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Uterine cancer - not sure what to do

krrn

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Hi everyone,

I have posted here before about my girl Angel, but we got some unfortunate news this morning and i need some advice..
She has been slowly losing weight over the past 3 weeks. She has had a course of injections for mites so we put it down to the medication. We have been giving her syringe feeds to try and get her weight up but the most we can do is keep her weight steady rather than increase it. A few days ago we noticed a large lump had appeared in her lower right side so booked her in for an appointment.

We usually see two vets - a local for emergencies, and our main vet which is quite a journey away (Cat and rabbit clinic in Northampton). Our local vet told us that she has uterine cancer - two growths on the uterus. They are not able to do the surgery for several weeks as they require two surgeons and one of them is not there at the moment. They told us they don't know if she will last that long anyway and to just make her comfortable.

I have called Northampton vet and they have booked her in for the earliest they can do - next Tuesday. I am very stressed about the cost as I had to pay £500 for my last pig and he sadly did not make it through the night. I have lost my job due to Covid so its a difficult time with no income. If there is a chance the surgery can work I am happy to get it together somehow and give her the best chance.

Here is my issue... if this was any other situation I would be inclined to let her go so she doesn't have to go through the pain if the surgery doesn't work. But i have been in this situation before with my other girl, Sweetpea. Sweetpea had uterine cancer that had spread and had emergency surgery when she began bleeding badly one day. They said she had next to no chance of survival yet she lived for 4 happy years after that. I am worried id be taking that chance away from Angel if I don't take the surgical option.

I am struggling to find much info about this. Does anyone have experience with pigs and uterine cancer? I know its personal, but what would you do in this situation? I just want what is best for her and her cage mate who would be lost without her.

153289427_1305673853152035_7480462880338032415_n.jpg
(Angel in my hat)
 

alpacasqueak

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I’m so sorry about your little girl’s diagnosis, hope you’re ok. She’s beautiful ❤ It’s good that her weight’s stable and you’re syringe feeding her.
I don’t have any experience with uterine cancer, hopefully someone with more experience can help more but my piggy Aliona had a spay last week for her ovarian cysts at Cat and Rabbit, I had to wait 12 days for her surgery after her initial appointment. The surgery and meds afterwards cost around £250 (I was expecting more tbh).
I can’t really say whether or not to opt for surgery with Angel as that’s your decision really but I’d definitely see what Simon or Kim say at Cat and Rabbit, I’ve found they will very much tell you truthfully about how they feel the surgery and the hopeful outcome would be and if they feel it’s a good idea or not.
So sorry again, big hugs from me and my pigs x
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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I’m so sorry for everything you and your piggie are going through.
I can’t offer any advice, but I agree with the advice @alpacasqueak has given. I would be wanting to see what Kim and Simon advise. Discuss your situation and thoughts with them. They are so brilliant and will be able to support you with your decision making.

my boys and I are sending lots of love 💕
 

Claire W

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I’m so sorry to hear about Angel :( I agree with the above advise. I am always guided by my vet so see what Kim and Simon have to say before making any firm decisions x
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone,

I have posted here before about my girl Angel, but we got some unfortunate news this morning and i need some advice..
She has been slowly losing weight over the past 3 weeks. She has had a course of injections for mites so we put it down to the medication. We have been giving her syringe feeds to try and get her weight up but the most we can do is keep her weight steady rather than increase it. A few days ago we noticed a large lump had appeared in her lower right side so booked her in for an appointment.

We usually see two vets - a local for emergencies, and our main vet which is quite a journey away (Cat and rabbit clinic in Northampton). Our local vet told us that she has uterine cancer - two growths on the uterus. They are not able to do the surgery for several weeks as they require two surgeons and one of them is not there at the moment. They told us they don't know if she will last that long anyway and to just make her comfortable.

I have called Northampton vet and they have booked her in for the earliest they can do - next Tuesday. I am very stressed about the cost as I had to pay £500 for my last pig and he sadly did not make it through the night. I have lost my job due to Covid so its a difficult time with no income. If there is a chance the surgery can work I am happy to get it together somehow and give her the best chance.

Here is my issue... if this was any other situation I would be inclined to let her go so she doesn't have to go through the pain if the surgery doesn't work. But i have been in this situation before with my other girl, Sweetpea. Sweetpea had uterine cancer that had spread and had emergency surgery when she began bleeding badly one day. They said she had next to no chance of survival yet she lived for 4 happy years after that. I am worried id be taking that chance away from Angel if I don't take the surgical option.

