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Treacle Vs. Lumpy - Rounds 1 & 2

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PottyForPiggies

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Greetings everyone - I wanted to share Treacle's story (which is still ongoing, so yay!) just in case others were in a similar situation. Plus I think it will help me cope with what is coming by sharing her story.
This is Treacle. I love her so very much. She is my oldest piggie and the first one I got as an adult, along with her sister Fudge who sadly is over the Bridge.
Kisses for Treacle.jpg
Treacle was 6 1/2 when we picked her up one day shortly before Christmas 2014 and found a lump under her tummy. This wasn't a big lump, around 2p size. It was around her nipple area and, clearly, we were more bothered by it than she was. We took her to the vets the day after. She had the lump biopsied and a tense wait followed. The results weren't really good or bad - Treacle had a mammary tumour. It wasn't conclusive whether or not it was cancerous, but there was a chance it could turn that way if it wasn't already. We had options: we could gamble on an operation, or we could wait and see. Treacle wasn't in any pain whatsoever, was quite old for a pigwig and has always been small (average of around 880g on a good day). The vet supported our decision NOT to operate, and instead to manage and monitor. Pain relief was prescribed but thankfully, until 3 days ago, we have never had to use it. We knew we could lose her quite easily if she went for the operation, and instead decided to focus on the time we have with her.

If we hadn't known that Lumpy was there, we would never have known. This girl has kept every bit of her personality, confidence and diva attitude throughout. She has never needed pain relief, and has been living very happily :) The target was to get her to her 7th 'birthday', knowing this may not be likely. Her 'birthday' was a week ago.
Round 1 has definitely gone to Treacle.

Lumpy has grown. Quite a lot. Lumpy now covers a majority of her tummy area. Treacle cannot clean herself down below quite like she wants to and has to get up on her tiptoes to poop. She is quite sleepy and doesn't really do much at floor time - but then again, she is also 7 years old! Here is Lumpy on June 20th, around a week before her 'birthday'.
Lumpy 1.jpg
Now Treacle is only a small pig but this is still one heck of a lump. Pain relief? Forget it - this pig doesn't show any signs of needing any. She is living up to her rep as top pig and never complaining. She had pain relief for the first time 3 days ago when she started Round 2.

Round 2 has come from either her scratching Lumpy (most likely) or the skin stretching just a little bit too far (also very likely). She made Lumpy bleed. Again, no squeaks of pain, no complaints and no issues. Just giving her veggies when I noticed some red spots in the hutch. Here was Lumpy when we first noticed on Friday:
Lumpy 2.jpg

She was bleeding quite a bit, but judging by the fact there was nothing stuck to it, she can't have been bleeding for long. We are lucky in that sense that we caught it early on.
She went to the vets on Saturday morning. She had been bleeding slightly overnight (after sleeping in the spacious carrier on a white towel to check for what was coming out) and was a bit matted with hay. The vet has cleaned her and told us that the wound will probably never heal - underneath the wound is pretty much solid tumour tissue, and the skin is stretched very far so can't repair as it should.
We have to clean Lumpy once a day, every day with an iodine based solution. At every clean she has been matted, with blood holding the hay on. It seems to be minimal but it is still a loss. We are to monitor for any nasty stuff coming out and then we can get her on antibiotics if needed.
Every time I bathe her I know I am helping, as much as she dislikes it. My husband holds her so that. and I quote, 'that way I can be the bad guy - she won't be mad at you if I'm holding her.' He has made this very difficult time much easier. I know that we don't have a whole lot longer with her. I come close to tears every single day, wondering if tomorrow is the day that she will give up. We are managing as best we can but it is going to be a challenge - where the lump and the wound is means that she is likely to get infected because she doesn't move much, and sits where she pees/poops. I am trying to invest in some fleecy cage liners so that she can have somewhere nice, dry and restful but, as hard as I work with everything, I don't have a single spare penny. If only Secret Santa paid I'd be rich!
Thankfully she still has her appetite, is drinking well and seems quite content. If she didn't I'd be scared out of my mind.

So there you go. Round 2 is in progress. Treacle appears to be holding her ground but it's going to be a tough fight.
 

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Lumy scored a point this morning. Treacle was on her way to get some breakfast when she fell over onto her back and couldn't right herself. Poor thing was frantic. I put her back on her feet and she was rocking a little from side to side, but seemed to regain her balance. Right now she is a very sad little piggie :( x
 

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After a good snuggle this morning Treacle was back to her normal self. We're getting ready for her evening bath, which she is quite OK with :)
 

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Thank you for your kind words. Last night she did fight us a little bit at bath time, but there was less matting which is good, and she appeared to only really bleed when we took the hay away.
Here is day 4 of Lumpy's wound. Be warned, it's not pretty :\
Lumpy 3.jpg
 

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Had a bad moment just now thinking about the future. While she is still happy and cheerful, this choice will have to be made at some point. Her new 'life target' is her 7th 'Gotcha Day' on August 10th - the day after my birthday. I hate that it's so short but I don't know what to do. I have to stay strong for her. Last night I had to give her her bath on my own and I sang to her to keep her calm. I had to fight back tears as I sang to her.
It is as I feared, I am grieving for her before she is even gone. The good thing is that she doesn't know :)
 

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So, there has been progress this evening. I don't quite know what step this is but we've noticed a difference.
1.) Lumpy appears to be infected. There is no blood coming out and everything coming out is a nasty yellowy brown colour and smells quite bad. It's not a pleasant clean up when you don't have gloves (but then again I work in a nursery school so I have seen worse.)
2.) The wound itself is the same size, but, and we might just be being hopeful, but Lumpy seems to be getting smaller. Only by a little bit but I think the goop coming out is a little bit more than just infection. We'll keep an eye on it over the next few days to see if we're just seeing things.
3.) Treacle knows she is very loved and thanks you all for your well wishes. She is a sad little girl at cleaning time but it's because I'm literally squishing her Lumpy to get the goop out.
4.) I have set her a new 'life target' of her 7th 'Gotcha Day' on August 10th - the day after my 26th birthday (I got her when I was still a teenager at 19). It's a short target but reaching lots of little targets is better than failing at one big one. Get to August 10th Treacy, and I think you win Round 2 :)

Well fought Treacle, well fought.
 

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She is doing well :) Lumpy is getting smaller, most definitely, and her 2nd of 2 baths yesterday had hardly anything coming out which is great. I've started trying to flush the wound with the Pevidine which seems to be dredging some bits out. I really hope that she keeps going through this :) Pictures to come :)
 
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