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Toast Needs To Be Spayed (i Think).

Beans&Toast

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My vet and I have agreed today that it would be sensible to spay Toast. I'm really having second thoughts though and would appreciate your opinions on this as I'm terrified about it. (I apologise in advance as it's quite a long read)




For over a year now Toast has been having hormonal issues. She will have really strong seasons, stay in season for a week or more, come in and out of season quickly, basically more often than not she has very iratic seasons and it has quite a knock on effect on her. She also shows signs of being in pain from this, she shakes her body, almost looks like a rumblestrutt, but it's like she's twitching from the pain if that makes sense?


She has had problems with bloat and her teeth too. For about a year she seemed to get bloated for no reason at all, which caused dental issues if it got bad because she would stop eating, resulting in needing her teeth burred down under aesthetic (gas). Medication has got the bloat under control now so it's not happening as often and it's not as severe (but still happens when in season.)

However as time has went on it seems to be that it's her hormonal issues causing bad bloating which seemes to cause dental issues over time and it's just a vicious cycle. Every time Toast comes into season she loses 40-50g over night as she's in pain from suspected cysts (I assume) and stops eating, which eventually results in over grown teeth. Her teeth are burred and she's fine until her next couple of seasons come around and we're back to square 1. (Toast is very sensitive to even the slightest of dental spurs)

The last time she had her teeth done was 26th May and after that she was doing amazing, no bloat and no dental problems until around 16th June when she came into season, she was so aggressive I had to separate her from Beans for 3 days. She lost a lot of weight over night and then the bloating started.
Once she comes out of season it takes a few days, sometimes a week, for the bloat to settle back down and she'll be okay for a while, until her next season.


Does it make sense to everyone else that her hormonal issues could be the route problem for the bloating and dental problems?


There's a few reasons why spaying is worrying me:

Firstly, Toast can't have the injectable aesthetic that would normally be used for ops. She's had it twice for dentals and it completely floors her, resulting in severe gut stasis and takes her over a week to recover from it.

My vet switched to gas (can't remember the actual names of them) for her dentals and she's had no issues with this type, she comes around from it quickly and hasn't had any bloating issues afterwards. However, my vet has said he's not too happy about having to use gas for a spay as it's not as effective and reliable as injectable aesthetic, which she can't have.


Secondly, Toast is a very nervous animal. She gets so stressed if someone makes a noise that she doesn't recognise or someone pets her that she doesn't know. She's so anxious that she's on Amitriptyline, which has helped mellow her out a bit but she still can't handle a trip to the vets on her own without getting bloated from the stress of it.
So I worry how she'd handle a spay?



And thirdly, I have a feeling that if she did handle the actual op, the recovery would be the issue. I'm worried that she'd end up bloated, resulting in more dental problems. Or if she developed an infection because there's a couple of antibiotics she can't have as she reacts badly to them.



Basically,
I do think spaying could solve her other problems as they all seem to come at the same time. She'll get bloated once she comes into season, usually resulting in dental issues (her teeth are fine right now). I'm just so worried about putting her through this. She's about 4 1/2, 5. She's on a lot of medication and is a very stressed animal.

I have every faith in my vet, he spayed Beans and she absolutely sailed though it. She was home, eating, running and jumping about within 2 hours of the op. But Beans is different, she's like a little warrior pig. Toast is the exact opposite, she's very needy and sensitive to everything and just a nervous little pig.

What does everyone think? I'd never forgive myself if I went ahead with this and she didn't make it.

 

Adelle

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This read like a book for what I went through with Fudge! She didn't have teeth affected but was also in a vicious cycle.. pain from ovaries made her bloat, reduced her appetite and thirst, she got gastric irritation from her meds as her stomach was never as full as normal, this worsened the appetite, she got dehydrated from lack of drinking so we had to lower her diuretics... her lungs then filled with fluid.. total nightmare.

I know it's not the same situation as fudge and toast are completely different pigs and you and I are different owners.. but we both want what's best for them and on this thread, people gave me some really helpful advice that I think you could apply to toasts situation.
Could Really Be Doing With Honest Opinions From Pet Owners

There isn't a right or wrong answer, I knew that too. Fudge had an extremely slim chance of survival due to being 8 and in congestive heart failure for about 20 months. She was lucky to be alive as it was but I couldn't stand injecting her with hormones any longer as she was still suffering.

For fudge, the risk was worth it as her quality of life would've only gotten worse. Should I of lost her, I wouldve known that I still made the right call, although naturally would've doubted it at first.

Sorry I can't be of any more help.. totally get how you are feeling right now x
 

Beans&Toast

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Thanks @Adelle. I remember how hard it was for you trying to do the best for Fudge.

