I still remember seeing Poof's thin, nervous little face the day we adopted her - she had been abandoned in a box on the side of a freeway on-ramp and was in dire need of extra food, love and attention. Since then, she has slowly but surely put on weight and established herself as the alpha pig in the cage. Unlike our other drama pigs whom frequently find reasons to visit the vet, Poof was always the healthy one.
We knew that all was not well with Poof when she started rumblestrutting and mounting everypiggy else - then continued to do so for over seven days straight. (For reference Poof is a sow, as are her cagemates Belka, Truffle, and Peaches).
It was not the rumblestrutting or mounting that had us concerned, but the duration of this behavior. Belka, Truffle and Poof go through such episodes regularly, each of which typically last from 12-36 hours. Aside from the uncharacteristically lengthy aggressive behavior, Poof was still happily eating, drinking, wheeking, and being her normal active self. A close inspection did not reveal anything amiss. After poring over the info on GuineaLynx about cavy ovarian cysts, we made an appointment to see our vet.
After an ultrasound, the vet confirmed our suspicions - that little Poof had an ovarian cyst. My heart sank as my stomach twisted itself into knots. Surgery in general is never without risks, but surgery on guinea pigs is especially risky even with a cavy savvy vet - they are smaller, more difficult to surgically prepare, and more susceptible to anesthesia reactions. Stress, post operation infections, bloat, and other potential complications make recovery an uphill struggle. I kept thinking about Sharky, the last pig we had who went through an operation. She too needed surgery for ovarian cysts. We lost her. She was only three years old and I still deeply regret how her life was cut short.
To the other girls collective dismay, Poof continues to rumblestrut and mount them. She has begun to display more symptoms, such as enlarged nip ples and thinning fur so it was with great trepidation that we called to make an appointment for the operation. We have been reading what we can about surgery, recovery, post operative care, pain management, and bloat/GI stasis. Preparations are under way to give her everything she needs and make her as comfortable as possible.