like a black abcess bump on her hind middle toe and the toe looked
inflamed and red. We went to the vet and they cleaned it and sent her home
with antibiotic, soap and cream. I then noticed a few days later that
her foot pad on that foot was a much darker red then the other foot pad (which is bright pink)
and the skin encircling it looked a dark brown colour. In she went again
to the vet and they put her out to go into the toe. They didn´t find much in the way
of puss and the xray showed nothing with the bone. Yesterday, they called
and said the biop showed cells that are suspiciouly like cancer. SHe is going
back in tomorrow for a full biop. to determine if it is. I said what else could
it be and he didn´t think it could be anything else. Her appetite seems okay
and she is drinking and acting normal. Naturally, I´m terrified and am on
pure adrenlin right now. My vet has never seen anything like this and
apparently they treat many gp´s. Anyone have any advise, words of wisdom, would really
appreciate it. I´m guessing amputation would be our only option?
- Thanks for the Memories
When your vet confirms the diagnosis, I would sit down with him/her and discuss the options and outcome. It may be that she´d lose a toe and go on her merry way. It may be that you´ll have a few months to spoil her rotten. But I´d discuss the pros and cons of available treatments first.
If she is not suffering, see what can be done to improve or prolong her life. Animals (and people) let you know when it´s time to go. It doesn´t sound like she´s going anywhere at the moment.
Good luck - I know it isn´t easy news to hear.
I´ve seen two pigs who´ve had successful amputations go on to live active lives, so if that´s an option your vet suggests it´s definitely worth considering. I seem to remember Pinta having recommendations about exactly where to amputate for the best results. I hope she´ll check in later and give you the benefit of her experience with amputations.
After that, and because our pigs are free range our vet decided to cut midway on the thigh bone for the second pig´s amputation.
It´s higher risk since you cut thru the bone instead of being left with an encapsulated joint end. The benefit is no stump.
It was extremely successful with Willie adjusting within a week. No pressure sores.
My vet says that where she amputates will depend on the lifestyle of the pig. She´s amputated at the joint before with no pressure sore problems but that pig was not free range and spent all her time in a cage. In the case of a free range pig who is very active, it´s worth the higher risk surgery in return for a complication free future.
She still had a phantom leg though. She´d use it desperately to scratch something on that side of her body, to no avail. We helped her scratch whenever possible.
The picture of bats pg looks just like Montgomery except she has a white crest. Our vet has mentioned chemo but is apparently quite
experimental in gp´s. If amputation will buy her a normal, but 3 legged life, were going to go for it.
The chemo she was fine with, it was the blood tests that did her in.
Her condition improved vastly for the 4 - 6 weeks(long time ago - foggy memory) she was on Chemo.
- Little Jo Wheek
I have a tripod with a missing front leg. Doing wonderfully three weeks post surgery. The amputation was fairly high (mid-shaft) on the humerus. We decided to go further up due to her osteomyelitis, reducing the risk for pressure points, and nerve locations. I recently met another woman who had a similar surgery on a pig with lymphoma. I know another RVT who has four tripods with missing rear legs. One was amputated when the pig had a severe fracture at four weeks of age (rescue)! Bonsai is his name.
I think it is certainly an individual decision to do chemo. I just found a reference with a new chemo drug that reports some cavies go into remission with sometimes ONE injection. It´s a gamble of course. One has to weigh the benefits and the stage of the disease. If the cancer is local... I don´t know that it would do much to do chemo if the surgeon could remove the tumor with good, clean margins. The chemo drugs themselves cause problems and shorten lifespans, but if the animal has a metastatic cancer, sometimes the benefits outweigh the downfalls. I try to look at the entire diagnostic profile and see what gives the animal the most normal, happy life.
If it comes to that I can hook you up with someone who has done chemo on three pigs and bought them some more time.
- Little Jo Wheek
It´s a bear to treat. Sharlene has treated at least three of her pigs: Smuttie, Charlotte, and Carrot. The repeat labs showed she made some progress, but we have a ways to go. I haven´t heard of a cavy leukemia case going totally into remission, but chemo can add to their lifespans.
Treatment is quite varied due to the type of cancer and metastasis.