Like you say, different situation but the same in the sense that if nothing is done the situation will only continue to get worse. I think I'm just hesitant because I'm hoping that the problems will sort itself (obviously I know that won't happen) I just can't stand the thought of putting her through this and it going wrong.
 

Beans&Toast

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I've also got this feeling that what if it turns out that the hormones weren't the reason for it, and she would have been spayed for nothing.. such a hard decision
 

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on the flip side what if the hormones are the problem and she goes on to have a life without the bloating and dental issues?

Its a catch 22 situation, you, me, the vet, no one can guess as to what the future holds but you and the vet can make a decision based on knowing Toast best and having her best interests at heart. I had a guinea pig spayed around the same age though she didn't have the other problems that Toast did. My vet opted to go in through the flank and staple shut for cleaner healing which seemed to work well though I appreciate I have not had any other piggies spayed to compare the healing.
 

Beans&Toast

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on the flip side what if the hormones are the problem and she goes on to have a life without the bloating and dental issues?

Its a catch 22 situation, you, me, the vet, no one can guess as to what the future holds but you and the vet can make a decision based on knowing Toast best and having her best interests at heart. I had a guinea pig spayed around the same age though she didn't have the other problems that Toast did. My vet opted to go in through the flank and staple shut for cleaner healing which seemed to work well though I appreciate I have not had any other piggies spayed to compare the healing.
Yeah that's the way my vet does spays now, Beans was the last pig he spayed by going in underneath on the tummy. I'm glad your pig healed well that way, I have heard it is meant to be much better.

I think I know it needs to be done, she's only going to get worse and a decline in her quality of life if she's left the way she is now. I just know how devastated I'd be if it didn't go well.
 

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Yeah that's the way my vet does spays now, Beans was the last pig he spayed by going in underneath on the tummy. I'm glad your pig healed well that way, I have heard it is meant to be much better.

I think I know it needs to be done, she's only going to get worse and a decline in her quality of life if she's left the way she is now. I just know how devastated I'd be if it didn't go well.
It is so difficult because you are right, we all feel guilty when we make these calls and they don't work out but then you will feel guilty if you don't make the decision and she suffers. I feel for your impossible situation, it must be so stressful
 

Beans&Toast

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It is so difficult because you are right, we all feel guilty when we make these calls and they don't work out but then you will feel guilty if you don't make the decision and she suffers. I feel for your impossible situation, it must be so stressful
Thanks. I'm going to think about it over the weekend. I'm certain I know I'll go ahead with the spay but I can't bring myself to decide right now
 

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Poor little one. She is in the best hands. Taking time to think about the decision seems to be the best way to deal with it, you don't want to rush into things. Either way she will be safe with such a good piggy mum!
 

Beans&Toast

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I've been thinking about this all weekend and I still don't know what to do for the best.


I'm thinking I should hold off and see what happens next time she comes into season.

But I'm also worried about leaving it because surely it will only get worse as time goes on? My vet won't operate on her if she's bloated for obvious reasons, but she gets bloated when she has a bad season...


Then I'm worried about the fact that she can't have the normal anasthetic, it has to be gas which my vet has said it isn't as reliable... :(
 

Beans&Toast

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What does the vet mean by 'gas isn't as reliable' ? Our vet does all guinea pig ops with gas, as it is far safer for the piggies.
I may not be explaining it properly...

Something along the lines of the injectable(?) can be controlled... gas isn't as easy to do that with? That wasn't his words, I honestly can't remember how he said it. He uses gas for her dentals and she responds amazingly. The first 2 times it was the other type and she was just completely out of it for a week.

Why is it that gas safer?
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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I may not be explaining it properly...

Something along the lines of the injectable(?) can be controlled... gas isn't as easy to do that with? That wasn't his words, I honestly can't remember how he said it. He uses gas for her dentals and she responds amazingly. The first 2 times it was the other type and she was just completely out of it for a week.

Why is it that gas safer?
It is much more controllable. Once it is turned off it is straight out of the system. Injectable anaesthetic needs another injection to reverse the anaesthetic. It stays in the system much longer and therefore the piggy takes much longer to recover. Piggy can be very lethargic and take a while to get back to normal. With gas they are awake and back to normal immediately.
 

Beans&Toast

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It is much more controllable. Once it is turned off it is straight out of the system. Injectable anaesthetic needs another injection to reverse the anaesthetic. It stays in the system much longer and therefore the piggy takes much longer to recover. Piggy can be very lethargic and take a while to get back to normal. With gas they are awake and back to normal immediately.
Is there a chance they may not wake up from gas? If the injectable is reversed to wake them up, what is there to wake them up from gas, if they don't wake up themselves? Or is that not something that happens?
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Every anaesthetic carries some risk, as it would for us too. However, gas is the far safer way of anaesthetising guinea pigs. My vet operates on guinea pigs every single day and has as close to a 100% success rate as you could have. Therefore, I wouldn't want my piggies operated on my any other vet and certainly not using injectable anaesthetic. You will have to be advised by your vet though. It was the comment re it not being as reliable that confused and worried me.
 

