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Linda Garrett
Linda Garrett,
Category: Vet
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Experience:  Owner at Self
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I have a guinea pig with a swollen neck and wounds on both

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I have a guinea pig with a swollen neck and wounds on both sides of her front legs, which have now scabbed over. She's been mis-diagnosed by a vet at the pdsa, so I feel like it's probably too late. She had crusty bits adding her nose this evening but is eating and drinking normally and is quite brought in herself.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Is the guinea pig bleeding a lot?
Customer: No, not at all
JA: Phew. What is the guinea pig's name and age?
Customer: Piglet, 4 years old
JA: What is the guinea pig's name?
Customer: Piglet
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Piglet?
Customer: No
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
around Not adding
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
bright in herself (sorry, I'm on my phone)

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can assist with your concerns today.

When was she seen at the PDSA & what was Piglet diagnosed with?

Were any medications or treatments sent home or recommended?

Has she gotten much worse since the visit?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
She was seen on Friday. The vet said she was just fat and that the wounds were caused by her rubbing along the ground. I queried this as she's on fleece and the wounds looked like a graze on both sides (left and right hand side of her body) and she'd lost skin as well as her hair, which seemed out of proportion for rubbing along the ground. The swelling under her neck was diagnosed as fat (I'm assuming dewlap) but compared to our other GP, the feel is much different.Sent homme with hibiscrub to clean the wounds. No medication.The wounds have scabbed over, so that's better. The swelling is about the same size, maybe bigger, it's hard to tell but the crusting around the nose is new this evening.

Can you possibly post a picture of her?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I doubt know how to do that on here. I'll just see if I can find out
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
don't
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I have replied to the email. I hope that works

OK, we can try without a picture.

Is Piglet doing more biting or itching than you other pig?

Are they housed together, or separately, & if together, do they seem to be getting on well?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
email was no good :(She scratches a bit but not excessively. Not more than the other one. No biting. Housed together. They get on well. No nipping etc
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
She was on antibiotics early July for diahorrea. Forgot about that, sorry
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Sulfatrim. 0.3ml every 12 hours for a week (I think)

So it is possible that her being overweight is contributing to this. It is very unlikely that she would be having a reaction to the antibiotic after all this time.

And nothing new in their environment, the fleece is washed or replaced pretty frequently?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It's possible it's contributing. Fleece is changed a few times a week. I wasn't sure if the anti-biotics were relevant or not (ie, a bit of infection left that has come back. No idea so I thought I'd throw it in)
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Nothing new in the environment
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I took these on Thursday. The wound on the left scabbed over, then the right bled on Friday and scabbed over. And you can just see the swelling on her neck at the front. I can take another set now if you need.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
The upload symbol just appeared!

Always best to try & get the most complete history as possible, so the antibiotics were duly noted.

So unfortunately, from afar, all I can do is venture some guesses.

First is the possibility of skin mites, even with your other pig not showing any signs of being itchy. Did the vet do any skin scrapes? If not, you might ask about just treating both pigs with a topical like selamectin ( Revolution ) or Advocate.

Next is the possibility of barbering by either pig. This can occur when there is less fiber in the diet, or even from stress. Make sure there is plenty of fresh hay for them to much on in addition to their pellets & fresh veggies.

And, try just washing the fleece in hot water, no detergents & see if this makes a difference.

If the wounds have scabbed & seem to be healing, the scrub may be doing its job. You may never discover the cause & it may just be that the lesions will heal on their own, but I would still consider treating both of them with a topical just in case.

There are some uncommon causes of skin lesions in pigs, including endocrine imbalances due to cystic ovaries, & some cancers.

Your pictures just came through. Give me a few minutes to review.

Those lesions are pretty bad. The only reason I can imagine a pig doing this to herself is skin mites & a possible endocrine problem.

Did these all just appear rather suddenly & at one time?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
They appeared in days. They get a full health check at least weekly and there was no signs of hair loss a few days before this, then this happened. So, yes, appeared suddenly and at one time.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
No skin scrapes taken

So this does make things a bit more concerning, considering her age, the speed the lesions appeared & how extensive they look to me. I can not prescribe anything, & that would be dangerous without knowing the underlying cause, so having her looked at again, with some skin scrapes looking for mites & possibly some bloodwork would be the next logical steps. You certainly can give the scrub a bit more time to see if the lesions resolve, but if she does not look significantly better by next week, or she continues to develop new sores, you should have her seen again.

Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It does make sense. Those lesions have scabbed over and are healing nicely but her neck swelling is still there and concerning me, and the crustyness around her nose this evening is also worrying. If it were mites would she be aggravating the wounds still? Would they heal as well as they are?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
The swelling at the front feels like it's fluid filled.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
This is her right hand side today
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
her left hand side
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
You can see the swelling at the front in this one. She's lost hair on part of the swelling

Except for the swelling under the neck, she looks quite a bit better. I wonder, though, if there is an underlying condition here & your scrub may have taken care of any secondary bacterial infection in the skin? But, I am concerned about the swelling. Based on your last pictures, I would do what is called a fine needle aspirate of the swelling under her neck. If it is just fat, then no need to go further, but if this is an abscess or something else, you need to know fairly quickly.

I think you need to have her seen again & find out what this is, or at least confirm it is just fat.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for your time. One last question, if I may? The fine needle aspiration, is that something that someone just out of vet school can do? as I think most of the vet's at the pdsa are very inexperienced, especially with guinea pigs but I can't really afford anything else (although I will if necessary)

It does take care, especially in a little pocket pet, but it is not a difficult procedure to perform. Piglet should be OK, but you certainly have the right to ask if a particular vet is better experienced with these little pets, & doing this procedure.

Linda Garrett and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you so much for your time this evening.

You are so welcome. Please consider leaving a rating as this is the only manner in which I can receive credit from the site. And please let me know how Piglet does.

Take care & stay well.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I have left a rating. Thank you. I will let you know how it goes :)

Thank you so much.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hello :)After much chasing I got an appointment today. She now has nasal discharge and diahorrea though :( She's been given 4 medications. I'm hoping they work without over loading her system. If you have any thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them :)She's got...
Meloxicam 0.4ml for 14 days
Kaogel 1ml every 12 hours for 14 days
Sulfatrim 0.3ml every 12 hours for 14 days
Xeno 450 mite medicationNo test for mites, no fine needle aspiration (I couldn't find anyone to do this before next week anyway).Initially he didn't want to give antibiotics but I felt that with the nasal discharge (although he said chest sounds fine) that they were necessary and he said he'd prescribe them.If he very grateful for your thoughts on her medication. Thank you :)
I can ask you a new question if that works better than just replying to this one :)

I will leave that up to you. I will receive compensation with a new question, & I am grateful for that, but I will not insist on you opening a new one.

Just let me know. If you do open a new question, just title it with DrLinda only.