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Swelling post neuter

Lavinia

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Hi everyone. Long time no post! Sorry about that.
I’m posting to see what people’s opinions are. I’ve searched and read all the posts I could find so thanks for the wealth of information available in here.

So, bit of background history. At the end of August we noticed a lump on Jasper (jazzy) side.Went to the vets, they aspirated but there wasn’t much fluid at all. They booked him in and removed it. We decided not to send it off for testing as they got all of it and to be honest money! He did really well and healed up. No complications, eating immediately after it. All was well.

Fast forward to a month later and sadly his boar partner Flash suddenly passed away in his sleep ☹.
I thought long and hard about what to do and had a very long chat with my vet who I have a lot of faith in with regards to my pigs and rabbit.
I decided that I didn’t want to get another boar and be stuck in a never ending cycle of boars, I’ve always wanted a herd of sows. Therefore rather than leave jazzy alone for however long we thought it was worth the risk to get him neutered and then in a couple of months time get some lady friend for him to live out his final days with.

So, Monday he was booked in for the op. It was with the vet who I trust and who has done many guinea pig neuters. All went well, he came home. Was nibbling his food. Maybe not as enthusiastically as usually but couldn’t blame him for that. He was prescribed metacam one a day for 5 days post surgery.
Tuesday and Wednesday all looked good on checking. No concerns, eating drinking and pooing well. Behaving ok, maybe a bit quiet but nothing I was overly concerned about.
Thursday a lot quieter, hadn’t eaten much overnight and didn’t finish his veg from the night before. Noticed he was laying in one spot a lot. Picked him up and immediately noticed swelling in one side. Phoned the vets and took him right away. Unfortunately the vet I usually see was not working. The vet aspirated and stated there was no fluid at all. They wondered if it was the start of an abscess and we had caught it early. Therefore prescribed Baytril 0.4ml twice a day. And asked to see us again two days later so they could aspirate again and compare.

Back today- I don’t think personally it’s any bigger. Same vet asThursday. They aspirated and again nothing. So not clearly an abscess. Vet still wonders if it would have turned into an abscess but the baytril is working.
Jazzy definitely getting fed up and slowly going downhill in my opinion. Eating but no where near as much as usual. I have syringed critical care 3 times today to keep him topped up.He usually takes his medication soaked into one of my rabbit pellets, but he won’t take any food from me now at all so having to pick him up and syringe the meds in to make sure he takes him so I think he’s getting fed up of all the messing about now poor baby.
They also gave him subcutaneous fluids and a gut stimulation injection. And I’ve got emeprid to give 3 times a day too.

We are booked in again on Monday morning and my vets provide their own out of hours service so if things change over the weekend I have somewhere to go.
I just wondered if there were any further opinions. Particularly about the swelling but no pus on aspiration and therefore is this likely a potential abscess that’s being held back due to antibiotics or could it be something different entirely?

Thanks so much everyone for any help and support. I’m feeling very guilty for putting him through all this now but honestly just wanted the best life for him. P.s he’s a rescue, so don’t know exactly how old he is. Potentially 4 ish years old, but could easily be more. I’ve had him for 3 years and 9 months.
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Lavinia

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Piggies&buns

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The most obvious thing would be infection has set in But other than that, I don’t have any other ideas. As he is on antibiotics then that is obviously a good thing.
is he still on pain meds? Pain meds need ideally to be given twice a day to guinea pigs as they metabolise their pain medication much more quickly (in about 12 hours) So once a day usually isn’t enough.
 