I am struggling to find much info about this. Does anyone have experience with pigs and uterine cancer? I know its personal, but what would you do in this situation? I just want what is best for her and her cage mate who would be lost without her.

View attachment 168615
(Angel in my hat)
Hi!

Uterine cancer is actually rare in guinea pigs. We have seen perhaps a handful of diagnosed cases. A lot depends on whether the cancer can be removed in toto with a spaying op or whether it has spread too far. If it can be safely removed, then longer term prospects are not too bad. But it all depends on the Maddock's assessment. If there is a very quick deterioration, you can try to snatch one of the emergency slots by ringing in first thing in the morning.

A spaying op at the Cat&Rabbit is in the area of around £150-200 plus any extras in case of complications. The biggest and most variable item on their bill is the GA drug - and that very much depends on how long the operation takes. I have spent at times over £300 for a more complex operation plus an overnight stay but never over £400.

All the best for your beautiful girl! I am very sorry that you are having such an anxious time.
 

Merab's Slave

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So sorry that you’re in such a tough situation, exacerbated by Covid-19 job loss.

I have no experience of uterine cancer but I did lose my Jemimah to an abdominal tumour last year.
The diagnosis was devastating, my vet told me it was inoperable and I chose to accept their advice rather than travel far afield to a piggy specialist. Jemimah was 5 years old, we had just gone into lockdown and it felt right.
I kept her happy and pain free until she passed away peacefully one night, 3 months later.

We all make our own decisions.
My way with such difficult decisions is to make a choice and live with it for a few days. If it still feels right then that is what I do.
If I don’t feel comfortable after a few days then I make a different decision and see how that feels.

Holding you in my heart.
 

krrn

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I’m so sorry about your little girl’s diagnosis, hope you’re ok. She’s beautiful ❤ It’s good that her weight’s stable and you’re syringe feeding her.
I don’t have any experience with uterine cancer, hopefully someone with more experience can help more but my piggy Aliona had a spay last week for her ovarian cysts at Cat and Rabbit, I had to wait 12 days for her surgery after her initial appointment. The surgery and meds afterwards cost around £250 (I was expecting more tbh).
I can’t really say whether or not to opt for surgery with Angel as that’s your decision really but I’d definitely see what Simon or Kim say at Cat and Rabbit, I’ve found they will very much tell you truthfully about how they feel the surgery and the hopeful outcome would be and if they feel it’s a good idea or not.
So sorry again, big hugs from me and my pigs x
Thank you ☺ shes the baby of the family so its hard to even take in that she could be that ill so suddenly. Thats really helpful about the prices, its good to just have an idea of how much it could cost so we can try to get it together by next week. Fingers crossed they can give us some advice, id hate to put her through surgery if theres no chance of it doing anything. x
 

krrn

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Hi!

Uterine cancer is actually rare in guinea pigs. We have seen perhaps a handful of diagnosed cases. A lot depends on whether the cancer can be removed in toto with a spaying op or whether it has spread too far. If it can be safely removed, then longer term prospects are not too bad. But it all depends on the Maddock's assessment. If there is a very quick deterioration, you can try to snatch one of the emergency slots by ringing in first thing in the morning.

A spaying op at the Cat&Rabbit is in the area of around £150-200 plus any extras in case of complications. The biggest and most variable item on their bill is the GA drug - and that very much depends on how long the operation takes. I have spent at times over £300 for a more complex operation plus an overnight stay but never over £400.

All the best for your beautiful girl! I am very sorry that you are having such an anxious time.
Oh i see, maybe thats why I'm having trouble finding much info. I can't believe we could have had our two girls with the same thing 😞 Thank you for the advice, we will be spending this week getting the money together and spending lots of time with her just in case nothing can be done. x
 

krrn

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So sorry that you’re in such a tough situation, exacerbated by Covid-19 job loss.

I have no experience of uterine cancer but I did lose my Jemimah to an abdominal tumour last year.
The diagnosis was devastating, my vet told me it was inoperable and I chose to accept their advice rather than travel far afield to a piggy specialist. Jemimah was 5 years old, we had just gone into lockdown and it felt right.
I kept her happy and pain free until she passed away peacefully one night, 3 months later.

We all make our own decisions.
My way with such difficult decisions is to make a choice and live with it for a few days. If it still feels right then that is what I do.
If I don’t feel comfortable after a few days then I make a different decision and see how that feels.

Holding you in my heart.
It has been a horrible year, which has been made worse by the loss of two of my other piggies to cancer and old age. The only good thing about losing my job is that I had more time to spend with them.

