Guinea Pig Lumps and Weight Loss

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Post   » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:16 am

Hi All,

Looking for some advice - sorry for the long post.

My 2 female GP's are 6 years a 4 months (ish) old. They are both female. They have both had ovarian cysts removed about 18 months ago, and Quinn had a tumor removed from her cheek about 9 months ago. Quinn also has a grape size lump on her behind which the vet wasn't too concerned about so we left it with her age and not wanting to put her through any more surgery.

About 4 weeks ago, I noticed she seemed to be getting a bit thin so i weighed her and she'd gone down from her usual 1300g to 1000g. I arranged a visit to the vet. When getting her into the carrier, i noticed she had a new lump on her back left leg, an odd shape and slightly bigger than the other.

After an examination, the vet found a lump on her throat - suspected thyroid issue, with the additional symptom of weight loss. The vet offered surgery to remove the lump on her throat and resolve the thyroid issue... but then we also have the two lumps on the back end which are affecting her walking (only a little amount). The vet would need to keep her in to check what the lumps were, but my vet always recommends surgery - however, she wouldn't be able to remove the thyroid lump PLUS another lump. So, she would have to be brought in again for more surgery later if the lumps need removing.

I did some reading when I went home and I read about some medication to prevent the thyroid changing her metabolism. I spoke to the vet about it, and she said we can go down that route, but there are risks (liver, kidney, digestion etc.) involved, and also that it is difficult to monitor bloods in guinea pigs on a regular basis as it's very stressful for them - apparently blood monitoring is needed to ensure the correct dose is used. It's also expensive.... She did say you could use a small dose without monitoring and hope that it works so she can start gaining weight again.

I have now been thinking about surgery again for the thyroid lump - but i am concerned that the other two lumps are going to cause issues after. The new lump on her back leg is rather hard compared to the smaller one, and is getting quite big. I don't want her to go through surgery to be honest, they are both old ladies. Harley, my other girl, has her own issues with arthritis and sludge building up in her bladder.

My worst nightmare is having one on their own, but i also don't want to put them through so much. They are both on pain killers and seem happy enough - eating, drinking, pooping, exploring, chewing and of course, rumble strutting about.

I just need some guidance i think in the best thing for my girls. The thyroid issue is the main concern here and her weight loss, which will eventually result in her wasting away. I need her to gain weight and be healthy before i even consider removing the other two lumps... I think.

Please help! :)

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Post   » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:19 am

Has blood work been done to identify a thyroid issue? Each lump can, of course, have a different cause:

The lump on the back leg sounds worrisome, especially if it is getting quite large. It would be worthwhile for your vet to see if there is some sort of infection or if cancer is involved. It may change what you wish to do about your guinea pig.

Also possible there is a systemic infection. Lumps on the throat can be Cervical Lymphadenitis (an infection).

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:51 pm

That's a lot of lumps. We had a pig, Pepper who had quite a few surgeries including at least one when she was 6. She developed a lump on her neck - I can't remember what the vet thought it was - but the vet said it couldn't be removed because it was too close to a bunch of stuff like arteries and I don't know what else. I.e. she wouldn't survive the surgery. So we left it alone and she lived to be 8. One day she couldn't swallow and vet gave her a peaceful end.

None of this may be applicable to your pig. I just wanted to share our experiences.

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