On 11/30 I noticed that the swelling near Kira's vulva was coming back. The swelling was and still is the only symptom I've noticed. I got her in to see a different vet at the same practice (my other favorite vet) on the evening of 12/1. At first he was going to order another round of the same antibiotic as before, because he didn't realize Kira had already been on it while she was in foster care as well as after I adopted her. Apparently when I brought Kira's medical records to her first vet appointment, they were scanned and saved in the same file as the first weight chart I brought in, so this vet didn't know they existed. Considering every weight chart I bring in overlaps significantly with the previous one, it's understandable that he didn't think to look at the oldest weight chart.
Anyway, once I pointed out that Kira had been prescribed the same antibiotic twice during foster care and twice while in my care, he found the medical records and decided to go for a more "heavy duty" antibiotic. Unfortunately, I don't know what it's called. I hadn't heard of it before, and I don't have it yet because it had to be called in to the compounding pharmacy, which was closed by the time of my 12/1 appointment. The vet called the prescription in yesterday (12/2), so I'm hoping I can pick it up tomorrow. I think Kira is supposed to be on this antibiotic for at least four weeks. The only other thing I know about it is that even though guinea pigs tolerate it well, I have to wear gloves when administering it because in rare cases it can cause anemia in humans.
The vet said that if this antibiotic doesn't work, surgery to remove the abscess casing may be necessary. He wants to avoid surgery if possible, though, because of how easily the incision could get infected (it would be right next to her vulva and therefore also very close to her urethra, her anus, and the cage floor). He decided not to drain the abscess; he said it was too small for him to be able to drain it. It is smaller than it was at any of the three appointments when it was drained, so that seems plausible to me.
The vet also told me during the appointment that Kira has a low-grade heart murmur. He said we don't need to do anything about it at this time but that we should monitor it in case it gets worse.
https://www.guinealynx.info/antibiotics ... amphenicol
This antibiotic requires special handling.
Poor girl! I am SO glad you are so observant! I hope the antibiotic helps. If surgery is required, I believe the most likely options are removing the abscess and the wall of the abscess and stitching it up well (sealing it in a sterile manner) and leaving it open, perhaps with a drain, and flushing regularly.
Usually I just leave medication syringes out on a paper towel on the kitchen counter since the syringes are meant to be reused, but I think I'll need a different system for this medication. A friend suggested I keep the syringe in a closed container, like a Tupperware or something. I think that could keep me from coming into contact with the medication accidentally. Maybe the bottle should go in the container, too, in case some of the medication ends up on the outside. I have a pretty good supply of disposable gloves because I wear them to spot-clean the cage. Are there any other precautions I should be taking?
From the day after I adopted Kira until 11/22 when the abscess was tentatively declared resolved, I weighed Kira daily, and she never lost a significant amount of weight. In fact, the general trend in her weight has been upward. Does it make sense to go back to weighing her daily, or will monitoring the size of the abscess and weighing weekly be sufficient?
As for her weight, the new antibiotic may have a different effect on her so I'd still have a quick and simple weight check (and/or be super observant regarding any apparent changes in appetite).
The vet who prescribed this antibiotic wasn't on call last night, so I'm going to email him to let him know what's going on.