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Does anyone have some wisdom to share?

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Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone would like to share some advice or opinions or any other wisdom regarding some decisions I have to make...

Our little guinea pig Fiver is having some health issues. A few months back she had to have surgery to remove a lump that had grown under her skin on her back... now the problem is, those lumps have a tendency to come back, and then have to be removed again under general anaesthetic... She now has a couple of similar lumps around her 'shoulder' or 'elbow', where the front leg joins the body...

My worry is, little Fiver is quite old... she will be 7 at the end of summer... I am seeing a vet tomorrow to investigate the lumps she has at the moment, as although one seems totally painless, the second, smaller one seems to be getting painful and just started producing some kind of discharge, not sure if it could be very slight bleeding if she scratched...


I am reluctant to put Fiver through surgery on a too regular basis... general anaesthetics are always worrying especially on small animals, and her old age concerns me too,I am worried she would not be fit enough to go through or recover from the whole thing as smoothly as before...

She is nowhere near ill enough for me to think it would be more humane to have her put down,that would be something I'd only do if it seemed like the only option... I'd rather try surgery if the vet thinks she can take it...


To be honest I am hoping the vet will have an alternative option, maybe a topical way of treating the problem or something like that... if he doesn't, I'll have to decide whether to put her through the stress of surgery,or whether to let her be as she is, as long as we can find a way to keep the lump painfree....


Don't know what to think... Any word of wisdom anyone?

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To be honest I am hoping the vet will have an alternative option, maybe a topical way of treating the problem or something like that... if he doesn't, I'll have to decide whether to put her through the stress of surgery,or whether to let her be as she is, as long as we can find a way to keep the lump painfree....

Any word of wisdom anyone?


Not sure about words of wisdom from me, but just best wishes for your visit to the vets.


Perhaps the vet will be able to say more about what the lumps are? It may become more apparent at this visit whether she can be kept comfortably in which case I would feel the same as you; to only have her put down if she was suffering and declining. If an operation again seems the best option then of course you have to feel prepared for the worst, because of the risks.

However, it could be that the vet can treat the painful one topically and advise about nursing her.

I'm only repeating what you've said, in the hope that maybe you will find that posting about Fiver will have crystalised your own thoughts.

You've done so well looking after Fiver, and she is elderly, I'm thinking of you.

Best wishes, and do let us know how you get on. :)

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Never posted on here before!


We've just had a related experience with one of our piggies. Two weeks ago, Inca (who looks like an elderly toupee on legs) suddenly developed a HUGE lump under his chin, and was loosing weight. I took him to the vet, who diagnosed a tumor. I declined his ofer to operate, as his prognosis wasn't good, and I didn't want the poor creature to suffer. We resolved to give him a peaceful and enjoyable last few weeks.


On Sunday, oldest child came running in to say that lump had got smaller! On investigation, 'tumor' had burst, emmitting the most disgusting, foul smelling goo! :vom:


Three days later, he has an oozing hole which we're trying to keep clean. He's now eating for England! :lol:


I don't know if this was a cyst or abscess. One of our others had a small cyst, which seemed to go of its own accord. I've not been back to the vet, as nature seems to be taking its course (and OH very funny when it comes to vets bills).


Sorry, that's probably not much help!

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Ooooo, poor piggies :( The treatment really does depend on what the lump is - if it's a tumour, then you have two options - to operate to remove it, or leave it to see what happens. The advice the vet gives on this depends largely on whether it's malignant or not. All animals, like humans are at risk from general anaethetics, small furries especially.


It sounds like Inca might have had an abcess, which would've been really painful. I am surprised that the vet didn't see this. I hope that it heals now and he gets better quickly.


MY GPs didn't have growths, but I understand that they are quite common. My old lurcher (not a GP, I know ) had fatty lumps as she got older, the vet was all for operating to take them out, but they weren't life-threatening, and given her age and dicky ticker, I wan't prepared to put her through it. You weigh up the odds and take your chances I'm afraid :? .

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Easy way to tell if a lump is an abcess :shock:


The fur will come out very easily as the blood supply to the area has become quite poor so pull it and it should fall out and the skin underneath will look yellowish/white where a tumour usually looks quite pink as the blood supply is usually increased to serve the tumour 8)


Ruddy vet should know that :evil:

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The Fiver problems didn't have a happy ending... The vet decided that surgery was the only option, and we went for it, and for two days after Fiver seemed fine, eating, moving around, and taking her antibiotics without problems, but then on the third morning she looked tired and weak, and pretty much just laid down and let go... she died a few hours later...


So that's it for us for now, she was our last guinea, she had been born here nearly seven years ago, and outlived her mum and brother and sisters by quite a few years, so really she did quite well... We lost our pet rabbit about a year ago in a similar post-surgery problem... not quite sure what actually did kill Fiver, but I guess now she's gone it doesn't matter much.

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