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Tummy Lumps

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New Born Pup
Dec 19, 2013
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Wallington, Surrey UK
Hi everyone

Milly has been quite grumpy and making puttering noises, while doing quite angry popcorn jumps to her cage mate for about 6 months. I had her checked out for ovarian cysts etc a month or so ago and nothing was found. Vet advised me to get a bigger cage, so bought a cage with 2 levels, and the piggies have completely ignored the ramp and upper level (typical!). Milly's grumpiness continued.

Yesterday when cuddling her I found a 2 cm soft lump near her breast, on the midline which I thought may have been either mastitis or a hernia. The vet said it was unlikely to be mastitis and definitely not a hernia but said the lump was both smooth and nodular making it hard to tell if it is cancer or not. There is another smaller lump further up her tummy. I have decided against a biopsy to determine if it's cancer or not as I don't want to put her through pain as she is an older guinea pig (approx 5 years, she was a rescue piggy) if the end result is to be the same. It doesn't seem to bother her and she doesn't seem in pain, so we've decided just to let nature take its course for as long as she seems reasonably healthy and not put her through any unnecessary suffering.

The lumps have appeared quite suddenly, which makes me think it's more cancer than a fat lump. Has anyone had similar with their piggies and how long did they go on for? Is it worth getting another piggy as a friend for the other piggy when she passes away? Many thanks for your help! Ann x
It would be a good idea to have a biopsy to find out what sort of lumps these are. Do they feel firm but pliable? Can you move them under the skin? If you can move them, then they are not attached to the muscle and maybe just cysts. It may grow over time and eventually burst on its own. When/if that happens, it is best to get the vet to clean it out. My Suzie (RIP) had a cyst on her shoulder for four years that never bothered her.
I am sorry for your worries! How do the lumps feel? Can you move them around under the skin or are they sitting deeper? Is one of them a mammary lump? It may be worth having a biopsy done, so you are in a better position to make an informed decision if necessary.

Whereabouts are you located? It would be a good idea to get a friend as soon as Milly's companion comes out of deep morning, or sooner if she is acutely pining. If you cannot date her at one of our recommended rescues for a suitable companion of her own choice (the rescue we recommend are all piggy savvy and only rehome healthy and guaranteed not pregnant piggies), you could at the worst consider getting a young couple as next door neighbours for stimulation. Not all older sows are easy to bond.

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I am keeping my fingers crossed that the lump are just benign cysts.
Hi, the lumps are soft and just under the skin. The vet didn't think it was in her mammary gland as there was no stalk on it attaching it to anything. The vet was in two minds about the cysts because one part was smooth indicating a lipoma but the other part was nodular indicating cancer.

I'm reluctant to put Milly through the biopsy process because I don't want to distress her and I will only euthanise if she becomes visibly ill, starts losing weight etc. Soppy though it sounds I just want to enjoy every day we have with her and give her the best life possible for however long she has.

I have updated my settings, I am in Wallington in Surrey. I am thinking of asking Bobtails rescue which are not far from me.

Many thanks for all your advice!
Are they mobile (like a pea under the skin that you can roll around?) My vet has always said that those are more likely to be cystic. He's more concerned about masses that aren't mobile, even though that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't malignant, just that they are rooted in deeper tissue. It's hard to know what to expect when the diagnosis isn't clear. I got a dire opinion from a vet about Linney (also almost 6) last spring after she had three nosebleeds in three weeks. I was told that it could just be a minor injury, but it could also be a malignancy in her nasal cavity and if so, she didn't have long. The vet suggested we could x-ray to look for masses or bone involvement, but it wouldn't change the prognosis at all, so I took her home and was determined to give her as much quality time as possible. As it turns out, I think it must have been something benign after all, because she hasn't had a nosebleed since early July and is still thriving and going strong five months later. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that she does well, as some lumps can be benign (even those that appear suddenly. My pigs have had abscesses that appeared literally overnight.)
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