Lavinia

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The most obvious thing would be infection has set in But other than that, I don’t have any other ideas. As he is on antibiotics then that is obviously a good thing.
is he still on pain meds? Pain meds need ideally to be given twice a day to guinea pigs as they metabolise their pain medication much more quickly (in about 12 hours) So once a day usually isn’t enough.
Yes he’s still on the metacam (well it’s meloxaid but it’s the same I believe) he’s on 0.18ml once a day. I suspected as much with the twice a day as I know rabbits are the same (I’ve had a hell of a lot of dealing with meds and issues with my rabbits over the years)
Would you say that’s the right dose? Could I split the existing dose or could it be increased?
I really appreciate all the help and advice. I’m hoping it’s my usual vet on Monday as he is much better with the small furry’s. And he’s very much open to suggestions re dosing etc.
 

Lavinia

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Replying again to clarify he’s prescribed the dog dosage metacam.
 

Lavinia

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Spamming my own thread. Sorry. (And just found the edit button and so I could have edited my last post instead of making a new one! Sorry again!)
I can see from searching the forum that the current dose is quite low. I suspect my usual vet would have upped the dose given the situation we are currently in.
I see that pigs generally can cope with up to 0.4ml dog metacam twice a day so I think I’ll give him another dose tonight as I’m quite worried he’s uncomfortable and in pain and that’s why he doesn’t feel like eating.
 

VickiA

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Firstly I am sorry that your boy's got this swelling. Firstly, I think he would benefit from a twice daily dose of metacam. That will help with both swelling and inflammation and may help him feel better. I see you are already on with that and you can safely give him what you have identified. Please weigh him daily and step in with syringe support feeding if he is losing weight as that would indicate that he is not eating enough.

What did the vets get out when they aspirated? It is possible post neuter or any surgery to have a seroma or a haematoma from the surgery. I have experienced both of these following surgery. It is also possible that it is the start of an abscess. I would ask your regular vet on Monday to scan him to see what is going on.
 

Lavinia

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Firstly I am sorry that your boy's got this swelling. Firstly, I think he would benefit from a twice daily dose of metacam. That will help with both swelling and inflammation and may help him feel better. I see you are already on with that and you can safely give him what you have identified. Please weigh him daily and step in with syringe support feeding if he is losing weight as that would indicate that he is not eating enough.

What did the vets get out when they aspirated? It is possible post neuter or any surgery to have a seroma or a haematoma from the surgery. I have experienced both of these following surgery. It is also possible that it is the start of an abscess. I would ask your regular vet on Monday to scan him to see what is going on.
Thanks so much. Yes I will start weighing daily. I’ve been syringe feeding today as a top up. I’ve seen him nibbling but not much so started that this morning, plus I know critical care as extra goodness for his gut in so thought it would help.
The vet said both times they got nothing out on aspirating, so that’s what had me puzzled about if it was an abscess or not. Thanks for your support and advice, it’s much appreciated.
 

Wiebke

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Hi!

I am very sorry about the post-op problems. I agree with @VickiA .

You may find our neutering, post-op care, emergency/crisis care guides and weight management guides helpful. The neutering guide contains a list of the most common post neutering complications. The other guides help you with tips when your piggy is not well.

Please always monitor his weight daily during the post-op recovery to make sure that he is stable. 80% of the daily food intake is hay, which you cannot control by eye. The poo output generally lags 1-2 days behind. Only the scales are giving you a clear up to date picture. For best comparison, you weigh ideally first thing in the morning when the weight is lowest and take that as your base line to adjust the level of support care accordingly.

The swelling can be a haematoma (blood collecting under the skin, which is harmless and will generally disappear on its own), a collection of fluid (again, harmless), a potential infection or the start of an abscess. If it is either of the latter, you will find that the appetite will be increasingly and at one point very quickly disappear. Good that you have got painkillers. General vets tend to set the dose very low scaling down from a cat and not accounting for the fact that guinea pigs have a much faster metabolism and that their kidneys tolerate metacam much better than the more common larger pets.

Here is more detailed help and information:
Neutering operations: Considerations, post-op care and a successful recovery example
Tips For Post-operative Care
Emergency, Crisis and Bridging Care until a Vet Appointment
Weight - Monitoring and Management

All the best!
 