Beans&Toast

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Every anaesthetic carries some risk, as it would for us too. However, gas is the far safer way of anaesthetising guinea pigs. My vet operates on guinea pigs every single day and has as close to a 100% success rate as you could have. Therefore, I wouldn't want my piggies operated on my any other vet and certainly not using injectable anaesthetic. You will have to be advised by your vet though. It was the comment re it not being as reliable that confused and worried me.
It will be be gas that's used as she doesn't respond well to the other. I'm not sure I've obviously picked him up wrong. Is gas maybe not as easy to give? I'll need to ask him again what he meant
 

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I have had 5 sows - all have been spayed - I currently have 3 of them (2 passing to the bridge last year at nearly 6 and over 6 ) - two were spayed at 4 1/2 (sisters who had ovarian cysts within 2 weeks of each other ) and two were spayed at 14 months old by their rescue (now closed)..My youngest sow who is a year old I had spayed at 4 months because it then meant she could go in with her huspig -to -be 10 days after her op and we wouldn't have the problems of ovarian cysts when she was older and also so that she didn't have to wait for her 4 week old huspig to be to get to six months of age before he could be neutered and then wait another 6 weeks before they could be together.

With a piggy savvy vet the risks of anesthetic are minimal - my vet says even age has very little to do with it,in the rare cases a piggy is lost it is usually because there is another underlying health issue that has not been diagnosed (typically a heart issue )Two of my piggies were spayed by the same super vet Furrry Friends at TEAS use -Simon .Maddock - the other three by Rachel Mowbray at Vale Vets in Dursley, who keeps her own pigs and routinely spays her own female piggies for preventive health and birth control reasons reasons.
If you choose a vet that has lots of experience the risks really are very minimal.

Big hugs to you xx
 

Beans&Toast

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I have had 5 sows - all have been spayed - I currently have 3 of them (2 passing to the bridge last year at nearly 6 and over 6 ) - two were spayed at 4 1/2 (sisters who had ovarian cysts within 2 weeks of each other ) and two were spayed at 14 months old by their rescue (now closed)..My youngest sow who is a year old I had spayed at 4 months because it then meant she could go in with her huspig -to -be 10 days after her op and we wouldn't have the problems of ovarian cysts when she was older and also so that she didn't have to wait for her 4 week old huspig to be to get to six months of age before he could be neutered and then wait another 6 weeks before they could be together.

With a piggy savvy vet the risks of anesthetic are minimal - my vet says even age has very little to do with it,in the rare cases a piggy is lost it is usually because there is another underlying health issue that has not been diagnosed (typically a heart issue )Two of my piggies were spayed by the same super vet Furrry Friends at TEAS use -Simon .Maddock - the other three by Rachel Mowbray at Vale Vets in Dursley, who keeps her own pigs and routinely spays her own female piggies for preventive health and birth control reasons reasons.
If you choose a vet that has lots of experience the risks really are very minimal.

Big hugs to you xx
Thank you so much. My vet has already spayed Beans and she absolutely sailed through it so I have every faith in his skills, my worry is more Toast herself. Although I'm worried about the anasthetic, she's had it a few times before for dentals and recovered amazingly. But she isn't exactly the picture of health, she's very prone to bloat and cystitis. She's also extremely stressy, that's what's worrying me more.

I think it's in her best interest to be spayed, if she's left she'll just keep getting worse so I know it needs to be done
 

Adelle

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Exactly the way I was with fudge. She was actually doing well when I spayed her which made it so hard but I knew that cyst was due to balloon any day and then the bloating and everything else wold come. I knew it needed to be done as it wasn't going to go away on its own... and whilst she was as well as she could be, it was the safest time to do it.

Fudge was 20 months in to her congestive heart failure diagnosis when she was spayed with a full gas anaesthetic. . And she was up and eating within 5 minutes!

She had a tricky recovery at home in the weeks to come but the gas wasn't an issue, even for her and her heart. Crunchie gets injectable anaesthetic for her teeth and she is super groggy afterwards.. acts drunk for hours. I would always lean towards gas if possible now after seeing the difference x
 

Beans&Toast

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Thanks @Adelle.

I've phoned today to get her booked in, the earliest appointment with my vet was Thursday 13th July, a bit long to wait but she's badly bloated just now so I need to get that under control first so hopefully she'll be fine by then.

It needs done. If the worst happens and she doesn't make it then she'll have went peacefully, leaving her will just mean constant bloating, over grown teeth and cystitis brought in from pain/bloating and that's not fair.

Toast might be a bit needy and stressy but she's got a determined attitude on her, I think she'll be fine
 
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