A guinea pig with a lumpy problem

Bert is a 3 month old shorthaired guinea pig who was brought in to the clinic because he had lost his appetite over the previous two days. This was quite unusual for Bert as his owner reported that he had always had a ravenous appetite and he was even knocking back his favorite treat of broccoli.

On clinical examination by Dr Belinda, Bert was found to have a lump on the skin over the lower jaw, about the size of a smartie. Guinea pigs can get lumps and bumps of all descriptions so to confirm what type of lump this was, further diagnostic tests were required.

Bert was admitted to hospital and a biopsy (sample of cells) was taken from the lump. These cells were then investigated by our in-house pathology department and the diagnosis of a subcutaneous abscess was confirmed.

Subcutaneous abscesses or lumps as they are often known as, are quite common in guinea pigs. They may occur from a bite from another guinea pig or in Bert’s case, from a rough piece of straw (from his bedding) that had punctured the skin. The good news is Bert had the lump surgically drained and then flushed with an antiseptic solution. He was sent home on a course of antibiotics.

Bert revisited the clinic seven days later and was eating with gusto again! Bert's lump had gone and much to his owner's delight he was back happily munching his broccoli and pellets again!