Lavinia

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Thank you. That’s great. I’ve read all of those but will keep going back to them to check again so thanks for posting them here so I can find them quickly. He is eating hay quite well, that’s the one thing he’s been eating best. I’ll weigh in the morning and do that daily like you suggest.

I was most interested in the other issues it could be if not an abscess and puzzled As to why the vet hasn’t been able to aspirate anything at all. If it was fluid or blood would you expect this to aspirate?

I will continue onwards and hope it’s my more knowledgeable vet on Monday or that the vet would maybe be prepared to give him a call for advice on the next move.
 

Eddie & Elvis

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My Elvis had an abscess about 2 months after he was neutered. It was in the same place and only on one side as Jasper's is. We never quite got to the bottom of it but the vets suspect he had a reaction to the stitches used during the neuturing. The rescue Elvis came from (who we contacted about his neuturing as it was done before I adopted him) had seen this happen before, though very rarely. It's unlikely but I wanted to mention it just in case.
 

Lavinia

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My Elvis had an abscess about 2 months after he was neutered. It was in the same place and only on one side as Jasper's is. We never quite got to the bottom of it but the vets suspect he had a reaction to the stitches used during the neuturing. The rescue Elvis came from (who we contacted about his neuturing as it was done before I adopted him) had seen this happen before, though very rarely. It's unlikely but I wanted to mention it just in case.
Thanks for posting. Did antibiotics clear it up? Did you have to have it drained? I’ve seen other posts similar with regards to a reaction to the stitches. Googling I also found very similar photos to Jazzy.
I’m just wondering where the pus is! Haha. I feel
Confused.
thanks again!
 

Lavinia

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I gave him the extra (and higher dose) dose of metacam about an hour and a half ago. And I’ve just taken tea time veggies up and he must be feeling a bit better as for the first time in a few days he’s run across the cage as he heard me shake the bag for my rabbit (who lives in the room on the floor below). And he’s munching away very eager .
 

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Eddie & Elvis

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Thanks for posting. Did antibiotics clear it up? Did you have to have it drained? I’ve seen other posts similar with regards to a reaction to the stitches. Googling I also found very similar photos to Jazzy.
I’m just wondering where the pus is! Haha. I feel
Confused.
thanks again!
After a scan to confirm the lump was an abscess, Elvis had it lanced and drained and was prescribed sulfatrim and later a combination of sulfatrim and Baytril. The abscess starting filling up again despite the antibiotics so he had it drained again. The 2nd time it stayed down but the vet felt it would fill up again if we stopped the antibiotics so I made the decision to have the capsule removed rather tha wait
 

Eddie & Elvis

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I made the decision to have the capsule removed rather than wait to see if it filled up again. The surgery was successful and he recovered quickly and has been fine ever since.
Here's Elvis's thread on the whole thing in case you want to have a bit of a read through:
Swollen bottom?
 

Lavinia

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Quick update following having another vet check today. It was a different vet and he was better in my opinion. He explained things better.
Still no abscess which is great news. He stated that it is a seroma. We are to continue on with the current regime.
I’d say that things are slowly improving. He’s eating a bit more and we are continuing with the syringe feeds.
The swelling is smaller in the mornings and as the day goes on gets bigger.
We are back at the vets Friday.
 

Wiebke

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Quick update following having another vet check today. It was a different vet and he was better in my opinion. He explained things better.
Still no abscess which is great news. He stated that it is a seroma. We are to continue on with the current regime.
I’d say that things are slowly improving. He’s eating a bit more and we are continuing with the syringe feeds.
The swelling is smaller in the mornings and as the day goes on gets bigger.
We are back at the vets Friday.
A seroma is a collection of fluid under the skin, which is not dangerous. It is not all that uncommon after operations. Hopefully it will go away on its own but if necessary it can be drained.

All the best for a good recovery. Good that you have found a vet you like better.
 
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