Does anyone here have a *positive* story to share about a piggy spay? For ovarian cysts or otherwise? The internet is an abundant source of horror stories and warnings, and believe me, I've read them and I take them seriously. But I am trying to get all sides of the issue, and am wondering if anyone has had a piggy go through this operation successfully and what factors they took into consideration when deciding to have the operation done.
Little Piggy had a routine check-up yesterday and her doctor felt a mass (it was not palpable last year, so while we don't know that it wasn't there before, it certainly was not this size before). She was sedated (she responded well to the medication and would have the same medication given if she has the surgery) and given an ultrasound, which showed one large cyst on one ovary and a smaller cyst on the other, for which her vet has recommended an ovario-hysterectomy. She said that injections are sometimes given, but this is not a permanent fix and, given Piggy's good health and relative youth, she could be subjected to getting these injections for a relatively long while (which she felt was undesirable).
Her bloodwork all came back fine, apart from elevated fibrin levels indicating inflammation (which the doctor believes is related to the cysts - her white blood cell count is fine, so she does not suspect infection).
Piggy is no more than three and healthy otherwise. She hasn't shown any indication of pain, no weight or hair loss, etc., that one might look for with cysts. She has a mild heart murmur - the ultrasound did not show any "glaring problems," but she would have a consultation with the cardiologist prior to any surgery. She also does not show any signs of having this murmur (apart from the doctor hearing it) - her energy is good, her lungs are clear and sound strong, etc.
The vet hospital she goes to is a part of a very good veterinary school (I've read it's the "best in the country," but I don't know the criteria). They are very comfortable and familiar with cavy spays. The vet says it is not an urgent decision (we have another pig who has a more pressing condition, which the vet says, if we're going to deal with one at a time, should be addressed first).
This hospital is a part of a university and is non-profit and I am confident that this doctor truly feels this operation is in Piggy's best interest (in other words, she isn't trying to make money off of us through this surgery). We are not concerned about the cost, but she said if we were, we could look at having it done by a local vet for less (the hospital in question is a town over from us), which also leads me to believe she is motivated by concern for Piggy, rather than for profit (I mention this only because I have read of vets wanting to do operations just to make some more money).
If Piggy does have the surgery, we will have it done at the vet hospital, as they are familiar with her case and her history, I am impressed by their facilities and by their thoroughness, demeanor, and expertise in guinea pigs. The vet has spent a lot of time with us, very patiently answering our questions, and she and everyone else we have seen there has been as respectful of us and our guinea pigs and bunnies as one would expect a great doctor and hospital to be of human patients and their families. The vet we have been seeing will perform the operation, but senior vet students will also be present and assist with the operation. Piggy can eat up until the time she is anesthetized and once she is awake enough, she will be given food again.
I am very nervous and hesitant (okay, frankly, I am scared to death of losing my sweet baby), but I don't know if I trust my gut (which says "No surgery. Just cuddle up with Piggy in the bed and stay like this forever.") on this. I am a very nervous sort anyway - I get scared when my husband so much as picks up our bunnies to put them into their carrier because I envision them flipping out and hurting themselves, etc.
Anyway, just looking for some insight and hopefully someone who has been through this before can help me out.
p.s. Our other girl is spayed, but this was done before we got her from the rescue. Her spay was an emergency spay, so I've always seen spays on piggies as something to be done only in a life-or-death situation. Piggy is not dying, she is quite vibrant, so that is where most of my hesitation comes from.