|7 October 2003 ... a Trip to the Vet|
Tegan and Tess were running around last Saturday when I noticed Tegan's fur was sticking out funny. I picked her up and flipped her over. And found a huge lump on her belly.
I felt awful! I was sure that it was breast cancer and it takes longer than just over night to get that big, about the size of a nickel. I never flip them over because they hate that, but why didn't I notice when I gave them baths last month?
I start calling vets right away, but it's Saturday afternoon and everyone is closed. I get online, but nobody even has web sites. At mapquest, I use the yellow pages and write down the four closest vets to call on monday morning.
and then I have to worry for all the rest of the weekend.
Monday morning at work, I phone the first vet on my list, "Hi, I'm looking for a vet who will care for guinea pigs?" "Yep, we do guinea pigs." Yay. I got an appointment for that afternoon.
Tegan hates the car ride in the carrier, but it's only a couple minutes long since the vet is just around the corner. The vet tech, takes us back and does pre-exam stuff like getting her weight and temperature.
The doc comes in and takes a look at her and she thinks it's cancer as well... but she'll have to check her book because she's never seen breast cancer in guinea pigs. ("but rats get it all the time.").. The book says that both male and female guinea pigs can get breast cancer, but it's extremely rare before age three. (Tegan is just two.) 30 percent get the malignant kind, and 70 percent have a benign tumor that just keeps growing. The vet does a needle aspirate to make sure there's breast cells involved.
Tegan cries for that at first. But then the vet tech re-arranges his hold on Tegan and then she's okay while the vet sticks a needle into the lump on her tummy.
When the doc comes back from looking at the stuff under the microscope, she announces, "It's an abscess!"
An abscess. They take Tegan in the back and lance and clean it out. They bring her back, with some antibiotics, and she's good to go!
Yay! Tegan and Tess will have to be separate for a few. And Tegan will get to lie on towels instead of shreaded newspaper, since she has a hole in her belly that we'll have to keep clean. She is not liking the clean ups or her medicine.
But she'll live. And from now on, I'm flipping over both of those piglets on a regular basis, no matter how much they get annoyed!
But now I'm wondering, where did that abscess come from?? Did Tess bite her? Seems weird to me. But is there anything else around here that she could have poked herself on?? Since it was an abscess, it probably wasn't there more than a few days. But Still!
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