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Guinea Pigs/skin under chin /chest

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Question
noticed large lump not hard under chin / chest area took to local vet not cavy savvy! she does not think its an abcess because its not
hard. she also says it doesnt feel like its attached so not cancer I think thats what she meant. feels to me like soft playdoh.its quite loose  hangs between legs, He is drinking and eating but not his normal self. Dont think its dewlap his fur is starting to go where its rubbing of floor. any ideas please

Answer
It sounds like a typical subglottal cyst, aka abscess. They are fairly common in guinea pigs. If it were a cancer it would not feel like a soft playdough mass.

If left alone it will burst on its own. The other option is to have it lanced so it can begin draining. They types of cysts must be kept open so they will heal from the inside out. Otherwise they will close up and the pus will continue to develop.

It's most commonly caused by staph, which we all carry on our skin all the time. When conditions are just right and we get a small break in the skin the staph gets out of control and an abscess develops. When the abscess is opened it is a foul smelling, yellow colored pus that is inside.

Once it breaks that opening needs to be irrigated daily using a syringe without a needle. You can also get a syringe for giving babies medication at your drug store. You will need to get some Betadine solution, also available at the drug store. Mix about a tablespoon in a cup of water, do not use it straight. Suck up the solution in they syringe and put the tip of the syringe into the hole, squirt the Betadine/water mixture right into the wound.

Do this twice daily. It helps to flush out the pus that is trying to keep going and it cleanses the inside of the wound. It will begin to heal from the inside. You will have to do this for about a week. Then it will close up and he will be fine.

These are common to guinea pigs, presumably because they get poo on their toenails then scratch under the chin causing a scratch that becomes infected. It's not usually a life threatening condition, but it does need attention.

You also want to wash the area with warm soapy water daily. Keep the area as clean as possible. Good luck to you. You should be able to take care of this yourself. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate.

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Pat VanAllen

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As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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