts, contact your vet and see whether they have a free slot that is earlier.

This happened to my nearly 7 years old Hafren last summer while my piggy savvy vet was on holiday, so I had to have her seen by my local vets and wait 2 weeks until she could be operated (on an antibiotic to prevent infection). Her sebaceous cyst was one of the more rare type with a thick fleshy wall and a fleshy inclusion which bled badly when my local vets tried to express it.
Despite her old Hafren made a full recovery and lived until this year. ;)

if you are worried, here is our detailed post-op care guide if recovery is not quite going to plan. The good news is that your cyst is not nowhere any major organ or sensitive area nor is it a highly invasive operation. It has therefore a good chance for a smooth recovery. ;)
Tips For Post-operative Care
 
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