My five year old guinea pig, Phoebe, has several strange 'balls' the size of large peas on her underside--under her left armpit, two mid belly, one on her right side, and most recently, one near her right nipple, where her fur is now missing. (Otherwise no fur is missing.) Could they be fatty deposits or swollen lymph nodes? They are hard, but do not seem to cause discomfort or pain. They seem to be under her skin. They do not pus and are not from wounds, as she lives alone and hasn't had any injures. The first of these 'balls' appeared over a year ago, and lately more have appeared. I am wondering if I should bring her to the vet, or if its possible that I can work on treatment at home? I am not sure if maybe she just needs more exercise as she gets older. She shows no signs of being ill, beyond these strange 'balls'. I have always taken good care of her--I feed her organic pellets and give her fresh vegetables every day, as well has unlimited hay and water--so I am sad and surprised to see her not be healthy...:(
Any advice is welcome!
I am so upset! I wish more could be done for her! I thought if I took excellent care of her, she wouldn’t get sick.:(
Does anyone know of anything I can do?
- Cavy Comic
Aiko was like that, and we found only one tiny lump at the regular manual exams we did at home. X-rays showed it was aggressive, and had already spread everywhere. As it was clear she also had minor pain, we decided to let her go before awful pain kicked in, which would have been days in her case.
I will try Oxbow’s Vitamin C...the vet recommended it as well. (He was happy to hear that I buy Oxbow’s organic pellets too.)
The vet did not preform biopsies on her tumours. He felt certain that it was mammary cancer, because of the location of them, as well as her age...I did not know the new average life span is four to five years. I had heard eight to ten!:(...
I am not sure how fast things will go for Phoebe. She seems alright now, but I did notice that she no longer runs laps around her cage (she did this devoutly everyday!), and the skin on her chin hangs down. I think those are just typical signs of old age though, right?
Have a good weekend everyone.
Have you looked at this page?
If there are any other signs of illness, let us know. Be sure to weigh her regularly so you know if she is having difficulty.
I had a similar experience with my older guinea pig. When she was almost three years old some bumps started to grow. The vet said it could be mammary cancer and we did two biopsies. Both came back inconclusive. I decided to see if she would be in any pain as the masses continued to grow. But she was eating fine and running around at floor time so they didn’t seem to bother her. However, I did have pain medication on hand if I did think she was in any pain. The masses stopped growing and spreading about 6 months later. She lived for another 2 years after the diagnosis.
She started deteriorating about a month before her death as I did a blood test, an urine test, and an x-ray. She had blood in her urine but no signs of infection or stones on the X-rays. And she also had low white blood cell count so she was placed on antibiotics. She sadly passed away on a Sunday in my arms. However, when I asked the vet if he thought the masses were to blame he said if she had cancer she wouldn’t have lived for 2 more years.
So what I am trying to say is that it might not be cancer just because they’re in that location, they might be just masses that might stop growing. So don’t give up hope just yet.
I have looked at the lipoma page...the bumps she has are much smaller than the ones pictured. They are the size of small peas. The do not prutude at all and can’t be seen. They are only noticeable when felt.
I guess I feel that, there isn’t much I can do, no matter what the bumps may be, since she is too old for surgery. And considering she isn’t in pain, I don’t want to risk losing her if I don’t have to.
Weighing her sounds like a good idea. She was originally 2.4 (if my scale worked), but at the vet, she was only 2.1.
I'm so sorry she is sick. Love her and keep accepting her love. I say a prayer you will have many good days, hold onto them.
By the way, I think Phoebe is the greatest name ever. Holden's sister was Phoebe, one of the most pure and good characters in literature. I think that's why I like it so much