I'm so sorry about your baby, but it sounds like you done the right thing and she had a lovely life right up to the end ❤

We have a bit of a plan in place now, mainly going off of the advice of Simon/Kim and their experience of past cases. Thank you for your message x
 

krrn

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Thanks everyone for the advice, it has been very helpful and we have slept on it and made a plan this morning. We have her booked in for a surgical slot next Tuesday at C&R but they said they are so fully booked they wont be able to do a consultation before. As we do not want to go ahead without one we are going to try and get an emergency appointment sooner. Then we will go off the advice that Simon or Kim give us on how likely it is the cancer can be removed.

Angels favorite thing in the world is hay so I have made her up a cardboard box full of it to burrow in to. She has barely come out of it since last night except to eat and drink. As this is the first pig that hasn't left us suddenly we are going to try and enjoy these next few weeks with her whatever may come. I will keep this thread updated after we have seen the vets in case it can help anyone else in a similar situation x

153474117_152140023393093_301839889326524250_n.jpg
Here is she is this morning poking her head out of her new hidey.
 

Wiebke

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All the best! These things have unfortunately a bad habit of happening at the most inconvenient of times.
 

alpacasqueak

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Thank you ☺ shes the baby of the family so its hard to even take in that she could be that ill so suddenly. Thats really helpful about the prices, its good to just have an idea of how much it could cost so we can try to get it together by next week. Fingers crossed they can give us some advice, id hate to put her through surgery if theres no chance of it doing anything. x
Oh I totally understand, I lost my 14 year old cat to lymphoma last year, diagnosed and then had to make the horrible decision a week later, followed by my old girl piggy Jess leaving me for the Rainbow Bridge a month later with failing kidneys, it’s utterly heartbreaking and does make you question what you’re doing and if it’s for the best. ❤
As Wiebke said it can be the cost of the GA that can differ with how long they are anaesthetised for etc, as well as medications afterwards.
Cat and Rabbit are so brilliant, they will do everything they can for Angel, I really hope it all goes well. :hug:We’re all here on the forum if you need us!
She’s blooming gorgeous:luv:x
 

Claire W

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Aw she’s beautiful. Sounds like a good plan. Piggies have no concept of time so they live for today and remember that they don’t realise they’re poorly.

We’re all here to support you with whatever decisions are made x
 

krrn

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Hello everyone, its been a hard month so apologies in the delay in updating. Angel left us last Thursday after putting up a good fight. We had some hope with the surgery as they went in and found no cancer, but did find 2 ovarian cysts and an abscess hidden behind one. They said it was hard to tell how long she had but antibiotics may shrink it giving her more time. After a few weeks on the Zithromax it did actually shrink down and she was a lot more comfortable. However last week she went off her food and lost all her energy and she eventually stopped taking syringe feeds.

After a day of hoping she would slip off at home I noticed her starting to drool so took her to the vet to be pts. She had her little bed from home that smelled like her cage mate and she calmly slipped off. I think it was the right thing to do but it doesn't make it any easier :(

Thank you to everyone for the advice and support, it has been very helpful. X
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. You are such an incredible owner and did everything you could. Angel knew how much she was loved, and that is what matters the most.
Rest in peace gorgeous girl and have fun with the others over the Rainbow Bridge 🌈 💕
Thinking of you all and sending love during this difficult time
 

Wiebke

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Hello everyone, its been a hard month so apologies in the delay in updating. Angel left us last Thursday after putting up a good fight. We had some hope with the surgery as they went in and found no cancer, but did find 2 ovarian cysts and an abscess hidden behind one. They said it was hard to tell how long she had but antibiotics may shrink it giving her more time. After a few weeks on the Zithromax it did actually shrink down and she was a lot more comfortable. However last week she went off her food and lost all her energy and she eventually stopped taking syringe feeds.

After a day of hoping she would slip off at home I noticed her starting to drool so took her to the vet to be pts. She had her little bed from home that smelled like her cage mate and she calmly slipped off. I think it was the right thing to do but it doesn't make it any easier :(

Thank you to everyone for the advice and support, it has been very helpful. X
BIG HUGS

You have mad the right decision and have given Angel the chance to have some more quality time in view of how much you were up against the odds. That is a very precious gift.

We can never choose when and what from our piggies die; that is out of our control. But you have done your best to make that time count. Guinea pigs don't have a concept for life expectancy. They live their life in good days. So you haven't failed her in any way.

Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
 

Merab's Slave

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So sorry for your loss.
You gave Angel the best possible love and care.
Be gentle with yourself as you grieve now.
 
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